Developer: Logitech
Price: $149.99
Device Reviewed With: iPhone 4, iPad 1

Sound Rating: ★★★★½
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Hardware Design Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Bluetooth speakers rock my world. I love being able to run music from my iPhone to a nearby speaker without having to tether it with a cable. While the BT connection does not keep my iPhone charged, the payoff in mobility is worth it.

Logitech’s newest addition to the device genre is by far the best I’ve played with. The sound is amazing for such a small footprint; the lows are deep and rich, the highs successfully bright without becoming too brittle.

The hardware itself is smooth, sleek and rounded. The dip in the middle, where an old school boombox would have held a tape deck, is just right for a hand to grasp it, obviating the need for an extruded handle. The unit feels solid, like it would hold up to some roughness in handling. The plug and line-in jacks are thoughtfully covered with a rubber flap, protecting from dust or mist. In the back of the unit sits a flip out stand, one that folds flat against the boombox for easy travel.

What’s brilliant about a bluetooth speaker system is the ability to play music from any source. I was able to send streams of music to the Logitech device from a Macbook Air, a Mac Mini, an iPhone and an iPad. Pairing is simple and consistent with other bluetooth devices; hold the button for pairing, marked by a big Bluetooth logo, until it flashes blue. Open the preferences on the sound source and choose the Logitech Boombox, already named and ready in the list of devices available.

The only small issues I noticed? The boombox did not wake from sleep when I used my iPhone to start playing again, even when plugged into a wall. It would be nice if, when connected to power, the boombox would wake and connect to the last connected source device. It was only a simple matter of pressing the power button on the Logitech device, though, and the music was restored.

The second issue? Battery life seems a bit short. The length of time the boombox lasts seems limited to one or two albums at a time when not connected to a plug. Enough for a short time out of doors, perhaps, but nothing to rely on for longer periods. The unit does, however, lower the folume and flash a yellow light when the battery life is low–a handy visual feature.

As of now, this is my favorite external speaker for all the Bluetooth capable gadgets around the house. I’ve been using it for gaming, playing music, and watching netflix on my iPad. The Logitech Wireless Boombox for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch got it right with its rich spectrum of sound response, great industrial design curves, and easy pairing of Bluetooth devices.