The Logitech UE Boombox
Straight up, no-frills. It just works. There’s a reason why this Bluetooth wireless speaker is often used as the reference point by which other products on the market are judged.
So just what does the “UE” in the name Logitech UE Boombox mean? Logitech purchased the company Ultimate Ears (UE) a while back and it is through this collaboration that they were able to start turning out some great audio products.
The $250 Logitech UE Boombox has been designed from the ground up to support four internal drivers and four custom tuned passive drivers. Apparently its appearance was inspired by the legendary designer Dieter Rams from Braun and by Jonathan Ive of Apple fame. Who knew? It definitely exhibits a certain elegance, a logical layout to the controls, and simplicity of use.
Constructed of brushed aluminum and featuring a sculpted handle, the Logitech UE Boombox is definitely made to be ready-to-go. The stainless steel grill and the rubber feet should help make this portable speaker fairly ding resistant, but in general you might be better served to put it in a backpack, bag, or some type of carrying case. Some competitors supply their wireless speakers with some type of protection. It would’ve been nice if Logitech did too. Or at least made one available.
Hooking It Up
The Logitech UE Boombox is made to play music by connecting to a music source such as a phone, mp3 player, or similar device. It does this ether wirelessly through a Bluetooth connection or wired directly using a 3.5mm cable. Pairing a Bluetooth-enabled device is pretty straight forward and similar to most wireless speakers on the market. First, make sure your other device, be it a phone, computer, mp3 player, etc…, is in its discovery mode, then press the large Bluetooth connect at the top of the side control panel. They should find each other pretty easily.
Setting the Controls
The controls are very easy to navigate and most people may never need to read the instructions to get what they need out of this device. The control buttons are arranged vertically on the side panels at each end of the boombox. On the left side panel and starting from the top is the Bluetooth Pairing button, then the power switch, then 3.5mm auxiliary input jack to connect external devices, and at the bottom is the power port. The specifications for the rechargeable battery claim a 6-hour lifespan and we found that to be the case. On the right side panel, there are two large volume buttons with clearly marked positive and negative symbols to indicate which one does what function.
A really great feature of this wireless boombox is the fact that it can pair with up to three devices at a time. This means you could connect it to your phone, tablet and computer at the same time and easily switch between each one. Logitech suggests using this feature with friends so that each of you can take turns playing disk jockey from their own device. Hey, why not?
So, How Does the Logitech UE Boombox Sound?
Since Logitech and Ultimate Ears worked together to sculpt the sound of the Boombox the results are far louder than might be imagined for its size. It achieves this by both active speakers and specially tuned porting. The Logitech UE Boombox has a pair of half-inch tweeters that produce a very smooth, detailed treble response. Two 3-inch woofers deliver a tight, full-throated mid range. These feed four, custom-tuned 2.75-inch passive radiators coupled with the rubber casing surrounding them to deliver deeply resonant yet defined bass. It easily competes with Bluetooth speakers like the Bose SoundLink 2 and the Jawbone BigJambox.
Even though the audio is compressed due to the nature of the Bluetooth wireless specification, and this is true for all Bluetooth wireless speakers, the Logitech UE Boombox did a great job in all of the tests we put it through, jamming with everything from hip hop, classical, rock and more. The sound was clear, even when pushing the upper limits of its volume capabilities. And that’s saying a lot, cause this baby gets LOUD.
So, does it do as well as the Bose SoundLink 2, the reigning top of the heap for this type of device? Not quite, bit since the Bose is pretty much $299 no matter who you buy it from, and the $249 Logitech can often be found for $199, for something that is 2/3rds the price the Logitech UE Boombox comes incredibly close. And that is why the Logitech UE Boombox gets used as the reference point by which to compare the competition. The value versus quality make it undeniable.