674 of 713 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2012
This review is specifically from the perspective of a frequent traveler - every week. This review will also directly compare this to the Jawbone Jambox side by side.
This unit will live either in my carry on, or in the bag I keep at my hotel.
To give you a sense for the dynamic range I typically listen to, my primary uses are to stream NPR from my home NPR station where ever I am, listen to podcasts (typically voice interviews), Facetime calls, and stream Pandora - typically jazz, blues, R&B, up through Dave Mathews. Nothing huge on the bass.
The unit is intended to replicate as much of how I live life at home in a travel sized unit to supplement the speakers on the iPod and iPad.
Bought both the Logitech and Jambox, paired each with an iPhone and iPad, and switched back and forth on songs I know very well. Here are my thoughts. I hope they are helpful to you.
Neither unit really slams out the bass. Physics just doesn't allow that in units this small. I will focus on the sound quality and design of the units.
The Logitech has two 1 inch drivers. The Jambox has two 1.25 inch drivers. Point to Jambox - it can move more air.
Point to Logitech. The Logitech is more box shaped. The Jambox is more candy bar shaped. The Logitech has a larger airbox for its passive radiator. The Jambox is thinner and has less air to move in its passive radiator.
MY PERCEPTION OF MID TONES
Point to Logitech for more sense of presence of the mid tones. There's just a more there, probably due to the larger air box for the radiator. My test was 1) what I perceived, and 2) placing my hand on the table in front of each unit playing the same song. There was more vibration on the table from the Logitech.
MY PERCEPTION OF THE HIGHS
Point to Jambox for being "clearer" in the upper voice and higher tones. The design emphasizes this, and one can tell side by side. Interestingly, I take back half a point for some sharpness on instrumentals, especially high horns, strings, and piano. The Logitech slightly de-emphasizes the highs for a more neutral tone. I liken to the difference between design philosophy between Definitive Technology and Klipsche. My ears are more attuned to a slightly flatter sound scape.
MY PERCEPTION OF THE SPACIOUSNESS
Point to Jambox. Side by side, the Jambox sounds more open, and the Logitech is more linear, straight at you.
Point to Logitech. 10 hours v. 8 hours. Honestly, in my application, charge once a week and I am good with both units
Point to Logitech. It has more coverage by rubber material than metal mesh. That just gives me more confidence. This thing has to survive in a suitcase every week. The Jambox has more metal mesh wrapper than rubber. May account for the difference in the overall sound spaciousness. I also intend to listen to the unit while in the shower and getting ready for the day. I have no proof the Logitech is better in this application, just a feeling.
Point to Jambox. The Logitech is more utilitarian.
Point to Logitech. It's a more utilitarian design, and just feels more rugged. Because of the style points of the Jambox, I'm less likely to toss the Jambox in a bag to the park or beach. Prettiness has two sides to that coin.
No points. Both are uber-portable
PAIRING OVER BLUETOOTH
No points. Both flawlessly paired with iPad and iPhone.
USE AS SPEAKERPHONE
I did not test this feature as it is not its intended use, but good to know it's there. I would assume this is more Jawbones territory.
No points. Both feel solid
The Jambox is 30-40% more expensive as of Nov. 2012. I could afford either - so no points.
OVERALL IMPRESSION AND FINAL PURCHASE DECISION
I ended up landing with the Logitech. The final test was the live version of Alison Krauss' "Maybe". One of my favorite songs - it combines Alison's high pure tone with the mid-tenor of Dan Tyminski, and those bass drum kicks. I personally think the Jambox has slightly better and more spacious sound on the higher end. The Logitech has fuller, more balanced sound - all around, and that's what I landed on. If I could combine the two, it would be perfect - but I can't. For my intended use of the unit for frequent travel, camping, picnics, take the beach, etc., I landed on a very good sound with more durability and more utilitarian design. If this was going to live in a briefcase or an office, I would more favor the Jambox. As a value proposition for my intended use, the Logitech won out.
What I do know, is I did not waste money on this.
