Jawbone Jambox bluetooth speaker review [video]

August 6, 2012
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There are a lot of features packed into our smartphones, but for many, nothing is more important than the ability of the device to function as a music player. Manufacturers are putting a lot of effort into making sure that their high-end flagship devices don’t give consumers a reason to complain when it comes to this key feature. We’ve seen this happen recently, with the Beats Audio integration with the HTC One X (and all other new HTC releases), and the Samsung Galaxy S3 being no slouch in the sound quality department either.

Granted, the best way to enjoy the high-quality capabilities of our smartphones is by using a earphone/headphone. External speakers, no matter how high-end the device, still don’t match the high standards set by audiophiles everywhere. More often than not, they’re just not loud enough, even in a small gathering.  This is where the need for add-on external speakers comes in.

There are a lot of external speakers available, both wired as well as wireless, covering all parts of the price spectrum, and suited to meet various individual needs. Today we take a look at one such innovative external speaker, the Jawbone Jambox.

What is the Jawbone Jambox?

The Jambox is a portable, wireless speaker with is connected to your device via a 3.5mm stereo audio port, or wirelessly using Bluetooth. The company that is well-known for releasing amazing mono Bluetooth headsets, such as the Jawbone ERA, eventually moved into the world of high-quality stereo audio solutions. On the other hand, anyone familiar with the Jambox will know that it was first released way back at the end of 2010.

So why are we reviewing this product now? This is primarily because of a recent firmware update, to version 2.2, which, apart from introducing some new features, also added support for the Jawbone Companion for Android devices, allowing you to access several features through a smartphone app. And more importantly, even after all this time, the Jambox is still one of the best portable wireless speakers available.

Jawbone says that the Jambox is “simply the smallest, best sounding wireless speaker and speakerphone on the planet.” Let’s see if Jawbone stands true to its claim

Specifications and Features

Specifications of the device include:

  • Proprietary acoustic drivers and passive-bass radiator.
  • Built-in microphone (for speakerphone functionality)
  • Size: 151 mm x 40 mm x 57 mm
  • Weight: 347 grams (12 oz)
  • Built-in rechargeable Li-ion battery with about 10 hours of continuous play
  • Bluetooth 2.1 compatible
  • Wireless range of 33 feet
  • 3.5mm stereo input

The small, portable box boasts a variety of features such as:

  • Hi-Fi audio thanks the proprietary acoustic drivers that produce extreme tweeter (high) and woofer (low) frequencies from a single, ultra-dome speaker that is paired with a moving-wall passive bass radiator.
  • MyTALK is Jawbone’s online platform to download apps, software upgrades, and the latest features, such as LiveAudio.
  • Completely wireless and runs on a battery, which makes it very convenient on-the-go, removing the hassle of cords and docks.
  • Availability of a microphone makes it perfect for “clean sounding” voice calls, conference calls, and video chats over Skype, Google Talk, or iChat.

Review

What stands out right away about the Jambox is its stylish yet simple design. It features a stainless steel construction with industry-weight molded rubber casing, which makes it very sturdy. Granted, this does make the device a little heavy, but is worth it if you’re worried about accidental drops or slips. The built-in battery is chargeable using a microUSB slot, a 3.5mm input jack, and the built-in Bluetooth connectivity comes in handy for wireless use. The design is elegant and minimalistic, with only the mentioned ports and power button on one side, and a large volume rocker and speakerphone button on another.

It is very easy to pair the device with your Android device, requiring only to push and hold the power button for a few seconds. Once paired, any sounds from the phone will play through the speaker, including any calls you make or receive.

The Jambox promises plenty, so let’s check out the video to take a look at the audio quality of this device.

Video

You can check out Clayton’s video review of the Jawbone Jambox here:

Conclusion

As you can see, the sound quality is excellent, with the bass kicking in amazingly well. This is a great buy for anyone looking for a great portable, wireless speaker and speakerphone. Unfortunately, even with all its features and the high-quality output, at $199.99, the price of the Jambox may be a little steep for many consumers. Granted, with big brother Jawbone “Big” Jambox going for $299.99, the “original” Jambox is still the more portable and cheaper option.

If you’re interested in buying the Jawbone Jambox, the device is available in four color options, including black, grey, blue, and red. There is also a limited edition yellow color available on the site, with the green one (shown in the video) also a limited-edition version. You can find out more about the Jambox, and even buy it, from the website here.

What are your thoughts? Will you buy looking to buy the Jawbone Jawbox to complement your Android device? Do you think the price point is too high? If you already own and use a Jambox, let us know your experience in the comments section below.

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