It started with the Bose Sound Dock for the iPod. Add an iPod, and you could get a system that could produce sound decent enough to make up for the lack of a proper stereo system (for the most of us, anyway!). Over time, iPod speaker options mushroomed, and when Logitech launched the Pure-Fi series of iPod/iPhone speaker docks with the Anytime and Anywhere models, one couldnt help but wonder if it was going to be more of the same story. Are these going to be your Anytime, Anywhere companions? Lets find out…
At 10.5in by 3.8in by 3.5in, the Pure-Fi Anytime has small enough proportions to fit on nearly any nightstand, and the angled design adds a touch of flair to the otherwise unadventurous design. A sprinkling of controls is to be found on the top, and while theyre hard to spot in a dark, a quick wave of your hand (or a button press) over the unit fades in a soft amber-coloured backlight behind each key. Very sensible design for something that sits on a nightstand, and there are more to come with the motion sensor. The buttons by themselves are clearly marked and easy to use — far better than the included remote with its stiff buttons and line-of-sight requirement. It's nice to see the remote can be stowed away behind the unit, so youre not hunting for it when you need it.
The iPhone or the iPod dock sits front and centre, packed in between the two speakers. This design works far better than many other docks, which leave the device protruding from the top and expose it to the danger of being knocked over in the middle of the night. It includes dock inserts for many popular iPod sizes, and its iPhone ready too, which means that its shielded from the GSM interference that would otherwise be caused by the phone.
If you have a Bluetooth handsfree, you can use the iPhone while the iPod is placed in the dock, and the Anytime does double duty of charging the device as well. Apart from iPod functionality, the Anytime also includes an AM/FM radio and the ability to play any external device over the speakers — your phone for example.
Deep down inside, the Anytime is really a very capable alarm clock, with dual alarms that can be set to wake to AM, FM, iPod, or a buzzer. Whats neat is that the alarm volume can also be specified, so you can fall asleep to music at a soft volume but have the alarm blare out in the morning at a much louder volume. And if a few more minutes is what you need in the morning, a simple wave of your hand above the Anytime works like a snooze button!
Sound quality for the Anytime is decent for what you pay. Its good as a nightstand boombox, but anything more demanding is asking for too much of the Anytime.
The Anywhere, going by its name, is meant to accompany your iPod on your travels. At about a kilo, its a bit on the heftier side of things if you travel economy, but the flip-out metal legs, the built-in rechargeable battery, and the included travel case go a long way in redeeming its portability. The looks are rather pedestrian, save for the controls which are flush with the top of the unit. As with the Anytime, all recent iPod models are supported, and external players can use the line-in port found on the back of the unit. As with the Anytime, the unit can only charge iPods using the dock connector, and only if the speakers are plugged into wall power using the included AC adapter.
The Anywhere really comes into its own when you plug an iPod in, though. Despite its size, its a decent performer, and it doesnt suffer from the bass distortion that the Anytime does. The stereo separation feature did its job well, noticeably widening the sound field, and I can see some preferring to use this over their laptop speakers for most hotel-roommovie-watching. Battery life is adequate at around 10 hours, and since its rechargeable, theres none of the swapping batteries in and out when youre out of juice.
The Logitech Pure-Fi Anywhere is a great product for travellers who want to take their music with them, but are not satisfied with the limited abilities of their laptop speakers. Its bigger-than-size sound and great travel case will please many road warriors. My only complaint or criticism of Pure-Fi Anywhere is that its suggested retail price makes it a wee bit pricey. And remember, neither the Anywhere nor the Anytime will really replace your home stereo, theyre not meant to. Both have very specific niches they cater to, and they do it rather well.
Features: Motion-activated, backlighted controls, dual alarm with motion-sensing snooze, high-contrast, easy-to-read display, Recessed iPod/iPhone dock, Digital AM/FM radio
Package Contents: Logitech Pure-Fi Anytime speaker system, AC adapter, Advanced wireless remote, Detachable AM antenna, Universal dock adapters, Quick-start guide, Users manual
Rating: 8/10 ,Price: Rs 7,495
Features: Advanced acoustics with 2-in Max-X active, high-excursion drivers and 3-in pressure drivers, StereoXL technology stereo widening technology, 10-hour rechargeable battery, Travel case, Wireless remote, One-touch controls
Package Contents: Logitech Pure-Fi Anywhere speaker system, International voltage (100–240V) AC adapter, Advanced wireless remote, Protective travel case, Installation guide, 2-year limited hardware warranty
Rating: 8/10 ,Price: Rs 9,795
Calling up competition
It was hinted at last month, and its finally here. Enter the latest in the seemingly endless queue of iPhone killers — the Nokia N97. The touchscreen phone from the Nokia N-Series stable, the N97 hides a horizontal QWERTY keyboard below the 3.5-in 640x360 resistive touchscreen. Running a touch enhanced Symbian OS, S60 version 5, the N97 features specs befitting a near $700 device - 32GB of on-board memory (with 16GB more available via microSD), A-GPS with Nokias refreshed Maps 3.0 app and a compass, accelerometer for landscape/portrait screen switching, 5MP camera with Zeiss lens and LED flash, 3.5mm headphone jack, and N-Gage support. Watch this space for a full review.
Price: $700 (approx.)
Manna from heaven for troubled bedmates. The SnorePro is a device — worn on the wrist or the arm — which has a two-point approach to help snorers kick the habit: first, it delivers an electronic stimulation to the wearers skin causing a sleep disturbance (which the company compares to a nudging spouse). It also claims to record and count your snores, to allow you to compare feedback about your progress and gives you clues as to why and when you snore more, such as sleeping positions, alcohol or cigarette consumption, etc.
Price: to be announced