How do you listen to music on the go? With music and movies being so easy to take around, be it on laptops, smartphones, or tablets, most of us take them everywhere we go, and listen to them from anywhere. For many cases, a good set of headphones is more than enough to enjoy your music or movies on the go, assuming you want to enjoy them alone and don’t mind a wire connection to your device.
A portable Bluetooth speaker is an affordable way to enjoy music, movies, or any audio for that matter, no matter where to are, no matter who you’re with, and even if your actual device is lying on the table in the other room. One of the most prominent players in the portable speaker market is the Logitech UE Mobile Boombox, which, at least on paper, is portable enough to be taken anywhere, yet powerful enough to provide good-quality audio, as well as couple as a speakerphone for your phone calls and audio chats.
We took the Logitech UE Mobile Boombox for a serious spin to find out what it’s made of, and now we’re giving it away to one of you! Curious how the speaker fared? Want to find out how you can win this $99 portable Bluetooth Boombox? All you have to do is keep on reading!
As you might expect, the Logitech UE Mobile Boombox is not alone in its category. For $99, you can choose one of five different available colors, and get a 10 ounces (~285 g) Bluetooth speaker with a 50-foot (~15 meters) range. The UE Mobile Boombox can pair up with two devices at the same time, and has an official battery life of 10 hours, with a USB-rechargeable battery.
Looking around in the market, there are several other competitors for the UE Mobile Boombox worth mentioning. First and foremost is the $130 Jawbone JAMBOX, which is slightly bigger and heavier than the Logitech, has a similar battery life, and can connect to Jawbone’s MyTalk portal for apps, software upgrades and new features. According to Jawbone, the JAMBOX has “integrated intelligence” which allows you to personalize it to your specific preferences, and comes in a variety of color combinations.
Other notable players include the Bose SoundLink, a more robust option that will cost you $300; the rugged and heavier Jabra SOLEMATE which you can get for $145, and the affordable SuperTooth Disco 2 which will only set you back by $80, but doesn’t include a speakerphone feature like most of the others.
If you like UE Mobile Boombox, but prefer something with better audio quality, the Logitech UE Boombox is the Mobile Boombox’s bigger sibling, and can be yours for $250. About three times bigger and heavier than the Mobile Boombox, this one aims to deliver much better sound for the audiophiles amongst you.
What’s In The Box?
Before we look inside the box, it’s worth spending a minute looking at the box itself. The Logitech UE Mobile Boombox comes packed in a sturdy plastic box, and encased between two rubber holders that ensure it doesn’t move while travelling.
While the box is definitely impressive, it’s also quite hard to open, especially if you’re trying to keep everything intact and not tear things up. After many minutes of turning it every which way, peeling off tape and stickers, removing the outer cardboard box (required two people to be done without tearing it), and scratching my head, I finally managed to get the treasure box open.
The UE Mobile Boombox is neatly packed between its rubber holders, with the small black box holding all the accessories that come with it except for one part of the wall charger and the small instructions booklet.
In the box, you’ll find the actual wall plugs (European and British in my case) that fit onto the USB adapter, a micro USB cable, and another booklet. As you can see, there’s not much to look at in terms of accessories, only the bare essentials. The speakers comes charged and ready to use out of the box, so there’s no need to mess with the charger just yet.
Hardware & Design
It might be due to my poor assessing skills, but no matter how many times I looked at the numbers, I was still surprised at how small and lightweight the Mobile Boombox is. Small enough to fit anywhere, including the palm of your hand, the UE Mobile Boombox truly is a portable speaker in every sense of the word.
But what good is a portable device if it’s going to get banged, scratched and dented? This is not something you’ll have to worry about with the UE Mobile Boombox. The entire outer surface of the speaker is covered in rubber, including the top, where you’ll find the huge yet inconspicuous volume and Bluetooth-paring buttons, as well as a tiny microphone.
The front and back aspects of the speaker are covered with rugged plastic mesh that will not easily dent or scratch, but might show marks, I suspect, if dropped from some height. The back also houses the power button, the micro USB charging port, and a standard 3.5 mm jack for wired listening.
Pairing The Logitech UE Mobile Boombox
Paring the Logitech UE Mobile Boombox with any Bluetooth-enabled device is easy, but does require some additional knowledge about the speaker (included in the instruction booklet). The first time you pair the speaker, you’ll find it in the Bluetooth devices list in your phone, tablet or computer, and all you’ll have to do is pair the two. The Mobile Boombox comes with an informative blue LED on top, as well as a set of sounds that will help you figure out if it’s paired or not.
Once paired with one device, pairing it with others will require use of the Bluetooth button on top of the device. Without it, your additional devices will not detect the speaker, even when Bluetooth is turned on. To make it discoverable again, long-press the Bluetooth button until the blue LED flashes quickly, wait for the speaker to appear in the device list, and pair it with the new device.
After the speaker is paired with a device, they will automatically detect each other. You can pair up to two devices at the same time, and switch between them simply by pausing the audio on one and starting it on the other. You’ll have to wait 1-2 seconds between the time you hit the play button until the UE Mobile Boombox picks up the new audio stream, but it does this flawlessly every time.
Living With The Logitech UE Mobile Boombox
I am no audiophile. I can tell the difference between bad sound and good sound, but you won’t find me nitpicking about technicalities. Nevertheless, I can tell you that the Logitech UE Mobile Boombox has excellent sound for what it is, a smartphone-sized mobile speaker. The first time I turned it on, the music engulfed the entire house, create a much better experience than any smartphone or tablet I own. It even surpasses the speakers on my new Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga. I now use it regularly to listen to music while working, enjoying a much better sound than I was used to.
Leaving my computer or smartphone in the living room, I can carry the UE Mobile Boombox with me around the house, and no matter how far away I get or how many walls stand between me and the device, the reception never even wavers. While there’s no way to control playback other than volume from the Boombox itself, you can easily set the device to play a full album, and leave the room to enjoy it.
If you pair the UE Mobile Boombox with your phone, it will double as a speakerphone for conferencing, or when you need a more powerful speakerphone than your smartphone. The caveat here is that the microphone reception is not as good as the speaker itself, so the person you’re talking to might get choppy audio if you get too far from your phone.
Should You Buy It?
Before reviewing the Logitech UE Mobile Boombox, I never considered owning a Bluetooth speaker. The bottom line is, I now do. I decided to keep this unit for myself and pay for it, rather than part with my newfound way of listening to music.
How do I win the Logitech UE Mobile Boombox?
We have a new giveaway procedure in place, which will hopefully make participating much easier. You may enter using your Facebook credentials (which will require you to sign into Facebook) or by submitting your name and email address. You’ll receive one entry simply by doing so.
After that, you’ll also be offered various methods to earn additional entries. They range from sharing a link to this giveaway on social networks; to commenting or visiting a specific page. The more you participate, the higher your chances of winning!
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This giveaway begins now and ends Friday, July 5th. The winner will be selected at random and informed via email.