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Despite a small physical footprint, the Pure-Fi Express Plus iPod speaker dock pumps out impressive sound that, in a small room, seems to almost surround you.
More and more, better hotels are outfitting guest rooms with iPod speaker docks so you can enjoy your favorite tunes during your stay. But if you are being forced to book with more budget-friendly hotels that may not offer such amenities, you might consider packing a portable iPod speaker dock the next time you hit the road. There are a lot of compact iPod docks on the market, but in most cases their portability requires a major trade-off in sound quality. Not so in the case of Logitech’s Pure-Fi Express Plus, a small, blocky alarm clock/speaker dock that weighs slightly less than 3.5 pounds, takes up minimal space on a nightstand or desk, and pumps out surprisingly big, rich sound for its petite size. Logitech touts the unit’s ability to produce omnidirectional sound, which creates the sense that you’re listening to your music on a surround-sound system.
Since the Pure-Fi Express Plus can run on either AC power (via the included adapter) or six AA alkalines, you can get your groove on wherever you hang your hat--and you won’t have to rely on a wake-up call from the hotel staff to make sure you get out of bed on time. The dock supports all 30-pin iPod models and the iPhone, charging your device while it rests in the top-mounted cradle. An included IR remote lets you adjust the volume and advance to the next track from across the room. However, we worry that the tiny remote could easily get lost if we were to pack the dock on long trips, and we wish Logitech had thought of an elegant way to avoid this. The unit’s amber-colored digital clock display was quite pleasing compared to the red digital display on our old-school clock radio. And its footprint--roughly 14 inches wide by 4.25 inches deep by 5 inches tall--was smaller too. We did miss the option of listening to the radio while in bed--or, for that matter, waking up to a sound other than an electronic beep. When the alarm goes off on the Pure-Fi Express Plus, a digital chime sounds, but your iPod does not play music from the currently selected playlist. The alarm function is just that: the ability to set the clock so an alarm sounds at the desired time. Music playback is a separate function--and really the central reason to consider this speaker dock, especially as the primary sound system for a small bedroom or office.
The sound that comes out of this small speaker is truly impressive. But every time the beep-beep-beep went off in the morning, we wished we were waking up to our iTunes favorites.
Pure-Fi Express Plus
REQUIREMENTS: Any iPod or iPhone, or another audio device with 3.5mm auxiliary input
Rich, immersive sound. Runs on AA batteries or AC power. Pleasing amber-colored clock display.
No radio tuner. Cannot wake to iPod music.