I have spent the past couple of weeks playing around with the Logitech UE Mobile Boombox and have to say that I was rather impressed. The tiny Bluetooth speaker looks great, sounds good and stands up well to accidental drops.
Design and aesthetics
Personally, I have always loved Logitech products, they have tended to perform well and be great value for money, but until recently they were always a little uninspired in the design department. Things have really changed. While not every color in the Mobile Boombox lineup is for me, I do like the choices and while the Valentine’s Day red that mine came in would not have been my first choice – it has really grown on me.
I love the big buttons. While the Braven 650 has a definite edge with regard to sound, the Logitech Mobile Boombox is a lot easier to operate thanks to the super simple controls and buttons that are easy to find when you are otherwise occupied. It is also fairly robust – especially for a speaker that is not being marketed as “tough.” Over the course of my testing I accidentally dropped it onto concrete a couple of times and it was none the worse for wear. The rubberized coating is a nice touch.
Obviously, our expectations with regard to performance vary according to price. For $100 you are going to have to accept some compromises. The low end was not quite low enough for my liking and the higher highs did not really impress – mid tones and mid-high tones were delivered very well. The end result is solid and what one would expect from a hundred-dollar Bluetooth speaker. This made it perfect for anything from the golden days of radio and for podcasts. For music, it went loud enough for comfortable listening, but started to distort at the upper end of its volume range. That being said, you shouldn’t really be looking for an ultra-mobile speaker if you want to play your music loud.
My only real qualm with regards to performance was that it seemed a little quiet when operating in speaker phone mode. My hearing is in good order, so it was not a problem for me, but if you are older or have hearing difficulties and speaker phone functionality is important to you then this is something that you might want to consider.
Logitech quotes a 10-hour battery life, with the disclaimer that battery life depends on usage. I actually found this to be right on the money. It was more than enough to get me through a couple of listening sessions and an episode or two of London Real.
What other people are saying
If you’re looking for something that closely matches the $200 Jambox in portability and sound, but costs substantially less, the $100 Logitech UE Mobile Boombox is the device I’d recommend. [Wired]
The Logitech UE Mobile Boombox doesn’t sound quite as clear as more expensive Bluetooth speakers, but its size is downright tiny, its price is right, and its speakerphone feature works better than most. If you’re willing to compromise pure sound quality slightly for extreme portability and price, the UE Mobile Boombox is the speaker for you. [PC World]
The Logitech UE Mobile Boombox was a solidly performing ultra-mobile speaker that delivered over and above what one would expect for its price or, for that matter, form factor. It looks great, sounds good and can stand up to a fair bit of abuse.
I would have liked a little more volume and while I have no expectations of bass performance from such a tiny speaker, I would have liked the upper range to be a little more crisp.
Price: ~$100 (you can save $5 if you get black)