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Donald Bell spent more than five years as editor-in-chief, reviewing everything from MP3 players to the first three generations of Apple’s iPad. He now dedicates his time to producing How to Overcome it, and weekly episodes of the Top 5 Video Series.
Jawbone Jambox Bluetooth Speaker Review
Note to editors, 4:14 p.m. PT Wednesday: Jawbone released a free software update for the Jambox on Aug. 24 that enables an audio enhancement feature called LiveAudio. The new model is a valuable addition that addresses some of our previous concerns about the speaker’s sonic limitations.
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Jawbone Jambox is a rechargeable Bluetooth speaker with advanced features, stunning design, and balanced sound that belies its compact size.
The Jambox is the most advanced portable speaker we’ve seen, with features and sound quality you won’t find in comparable designs.
One of the most overlooked features of any laptop, iPad, smartphone, or iPod Touch is Bluetooth music streaming. Sure, everyone likes the idea of wireless music, but in reality stereo headphones are often disappointing, and Bluetooth speakers often sound wimpy.
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Enter the Jawbone Jambox – a rechargeable speaker that shatters our notions of what Bluetooth can do (and how well it does it). Priced at the high end of $199, this small speaker uses two 1.25-inch drivers in the front and a passive radiator woofer in the back to deliver surprisingly balanced sound for its size. Just as importantly, the Jambox includes an integrated microphone, increasing Aliph’s expertise in wireless audio communications.
The Jambox comes in four colors, black, red, blue, and gray. The top and bottom have a non-slip rubber cover, and the middle is covered with a metal roll decorated with a geometric pattern. Overall, it’s a really solid design, with a comfortable 12-ounce heft. Overall dimensions are 2.25 inches high, 6 inches wide, and 1.5 inches wide. Even after knowing this, you will probably still be surprised at how small the Jambox is when you see it in the wild.
At the top you have three main buttons – two for volume control, and a multi-purpose button that provides battery status, answers and ends calls, press ringtone (when available), and can be configured as a button automatically when paired with your phone. On the side, there is a three-way power button that activates the pairing process when you lift it up. Underneath it has a small aux port for use with non-Bluetooth audio devices, and a Micro-USB port for charging the speaker or connecting to a computer.
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You’d be hard-pressed to find a portable Bluetooth speaker with more features than the Jambox. All proprietary software features including Aliph’s Jawbone Brand Bluetooth headset are available on the Jambox, too. For example, the system tone (used to announce caller ID, battery levels, pairing status, ringtone, etc.) can be changed to one of six languages (Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, Spanish, French). , and German) and how things are organized by gender.
By connecting the Jambox to your Mac or PC using the included USB cable and opening the Jawbone MyTalk website, you can configure the speaker buttons to activate noise cancellation (aka “Noise Assassin”) and set Dial Apps, such as Voice – to-SMS, Voice Dial, and automated number of your choice. The same USB connection allows you to update the Jambox firmware to help maintain compatibility as new Bluetooth features become available.
Other notable features include Bluetooth 2.1+ EDR compatibility, as well as A2DP, HFP 1.5, and HSP 1.1 stereo audio. The Bluetooth connection is multipoint, which allows you to connect two devices at the same time. Also includes a 3-foot stereo aux cable for connecting to non-Bluetooth devices, two Micro-USB cables (1-foot and 5-foot), a matching case, and a USB wall adapter.
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The Jambox’s Bluetooth range is 30 to 40 feet, depending on room constraints. Basically, Jambox is a mixed bag. Its sound is incredibly impressive for its size, but overall it’s not great, and certainly not for the price. The Aliph uses two proprietary 1.25-inch drivers in the front of the Jambox, with a rear-facing passive radiator woofer, responsible for its impressive low-end punch. When you turn it on, it even gives a little repetitive kick to show off.
A great Bluetooth speaker, like the Creative D100 or D200, will easily outperform the Jambox for much less money, but it lacks the capabilities and features of the Jambox speaker – not to mention its compact size.
During testing, the Jambox connected seamlessly with an iPad, iPhone 4, and an iPod Touch. Once connected, the Jambox emits a small beep to signal the connection has been established, and it’s off and away. While streaming audio through the Jambox for video playback and gaming, we didn’t notice any audio lag.
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Incoming call quality is better using iPhone 4 as a paired device. Sound quality using the Jambox integrated microphone is good when placed within arm’s reach, without the background limitations associated with cheap speaker units. Name recognition during voice call mode also works well.
Aliph rates the Jawbone Jambox’s battery life between 8 and 10 hours, depending on volume levels. During our random testing, we were impressed with how well the speaker maintains its performance in standby mode. It is also worth noting that Jambox uses fast charging technology, which brings the battery level to almost 80 percent after 90 minutes of charging and reaches full charge in 2.5 hours.
Shop for your favorite products and we’ll get you the best deal at once. Designed to make shopping easy. Bigger isn’t always better, right? That’s an old saying, and while it’s true for many things, including devices, it’s not the case with Jawbone. And that’s a good thing, because the Big Jambox, which costs $250, is better than the old one, maybe more than twice as much. Jawbone’s first Jambox was a game changer. Somewhat similar to Fluance FI30 Bluetooth speaker and Philip Fidelio DS7700 Bluetooth speaker.
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Don’t misunderstand me. There have been many excellent Bluetooth speakers (like the JBL Charge 4), but Jawbone has done it right, producing full sound, and more importantly bass that you can really feel, even when you’re active. with a small speaker. This model’s sound may also conflict with other high-end Bluetooth speakers.
Adding to its power is a 10-hour battery life and Bluetooth connectivity, with a headphone jack so you can listen to just about any smartphone. That was over 2 years ago now, and since then many competitors have come out with speakers that look comparable if not better. Some of them include Philips’ ruggedized Shoqbox and Jabra’s Soulmate (review coming soon).
So to stay competitive Jawbone released the Big Jambox. The design is almost a carbon copy of the original Jambox, although there is the addition of a PAIR button – the first iteration used a power switch to achieve this – as well as music and play buttons. The volume and headphone jacks continue on the Big Jambox, as well as the umbrella/power port, making it an alternative to using the MicroUSB port. Although the Big Jambox is not nearly twice the size of the original Jambox, it is more than twice as heavy (2.7lbs vs 12oz) and costs $100 more. You can consider the JBL Charge Bluetooth speaker as a more affordable yet high performance system.
Jawbone Big Jambox Review
So that begs the question of whether the Big Jambox is twice as good as its little brother? Well I’m not sure I can rate it, but performance-wise the Big Jambox beats the smaller version several times. The sound level is very large, and the center, which is immersed in the original Jambox is completely ready for use. The Big Jambox is also longer, at least double, if not triple. Check out the iHome Ibn 6 Portable Bluetooth Speaker with NFC Touch Pairing and USB Charging review for more portable Bluetooth speakers.
By default, Big Jambox comes with something the company calls LiveAudio. The technology was developed to enhance the sound, as if it were really there, although it is possible to have an additional experience similar to the use of mobile phones. Playing the video is as easy as holding down the + and – volume buttons until you hear a beep. When working it is easy to distinguish between different devices, although the size is reduced to 20%.
Just like the original Jambox, the Big Jambox appears to be tough as nails. I’ve never thrown a ladder, but in my hand, it feels well made, as if it were a solid piece of metal.
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It’s no wonder the Big Jambox rocks 15 hours of battery life compared to the Jambox’s 10 hours. It is necessary
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