So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Logitech UE Boombox
Play music wirelessly with this stylish boombox.
- Great build
- Bright sound
- Easy bluetooth pairing
- No speaker phone
- Discolouration of rubber base
The Logitech UE Boombox liberates your sound with wireless connectivity and voluminous audio. It looks great, sounds lively and will instantly enrich any occasion by bringing your favourite tunes along. We hope the second generation product will make this great product even better by putting to work audio codecs and maybe even NFC.
Price$ 299.95 (AUD)
Logitech’s UE Boombox is a stylish speaker that uses Bluetooth to wirelessly play your favourite tunes. The $299 speaker is a good looking piece of kit, but will it play your music with enough gusto to get the party started?
A boombox for Gen Y?
Logitech has styled with UE Boombox to resemble the popular portable sound-systems of old, but apart from the styling it has very little in common with the category. In fact, without the integrated handle, the UE Boombox would be yet another bluetooth speaker.
That’s not to say it looks bad. It is a striking, curvaceous blend of aluminum and rubber. The grille elegantly folds over from the front to the back, while the aluminum handle reaches from side to side with the same inspired craftsmanship.
Overall its construction is stylish, understated and sturdy, which is exactly what you want from a boombox that is designed to be showcased. It weighs a light 2kg and is only 80mm wide.
Wireless music playback
Most people who use the UE Boombox will play music over Bluetooth. Connecting your smartphone, tablet or computer to the UE Boombox over Bluetooth is simple.
Entering pairing mode is a matter of holding down the Bluetooth button. A flashing light and a distinct melody will cue you to select the boombox from your device’s Bluetooth menu. A delightful tone lets you know the pairing process has been completed.
Its construction is stylish, understated and sturdy
Up to three devices can be connected to the UE Boombox at any one time. This functionality makes it possible for three people to play music from their own libraries without having to unpair and repair each of their devices. In total, the UE Boombox can remember up to eight devices it has previously paired with.
Bluetooth does deliver a wireless connection to your device, but it is limited by a range of 10-15m. This range is reduced if, for example, you enter a different room, as the line of sight between the devices is obscured. In this situation the UE Boombox would momentarily cut out, and we found this happened more often as the battery levels dropped below 10 per cent.
Logitech does deserve commendation for streamlining the pairing process, and the ability to play music from three devices is a great perk, but there is room for improvement. Adding touch-to-connect NFC technology and an inbuilt microphone to manage phone calls are two ways the company can keep the UE Boombox competitive.
For those not using a bluetooth capable device the UE Boombox is equipped with a 3.5mm auxiliary input. Connecting your smartphone to the UE Boombox through an auxiliary cable is one way you can increase the boombox’s battery life.
The Logitech UE Boombox has a sealed enclosure, but if you could peel back that attractive grille, you would find two 0.5in tweeters, two 3in woofers and four 2.62in passive radiators. The result of this hardware is some pretty loud sound. Take the UE Boombox outdoors, as it is intended, and it’ll have passers-by tapping their feet to the beat of its melodies.
Music is bodied, dimensional and rich in texture. Various tones are clearly discernable and the rigidity of its chassis, along with the grip of its rubber base, shines through as the punctuating bass is rarely perverted by cabinet shake. The quality is really quite impressive, especially when you consider the UE Boombox doesn’t make use of any advanced Bluetooth audio codecs.
...it will instantly enrich any occassion
Most of the drivers face the same direction for an experience reminiscent of stereo sound. Although stereo sound is great for a two-channel system, we can’t help but feel it’s not the ideal configuration for a bluetooth-capable boombox. We should be able to throw it in the middle of a group of lazing surfers and have them bask in a 360 degree audio experience. With the vast majority of the sound coming from the front, the UE Boombox is best placed on the sidelines.
When it comes to playing music, the UE Boombox will outlast most. We connected it to three smartphones over bluetooth and it managed to play back music for 9hrs and 37min with the volume just under half way. Increasing the volume will likely see that figure drop, but we were still impressed by its longevity.
Charging the Logitech UE Boombox takes three to four hours. An indicator light located beneath the power button pulses green to let you know its charging. When it’s finished, it simply turns off. Logitech claims the LED light turns red when battery levels drop below 10 per cent; however, that wasn’t the case with our review unit, which simply shut down after the epic music session.
The final word
The Logitech UE Boombox liberates your sound with wireless connectivity and voluminous audio. It looks great, sounds lively and it will instantly enrich any occasion by allowing you to bring your favourite tunes along. We hope the second generation of this Bluetooth boombox will be even better, perhaps by featuring more advanced audio codecs and NFC.
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