Review Price £60.00
On the whole the Logitech Mini Boombox is a mixed bag. Let's deal first with audio quality. When looking at such a small speaker it is important to remember performance is relative. Logitech has opted for a two speaker (2x 3 watts) arrangement in an attempt to deliver stereo sound at fairly high volumes. It succeeds in the latter, but fails in the former. The Mini Boombox is loud, but with the speakers in such close proximity there is no hint of stereo separation and for all intents and purposes it is mono to the ear.
This works fairly well at moderate listening volumes. The signature is a little heavy on the treble at the expense of midrange, which makes it sound a little raw, but the bass does a reasonable job of papering over the cracks. Where these cracks reappear is at higher volumes as the audio begins to distort above 50 per cent volume and by 75 per cent it is a muddled mess swamped by a fuzzy bass that actually causes the Mini Boombox to physically bounce backwards on a smooth, flat surface. Two rubber strips on the bottom of the speaker may protect it from falls, but it needs a larger contact area to keep still.
These results were attained over Bluetooth (with A2DP), but connecting via an auxiliary cable made little difference as the speaker limitations are exposed before those of Bluetooth. The Mini Boombox is more successful as a speakerphone. It amplifies the call more loudly than any smartphone speaker could, making it handy for a lot of people to listen in, and recipients said we could be heard loud and clear.
As for battery life we found Logitech's figure of 10 hours to be a little exaggerated. Like all portable speaker companies it does warn this "will vary with use" and we found seven hours to be more realistic at a moderate volume. Blasting the speaker at near maximum volume saw this cut to four hours. Another concern is the speaker only warns when battery life is low. This means you are left in the dark anywhere between fully charged and low.
There is a saving grace to all this, however, and that is price. The Mini Boombox can be purchased for £59.99 and for this price it offers the same functionality as the Aliph Jawbone Jambox (£160) for a fraction of the cost. It is lighter and louder than the Jambox too, though the audio has less precision.
On the flip side, for those less concerned about functionality and more about the best audio quality, both these models are blown away by the Pasce Minirig. It may lack Bluetooth and speakerphone capabilities and cost a little more than the Mini Boombox (£85), but is beautifully built, sports battery life of up to 60 hours and houses a single 15W speaker that is far louder and projects far superior audio quality.
What Logitech has done is make a portable speaker with plenty of bang for your buck. At £60 you get portable, wireless audio and a competent speakerphone all thrown in. For those who require a multitasking product it is hard to beat. For those seeking a dedicated portable speaker with monstrous battery life the Pasce Minirig remains streets ahead for only a little more. Logitech has made a product that tries to please everyone, but it may disappoint some.
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