CNET First Look
Jawbone JamboxThe Jawbone Jambox rechargeable speaker breaks our preconceptions of what a Bluetooth speaker can do, and how good it can look.
-Hey, I'm Donald Bell. Today, we're taking a first look at the Jambox from Jawbone. It is a portable, rechargeable, Bluetooth speaker with a cool look and suggested price of $199. The speaker comes in 4 colors; black, red, blue, and gray. The top and bottom have a nonslip rubber coating, and the middle features wrap around metal grill. There's a diamond pattern embossing to the metal on this black version, but different colors use slightly different shades At the very top, you've go 3 oversize buttons. Two are for volume control and 1 is a multipurpose button that gives you the battery status, connects you calls, can also be programmed as an autodial button when you pair this with you phone. On the side, there is 3-position power button that triggers the pairing mode when hold it up. -Jambox is in pairing mode waiting for device to connect. -Beneath that you got a mini jack aux input and micro USB port for recharging or connection to your computer. Jawbone doesn't cheap out either. You got a nice flat wire aux cable in the box along with USB cables, a power adaptor, and a case to keep this thing pretty. Now, at a $199, this thing isn't cheap for a portable speaker. For the half of the price, you can get a Logitech Z515 that pulls the same trick and also gives you USB dangle for connecting to your computer. The Z515 also has a 10-hour battery life, which is a little better than the 8-hour you're gonna get out of the Jambox. On other hand, it's nearly as cool looking or small. Also, as you would expect from Jawbone, the Jambox includes a quality integrated microphone, so you can use this as a speaker phone too. Another detail that really adds to the long term value is the micro USB port, which allows you to update firmware on this to help maintain compatibility. You can also side load Jawbone's own apps. Change the language of the system voice and do other customs tweaks. Sonically, the Jambox is mixed bag that uses 2 small drivers and passive radiator on the back to deliver a relatively beefy sound as impressive for size. When you turn it on, it even gives a little sub frequency kick just to show off. That's said compared to sub 200 dollar speaker docks like the Logitech S715i. The sound from this thing is still a little weak if you're really just looking for something to play music on around the house where it really shines surprisingly as with the iPod, keeping a way to improve the sound quality of games and videos without having to plug in your headphones or put this thing on some kind of dock. So, that's the Jambox from Jawbone, extremely stylish and extremely tiny portable Bluetooth speaker. For CNET.com, I'm Donald Bell.