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Logitech UE Mobile Boombox review: Logitech UE Mobile Boombox

Logitech says you can stream from up to 50 feet away from the speaker (I was able to hit that distance in my tests) and it's also worth noting that you can pair up to eight different devices with the speaker, which makes it easy to switch back and forth between those devices (that said, you can only stream audio from one device at a time).

The unit charges via a USB connection on back. A charger and cable are included. Sarah Tew/CNET

The only problem I have with the design is that because there are no raised "feet" on the bottom of the unit (it's just one flat piece of rubberized plastic), I expect that the finish on the bottom will get scuffed up over time, particularly if you use this outside as I did for a few days. In other words, be careful about what surface you place the speaker on.

Good sound for its size
I'm not going to lie to you and say this sounds great. But like I said with the previous model, when you get into the tiny-speaker category, just sounding OK is a feat, and most people should be impressed that such a small speaker can produce fairly decent sound. It can play pretty loudly and puts out a lot more sound than the internal speakers of your typical smartphone or tablet.

The earlier Mini Boombox couldn't handle is a lot of bass at higher volumes. This one can, but only because Logitech's engineers have done a better job making it so the speaker doesn't distort at higher volumes. But it has tendency to sound a little thin and not terribly open or expansive (when reviewing headphones, I refer to this as a "canned" sound, and that description applies here).

Unsurprisingly, where the Mobile Boombox sounded best was on acoustic material and lighter fare. For example, the live acoustic version of Caetano Veloso and David Byrne's "Live at Carnegie Hall" and Adele's "Turning Tables" sounded just fine and made you think you were listening to a larger speaker.

As far as battery life goes, you can run this for about 10 hours before having to recharging it, which is pretty decent. I found that it worked well enough as a speakerphone, though you'll want to keep it within a few feet of you when talking into the integrated microphone (I could hear callers a little better than they could hear me).

In the end, the Logitech UE Mobile Boombox is thoughtfully designed and offers some small but significant improvements over the earlier Mini Boombox.

Typically, when a company improves a product, I'd grade it a little higher than the earlier model. But in the last year, a plethora of tiny Bluetooth speakers have come onto the market for around this price and while I think the Mobile Boombox is better than most in this price range, its sound quality doesn't do enough to put it head-and-shoulders above the rest. So this gets 3.5 stars -- just like the last model. It's very good for the money, just not great.

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