Hope this is helpful.
After using the UE for two work weeks at the hotel, here are some additional observations.
It's a great unit. Straight up. I would compare the sound to a good table top clock radio ipod dock, like my older Sony Sony ICFCS10iP Speaker Dock with Alarm Clock and Radio for iPod/iPhone (Black). I think that's a fair comparison. The shape of the sound is pretty close.
Verified initial observation that the sound is quite linear up close. Three feet away, and the linearity disappears.
Placing it a couple inches from whatever wall really helps the perceived bass.
With the iPhone in the main room, I can stream NPR in the super-steamy bathroom while taking a shower and shaving, which is great, and protects the iPhone. That's just cool.
The unit is plenty loud enough. Hotels tend to be very quiet places in the morning and evening.
Took it to the jacuzzi at the hotel to relax and was streaming Pandora, which was very nice. A couple of other frequent travallers I see all the time, but I hadnt met formally eventually entered the room, and we cranked it up listening to BB King, which was a blast. They each bought one.
I also like to listen to those ambience apps while going to sleep. Storms, surf, whatever. It REALLY shines here. Sounds so much better than the speaker on the iPad.
Overall, it's great. I'm very happy with it.
158 of 173 people found the following review helpful
My wife has an iPhone 4s and in ALWAYS playing Pandora. The speaker on the phone is well .. we all know as on most phones.. is not good at all. Phones just aren't made to play music from their internal speaker.
When I got this, I was very impressed by the packaging it comes an a very thick clear plastic case, not flimsy cardboard.
Ok to the speaker.. the pros:
*** UPDATED MARCH 2013 *** I am happy to say the battery life and reliability are still top notch, this has been in use just about every day (sitting mostly in the bathroom when not charging) and it has performed great!
1) It has a nice size to it, and punches a nice volume out of it WITHOUT distortion.
I tried it on Country ( my wife listens to that ) to heavy metal , hard rock, and classical.. and no distortion.. and that was with the the iPhone AND the speaker on full volume. which leads to ...
2) It has it's OWN volume control, so you don't need to use the phone's
3) has a nice rubber feel to it, I can see it on a dashboard or other surface without it sliding all over the place
4) It doubles as a SPEAKERPHONE with a built in mic!
5) it comes full charged AND it is rated for a 10 hour battery life and so far I have not charged it yet.. and my wife is still using it - very often! I will let you know if the battery life changes good or bad.
6) the range of 50ft is very accurate. She can have her phone plugged in and charging, and have the speaker in the bathroom when taking a shower (which I prefer than her PHONE in a steamy shower!!)
7) SUPER easy set-up you simply go to wireless.. choose it and presto it is DONE.. hooked up and running!
8) It has an input jack !
9) it comes with a power plug and USB adapter for charging.
10) when you get a call, it mutes the music, and you hear YOUR ringtone through the speaker.. (where you can choose to simply use your phone OR use the boombox as a speakerphone!)
11) Comes in multiple colors
***** UPDATE MARCH 2013 *****
I removed the comment about the price being on the "high end of small speakers" -this IS worth every single penny hands down, this has been in use just about everyday, without one single issue!
1) 50 ft range is really pushing it.. if going through walls the range will drop.
That's about it.. there is nothing I really don't love about this!
Worth every penny.
If you like to listen to Pandora, Soma, SkyFM all day, or your Music Collection, and don't wear headphones, do yourself a favor, try this out! You will love the nice loud, clear and concise sound without distortion.
Also if you like to listen to music in the shower - I would totally rather have this in the steamy bathroom, that a several hundred dollar phone!
156 of 175 people found the following review helpful
It doesn't happen all that often, but this product has definitely exceeded my expectations. I figured that it would be nice to have a wireless speaker for my iPhone and iPad, mostly to pump the volume up louder than the onboard speakers will allow. Yes, this is great for that, but it's also bringing a lot more to the table than that. Here are the things I like best about it:
* The other wireless speakers I've tried did indeed connect to the device wirelessly, but still needed to be plugged in, which really limits mobility - or they are technically rechargeable, but only seem to get an hour or two of playing time. On this device, the rechargeable battery lasts so long that I haven't yet reached any functional limits with it.
