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CNET First Look
Jawbone's $179 tiny Bluetooth speakerThe main attraction of the Mini Jambox is style. It's available in nine different versions, a mixture of different colors and varying grille looks.
-I'm David Carnoy and I'm sure a lot of you know about the Jawbone Jambox Wireless Speaker. Well, this is the new shrunken down version of it, the Jawbone Mini, which is almost half the size of the original and not too much bigger than some smartphones. I was particularly impressed with the design. The Mini looks and feels great. The body has a single, aluminum enclosure of housing stereo drivers and a passive radiator. It's available in a mixture of nine different colors in varying grill styles but make no mistake about it, this is first and foremost a lifestyle product. In shrinking down the original Jambox, Jawbone's engineers have created a wireless speaker that's designed to be carried around with you wherever you go, it constant companion to your smartphone tablet or laptop. This thing is small enough to fit in a woman's purse or my Indiana Jones style murse from Water Filled Bags which CNET's Brian Tong has tried to steal from me on numerous occasions. You'll find a standard Bluetooth speaker features on board, charging via micro USB, lining for wired audio sources and built-in speaker phone capabilities. Top side buttons provide play, pause and volume controls and the Mini includes the same speech cues and live audio sound processing mode found on the other Jambox models. You can upload different style voices mail or female by connecting the speaker to your computer. -I'm on and ready to go. -There's also a Jawbone app for iOS and one on the way for Android. As for battery like Jawbone, it's promising 10 hours of streaming time on a full charge of its integrated lithium ion battery. But of course, battery life will vary according to how loud you play the speaker. Question of course is, does the Mini sound any good? Well, that depends on what you're comparing it to. There are certainly other small speakers in this price range that sound better and can play louder. The Bose sounds like Mini and UE Boom for example but at the same time you'd be hard pressed to find a speaker that's as tiny as the Jambox Mini that sounds as good as it does. I found the Mini sounded cleaner than the original Jambox and played as loud. It offers some bass, it can fill a small room with sound but it also has its limitations. So, don't expect the world from it. Still, I was impressed by how much sound Jawbone was able to get out of the speaker this size, was able to improve on the sound of the original while shrinking the speaker down. I do think the Mini should cost less. It's pretty pricey at $179 and it would have been nice if Jawbone had included some sort of caring pouch for protective cover like it did with the original. But other that those drapes, as far as tiny Bluetooth speakers go, Jawbone Mini is about as good as it gets. I'm David Carnoy, thanks for watching.