Slim Devices Squeezebox Media Servers

Squeezebox

Key features:

  • Stream digital music from your computer or over the Internet
  • Listen to MP3, WMA, AAC, Apple Lossless, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC or uncompressed audio (WAV and AIFF)
  • Browse and stream SHOUTcast Internet radio
  • Place anywhere—low profile, built-in display, no TV required
  • Connect to 802.11 wireless or ethernet network
  • Plug into any home theater stereo or speakers with digital and analog outputs
  • Synchronize multiple players for whole house audio
  • Browse and search using custom infrared remote or any web browser
  • Extra features—built-in alarm clock, music selection by Album Art, plugins, web interface skins and more!

User Reviews (13)

Showing 1-10 of 13  
recoveryone   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 30, 2012]

I feel a little embarrassed that I have not posted a review of this product over the years. I have been using the Squeezebox Classic for 6 years now and it was the main reason I got back into listening to music as I once did when I was younger. As many have said before, I too have a good size CD and Vinyl collection and have been saddled with the issue of being able to listen to it when ever. I started looking for other options around 2001, after finally getting DSL into my home. The next step was being wireless, and that really stepped up my efforts in finding a solution to my problem. The first DAR (Digital Audio Receivers) I found was made by Linksys, and it was not real bad,(hold up yes it was). The sound was flat and unengaing, the wireless signal only worked off and on, so I had to run a cat5 line to it to make sure it worked properly. I don't think it had any DAC's built in and only had the RCA analog outputs. Late 2006 I ran across some info about DAR's on Cnet.com and read about the Squeezebox 3. I continued finding other reviews on its performace and the built in specs of the Burr Brown DAC's, gold analog RCA, Coax output along with toslink output. Its ability to work with wireless G network is what seal the deal with me as the Linksys model was only wireless B. I searched on Ebay and pick up my first one, and never turn back since. I had down loaded the squeezeplay software a month before, so I would have a good handle on how to work with it when the player arrived.

From that day I first set this DAR up the sound was full and engaging, and just fueled my desire to have more. The forum site (http://forums.slimdevices.com/) is very helpful and you can learn so much more about this item and digital based music than you can shake a stick at. Having this device has lead me to rip my full collection of CD's and now I am leaning toward solely making all of my future music purchases as digital down loads when possible.

Today I currently have 3 Squeezeboxes in my home along with the flagship model Transporter. two of the squeezeboxes are from Slim Devices and the other is branded under the Logictech name. The Transporter is the old style made by Slim Device (W/TravsNav knob).

Pros:
One of the best, if not the best wireless DAR (Digital Audio Receivers) on the market
Supports about all uncompressed music and compressed file formats
Internet streaming of radio, or subscription services; Lastfm, MOG etc....
Supports Facebook posting and friends post
New apps for iphone, android phone, win7 phones, Ipad.....tablets that allow you to use like the remote control with added feature; album cover art, artist bio info and lyrics
multible outputs RCA, Coax and Toslink
Cat 5 ethernet connection that can be used as either an input or output to other devices (BR players)

Cons:
Computer or NAS to store personal ripped music (to really enjoy its full use)
Squeeze Center/LMS (Logictech Media Server) can be tempermental at times
Classic model no album art (but can be seen with above listed devices using Classic model as player)

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
pasha1013   AudioPhile [Sep 01, 2008]
Strength:



Once set up, the convenience and ease of use of this little toy is simply amazing. However, installation is another matter. I had been reading about computer-based systems for several months. What finally convinced me was an article in the August 2008 issue of the Absolute Sound. It is their "Digital Issue." It actually showed how to make this happen. However, the author ran into some issues while hooking up the Duet. And so did I. The PC firewall had some issues with the Squeezebox. And Microsoft Vista stinks when it comes to non-Microsoft hardware and software. There are a lot of comments on the internet about this problem. I had to rely on my computer guru engineer son to fix the problem. I am told that the Mac does not have as many hook up issues.

In any case, the remote is just wonderful. To see the album cover while the music is playing is thrilling (I wish the screen was just a little larger). To change your music and your source on the fly is truly wonderful. Enjoy the music.

Weakness:

Turning the system on and off should be easier. If you turn off the Squeezebox, it takes longer to turn it on than getting my tube Audio Research preamp to get going. Within Rhapsody, it is not easy to play just one track, instead of playing the entire album.

