You might think that a speaker of this size and portability couldn’t possibly generate music at a decent enough volume level for a small gathering, but you’d be wrong. Okay, so it’s not exactly going to shake the floorboards with its miniscule speakers and tiny power output, but it’s good enough to play music accurately, at reasonable volume and without ever a hint of distortion. For a speaker this small and light, that’s a truly impressive feat, and it’s easily good enough for background music at a small get-together.
It even manages to kick out something resembling bass, with a balanced mid-range and clear treble to go with it that’s so often absent from much larger so-called portable speaker systems. The result is that while I usually can’t stand listening to music on most laptop speakers – they’re universally appalling it seems to me – I was perfectly happy listening to music on the BlackBox Mini while I worked away on this review. It sounds like you’ve got a half-decent radio on your desk rather than the tinny, weak and flat-sounding music that you might expect to come from a device this small.
Possibly the only disappointments with the mini are that, unlike the Parrot Party, it doesn’t come with a rechargeable battery in the box, and that the touch-sensitive controls don’t included skip track functions. But truly, other than these small complaints, there’s very little wrong with the ultra-portable BlackBox Mini.
Gear4’s BlackBox Mini looks good, is easy to operate, is about as transportable as you’re likely to get from a portable speaker and it isn’t even that expensive at under 40 quid – half the price of the aforementioned Parrot Party. For tunes on the move, picnics, trips away and any situation where you just want to share a few songs with friends without cranking up the volume, it’s nigh-on perfect.
Score in detail