Logitech PlayGear Amp
- Tinny, harsh sound
A portable speaker system for the PSP that fails to deliver on sound quality.
Price$ 99.95 (AUD)
The PlayGear Amp is a speaker system that's designed to be a companion to the Sony PSP. Two mini speakers fold out from the main body and the PSP slides neatly into the middle. It's an easy to use system that's also portable, though ultimately it fails in the most crucial area: sound quality.
We recently tested the PlayGear Amp in parallel to another of Logitech's portable speaker systems, the Logitech mm28. Both are approximately the same size and both cost the same amount. Both can run on battery power or use the supplied AC adapter. There are two main distinctions though; the PlayGear Amp includes a volume control, and the two systems also use completely different types of speakers. The mm28 uses flat panel NXT speakers, while the PlayGear Amp uses four conventional drivers.
The inclusion of a volume control is nifty, but it can't help to hide the PlayGear Amp's poor audio quality. While both systems suffer from low volume, that's only to be expected from such small speakers. The real difference is the warmth of the sound, or lack thereof in the case of the PlayGear Amp. While the mm28 produced a well balanced sound, the PlayGear Amp was tinny, with a distinct absence of punch in the lower frequencies. We also felt the sound was a little harsh, lacking the crispness and detail of the alternate system.
While the PlayGear Amp is aimed at PSP users, with its plastic dock connection and matching black colour scheme, there's no real reason why it can't be used with any unit that's equipped with a 3.5mm jack. A trailing wire allows any device such as an iPod, portable media player or notebook to be connected with ease. Logitech also market a near identical system, the mm22, which comes in iPod white and is slightly smaller.
Overall, we found the PlayGear Amp to be an average system. It's small and portable, yet like many other units of this type, the sound just failed to impress us.
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