* As a result, I can take it places I wouldn't be able to otherwise. I've used it in the bathroom while I'm soaking in the tub -- awesome, because my iPhone alone isn't quite loud enough to make it over the fan, and I'd fallen in the dangerous habit of holding my phone while in the tub. This is more sensible, more comfortable, and has better sound. I've used it in the car, as it gives better sound with less battery drain on the phone than the other setups I've tried to play my iTunes while driving in my car with its ancient stereo.
* I can have my iPad and iPhone both hooked up to it at the same time, and swap easily between devices for sound, without having to go through the hassle of reconnecting via Bluetooth over and over again.
* It works well as a speakerphone. I don't know that I'd use it as an in car speakerphone unless I had some kind of dash mount for it, but it works great as a speakerphone at home.
* And finally, it's a good balance between size and sound quality. It is small enough that I can throw it easily in my work bag or carry-on; the volume can go up high enough to rise nicely above a noisy environment like a party or the highway; and the sound quality is definitely better than what I've experienced with other portable devices. No, it doesn't have quite the richness of sound that a full scale setup might have, but it's quite good for what it is.
For the design junkies out there, I'll point out that it gets points for the clean design and it's ability to handle my clumsiness, but the pretty packaging was a pain to get open. All in all, definitely worth it in my book. I may pick a couple of these up to give as Christmas presents this year.
98 of 121 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2012
The UE mobile boombox is a bit bigger than the old mobile boombox version from Logitech. The design is now more serious and i like the rubber coating more as the shiny plastic on the old one looked very cheap. The new version sounds better than the old one. The old one had most emphasis on treble, while bass was rather deficient. The new one has a more natural sound with better bass and not so sharp treble. It can play quite a bit louder without any distortion, but in reality a Soundmatters Foxl which is quite a bit more pocketable than this and still sounds better, the only problem with the FoxL is that it cannot play that loud.
If i wanted something small and not too expensive, I would also rather take the new JBL Flip over the UE Boombox. The Flip can play really loud, sound is quite different, the UE mobile boombox has more pronounced mids, while the JBL is rather treble-heavy with a tighter bass. The JBL sounds overall more expensive while costing exactly the same. I like the design of both UE mobile boombox and JBL Flip, but if i had to decide on sound quality alone, i would choose the Flip as both cost exactly the same.
32 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2012
I'm an electrician and these speakers are the perfect size for me to just throw in my toolbox.
I haven't reached the 10hr playback time the manufacturer claims but so far it can easily last 6-8hrs off a full charge. I'm satisfied with its Bluetooth range, but this will vary based on your surroundings and levels of interference (and capabilities of your mobile device).
As for the sound, I was totally blown away. I'm no audiophile but it can definitely pump out great sound that can easily fill a large room. With the volume maxed out on both the speakers and mobile device, it was still able to produce high, mid, and low ranges without any distortion. Of course for its small size, your not gonna get the bass that you're gonna get from a full size boom box, but it does put out adequate bass and I'm totally satisfied. I haven't had a chance to use the speakerphone function so I can't comment on that feature.
I also looked at the...
- Jawbone Jambox but preferred the fit and finish of the Logitech instead, plus the Jambox retails for $129.
- Jabra SOLEMATE the sound was comparable to the Logitech but playback time was listed at 8hrs, significantly bigger and retails for $179.
PROS: really portable size, sleek design with quality materials, unbelievable sound, ease of use, reliable battery, solid wireless connectivity, and reasonable price.
CONS: I only wished they included a carrying case of some sort to hold charging accessories and for transportation.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2012
This is a time of year I notice the presentation of electronic equipment with an eye to gift giving. Logitech does a good job with this one. It comes in a clear oblong plastic box. Very attractive.
