By TAN KIT HOONGbytz@thestar.com.my
Logitech gives us a modern interpretation of the 1980s Boombox, in a little package.
IT IS quite amazing the number of products Logitech has for mobile devices these days - just a few weeks ago I reviewed a speaker for Tablets, and this week we've got a Bluetooth product called the Mini Boombox.
In the old days, the term Boombox used to refer to a giant portable HiFi system that people from the ghetto used to carry around on their shoulders, but the Mini Boombox is anything but large. This device is small enough to fit comfortably into the palm of even the smallest hands.
What it does have is the big sound associated with those boomboxes of old, in spite of its tiny size.
Looking at pictures of the Mini by itself, it's difficult to appreciate just how small it is. It certainly isn't the smallest Bluetooth speakers I've seen, but it's small enough to fit comfortably in the palm of my hand.
The design itself is pretty nice - with its rounded edges, it looks like a very small single satellite speaker, which is pretty cute.
The Mini is pretty minimalist when it comes to controls and the only physical switch is a power slider at the back.
Turn it on though and the top face will illuminate, showing you the touch-sensitive controls allowing you to play, pause, jump tracks, adjust volume and make a phone call.
Yes, since this conforms to the Bluetooth A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution) profile, it allows you to stream high quality stereo audio to the speakers, or alternatively, to use it as a speakerphone.
The illuminated buttons are really nice, and the illumination turns off after a minute to save power.
Pairing your Bluetooth device (be it a smartphone or a music player) to the Mini is pretty much standard.
Hold down the Bluetooth button on the Mini till it goes into pairing mode and then just pair the devices together.
Highs and lows
Audio quality on the Mini is pretty good for a Bluetooth wireless speaker - the Mini Boombox does produce very big sound for such a small set of speakers.
Turn up the volume too high, however, and you'll start to experience distortion although realistically at normal listening levels you won't experience any of this.
More noticeable perhaps is that Bluetooth audio streaming itself is a lossy compression format, and with music that has a lot of highs and lows, you might notice slight audio clipping, in the form of a slight metallic sound when listening to audio with lots of treble.
However, I have to say that with the Mini, the audio clipping is barely noticeable, probably thanks to some careful tuning of the speaker response from Logitech.
This problem, of course, will go away if you use a 3.5mm stereo cable and connect your music player directly to the auxiliary input of the Mini, so that's the way to go if you want the best audio quality that the Mini can offer.
One thing that really impressed me was the battery life - I charged the Mini before the weekend and listened for about seven to eight hours (that's the entire weekend for me) before the LED started warning me of low battery.
The Logitech Mini Boombox is a very nice little device - in the time I had it, I was listening to a lot of audiobooks on my iPhone and the device proved very useful for this.
Sound quality is good, although it isn't meant to seriously compete with high-quality "dock" sound systems out there.
Instead, the Mini's main plus point is that it's very small and easily slipped into a purse or a bag and works really well as a speakerphone in your car.
The price, though is a bit steep - at RM299 list, the Mini Boombox is competing in a market with a lot of similar products.
Pros: Big sound in a small package; can be used as a speakerphone.
Cons: A tad expensive; sound breaks up at higher volume settings.
PORTS: Auxiliary 3.5mm mini jack input
OTHER FEATURES: Bluetooth A2DP speakerphone
DIMENSIONS (W x D x H): 115.5 x 57.5 x 70mm
Review unit courtesy of Logitech Malaysia. Enquiries: Kaira Technologies Sdn Bhd (03) 2026-1669, Ingram Micro Sdn Bhd (03) 7952-8188.