Jawbone offers 2.0 software update for Big Jambox

Available as a free download via Jawbone's MyTalk, the update adds new features and performance improvements, including better battery life.

A free software update is now available for the Big Jambox (click image to enlarge). Sarah Tew/CNET

In the past, Jawbone has provided firmware updates for its Jambox mini portable Bluetooth speaker to improve performance and add new features. Now its larger wireless speaker, the Big Jambox, gets its own 2.0 software update today.

The 2.0 update is a free download that's available on Jawbone's MyTalk platform (you have to register and install software on your computer to receive the update). According to Jawbone, here's an overview of the new features:

  • Better audio experience: New AAC support for iOS 6.1 delivers improved audio streaming with fewer dropouts and interruptions at greater distances.
  • Longer battery life: Gain 2 additional hours of battery life (17 total hours of playback) when streaming from your iOS 6.1 device. It's also less taxing on your connected device, meaning you'll have more battery life on your paired iOS device, too.
  • Synced volume control: Now you can control the volume from your Big Jambox or from your mobile device, without having to adjust the volume on both (requires AVRCP 1.4).
  • New Silent Mode: Stream music on Big Jambox without the interruption of voice prompts and tones. Just hold down the "Talk" and "Minus" buttons while powering Big Jambox on to disable all sounds aside from your tunes and calls -- Big Jambox will stay in Silent Mode until disabled by holding down the "Talk" and "Plus" buttons while powering on.
  • This update also improves the LED response on Big Jambox and brings connectivity for PS Vita for killer mobile gaming audio.

In recent weeks, Jawbone has been discounting both its original Jambox and Big Jambox, dropping the price by $50 (the Big Jambox lists for $299.99).

CNET gave a four-star rating to the Big Jambox, which competes with Bose's highly rated SoundLink Bluetooth Mobile Speaker II. While the Jambox offers significantly better battery life than the Bose speaker, the SoundLink Bluetooth Mobile Speaker II has done much better in the marketplace, according to sources who are familiar with the mobile speaker market.

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