Sometimes, I have had to disconnect the battery to restart the remote. It wants to keep looking for another network!

Again, setting up the initial "network name" and "security key," etc. was not as easy as it should be for the ordinary folks. Also, the box should really contain a manual. It comes only with a "Quick Start Guide." It is not very helpful. You have to go online to find answers to your basic questions. Logitech, just add another $10 to the initial price but include a useful manual, please, especially after you read all these start up problems.

This review is for the Squeezebox Duet, 2008 model. Just bought it a week ago. The list price is $400. I got a good deal on ebay for $325.

Before you read several more lines to find out what I have said, here is a summary: It is a pleasant surprise. Great toy. Will stay with me for a long time, I hope. I am recommending it to all my music lover friends and relatives. I will probably buy additional receivers for one or two more rooms. In short, if you have time, read some of the other reviews below. Everyone uniformly likes this little device. Buy it and enjoy it.

This recommendation comes from an audiophile and music lover of several decades!!! I still own several high-end CD players, including Accuphase, Ayre, Accuphase, Parasound, etc. I still own these. They are in different rooms, and they will stay there. The Duet is in my office, computer room. Right now it is playing through an Audio Research tube preamp and a Krell amp with Mirage M-3 speakers. The sound? Wonderful. Am I worried about the soundstage, imaging, etc.? No. It is just nice music. I am not ready yet to take it to the next level and compare it Ayre 5 or Accuphase, etc. Am I ready yet to take it to my dedicated music room and play it through my big, Dunlavy speakers driven by Audio Research tube preamps and amps? No, not yet. Have not had enough time. I just wanted to quickly share my surprise and joy with everyone.

Right now I am studying my DAC options. Reading what others have said about Benchmark, Lavry, TADAC, MHDT, Zero, etd. Hopefully, one of these will improve the sound of the Duet even more. We'll wait and see. I have already ordered an inexpensive one to see if it makes a difference in sound.

In the meantime, I am enjoying my Apple lossless and wav files in my iTunes library as well as the internet music source called Rhapsody during the 30-day trial period. I have a McIntosh tuner. I suspect it will not be used much anymore. The internet radio and music services trump my local public radio station, both in convenience and in the variety of classical music. That is all I listen to anyway. Jazz is nice, too. However, it does not matter what your tastes are. There are many choices on the internet, from country to rock and back. So, I am now sold on computer-based high-end music.

My experience is less than one week old. Much is yet to be discovered.

Similar Products Used: I have played music through desktop computer speakers as well as hardwired to my office 2-channel system, using an Edirol USB Audio Capture UA-25. That is also a terrific little device for digitally recording my reel-to-reel tapes and LPs to my computer.

Otherwise, my experience is with stand-along CD players, such as:

Accuphase 65, Ayre 5, Audio Research CD-1 and Parasound.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
kes4927   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 18, 2008]
Strength:

Relative ease of use
The convenience of having your music at your fingertips
It looks cool, especially in black

Weakness:

The device itself has no buttons on it; you need to use your remote or the Squeeze Center software on your computer to tell it what to do - not really a weakness but might annoy some people.

The Squeezebox V3 is totally cool.

I didn't even have a wireless router until I purchased this, so I had to figure that out at the same time as the Squeezebox, but I managed to accomplish it without having to call Slim Devices for help, so anyone who's not afraid of computers could probably do it with little difficulty. I also bought a 250GB hard drive and burned most of my CDs to it as .wav files for better sound. I have the Squeezebox hooked up to a Scott Nixon dac with a digital coax cable and it sounds great. Having your CD collection at the convenience of the remote control is liberating. Another nice feature is you can find most of your radio stations via internet radio and stream them to the Squeezebox so you don't really need a tuner any more. And services like Pandora add even more fun to the equation; you can use that to create your own radio stations according to artist or song and it plays songs that it thinks you would like; if you don't like a particular song you can give it a thumbs down and it will never play that song again, and if you like a particular song you can give it a thumbs up and it will play more songs like that one. (It comes with a 3 month free trial but then you have to pay $3/month).

I also have a Rega Planet original model CD player and it is very easy to tell that CDs played with the Rega sound better than the same music played with the Squeezebox, even with the dac, so for audiophiles they have the Transporter, which costs a hell of a lot more. Or maybe I just need to buy a more expensive dac. If you are listening to MP3 files I don't think you would be able to tell any difeference at all.