While I had to fight a bit with the tape that held it together, the tape did not defeat me. Inside there is the speaker itself, a charging block that would plug into an electrical socket and a USB charging cord that can be used with both the block or a computer. There's also an instruction booklet but it's written in such tiny print that I didn't bother with it at first.
The battery was already charged the packaging said, so starting with my iPhone (4G) I used the slide on the back of the speaker to power it on. I then pushed the connect button on the top of the speaker. The iPhone discovered it at once and added it to my list of bluetooth accessories. From the iphone I connected it as my speaker. (I'm always amazed at this when I think of my first bluetooth headphone where I had to hold buttons down on both the headphone and the bluetooth dongle at the same time and move them back and forth to find just the perfect distance between them so they would pair. What a difference!) I also tried the speaker phone function and it worked as I expected.
I then tried it with a pair of cheap no name bluetooth headphones and dongle I had bought to use with my 1st Gen Fire. Same ease of connection.
The warning at the title that I am not an audiophile means that you are going to have to check with someone with more sensitive hearing to determine if the sound quality meets your purposes. I am using the boombox speaker to listen to audio books and review recorded meetings. Sometimes I listen to some folky type music such as the late lamented Dave Carter. Nothing terribly demanding of the speaker. It works very well for my needs.
29 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Overall I am very pleased with this product and would recommend it.
Packaging and materials: the plastic container and rubber inserts that housed the device are of high quality, which initially gave me a good feeling about the product's durability. The mini-boombox seems well-made and is wrapped in a slip-resistant rubber coating which is pretty nice because it won't slip out of your hand or off of the counter. The instruction manual is very clear and easy to follow, especially because there isn't much to it. Just turn it on!
Setup: very easy. I usually have some trouble connecting Bluetooth devices, but not this one. Even the most technically challenged person could easily use this product. Just turn on the device and browse to it from your phone and connect it via Bluetooth. The device makes a soft beeping sound once it successfully connects to your phone. You can also use a wire instead of Bluetooth, so you can use the speakers on any audio device with the standard plug hole (like for headsets).
Speakerphone: when I make a call or when somebody calls me, the speaker automatically shifts to phone-mode. Using it as a speakerphone is way better in terms of quality and ease-of-use compared to using my cellphone's speakerphone. It is a nice bonus feature that I didn't expect.
Sound quality: for a small device it certainly packs a punch. I am very pleased with the sound quality.
In summary, this product does what it is supposed to do and should provide users with plenty of audio enjoyment.
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2012
I bought the boombox at the Apple store while I was waiting a long time for help. I often listen to NPR stations from my phone and thought this would be a good addition. The Apple staff person has one and recommended it highly.
Easy to use, I took it right out to the box and was soon streaming news and music through a cute little speaker. The sound is good and works anywhere in my house. It couldn't be easier to get started (it comes pre-charged) and regularly charges its batteries when in use. The sound is very good and fills the rooms in my house, a little small in size but fills them them nevertheless.
As others said, the speaker phone piece isn't quite as strong but given all the music I can stream on my new iphone I am in heaven. So much so that the $ 65-225 portable radio that I was planning to buy is going to be replaced with a second little boombox that I can keep in my bathroom. Who needs a portable radio when I have an iphone and a speaker like this?
Built well, attractive and easy to transport, can't think of anything much better. Buy it!
34 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2013
I needed a compact, nice sounding, bluetooth speaker to use while traveling and around the house. After some research, I ordered the Logitech UE Mobile Boombox, JBL Flip and Soundfreaq SFQ-04 Sound Kick with leather case, all of which get lots of good reviews.
All of these speakers are highly portable. The Soundfreaq is longer, but flatter than the Logitech, which makes it easier to carry in a briefcase or narrow handbag. The JBL is very compact and is maybe 50% longer than the Logitech. I like the design of the Logitech (I ordered the white w/ blue grille) and the sound is impressive considering how small it is. It looks and feels somewhat rugged, with the rubberized finish (though I've read complaints about the rubber coming unglued over time).
