The PSP delivers decent sound for a handheld, but anyone looking for real sound out of their PSP has been pretty much out of luck... until now. Due out June 27th, the new PlayGear Amp from Logitech delivers impressive sound in a light, portable package.
The PlayGear Amp comes in a carrying case that feels similar to a CD carrying case. The case contains the speakers, two line out cables, and a power cord. Setting up the speakers is a relatively simple task: turn the speakers, attach the PSP cradle, plug in the power, plug in the line out, and that's it. The PSP snaps into the cradle, allowing you to watch movies, or simply use the unit like a small stereo. The line out cord is long enough that should you want to play game with stereo sound you can do so. A shorter cord is also included, and this cord is ideal for when you just want to use the system for watching movies, and want as little clutter as possible. I found that it was a bit too easy for the cord to come out of the back of the Amp, especially when picking it up and moving it.
The unit is plastic with a shiny black finish that perfectly matches the PSP. The only controls are for power and volume, and are on the top. When in place, the PSP obscures the buttons, making them slightly difficult to find and utilize. You can use the PSP's remote control if you plug in the line in cord; this alleviates the problem of fumbling around for button, but it does add more wire into the mix. There's a blue LED where the power is, which allows you to easily see if the unit is on, and as an added bonus, it looks pretty cool when the lights are out.
For such a small, lightweight unit, the PlayGear Amp sounds very nice and is surprisingly loud. If you use the PSP's equalizer functions, it's even more impressive. You're not going to want to change the equalizer every song, but if you're listening to a specific genre or album these small tweaks help you get the most out of the system. If the PSP and the Amp are turned up to their highest levels, there is some distortion, but backing off the volume a few bars on the PSP fixes this easily.
While not a replacement for a home stereo in any way, the PlayGear Amp's range and volume are enough to make it ideal for someone that wants an easy way to enjoy their PSP's sound without headphones. The unit's line in cord is the same size as a standard headphone jack, so you can use it with any portable mp3, CD or DVD player on the market.
6/24/2005 Aaron Thomas