I’m always looking for a more convenient way of listening to music. It doesn’t matter if I’m in the backyard grillin’, inside dancing with my kids, sitting at my desk or taking my morning shower — I want great sounding music, and I don’t want to have to jump through hoops to get it. The Jawbone JAMBOX is a promising speaker that aims to help me get my music everywhere, conveniently. After spending the last week with it, I have to say.. I almost did it again. You’re going to have to read to find out exactly what it is I have to say.
- Sound quality
- Battery life
- Software is upgradeable
- Can be used as a speaker phone
The JAMBOX connects to any Bluetooth-capable device, allowing you to stream and control the audio from your iPhone, Android, Mac or PC. Setup only requires you pair the JAMBOX with your audio device. If you’ve ever paired a Bluetooth headset to your cellphone, you’ll be a pro at pairing the JAMBOX.
Once paired you can then use your music library, Spotify, Pandora, Slacker Radio, play a game, watch a movie or hold a conference call using the speaker.
The JAMBOX is small, making it extremely portable. It’s a breeze to carry it from room to room, or even throwing it in your bag to take with you. In the box you’ll get a micro-USB cable, two of them actually (12.5″, 60″), a charging adapter, a case and a 3.5mm cable for the audio-in jack on the JAMBOX.
The shorter cable is meant to be used as a cable to sync, or update, your JAMBOX using the MyTALK software. MyTALK provides many benefits to JAMBOX owners; starting with the capability to install software updates, “apps” and customize your experience. For example, I was able to change the overall theme of the sounds the JAMBOX makes when interacting with it to an 8-bit theme instead of the standard voice that ships with the device.
The overall design of the JAMBOX is minimalistic in nature, including only three buttons on the top of the device. You have your volume up and down buttons as well a main button that allows you to check current battery level and control the connected Bluetooth device (if it allows for it).
On one end of the speaker you’ll find the power switch, a micro-USB port and a 3.5mm audio-in jack. You charge and sync via the micro-USB port, while the 3.5mm jack provides a way for you to connect a device directly to the speaker, instead of relying on Bluetooth.
The advertised battery life is “more than 10 hours”, depending on volume and type of audio. I was able to get around 15 hours on my first charge, and right at 11 hours the second time around. The second charge was mostly streaming audio from movies and games on my iPad.
As with any Bluetooth accessory, the hypothetical range is limited to 33 feet. Although, often times, you’ll find that you’re able to stretch that range a bit. I was able to get closer to 100 feet away from the JAMBOX with my iPhone before it cut out completely. There were a few occasions I had some choppy audio while playing some music for no apparent reason. Overall volume was sufficient for the environments I was using it in, but in bigger spaces such as a park for a BBQ, you’re going to need something bigger.
The Jawbone JAMBOX is a small speaker that packs a big punch. Connecting to any Bluetooth-capable device, it allows you to stream any audio, including phone calls, through the portable speaker. The battery life is better than I had expected, hell, it was better than what was advertised by Jawbone.
The portability of the JAMBOX, combined with outstanding battery life, is what really makes this speaker attractive to me. I have now placed it on my wish list, and will have to wait
patiently for the next holiday to get it as a gift. In the meantime, you can splurge and get one for yourself for $199 directly from Jawbone, or a little less than that if you go the Amazon route. There are plenty of color options for you to choose from, if you’re into that thing.
Available from Amazon.com.
Oh, one more thing, don’t forget to claim your free Jamchain from Jawbone. You know you want it.
* Review unit provided by Jawbone.