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Jawbone Big Jambox review: Jawbone Big Jambox

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The Good Very loud; clear audio; portable size; handy speakerphone function.

The Bad pricey; metal grille could be easily dented.

The Bottom Line The Jawbone Big Jambox certainly isn't the cheapest Bluetooth speaker on the market, but its loud and clear sound, portable size and good battery life make it a great choice for garden party enthusiasts.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

8.3 Overall

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Living in Britain means you have to take advantage of every ray of sunshine that comes your way. When the clouds break, you need to fire up the barbecue, whip up some mojitos and get a party going. You're going to need music in your garden to get things going and the Jawbone Big Jambox might be just the ticket.

It's a Bluetooth-enabled speaker that allows you to stream music to it from most phones, tablets or laptops, it has a strong rechargeable battery and it provides a serious wallop of good quality sound from its small body.

It's available now from the Apple store for £260.

Design and build quality

If you're asked to spend £260 on a speaker for your room then you might assume you'll be given an enormous set-up to permanently install on your bookcase. That's not what you get with the Big Jambox.

It measures 254mm long, 80mm deep and 93mm high, making it slightly bigger than a pipe of Pringles. Like Pringles, it's completely free of wires, meaning you don't need to hook it up to external devices, satellite speakers a power plug or sub-woofers using extra cables. That not only keeps it free of nasty clutter, it also makes it totally portable.

It runs on a built-in rechargeable battery, rather than solely through the power input, which is great news for any of you wanting to whisk it off to a sunny patch of parkland to play tunes while you hurl a frisbee around. I found it to be particularly handy to carry from my living room into my kitchen to listen to podcasts while washing the dishes.

With a weight of 1.2kg, it's not so heavy that you couldn't easily carry it around in a backpack for a while, but it's still weighty enough to sit firmly on a solid surface -- thanks in part to its secure rubber feet. Any lighter and it would run the risk of rattling around due to its own bass output.

The entire chassis is made from a metal mesh that's been given an undulating diamond pattern that I found to be very attractive. I paraded it around CNET UK Towers and the general consensus was positive. Nobody here would have any qualms about having it on show in their home. I had the white model in for review but it's also available in bright red or black colour schemes.

The metal feels very sturdy and doesn't offer much flex when you squeeze it -- although I have no doubt it would quickly succumb to dents if you were to bang it around in your bag a lot. Coupled with the rubberised ends and big rubber buttons on top, it feels extremely well put together overall and certainly seems built to last.

The buttons on top allow you to pause the music, skip tracks, adjust the volume or have a delightful lady tell you how much battery you have left -- you can also hook the Jambox up to your computer and alter what voices speak to you. They're very easy to press, even when you've had a few summery cocktails and make ham-fisted attempts at turning the volume up.

On the edge is a power button, a Bluetooth pairing button, a micro-USB jack -- this is for connecting to a computer, not for charging -- an auxillary port for hooking up a device from its headphone jack, rather than Bluetooth and a power socket for charging.

Jawbone Big Jambox angled
It's about as long as a tube of Pringles so it's perfect for picnics.


One of the most important features of the Big Jambox is its ability to pair to your phone, tablet or computer to let you stream your music to it over Bluetooth, letting you carry your mobile around in your pocket while still keeping your 'phat beats' playing.

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