Why you should care

Because sounding good and looking good are sometimes just the win-win you need.

These days, picking the right wireless speaker depends on your personal taste.

Some devices are meant for performance, others for durability — and then there’s a novelty class, this is where IUI Design’s Mini Cooper Mirror Boombox fits in. It’s a speaker, yes, but with a flair of whimsy: It’s housed in a replica of the side-view mirror of everyone’s favorite tiny car. And if you ask us, being able to bounce around in your imaginary version of the Coop all day is a pretty good reason to pick up this cool device.

Of course, sound quality matters — and the Mirror Boombox delivers. Still, bragging rights go to the speaker’s slick design and functions.

The Mini Cooper Boombox is a great choice for car enthusiasts and trendy geeks looking for something cool to display on an office desk. If you’re a fan of the Mini and $150 for a combo wireless speaker/speakerphone doesn’t make you flinch, then this could be a must-have. It’s available now from IUI Design. Aside from the way-too-loud voice prompts and revving engine noises every time it’s turned on, the sound on the Mini Cooper Boombox is great — at least for a single-speaker setup. Phone calls? Crisp and distortion-free.

Modeled after the side-view mirrors of the classic BMW Mini Cooper, the Boombox comes in various styles, including the signature Union Jack, Black Jack and Checkered Flag. A mirror above the speaker grille bears the Mini logo; beyond that, the design skews to minimalist. And just like the illuminated display found on the rearview mirrors of some luxury cars, the Boombox shows volume and connection status in its mirror.

Bluetooth and NFC (Near Field Communication) connection options are both supported on the Mirror Boombox. We tested a Boombox model with an iPhone 4, iPod Touch, iPad 2 and 4 tablets, Samsung Galaxy S3 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. All but the Galaxy Note 3 connected flawlessly. Both Samsung devices were running the same version of Bluetooth and Android (Jelly Bean), so it’s unclear what the issue is. It could just be our Galaxy hardware, but it’s something to bear in mind if you’re using the Note phablets.

The Boombox is a snazzy way to boost any setting with sound and creative style.

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