Review: BlueBox MiJam Mini Keyz Miniature Keyboard


We test lots of speakers at iLounge, very few of which are designed to be “fun.” Three recent iPod-friendly toys from BlueBox were featured in our 2008 iPod + iPhone Buyers’ Guide, combining speakers with other features that make the $20-$30 items fun and easy gifts for younger iPod users.

Review: BlueBox MiJam Mini Keyz Miniature Keyboard

BlueBox’s $20 toys are the miJam Mini Mix Miniature Mixer and MiJam Mini Keyz, two similarly pocket-sized black and silver plastic items that let you add sound effects to your iPod’s music. Both light up in red when they’re turned on. Mini Keyz is the better of the two, combining 8 synthesizer-style keys and a simple, tempo-adjustable drum loop to add futuristic keyboard-like accompaniment and an additional beat to whatever the iPod is playing.


Review: BlueBox MiJam Mini Keyz Miniature Keyboard

Mini Mix, by comparison, is supposed to be a portable mixer that adds DJ-like sound effects to iPod songs. Perhaps not surprisingly, it doesn’t sample anything from the iPod you attach, and it doesn’t let you mix the sounds of two iPods together; it’s just there to mix its own effects into your music. With the exception of the drum beats, which are more varied than Mini Keyz’s, the effects, such as “voices” and record scratches, play back without precise control on the integrated turntables, and seem sort of random. Mix does more, but with the exception of its beats, doesn’t do it as well.


Review: BlueBox MiJam Mini Keyz Miniature Keyboard

Review: BlueBox MiJam Mini Keyz Miniature Keyboard

Just as with BlueBox’s earlier miJam Mixer, which offered similar functionality in a much larger enclosure last year at twice the price, Mini Mix really isn’t anything more than a sound effect maker with pass-through iPod audio: Mini Keys is as much a mixer as Mini Mix is, but instead of adding phony DJ sounds on top of your songs, it actually lets you make music, albeit simple music, hence its higher rating. A concern common to both units is their battery power: neither unit appears to have any way to let you change whatever battery is inside, so longevity may be limited.


Review: BlueBox MiJam Mini Keyz Miniature Keyboard

Both Mini Mix and Mini Keys come with the same parts: an integrated cable that connects to your iPod’s headphone port, and a small, decent speaker that lets you can hear your combined music out loud. If you prefer to use a built-in headphone port, you can play in quiet, or connect a recording device (not included) to preserve whatever you’ve dreamed up. You’ll find both to be fun diversions or just inexpensive, simple iPod speakers, but if you’re interested in making more than just noise, try Mini Keys first.

Table of Contents

Our Rating

Limited Recommendation

Company and Price

Company: BlueBox


Model: miJam Mini Keyz

Price: $20

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Jeremy Horwitz

Jeremy Horwitz was the Editor-in-Chief at iLounge. He has written over 5,000 articles and reviews for the website and is one of the most respected members of the Apple media. Horwitz has been following Apple since the release of the original iPod in 2001. He was one of the first reviewers to receive a pre-release unit of the device, and his review helped put iLounge on the map as a go-to source for Apple news.