Logic3 JiveBox Review
Logic3’s JiveBox takes the iPod speaker idea and gives it a cuboid twist. Granted, this isn’t the smallest of audio add-ons for the iPod, being a perfect cube measuring 7in square, but it does pack quite a punch in the output stakes at 90W RMS.
Squeezed into box are two 75mm Neodymium midrange drivers, two 1in tweeters, plus a 5in Hi-X subwoofer with a Hi-X Passive bass radiator. The only problem with the latter feature is that it’s located on the underside of the cube and feels rather vulnerable when you unpack it or move the JiveBox to another location. Your fingers invariably land straight on it, so how long before a digit punctures the delicate speaker?
There’s a quick start guide inside the box, but you’ll hardly need that. The JiveBox is a doddle to get up and running, although you should take heed for connecting the device to the power. There’s an order to this that suggests if you don’t follow it then it could be curtains for your new gadget. The same applies in reverse when you want to stow it away again. With all of the component parts assembled, attention then moves to the top of the unit. Your iPod sits in a dock at the top of the cube. You need to remove the blank piece of plastic beforehand and slide the pin connector into a forward position. Attach your iPod, click it back into the original position and you’re ready to go.
A button at the front powers up the JiveBox, although you can do the same job with the supplied remote, and while it looks undeniably cool, the icing on the cake is a coloured LED band that runs midway around the casing. Even better is the fact that you can change the shade, from red to blue to green, and also dim it down – although that feature is rather limited to a trio of clunky increments. Even so, it’ll amuse your mates for a couple of minutes.
The slimline remote control contains all of the main functions and affords you the luxury of not having to move out of your seat once the JiveBox is set up. It uses an efficient small disc style battery, but feels rather flimsy. It might not last that long if you chuck it about, but it may well get lost down the back of the sofa in the meantime.
With default settings in use, the JiveBox is a revelation. If you place it on a sturdy wood or stone surface it comes into its own, but the cool cube seems at home up on a shelf or down on the carpet thanks to its little rubber feet. The audio range is surprisingly well covered, with that bottom end in particular feeling really full. Trying a cross-section of iPod tunes proves impressive – rock, blues and dance come across brilliantly. Once you start to play with bass and treble, the JiveBox takes on a whole new dimension and anyone who loves lower end dynamics is going to feel suitably chuffed with the sound resonating from that subwoofer and passive bass radiator combination. Considering that the controls are relatively basic, it is actually quite easy to milk even more from the JiveBox once you’ve settled on your favourite listening material.
Of course, there are drawbacks with some aspects of this device. The fact that all of the speakers are housed in such close proximity to each other means that there is little separation on offer. You’ll have to be prepared to compromise a little on that front, and anyway, the JiveBox more than makes up for it with the thuggish bass behaviour.
Price wise, it’s quite a lot of money to pay even though it’s well put together and delivers the goods. It does feel like it’ll stand the test of time, just as long as you treat it with a bit of respect, but there are some areas here that look like they’ll also attract damage over time. That lustrous black plastic casing is easy to mark, the bass radiator on the bottom is liable to damage, and the remote is pretty flimsy. In fact, one good house party could do it in. But for audio performance in a novel and appealing casing, the JiveBox won’t disappoint.
It’s hard not to love the balls-out performance of this little black cube even though you can find cheaper alternatives on the market. It’s short on flair and has its flaws, particularly when dealing with more refined styles of music. Ultimately though, it looks cool and audio performance is great.