Review : Logic3 i-Station Traveller

A handy iPod stereo at a good price for iPhone and iPod touch.

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Product Manufacturer: Logic 3 International Ltd.,a division of SpectraVideo plc.

Price: $59.99 US

The Good

  • Great sound quality. Small size. Well-designed. Includes carrying pouch and 2.5mm adapter for cell phones.

The Bad

  • Interference when using EDGE or GSM radio. Weak bass. No Dock connector.
The only thing preventing the iPhone and iPod touch from being a true multimedia powerhouse is its speaker. The spacious display and storage capacity make watching movies on the go a pleasure- as long as you're using headphones. Invite a few people to watch with you, and soon you'll have a crowd of people jostling for a good spot. The Logic3 i-Station Traveller solves that problem by providing room-filling sound in an enclosure small enough to slip into a backpack pocket or purse.

The design

The i-Station Traveller is about the size of a small paperback, and, apart from the speaker grill, is made entirely out of plastic. The i-Station slides apart at the center to accommodate an iPhone or iPod touch in either a vertical or horizontal configuration. Two extendable plastic feet on the back of the unit let you watch a movie in a comfortable viewing position.

Traveller Photo

i-Station Traveller Open

This speaker is for Apple iPod users, so I was surprised to see a 3.5mm jack instead of a dock connector. The lack of a dock connector is a mixed blessing, because the i-Station won't charge your Apple device, but you can connect the 3.5mm headphone jack to any audio source. Additionally, Logic3 provides a 2.5mm adapter for use with cell phones.

The sound

The i-Station pumps out powerful, full-bodied sound through a pair of 32mm drivers on each side of the device. Although it lacks a dedicated volume control switch, you can adjust the sound level through the iPhone or iPod's volume control. I raised the volume to approximately 90% of the iPhone's supported range before the music started to sound distorted, but the bass level in an individual song affects when distortion occurs. Even at 60%, the i-Station's sound is more than enough to reach every corner of a room. A great feature of the i-Station is it outputs clear sound whether you're quietly watching a movie or cranking out tunes at full power with a group of friends.

The i-Station's stereo speakers provide crisp treble, but are a little weak when it comes to bass. You can improve the bass level through your equalizer, but there really is no substitute for dedicated woofers and tweeters. Obviously, integrating four drivers into a portable speaker system would have been tough on the four AAA batteries, so we understand the compromise.

Unfortunately, the poorly shielded i-Station Traveller speakers generate a deep buzzing when you use a GSM or EDGE radio nearby. The noise is subtler than in some other speaker systems I have tested, but it is noticeable. That said, you probably won't be using a cellular signal when you watch a movie or listen to music with your i-Station.

Clever Design and Power Speaker

The i-Station is a powerful portable speaker with a clever design and very few drawbacks. Although it lacks features such as a dock connector or a rechargeable battery, the i-Station is a great option if want an inexpensive speaker with fantastic sound quality. Editor's note: There are two i-Station Traveller systems; one is for regular iPods, and the one reviewed today is for the iPod touch and the iPhone only. The product name is also spelled iStation.

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Edited by Ilene Hoffman, Reviews Editor