Small boombox speakers have very low volume output and doesn’t help when it merely offers a built-in wireless connection, however with wireless enabled small boombox speakers, you have to pay a hefty price tag for that for most of them. The Sonic Gear Pandora Mini that we have over here is different, a small boombox speaker that costs below RM200 with great features on board.

First Impresssions

We simply love the design that Sonic Gear has chosen to implement on the Pandora Mini, small speakers have a tendency to slip off its position when playing music at high volumes. With the rubberized and rugged like design, the Pandora Mini is sturdy and solid, though not water and dust resistant, we have no worries of scratches when we store it in our bag without any protective case. However, we would appreciate that Sonic Gear provide us a storage case in the package.

Features and Connectivity

The Pandora Mini has a 2.1 speaker configuration, we consider that with its built-in bass reflector though Sonic Gear never mention on the package. With 5-Watts of power, 4-Ohms of Impedance and a frequency response of 100KHz-20KHz, you can easily blast your room off, though we certainly don’t recommend doing that.

The Pandora Mini puts its competitors’ products to shame with its wide range of features

The Pandora Mini supports Bluetooth connectivity capable of making phone calls and auxiliary input, we are glad that Sonic Gear provides a 3.5mm cable out of the box. Unfortunately, Sonic Gear didn’t include a CSR Bluetooth chipset this time as opposed to its brother that we’ve reviewed back then, therefore interferences occurred during our tests where songs tend to have delays in playback and intermittent song skips especially on our GALAXY Note 3 and iPad Air.

Our HTC One works best with the Sonic Gear Pandora Mini, thanks to HTC’s advanced Bluetooth chip and Beats Audio enhancement.

One thing that surprises us is the powerbank feature, which is unexpected with boombox speakers at this price range, you will need to pay more for boombox speakers to have such feature. Although the battery power is shared between the speakers and charging feature, it is certainly a great option if you want to have your phone charged while playing music or when you’ve limited charging choices, don’t even think of giving your phone a 100% full charge because that isn’t going to happen.

The Experience

We love it, seriously, in terms of bringing around as our on-the-go music listening speaker as we do not need to worry about scratches. The Pandora Mini certainly does give you the flexibility to use either Bluetooth or wired audio, and it certainly produces sound that is loud enough to amplify our audience.

Now here’s what we have expected from the speakers – distortion at high volumes and playing music with deep bass. The Pandora Mini may sound fine for close range listening and at 60-70% volume, but once you start upping the volume to fill up your room and play heavy bass music, the Pandora Mini suffers in producing a quality listening experience.

Overall, portability and convenience is what the Sonic Gear Pandora Mini offers, if you’re not an audiophile you should probably be satisfied with it.

Battery life is very close to the rated hours, we don’t do continuously music listening but with an average of 30-45 minutes per session, we are able to clock an accumulated usage of 5 hours via Bluetooth audio with 70% volume.

You can also see an estimated battery level on the speaker by pressing the battery button on the back, a white LED represents battery level between 60-100%, blue 10-60% and red is under 10%.

Verdict

Sonic Gear has done a good job in the low price speaker market, the Pandora Mini offers features that is only available on a RM500 small boombox speaker despite of some compromises in sound quality, priced at RM199, it isn’t too affordable for a speaker size like this but it is cheaper than branded alternatives. We recommend the Sonic Gear Pandora Mini if you’re looking for a set of boombox that is portable and not fragile drops and cracks. However, we also recommend taking a look at the Pandora 3 that we’ve reviewed as it is cheaper and better if you’re not looking for that portability. As usual, here’s our take on the good and bad.

The Good:
+ Rubberized and rugged body
+ Decent sound at low-mid volumes
+ Additional powerbank feature
+ Near accurate battery life

The Bad:
– Sound distorts at high volumes and playing bass heavy songs
– Meagre 1800mAh battery for charging
– Pricing not attractive compared to Pandora 3
– Buttons difficult to press

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