Regardless, this is the coolest thing I have ever bought for my stereo system and it gets used for hours each day. Periodically Slim Devices upgrades the software, which is open source and they are always improviing it; it has improved a lot since I first bought the Squeezebox.

You really can't go wrong with the Squeezebox; it enables you to enjoy your music more than you ever have before.

Customer Service

Slim Devices customer service is great, I had some questions on my Pandora account and they answered my email within a day. I've also read that they are very helpful if you have any issues configuring the Squeezebox with your router.

Similar Products Used: None
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Ajani   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 18, 2008]
Strength:

Size, performance, price and convenience.

Potential to upgrade it two ways:

1) Buy an external DAC - to beef up sound quality

2) Buy a Controller (the new remote used in the Squeezebox Duet) - allows you to scroll through album artwork etc.. on the 3.5inch LCD screen...

Weakness:

Like any computer product, it will have the odd (I should say rare) freeze for a second or two, but I've never experienced that issue while it was playing a song.

I think the 9 5 star reviews for this product before mine, pretty much sum up the Squeezebox 3 (Now Called Classic - which is the one I have)...

IT WORKS....

It is one of the cheapiest and most effective ways to stream music from my HP Laptop to my stereo. I have it running over my wireless network with no major hiccups in performance...

It has sound quality on par with comparitively priced CD players... and has the ability to be used as a transport (assuming you want to add a DAC)..

Its size makes it very convenient for moving it around and attaching it to different stereos in the house (untill I decide to get another Squeezbox)...

Highly recommended...

Customer Service

Excellent!!! They responded quickly to my request and even checked if I had an issues previously shipping products to my country (St. Kitts) via UPS....

Similar Products Used: Mac Mini running Apple's Front Row Application, connected to my LCD projection TV - Easy on the eye, but had lacked coaxial digital output + required me to have a TV as part of my stereo...
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Marek   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 17, 2006]
Strength:

In the end, it is an easy set-up - for most people it will be a breeze.
Simple to use; easy remote, with the usual mobile-phone styled aplha-numeric pad
Good selection of accees to music - browse, search both by the usual iTunes categories.
Works very well in wireless mode or via ethernet.

Weakness:

Does hang for short times but not a significant issue.

Had to add a few bits to others' comments, but happy to confirm all othrr reviewers' opinions - Squeezebox changes the way you play and manage your music collection and delivers all this is a very nice little box.

Physical delivery was a fantastic surprise - two of us in Hong Kong decided to buy SB over the net on a friday afternoon. To our astonishment, they arrived by 10.30am the following Monday; the logest place it stayed anywhere during its travels from US, we in our company's mail room.

Loaded the server off tne net (piece of cake), plugged SB in and SB started to connect wirelessly. In no time at all, I was listening - definitely less than 30 minutes. My wife insisted we get rid of the (Belkin) wireless router, so I opted for Homeplug (to convert my home power network) to a LAN. THis seemed to cause SB untold problems with connection. After many emails and 3 calls to SB's US helpdesk, I finally achieved wired set-up (needed to set up a specific SB location on my iMac network).

Can't remember when I used my CD player last! Creek 5350 amp, SB and Proac Response 1SC speakers make for a very nice compact systems with an excellent sound.

The ease of browsing, simplicity of interface, abillity to access iTunes playlists and internet radio (I have created a playlist with all my fav int radio stations) makes SB a one-stop shop for music access. One big problem is that you'll end up with so much music and need to remember what you'd like to listen to - the album, artist or song browse function means you will be scrollng & scrolling & scrolling & scrolling.

Sound is very good - I have only cut in MP3 format, but have bought a 300G disk in planning for a higher def format.

Customer Service

SB help desk guys were incredibly helpful, freindly, liked their work and delivered a very professional service.

Similar Products Used: Rokulabs soundbridge - another nice box, but I think SB is a winner when you compare size of display and some functionality.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
hifimonkeys   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 06, 2006]
Strength:

1. It just works.
2. Design.
3. Excellent sound quality.
4. No wires to run through your house, no more wall drilling.

Weakness:

1. I would appreciate hardware buttons on top of the Squeezebox in addition to the remote control. Sometimes the buttons are just more convenient.

2. There is no turning back. Once started using Squeezebox, especially for lossless music playback, you will run out of hard drive space pretty soon, so prepare to invest in additional hard drives for your PC.

