Monday, September 29, 2014

Tech Review: Logitech X300 and X100 Mobile Wireless Speakers

When I requested to try out the Logitech X300 portable speakers, and got myself the X100 speakers to go along with it as well, part of me wondered if I had dug myself a hole.

Logitech is best known for its practical, nothing fancy (apart from color options lol), value-for-money products. But as far as recollective comparisons go, I mostly had higher-end portable speakers or small speaker set ups as reference, such as the Creative Roar. Would I be able to make a fair comparison across two different product tiers?

In a strange way, therefore, I eagerly unboxed the product when I received it and tested it out.

I would like to say I did my worst to it in testing, but the truth is that there is nothing really to test beyond its intended function. True to its principles, the portable Bluetooth speaker was... a portable Bluetooth speaker. It's functions were made clear on the product itself, that it would do nothing more, but nothing less that what it promised either. There weren't any fancy USB ports for charging smartphones, or alarm systems, or custom docks, or other fairy dust. And that was alright in its own way, because I hardly needed to read the instruction manual to get myself set up and running with the device.

Let's get to the crux of it, and I'll tell it like it is. There is no bass. Perhaps some indication of a bass beat, but nothing more to lend conventional foundation to your music. But being straightforward as it is, I imagine Logitech must have weight the options with cost effectiveness as a priority.

 Now what would does the X300 offer? Mainly, stereo speakers that are angled to maximize stereo effect and reach. For all the quality boasted (rightfully) by Creative and Bose and its peers, stereo separation is something hardly addressed, and very often a weakness of portable speakers priced in excess of S$300. In a party or picnic setting, when you mainly want to have some background music running to add to the mood, I would argue that reach would be way more of a priority than tight, noticeable bass response. And that is what the X300 aims to deliver. Nothing more, but nothing less. It must be said that crackling was observed, but minimum and only at levels so high that one either would find uncomfortable for background music, or ignore because the party was louder anyway.

The X100 is even more utilitarian, sporting only a single large speaker to blare out your music. I used the included cord to fasten the speaker to a bicycle on a long-distance ride with my friends, and had the Best of Queen accompany us for the ride. Again, it was apparent that the speaker's job was done without the need for clear bass. The cord fastened very tightly, to the point where I had some trouble removing it at the end of the ride, but I would really much rather it got stuck than unfastened itself halfway while I was going down a path at 15km/h. Although knock on wood, if that really happened, both the X300 and X100 are encased in rubber finishes that I believe will provide a degree of protection from unintentional shocks.

At the end of the day, the Logitech X300 (S$99) and the Logitech X100 (S$69) mobile wireless speakers present a very viable no-frills option for those of you out there who aren't fussy about the quality of their music on-the-go, and just want a simple device to spice up your outings and gatherings. They say you get what you pay for, and with Logitech, every cent is worth its money.

No more, no less.