Logitech-owned Slim Devices have announced the Squeezebox Duet music system, a networked audio receiver and accompanying controller, designed to make it easy to listen to your digital music collection, as well as access online music services and Internet radio, throughout the home.
The basic Squeezebox Duet system (suggested retail price of $399.99) comprises of two pieces of hardware: the WiFi/Ethernet enabled Duet Receiver, which connects directly to your home stereo system or pretty much any audio setup, and the rather snazzy looking Duet Controller, which also features WiFi, along with a 2.4-inch color display and an iPod-like scroll wheel. The Duet Controller comes with a removable lithium battery and docking station/charger. Additional receivers can be purchased (at $149.99) for use in other rooms around the home, whereby music can be played either in sync or independently.
As well as streaming music stored on a Mac, Linux or Windows-PC connected to your local network, the Duet system also has direct support for a number of web services: Pandora, Rhapsody and Slacker — along with MP3tunes’s music locker, which enables you to upload your own personal music collection, providing access via the Duet even when your PC is switched off.
If all of this seems similar to the family of products offered by Sonos, that’s because it is. In fact, the feature-set and overall concept is remarkably close — including the web services that both systems support — although the newer Squeezebox Duet costs around half the price of a similar entry-level setup from Sonos. Prediction: expect Sonos to announce a price drop soon, possibly as early as this week during the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas.