- Highly portable
- Bluetooth streaming with A2DP
- Capable mobile speakerphone
- Good value
- Audio quickly distorts at higher volumes
- Battery life falls short of rivals
- Battery indicator only signals full charge or low
- Unit moves around at high volumes
Review Price £60.00
Logitech has broken new ground recently impressing us all with its first premium speaker dock, the UE Air. Now the company is back on more familiar ground with the Mini Boombox, a small, portable speaker designed to make the best of the impending (possibly?) British summer.
The Logitech Mini Boombox looks nothing like its showy premium big brother, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. The curved rectangular design is akin to a river-worn stone and its smooth edges feel comfortable in hand. At just 219g it is only a little heavier than a big screened smartphone and slightly bigger than a tin of hardboiled sweets. In short, Logitech has aced the portability part.
It hasn't done too badly in terms of durability either. A choice of red, white and black finishes are available and these differential sections are made from rubber to resist bumps, scuffs and drops. The rubber feet on the bottom of the Mini Boombox provide similar protection with the only weak spot being the piano black top, which reveals touch sensitive controls when the speaker is switched on.
Notably the top is only connected to the rest of the speaker at the front in order to create a vent for the bass, but this does make it feel weak in hand so hope any impacts take place elsewhere.
Controls and connectivity
What of these controls? Play, pause, skip (hold to scan) and volume make predictable appearances and are responsive to the touch, but worthy of note is the dual function Bluetooth/Call key. Calls first - the Mini Boombox has a built in mic that allows it to be used as a speakerphone, the call button used to answer/end calls.
Meanwhile, holding the button down puts the Boombox into pairing mode for connecting any Bluetooth enabled device. AirPlay may offer lossless audio quality but, short of being physically tethered, Bluetooth remains the fastest way to get up and running.
Happily physical connection is also possible. At the rear is the obligatory 3.5mm auxiliary input, so the small number of gadgets without Bluetooth will not be left out. In addition there is an on/off switch (the Mini Boombox also switches off after an hour of inactivity) and the first big no-no: a miniUSB charge port. In an age where phones (Apple, inevitably, apart) have standardised upon microUSB, choosing miniUSB is a little out of date and means you will likely need to carry a second cable with you should it require some more juice.
Then again Logitech does make a decent effort to dispel this need as it claims the Mini Boombox will last up to 10 hours on a single charge. Logitech has also equipped the speaker with an integrated rechargeable NiMH battery so you won't be burning through packs of batteries when the sun is out. A full charge takes approximately four hours from a wall socket (plug and cable provided) with the Mini Boombox blinking blue when charging and switching to solid blue when charged. A red light comes on to indicate a low battery and it flashes red to indicate it is very low.
Enough theory. How does all this stack up in practice?
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