It’s hard to imagine a time when we’d never even heard of iPods. Now they’ve taken over the world, prompting audio manufacturers to jump onto the ‘poddy bandwagon with their iPod-compatible gear. We tried out one of the latest – the deceptively punchy JiveBox from Logic3.
Looking at Logic3’s JiveBox, it would be easy to misjudge it. At first glance it’s nothing more than a small black box with a few buttons and a slot to dock your ‘Pod.
The unit’s design is rather minimalist: with one button for turning the power on and two for volume control, most of the functions are taken care of by way of the skinny remote supplied.
It’s a solidly-built speaker system, though, and once placed onto a surface it grips it with rubber feet. It’s not a bad looking system either – even if it will attract more than its fair share of fingerprints from touchy onlookers thanks to the shiny exterior.
The JiveBox also has an LED stripe running around the unit, which can be customised to a colour of your choice, providing you choose from red, green or blue. Or you could turn it off if you like.
Compatible iPods include: iPod mini, fourth and fifth generation iPods, first second and third-generation iPod nano’s and the iPod classic and the iPod touch.
It also comes equipped with a 3.5mm jack, so other MP3 players can spin their tunes too.
Sound is provided by two 75mm drivers, a pair of 25mm tweeters and a 130mm subwoofer, which takes care of the rather thunderous bass. So how does it sound, you ask? Pretty good, actually.
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The JiveBox promises high performance, and according to Logic3 has been engineered to deliver a powerful 90 watts RMS, which is apparently unheard of for a unit of its size. But enough from the press release…
As promised, the JiveBox delivers massive sound for such a small unit – it’s actually surprising just how loud it is. The amount of bass is particularly impressive, too.
We tested out the JiveBox by listening to a range of artists from different genres. ‘Don’t give up’ sung by Alicia Keys and U2 front man Bono was handled superbly, with no distortion or hint of tin at all. Keys’ soft-yet-strong vocals sound as pure as you’d expect them to.
It also coped well with the likes of Justin Timberlake and hip-hop artist Kanye West, as well as some recorded live performances by Michael Buble.
That was particularly welcome, as in the past we’ve found many music players struggle with live music. But the saxophones, trumpets and drums come out more crisper than you’d think for a unit of this size and price.
Where the JiveBox can suffer distortion is when things start to get a little chaotic. It doesn’t cope quite as well with some kinds of rock music; the sounds of electric guitars tend to crackle somewhat and will likely cause some consternation for choosy audiophiles.
Because all the sound comes from one source rather than separate speakers there are no channels as such to adjust. But this is not necessarily to the detriment of the unit considering its size.
The best thing we can say is it sounds much more expensive than its £129.99 price tag.