In the world of Wireless speakers, there are plenty to choose from. I've reviewed quite a few this year. Just last week, I had reviewed the Ultimate Ears Boom speakers, in which I was very impressed with them. Those come in all sorts of colors and are a bit pricey. They are around $200, although Amazon often has them even cheaper. Ultimate Ears also has a Mini Boom speaker, that is half the size and half the price. Normally, when you get a speaker that is half the size and half the price, there are some things you have to give up. Which we know that very well with the Nexus line. However, with the Mini Boom, there's not much you're giving up. When compared to the Boom, the sound is almost the same, battery life is 15 hours on the Boom and 10 hours on the Mini Boom. But other than that you're not really losing anything else. Although I do like the style of the Boom better than the Mini Boom, but that's just my opinion.
Build Quality and Hardware
The outside of the Mini Boom, appears to be made of the same grippy plastic you'll find on the Nexus 7 and Nexus 5. It's actually quite nice to have on there. While the front and back is of course the actual speaker. And yes, sound does come out of the back of the speaker too. On top, you'll find all your controls. That's the volume rocker and the Bluetooth button. The NFC chip is also on the top. On the back You'll find the power button, as well as the microUSB port to charge it and the 3.5mm headphone jack.
Overall, I'm very impressed with the build quality of the UE Mini Boom. Although I'd like to see it a bit bigger, it's still great for watching movies or listening to music. The Mini Boom is very lightweight, actually. Especially for having a battery that's large enough to play for 10 hours. Which I can say it goes well past the 10 hours of continuous play back.
Double Up and the Mini Boom App
Similar to the Boom, the Mini Boom also allows you to connect two Mini Boom's to one device. However, I was only given one for a review, so I wasn't really able to test that out. But I will say, that it should work as well as it did on the Boom from last week. Which worked out very well. So because o that, I really didn't use the app, as I didn't need too.
My favorite feature of this small speaker was the NFC. I know it may not seem like a big deal. But when you review as many Bluetooth and Android devices as I do, being able to just tap your phone or tablet on the speaker and have it connect automatically is a great thing. Supertooth did it on their Freedom Bluetooth Headphones, and UE has done it on both their Mini Boom and Boom speakers, and I really love the idea.
I used the Mini Boom for about a week (and over the Christmas holiday) along with my Moto X. It worked out very well. In fact, I thought it was even a bit too loud on it's lowest setting. Since I like to have music in the background when I'm writing or working, it was just a bit too loud for me. But that's really not a bad thing, especially considering the size. There is a video down below comparing the Mini Boom's sound to the Boom and to the Moto X speaker. So those wondering about the sound quality can hear it for themselves, although it may be a bit difficult to tell on a video. I really liked the sound quality on this small speaker, it can definitely get pretty loud.
I'm always asked, what's the best Bluetooth Speaker around? And usually its by someone that doesn't want to pay a couple hundred for a speaker. And at this point, I think I'm going to have to recommend the Mini Boom. It is $99, which still might be a bit pricey for some people, but for the quality of the sound and build of this speaker, it's definitely worth the money. Not to mention the battery life. Out of all the Bluetooth speakers I've reviewed this year, I don't think I've reviewed one that lasted as long as the Mini Boom or the Boom from Ultimate Ears. I'm looking forward to more speakers like this in 2014 though.