Boombox speakers are expensive and some never offer value added features out of the box. This is why Sonic Gear has been working hard on releasing great audio products such as the Pandora 3, an inexpensive Bluetooth boombox speaker that doesn’t compromise on sound quality. We’ve been enjoying the product for a few weeks, and now it’s time for a full wrap up review.

It looks like a Pandora Box!

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Sonic Gear has named the product quite well, the speaker does look like a Pandora box in many ways, and there is no relationship with the Pandora music streaming service – if you think there is. The Pandora 3 is one of the nice looking boombox speakers that we’ve seen out there, a front metal grille houses two mid-range speakers and there’s a brush metal finishing around the speakers.

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The speaker is compact and light, making it a perfect companion for camps and picnics, unfortunately it can’t be powered by batteries.

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There’s three buttons on the top for music controls and answering phone calls, we’re disappointed that Sonic Gear didn’t include a remote control for easier operation, as we’re not fans of the buttons that feels hard though it works properly. Also, there’s a microphone for phone calls and Bluetooth audio is powered by a CSR chipset, though there’s no apt-X codec support.

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Volume and bass controls are at the back by using a slider, the input source is also controlled using a slider knob.

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The 3-inch subwoofer located at the bottom gives some nice thumping lows.

Sonic Gear Pandora 3 Specifications
Speakers: 2 x 2-inch mid-range, 3-inch subwoofer, 2 x (50 x 90mm) bass reflector
Frequency response: 40Hz~20KHz
Signal-to-Noise ratio: >=60dB
Total Power (RMS): 16 Watts
Bluetooth version: CSR BC05 V2.1

The Test – Amazing sound quality in a small package

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We tested the Sonic Gear Pandora 3 with our HTC One and Samsung Galaxy Note 3, pairing was quick and easy, there’s no need to force the speakers into pairing mode when switched on as it is always on pairing mode. The speakers performed brilliantly by demonstrating clear sound and comfortable bass.

Due to the CSR Bluetooth chip, we never face wireless interruptions and loss of detail is greatly reduced. Making phone calls with it also results in a great experience with callers reporting clear voice and being able to amplify our callers voice to fill the room – a perfect conference speaker.

Verdict

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The Sonic Gear Pandora 3 is the most inexpensive Bluetooth boombox speaker, yet it doesn’t compromise in the most important feature – sound quality. While we need to live without the convenience of a remote control and battery powered operation, we love the Pandora 3 as our desktop and bedside speaker.

At a retail price of RM149, you get sound quality equivalent to a Jawbone Jambox speaker, which costs 7 times the price, run off to your local IT reseller to hear it to believe it. Here’s a summary of what’s good and bad.

The Good
+ Amazing sound quality
+ Affordable
+ Good build quality
+ Compact and Light
+ CSR Bluetooth chip ensures stable connection

The Bad
– No remote control included
– Hard control buttons
– Cannot be operated by batteries

We rate the Sonic Gear Pandora 3 at 4 out of 5 stars

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