Skip to main content

Review: ‘Magic Sound Box’ looks like it’s from 1992, and sounds like it too

Magic Sound Box

Have you ever come across a product online or at a store that seems intriguing but the design looks like it came straight from 1992? That was out first impression of the Magic Sound Box. We saw it for the first time at a trade show earlier this summer. The folks at Sunpak were eagerly demonstrating how this little plastic box could amplify a smartphone’s speakers to the point where it can “fill a room with sound.” A noisy show floor is not the place to test such claims, so we asked for a chance to try it on our own. Not long ago the Magic Sound Box arrived (sadly, not via owl from Hogwarts) and we fired up our music player.

The real ‘magic’ behind the Magic Sound Box is that it doesn’t need a Bluetooth or other fancy wireless connection to amplify audio. Instead, it uses an older wireless protocol: sound waves. When properly loaded up with AA batteries all you have to do is place your smartphone’s speaker grille over the Induction Area and, abracadabra! the audio gets way louder. The two speakers on each side deliver the amplified sound and can indeed fill a room.

Related Videos

Volume isn’t the only measurement of a good speaker. There’s also audio quality. Alas, even magic can’t make this technology produce well-rounded audio. In fact, the quality of the output was directly tied to the input. If the speakers on your phone pump tinny, flat sound, the MSB will amplify tinny, flat sound. Listening to music wasn’t a great experience. Podcasts and audio books sounded fine. If you’re having trouble waking up in the morning because your phone’s alarm isn’t loud enough, pop it on the Magic Sound Box and that won’t be a problem anymore.

So, we know it works. The next question is: why would you buy it?

Sunpak sells the Magic Sound Box for $25 and you can get unbranded versions of it for less. There are a number of small and portable Bluetooth speakers and wired speakers that cost about the same or slightly more. The quality isn’t spectacular, though in most cases it’s better than what the Magic Sound Box provides. The biggest advantage we could come up with is that the Magic Sound Box uses very little energy – probably less than a speaker dock. Other than that, we can’t think of a reason to own it.

But hey, the Magic Sound Box works as advertised and doesn’t cost a lot of money. Just because we don’t see many use cases for it doesn’t mean you don’t. After all, over a thousand people love this thing. (We don’t understand that, either.)

Editors' Recommendations

Google Pixel Fold: release date and price rumors, leaked specs, and more
Alleged schematic of Google's Pixel foldable in silver.

Folding smartphones are a staple of the Android smartphone world in 2023. And this year, we expect Google to join the foldable ranks with the long-awaited Google Pixel Fold.

Rumors of the Pixel Fold have existed for a long time, but all signs are pointing to 2023 finally being the year it makes its grand debut. And what a debut it's shaping up to be. From all of the latest renders, hands-on images, specs, and more, here's everything you need to know about the Google Pixel Fold.
Google Pixel Fold: design

Read more
I’ve used Android phones for 10 years, and I hate these ones the most
pixel 4 xl rear sticking out

I’ve been using and reviewing Android smartphones for at least a decade, and during that time, I’ve spent time with a massive variety of devices that mostly fall into three distinct categories: good, passable, and bad. But what about the ones that have really stirred my emotions in a negative way? The phones that have elicited a visceral, guttural response? I’m not talking about the ones I love, but the ones I’ve downright hated.

Here are the six models that have irked me the most over the last 10 years of using and reviewing smartphones, and the reasons why they’ve made this list.
Google Pixel 4

Read more
The one thing the iPhone 14, Galaxy S23, and Pixel 7 all get wrong
Apple iPhone SE (2020) being plugged in to charge.

At Mobile World Congress (MWC) this year, new smartphones broke cover as one would expect. I won't bore you with all the details; Digital Trends' Joe Maring and Jacob Roach wrote an excellent roundup of all the best MWC 2023 announcements already.

One key quality-of-life-improving feature we picked up on as a theme was charging speed. Apple, Samsung, and Google, the mainstream phone brands by coverage (even if not all by sales), stick to a fast-charging average speed of just over an hour — even with the latest iPhone 14, Galaxy S23, and Pixel 7. By comparison, a phone from Xiaomi, Oppo, or OnePlus can get you moving in 30 minutes or even less. It's time to demand more from our phones.
Fast charging exists — just not for you

Read more