The latest of Logitech's impressive docking stations and portable speakers, the Logitech S715i features a streamlined design, a built-in rechargeable battery and multiple speaker drivers. Let's find out how these multiple drivers perform from inside a single plastic housing.
Logitech S715i Rechargeable Speaker Dock: Design and Features
The Logitech S715i is a portable speaker designed for the iPod and the iPhone. Clad in a dark and stylish curved body, Logitech has definitely improved on the design as compared to its earlier Pure-Fi series of portable speakers. The speaker is slightly longer than one foot; around 6in tall and it is around 2 and half inches thick, which makes it fit right into the portable speakers category.
The front of the speaker has six drivers protected by a dark metallic speaker-grille. There's a universal docking connector for iPod/iPhone at the top; flanking this docking bay is an LED indicator and control buttons for volume and power.
Logitech has cleverly offered a foldable cover for the docking bay and it conveniently doubles up as a speaker stand too. On the back, there are two passive radiators and the iPod dock cover, plus ports for auxiliary and AC charger protected by a rubber flap. Logitech said the universal dock connector works with iPhone and all iPod models.
The Logitech S715i does not offer much in terms of features. It is a simple portable rechargeable speaker which is compatible with your iPod, iPhone and any other audio source with a 3.5mm stereo jack plug. There is no Bluetooth audio streaming, nor does it charge the iPod/iPhone, but under its hood, the S715i packs two 3in neodymium drivers for mids, two 0.5in neodymium tweeters for highs and four 2in passive radiators for bass.
Unlike most portable speakers which come with disposable batteries, the Logitech S715i has a non-removable rechargeable NiMH battery with a rated 8-hour operating time. In case the 8-hour battery life is not enough, the system works while it is being charged via the AC adaptor as well.
There's also an infrared remote control that's the size of a cigarette lighter, and has controls for playback (skipping tracks, play/pause and playback mode), volume and power on/off. The package also included the AC adaptor for charging and a travelling case.
Logitech S715i Rechargeable Speaker Dock: Performance
Our colleagues at PC World India put the Logitech S715i Rechargeable Speaker Dock through its paces in their testing lab. Here's how it got on.
First of all, the Logitech S715i sounds louder when the AC adaptor is plugged in and charging the battery. So, in case you feel the speaker does not sound loud enough, you know what to do.
The system worked well with our iPod touch (4G, 3G and 2G) and iPod nano 6G; we also tested it with the Cowon D2+ and netbooks via its aux-in. The system definitely has enough power to fill a mid-sized room with music, and for outdoors it is good enough for personal use.
We did not find any faults with the controls and found the system very simple to use. All you need to do is dock the iPod and pick up the remote. One small complaint, though - the remote control cannot be used to skip album or artist on the iPod/iPhone but only for changing tracks, which we found to be quite limiting. Should you want to skip the playlist, album or artist, you need to use the controls on your iPod or iPhone.
Our first impression with the sound was much more positive than the Creative D100 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker we reviewed recently. However, the Creative costs half as much as the Logitech S715i.
The Logitech S715i's overall sound signature is mid-oriented. For a portable speaker, the two 3in drivers delivered clear mids and punchy mid-bass. The passive radiators also helped a lot in reproducing warm and punchy bass. As expected, we did not hear any deep end low bass but for a portable speaker, the amount of mid-bass it reproduced was pretty good.
We could hear clear mids and highs, and a mid-bass trying to reproduce a tight deep bass which resulted in a warm and mid-oriented sound. The distortion level started around 90 percent of its maximum volume, so we set the volume limit at this point.
Bass: The low-end bass was missing; a warm mid bass took care of the lower frequencies. The Logitech S715i would definitely not do as a replacement for your 2.1-channel PC speaker set, as it lacks power, speed and details.
For a portable speaker, the mid bass we heard was warm and punchy, especially with some commercial pop and R&B songs, but for hip-hop or other bass[heavy music, the passive radiators just did not have enough power to do justice to the music. The overall bass reproduction was not great by any means, but for its size - and for a plastic enclosure with passive radiators - the Logitech S715i did a pretty good job for soft ballads, country, pop or slow-tempo music. Hip-hop or trance fans would find it hard to fall in love with the bass.
Mids: Across all frequency ranges, the mids are the most dominant and slightly overpower the rest. It was clear and crisp enough for casual listening. Though it was not as liquid and as direct as we would have liked, the mids sounded clear enough for a portable speaker, provided the volume is set to not more than 90 percent of the maximum.
For casual listening, the vocals, guitars and snare drums sounded good enough but critical listeners will find it slightly dark and not articulate enough.
Highs: The Logitech S715i reproduced bright highs with decent extension. They could have been more refined and sharper, though, as there was a lack of openness and air. The mids' domination is also a concern here, but the speakers did not show any sibilance or shrilling highs. We just wished the highs were crispier and brighter.
Being a single-speaker system, the stereo effect and imaging was average, which is a common trait with portable speakers anyway.
Overall, the sound quality is good enough for casual listening and for portable use, and the Logitech S715i impressed especially in terms of size to performance ratio.
Next page: Our expert verdict >>