Logitech Pure-Fi Express Plus
A simple iPod dock with room-filling sound.
- Omnidirectional speakers work well, easy interface and iPod control
- No rechargeable battery, no radio, distortion at full volume
The Pure-Fi Express Plus is a decent-sounding combination of alarm clock and iPod dock that will suit casual users.
Price$ 179.95 (AUD)
Like the rest of Logitech’s range of Pure-Fi products, the Pure-Fi Express Plus is built to a high standard. It's an iPod dock and alarm clock that doesn’t have a complicated interface. For a casual listener or traveller it’s a good choice.
The Pure-Fi Express Plus sits one model above Logitech's entry-level dock, and comes in at $179.95. The next step up is the Pure-Fi Anytime at $229.95. The Express Plus packs in many of the same features as well as a few nifty extras.
It’s relatively light, weighing just under 1.5kg, and it's compact. It's only 35cm wide, so it will fit in a large bag; it's 12.5cm high and 10cm deep. There is a handle built in to the rear of the unit, indicating it’s been designed with portability in mind.
The Pure-Fi Express Plus can wake you up with music playing either through the iPod dock or the auxiliary 3.5mm input, and alarms are easy to set. The large digital clock on the face of the unit makes it easy to ascertain the time with a quick glance (we’re reminded of the easily readable face of the Squeezebox Boom). Volume is controlled through the central dial; a variety of buttons on the face give access to other features.
The sound quality is acceptable for the price, especially when you consider the Pure-Fi Express Plus' portable nature. It doesn’t sound particularly thrilling or engaging but it’s balanced enough that you’ll enjoy waking up to it.
When cranking the player to high volume levels we noticed significant harsh distortion. You’ll most likely notice this distortion if you’re using the player outside — where you’d need those volume levels — but if you enjoy waking up to very loud yet distortion-free music you’ll be unimpressed.
There isn’t very much low-end frequency extension from the unit, but "pretend" bass — mid-range sounds echoed through clever internal baffles — is satisfactory. Since the player is relying on comparatively small speakers, bass response is tight and rich.
Mid-range is muddy, with individual guitar notes difficult to distinguish from each other. This is probably our chief concern with the unit; if you’re looking for accurate music representation you’d best look at competing units. Thankfully, treble is sweet and well-represented, giving music a pleasant character.
Thanks to the omnidirectional speakers — which will be a boon when using the system with friends — the soundstage from the Express Plus is quite good. The "sweet spot" extends almost completely around the unit, with treble only tapering off at the extreme edges.
The Express Plus lacks the playlist functionality of the Pure-Fi Anytime but we think it’s better for it. As a simple, easy to use system it excels. With comparable sound quality to its peers, portability and the bonus of omnidirectional sound, it’s recommended for the casual listener on the go.
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