3. SlimServer software does an excellent job streaming music, but it is not that good in browsing and searching it. I downloaded excellent third party software that can control Squeezebox (it’s called OrangeCD Suite) and use it for richer interface, more convenient search and management of music collection.

4. Bundled power adapter and RCA cable could be better. I replaced cables, but tiny wallwart still makes my audiophile friends laugh.

I am a music fan and avid music collector for most of my life. Most of my 4,000 album collection still consists of audio CDs, and I use my stereo system to listen to music whenever I can. Browsing the web, I often find some digital sound clips that are worth listening – e.g. song previews, artist interviews, or download-only releases. Before Squeezebox, it was pain to give these sound bits a listen, I either had to listen via headphones connected to the PC, via cheap computer speakers, or burn a CD and play it in the CD player connected to my stereo. My computer is three walls away from listening room, so running a wire from the computer to stereo was not an option. I quickly grew tired of burning CDs and started looking for better solution.

I ruled out media centers completely because my listening room doesn’t have a TV, and even if it did, I would hate to turn it on every time I need to choose an album to play. Then I discovered Squeezebox, placed an order for the wireless version ($300), and my world changed forever.

Hardware installation was trivial. Squeezebox woke up and guided me through the process. The hardest part of the installation was entering 32-digit Wi-Fi network security key using the remote control (a step most people won’t need). SlimServer software seems to be put together well and it also installed without a problem. It took me a few minutes to figure out how to scan my music files, but in less than thirty minutes after I opened the box, I was listening to the music from my computer, wirelessly, via stereo speakers in my listening room.

The sound quality seems to be extremely good for the device in this price point. It is only slightly inferior to the sound of my CD player which is three times as expensive. I am sure most people won’t hear any difference at all, especially when it comes to compressed music.

My favorite feature of the Squeezebox/SlimServer tandem is that it allows browsing music library from any authorized computer, which gives a nice option of putting up a playlist on the laptop while sitting in the sofa and actually listening to music.

I salvaged the oldest CDs in my music collection that were badly scratched and could die any moment. Then I converted hundreds of archive CDs back to digital files. Soon I discovered that I like to browse the collection from the sofa so much, that I began ripping some of my favorite albums just so they are always at hand.

Similar Products Used: None
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
bbargenquast   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 09, 2006]
Strength:

Easy setup (I have a Mac)
Remote is simple but does the job
Large display
Browser-based interface is easy to customize
Audio quality is fantastic at just about any bitrate

Weakness:

None worth mentioning

I've been using my Squeezebox (SB3) for around 6 months now. I didn't think I'd find anything easier than Apple's Airport Express and iTunes, but overall the SB3 is a much better way to go. The sound quality is excellent (using a mix of Apple lossless and 128Kbps files) and the browser-based interface is awesome. The remote control isn't anything fancy, but certainly does the job. When working in my office I use iTunes to send multiple outputs to powered speakers and a sub (via 2 Airport Express units, so I have a wireless sub!), but the SB3 is what I use exclusively for music in my living room.

If any of you are on the fence about moving over to a digital music server and ditching your receiver/tuner/amp/preamp setup for powered speakers, the SB3 is a great way to start!

Customer Service

Online order experience was excellent

Similar Products Used: iTunes + Airport Express
Sonos
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
dancarne   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 18, 2006]
Strength:

Features
Wireless, so I could put it anywhere.
WPA2 encryption
Build
Sound quality
Reliability
Ease of use

Weakness:

Needs to be plugged in.

First, I love my Squeezebox. It's a wonderful device and has been a blessing. The sound quality is excellent. I have B&K Components preamp and amp, with Dahlquist speakers and the sound is better than with my Denon CD player. All of my CDs are in iTunes (Apple Lossless) and I play them on the SB3. Pretty cool. I get to listen to all my kids music too. I like how quickly I can get to all my music. Think of it as a jukebox for all your tunes. And, I haven't had any problems with it. The only thing that comes close is sometimes, slim.exe hangs. But that is about once a month. Oh, I have a plugin that displays the weather and weather report. Very cool. And, since I bought the wireless version, I didn't have to run any wires. (I have not had any issues with the wireless section. I'm running it in WPA2 mode.)

