A low price, small size and great sonics help make this portable wireless speaker a handy gadget on the road
Is this one of the best budget Bluetooth speakers around? Weighing just 319g and not much bigger than a smartphone, this highly portable wireless speaker is certainly one of the best value options for your hand luggage, clocking in at under US$33.
They may be sold as gadgets to use on the beach to start a party or as a barbecue, but mostly these Bluetooth speakers are used in hotel rooms. As such, the 10W of power offered by this diminutive speaker is plenty and, besides, who wants to spend big on a gadget you’ll only use occasionally?
In the box
The box contains the small speaker, a Micro USB cable and a 3.5mm aux-in cable, though the latter is just clutter. Wireless set-up proved easy, the Magicbox located in an iPhone’s Bluetooth settings panel easily. It connects with a loud beep.
Manufactured by a company made-up from ex-employees of Qualcomm, the Magicbox makes some very respectable noises from a range of tunes. Detail is high and there’s just enough bass from the newly designed passive radiator, but what we liked most of all was how loud the thing went without distorting. It’s really very impressive. The battery stretched to 13 hours in our test, which will cover most short trips (it recharges via microUSB).
Though the Magicbox is cleanly designed, there are a row of rubber buttons on the top for pausing, skipping back and forth in a playlist or album, and changing the volume. There’s also a hands-free call button so you can put a caller on loudspeaker, and end the call right from the Magicbox. That makes it a potentially handy gadget for business travellers that have to cope with endless conference calls.
Keeping it simple
Highly portable and highly impressive, this small and toughly designed, feature-packed product has renewed TravGear’s lagging interest in Bluetooth speakers. After so many expensive, bulky and bad-sounding attempts, here’s one that keeps it simple and affordable.
Price as reviewed: US$32.99