Slimdevices Squeezebox Music Server

Slimdevices Squeezebox Music ServerThings need not be expensive to be cheeky… it just happens to turn out that way most of the time. Here is one cheeky piece that is about the same price as a lowly iPod; the Slimdevices Squeezebox. Imagine having a music server that talks to your PC, seamlessly arranging and delivering the music library to your stereo system, with fidelity that’s about as good as possible from your hard drive.

Just how good is it? Impressive to say the least. Inside a slick looking package, the Squeezebox houses 24-bit Burr-Brown converters. As a comparison, there are a number of $2k and up CD players using this same chipset to convert digital bytes to analog music. So in case you were wondering, your Apple Airport Express will not want to go head up in this battle. It will get spanked like a step-child.

For those that want to take it further, there is a digital output provided if you have an external digital-to-analog converter of your own. There are anecdotes on the net of people using these things as the digital front end of 30 grand systems!

Our view on audio here is pretty simple, and surpisingly anti-esoteric. We ask a few questions and see if the equipment satisfies them:

1) Is it musical? (ie, is the device capable of delivering some of the impact and flow of a musical event in an accurate manner) Check.
2) Is it ugly? (most audio equipment is going to look a little mechanical by nature, but sometimes it gets a bit much). Pass.
3) Is it user-friendly? (No one wants to have a behemoth of an audio piece which requires vacuum tube replacement every 3 months). Checkmate.

The Squeezebox has an almost iPod-like intuitiveness about it. Menus are easy to drill down into and, best of all, it gives you access to the full universe of podcasts and internet radio stations. Cheeky statement… Get it. This one is a no brainer at USD 299 for the wireless version.

Check it out at Amazon

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