Customer Service

EXCELLENT

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
msinderson   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 06, 2006]
Strength:

All your music in one place. Ability to send your music to any room in house. Decently designed interface and good useability. Strong user community.

Weakness:

You need to be at least a little "tech friendly" in order to get everything to work. Additional expense required to adequately backup your files on harddrive and setup a wireless network.

I'd been looking at ripping all of my CD's and playing them wirelessly over my audio system for a year or so. I discovered the Squeezebox in 2005 and spent a lot of time researching it and reading reviews/user reports. I finally pulled the trigger and purchased two of them (special price from Slim Devices) so I could have streaming music on each of our two systems.

I've been using them for about eight months now and am very glad I took the leap into wireless music. There was a bit of work involved in getting all my CD's (300 so far) ripped and stored on a network HD. I converted the files into the FLAC lossless format. Right now I am using the analog outputs to send the signal to my amplifiers (Cambridge 540A v2 and Yamaha home theatre receiver). To my ears the sound quality is very good, no complaints at all. There are a lot of people who have added expensive outboard DAC's with supposed fantastic results. I am not a "golden ear" audiophile by any means but I do enjoy my music. I will be upgrading my older bookshelf speakers within the next few months so that should give me an improvement in sound quality.

I think the Squeezebox is a great value if you want to take advantage of the benefits of streaning music. If you are tech friendly, have a decent computer and wireless network, and thinking about replacing a CD player or changer, take some time to consider the Squeezebox.

Similar Products Used: None
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Ron F.   Casual Listener [Jun 26, 2006]
Strength:

Integration with Slim Server - great software running this show
wide variety of usable music formats
WiFi access
Remote control features
general ease of use

Weakness:

Provided DC power supply
Plastic box construction
Analog audio output is discernibly not comparable to a respectable CD player

I have spent quite a bit of time during the last month playing with version 3 of the Squeezebox (SB), and thought I should write a review while it is still on my mind, before I move onto another project. I have ripped about 200 CDs using Exact Audio Copy (the EAC/FLAC combination) on a Windows platform and I recommend that combination to others for generating files that will be sent to the SB. I use a NetGear wireless router (using WPA) to stream these music files from my PC to the SB - and that works flawlessly. I have streamed music in the form of lossless FLAC files for days on end without a single hiccup. My universal remote (Home Theater Master MX-800) controls the SB even better than the provided remote and controlling the SB is a charm. I have been streaming FLAC, Apple Lossless, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, and MP3 formats to the thing, often all mixed up together - and it doesn't care. The thing also looks very nice sitting on top of my Headroom Max headphone amp - they are exactly the same width. Sound quality: people have remarked how wonderful it is, but I consider it's analog output only acceptable. I have been comparing it against my NAD C542 CD player, and it generally falls short in that comparison. I have not gone the route yet of purchasing an outboard DAC. Taking a recommendation from a user's forum, I found that leaving the digital gain fixed at max and then turning down the SB's analog stage gain to about half-way (23 on a scale of 40) does improve the analog output quality - but that drops the output by at least 10 dB. This is a danger when changing to another source later, forgetting to lower my preamp gain, and getting blasted! Power supply issues: when I first started my SB up, I immediately found the AM band on my tuner completely wiped out, the DC supply puts out a terrific amount of RF noise. I replaced the tiny supply that was provided with a much larger 5 VDC 4 amp-rated switching supply, and that cleared up the noise problem. Build quality: it is a very pretty-looking device, but it is still a plastic box. I found that when pushing my Outlaw Audio PCA cables onto the RCA connectors - that those jacks are attached to a PC board inside, with no real bracing. Pushing on the cables causes the PC board inside to flex quite a bit - that feels cheap. Display Screen: I like the screen, despite being monochromatic, but I found that at its second-to-lowest brightness point, (lowest being off) that it is rasterizing the display in vertical columns. I can see vertical stripes as a slight flicker - not a big deal, but I can see it if I look for it when the room is darkened. Streaming internet radio: works wonderfully, but the sound quality of internet radio streams is so abysmal to my head - that I simply cannot stand listening to them - not the SB's fault. In summary, the Squeezebox is a wonderful device and forms one part of a good music server. There is a learning curve however to setting something like this up so that it works properly. The other half of the equation of course is the device holding all your music and running the Slim Server software.

Similar Products Used: iTunes driving an M-Audio USB DAC through a long USB cable
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 13  

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