Logitech has some pretty decent audio docks for the iPhone and iPad, and this time around they’re back with a small, portable wireless speaker designed to work with just about anything with a Bluetooth (A2DP) connection or a 3.5mm audio jack. Say hello to the Logitech Mini BoomBox.
I love the name, that has to be said. Anything with ‘BoomBox’ in the name, has to sound pretty good, right? Right? Well read on for our review and let’s see if that’s true here!
The Logitech Mini BoomBox has a curved, yet rectangular design, similar to a big ol’ pebble with it’s smooth edges and surface.
It weighs 219 grams so it’s quite light. Just slightly heavier than your average smartphone today. And it’s only slightly larger than . That make’s for a very portable little speaker.
Available in Black, White and Red finishes, it’s pretty durable too, thanks to most of it being made out of rubber sections. This means it’ll survive a few bumps or drops, maybe. There’s rubber pads at the bottom so that the surface you rest the speaker on, doesnt scratch the underneath. The only vulnerable spot is the top, which is piano black in color and has touch sensitive controls that only show when the speaker is on, and slowly fade away if the speaker hasnt been touched in a while.
The top is connected to the speaker only at the front, creating a sort-of vent for the bass. While this is functional, it is a bit of a worry since I dont think that part would survive a drop at all. Maybe it isnt that durable after all then.
The Controls, and Connectivity:-
The controls at the top are the usual Play/Pause, Skip, Back, and Volume keys. There’s also a dual function Bluetooth-and-Call key, all of them being touch-sensitive.
What I really, really liked about the BoomBox is that it has a built-in mic, so you can use it as a wireless speakerphone, which turns out to be really convenient. You can also use the call button to answer or end calls, so really you even need to be neat your smartphone.
Holding down the key puts the BoomBox into Bluetooth Pairing mode so that you can wirelessly connect your devices to it. We tested it with the new iPad, the iPhone 4 and the Nokia Lumia 800 and it all worked perfectly.
But if wireless isnt your thing, there’s also the obligatory 3.5mm audio input port at the back, so that you can connect things like a classic iPod or MP3 player that might not have Bluetooth capabilities. Very handy.
There’s also an on/off switch at the back, with a miniUSB charging port. The BoomBox will switch off automatically if it’s not being used for an hour or so, which can be useful for people like, well, me who forget to switch things off all the time. Slightly annoying that is charges over miniUSB instead of the now-common microUSB though, since this means you’ll have to carry yet another cable to keep it’s battery topped up.
Thankfully the Logitech Mini BoomBox is rated at about 10 hours on a single charge, which is very decent compares to most other wireless speakers out there. We’ll talk more about our actual results later in this review. Worth noting though is that it does take about 3-4 hours to fully charge the thing from empty. The front LED blinks blue while it’s charging, and is solid blue when fully charged up. If you’re running on low battery though, you’ll get a red led light to let you know, before it starts flashing red if things are really dire.
The Sound Quality:-
One has to remember that performance is usually relative to the size of speaker, when it’s this size, so we were mentally prepared before we pushed play.
Logitech has used two 3 watts speakers arranged in the mini BoomBox, so as to deliver stereo sound, even at loud volumes. It definitely succeeds at being loud, but since the speakers are so close to each other, you dont really feel any stereo separation, sounding mono to the average ear for all intents and purposes.
It works decently well at moderate sound levels though, with the signature being a tad heavy in trebles, mostly at the expense of mid-range, which results in a somewhat raw sound. The bass does a good job of covering over that though, but you can still hear just a hint of cracks as the audio starts to distort as you go past 50 percent volume. At 75 percent you get fuzzy bass, but it’s so strong that you’ll notice the Boombox actually physically moving backwards, heh.
On calls, we found no flaws at all, with the mini boombox amplifying audio better than any smartphone’s speaker could, and folks on the other end said they heard us loud and clear.
The Battery life:-
While Logitech claims the mini boombox will last for 10 hours of battery life, we found it to be more closer to 8 hours, at moderate volume. If you play it at max volume, you would probably get somewhere near 4-5 hours tops.
While the low battery indicator is useful, it only warns you when the battery is.. well… low which means you dont know how much battery life is still in there between fully charged and low battery points.
The saving grace to all of this, is that the Logitech Mini Boombox is close to affordable, going at about $90 (or around Rs 5000 ish), while it’s lighter, louder and also offers the same functionality as the Jawbone Jambox which is almost double the price.
Ofcourse there are speakers that have better audio quality, like the Nokia Play 360, which boasts better battery life too, but the Mini Boombox wins out on the portability factor.
What you get here is portable, wireless audio at an affordable-ish price with the added bonus of being able to use it as a speakerphone. That’s a hard combination to beat.
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– Very Portable
– Wireless (Bluetooth with A2DP)
– Wired (via 3.5mm audio jack)
– Can be used as a speakerphone
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– Audio distorts at high volumes
– Battery life isnt too great
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The speakerphone functionality, should be reason enough to get this. Brownie points for Portability too.