Conclusion: A Boom Box With Something Extra
Trying to figure out where the AZ2555 Sound Machine fits in to the grand scheme of products is difficult. Despite some of the shortcomings or what "might have been" with the USB interface, it delivers a full, rich and pleasing sound experience.
We like the ideas behind the AZ2555 Sound Machine, but it doesn't take them far enough if you look at it as a computer peripheral. But if you just forget that for a moment and look at the product as a boom box that is offering USB connectivity as an extra, and take into consideration its price range, things look a little rosier.
Consider the facts that the sound is quite good and that you can pick it up and take it with you. The AZ2555 Sound Machine's sound quality is better than that of many TVs, and a good number of computer speakers, as well. The triple duty ability of the AZ2555 Sound Machine will surely be attractive to some.
If you purchase this unit based solely on the USB connectivity option, then you might be left a little disappointed. The lack of more advanced interaction with the PC is the downfall here. For all intents and purposes, the AZ2555 Sound Machine is really nothing more than a digital USB speaker output system, which in some cases is all you need, but intermediate and advanced users might grow disappointed with the limited features of the "PC Link" USB connectivity that the AZ2555 Sound Machine offers.
The lack of MP3 decoding from CD-R/ CD-RW discs without being connected to the PC is another negative. Although it surely would have added a bump to the price of the unit, being able to burn your MP3 files to a CD-R/ CD-RW and play it back on the AZ2555 Sound Machine would have been a big bonus. We think many would gladly consider paying a little more to get this feature.
As a boom box that does a little extra, the AZ2555 Sound Machine hits the mark. If the primary missions are to be portable, to listen to CDs and the radio, and to use it as "speakers" for your PC or console system, you will most likely not be disappointed with the performance of the AZ2555 Sound Machine. If you are looking for something beyond this, you might be disappointed by its limitations.