I didn’t use to be a sucker for music quality. Laptop speakers sounded fine. Investing more than ₹1K on headphones felt absurd. But things changed last year, when I first bought Logitech’s UE Mini Boom speakers. Obviously, Mini Boom is not the best speaker out there that money can buy but the value it delivered at ₹4K was something that has delighted me in due course of time.
Most of my buying decisions are uninformed. Fortunately, this wasn’t. I wanted a portable speaker, that was good enough to power a room, without breaking the bank.
Why Bluetooth speaker? Because I was looking for a casual music listening that can not just be played from my laptop but also from my smartphone/tablet. Although, Bluetooth does degrade the sound quality slightly, I seldom notice that drop. Other wireless options include Wi-Fi based systems such as Sonos and Apple AirPlay, but I fear, devices based on this would break my bank. Heavily.
After a brief research, I found that The Wirecutter’s recommendation of the best portable Bluetooth speaker made the most sense. UE Mini Boom is compact but sounds as loud as a large flat-panel TV set. I always play it at 60-70% volume and it “rocks my world”.
The rechargeable battery gives roughly 8-10 hours playback after charging for an hour.
One of the few flaws of the speaker is that it’s a directional speaker, blasting most of it’s sound in the direction that it’s facing. However, based on my listening patterns, I seldom have to reposition it.
Talking about the interface, Mini Boom has three tap-able areas at the top. Vol+, Vol– and the Bluetooth. For connecting a new device, you need to press and hold the Bluetooth button for 8-10 seconds. Other than that, these buttons don’t have much usage for me. I’m more comfortable in controlling the volume from the source than from the speaker.
At the back, it has Micro USB charging point and you can use your computer to charge it. I mostly charge it through a power bank. It also has a 3.5mm stereo analog input that lets you connect non-Bluetooth devices, like an iPod Classic.
Logitech also offers a companion app, MINI BOOM, that you can use to tweak settings of the speaker, i.e., Speaker name, EQ settings. After a couple of months, I found the alert sounds (low battery alerts, new connection established) to be quite cranky, so I have kept them off through this app.
UE Mini Boom has another good to have feature that I’ve never used so far – Double Up. Using this feature, you can connect two mini Booms together for bigger sound.
Sadly, the UE Mini Boom has been discontinued (offically) and The Wirecutter has new recommendation for folks looking for an affordable portable Bluetooth speaker – UE Roll.
☞ Logitech UE Mobile Boombox Bluetooth Speaker on Amazon (India) ⎈