The Soundfreaq, however, has a significantly 'bigger' sound - wider soundstage, louder, better separation and better bass - than the Logitech. For comparison, assuming the Soundfreaq's sound quality is a 10, I'd give the Logitech a 7. The JBL also outperforms the Logitech, offering better bass and higher volume with less distortion at higher volumes. I'd give the JBL's sound quality an 8. The Logitech, however, has the most balanced sound of the three, in my opinion, especially at lower volume levels. It sounds warm and full, whereas the JBL emphasizes the highs and the SF seems to emphasize the bass and mids. While the JBL and SF do sound better than the Logitech, the difference becomes apparent mainly at medium and higher volumes. If you'll be using it as a 'personal' speaker, say on your desk at work at low volume, the difference among all three wouldn't be very noticeable.
The Logitech has the edge in convenience and ease of use. It's by far the smallest of the three. It has much better battery life than the other two and can charge off a usb port, unlike the other two, which need to be plugged into an AC outlet. It also has a very small AC charger (similar in size to a cellphone charger), while the other two have larger power blocks. The Logitech also sounds the same whether it's plugged into an AC outlet or not. With the SF, the sound deteriorates when it's not plugged in and is just running off the battery. I don't recall if this is the case with the JBL or not. The Logitech automatically connects to paired devices when they are turned on, whereas with the others, I had to go into the source device's menu to connect to the speaker each time.
Bottom line - if sound quality is your top priority, the Soundfreaq hits the sweet spot, offering the best sound quality and value, in my opinion. It's only $10 more than the Logitech, but it includes a nice case whereas the Logitech has none. The JBL also provides better performance than the Logitech for a slightly higher price and plays the loudest of the three. The Logitech is a great general use speaker that sounds good and is super convenient but doesn't provide as much audio bang for your buck as the Soundfreaq or JBL due to the constraints of its size. The SF can't be used for phone calls while the other two can.
After using all three for a week, however, I ended up keeping the Logitech, which might be surprising considering my preceding comments. To me, the improved sound of the other two wasn't great enough for me to give up the Logitech's convenience and I'm very happy with my choice. Any of the three would be an excellent choice, however. I'm giving the Logitech 4 stars instead of 5 because I feel it's a bit overpriced for what it is. If it were $20 or $30 cheaper, I'd give it 5 stars.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2013
I'm not sure you should be able to use the term "boombox" with speakers that are essentially the size of three decks of cards. And I'm not sure why so many people are gushing at the sound of these speakers. Sure they sound surprisingly good for their size but that doesn't make them 5 star speakers. As with most of these views it is all in your perspective. If you are looking for a tiny Bluetooth speaker that has good battery life, decent sound, and is very portable then this is a good speaker. But to give it 5 stars is setting the bar awfully low. Fist of all this is not stereo sound. You can get much better sound out of a cheap pair of ear buds. Yes I know, this is not for people who want ear buds. Secondly, these are $80. Am I the only one who thinks $80 is a lot for a single speaker that is 2"x4"? The product description is for the size of the box NOT the speaker. By comparison you can purchase one of the highest end PC speaker systems for this price and it sounds at least twice as good. Yes again, I understand they are not portable but people should, in my opinion, expect better sound quality for the money.
I understand this is a new niche market for users looking for portable speaker technology; however, at this point I feel the consumer is paying too much for the sound quality. Why are so many people okay with mono sound at this price? Apparently, people are so used to listening to sound directly from an iPod or Smartphone that they have lowered their expectations. Does anyone actually listen to a real stereo system any more? These speaker companies are very good at putting out products that sound good ... surprisingly good for the size; however, these are still substandard audio devices. In my opinion this would be a great speaker for less than half the price. In fact, I would say you could say the same thing for nearly every portable Bluetooth speaker over $50.
With the built in microphone it makes for a very nice little speakerphone and part time audio speaker but again why would anyone want to listen to mono music? You are not really hearing the music the way it was designed to be heard.