1,509 of 1,558 people found the following review helpful
on May 20, 2012
I'll admit it, I've got a bit of a fetish for speakers. ESPECIALLY mobile speakers. I tend to get just about every noteworthy new set that comes along. So it's no surprise I immediately had to try BOTH of the big kids on the bluetooth block: the SoundLink from Bose and the Big Jambox from Jawbone. I had already been impressed with the sound and form factor of the Bose (which has been out a while now) My Big Jambox arrived last Wednesday and I could finally put them side by side for a "jam-off".
The answer: Both sound better and more powerful than you could believe from their relatively small size
Each has it's own strengths.
BIG JAMBOX edges out the Bose on the following points:
* Speakerphone. Perhaps the single biggest advantage of the Big Jambox is the excellent speakerphone they built in. It is true full duplex and a joy to talk on. I even tested it with FaceTime on iPad and iPhone- both work great. (The Bose has no speakerphone, when a call comes in, it simply pauses your music.)
* Clearer mid and high tones
* The LiveAudio featurewhich I like but none of my friends do. This is a simulated 3D surround sound mode It can only be correctly enjoyed while listening in a small space directly in front of the speaker, so it is of limited use, but for certain pieces of music the effect is breathtaking and almost freaky when you close your eyes you could swear certain instruments are behind you.
* Easy firmware updates and custom settings just like the original Jambox
* Longer battery life.
* Trendy/cool looking
BOSE SOUNDLINK edges out the Big Jambox on the following :
* Notably deeper, richer, more mellow lows.
* Respectable/professional looking
* Did I mention the deeper, richer lows?
I tweaked the EQ on my iPhone for "Bass Boost" and it changed the sound of the Jambox to more closely resemble the Bose, so it is not that the Jambox cannot produce those tones, I think it is more of a matter of the designed profile of sound without adjustment. the Bose is skewed (perhaps even artificially) in favor of the lows. I would love to see Jambox come out with a tweak to the firmware to allow a skew to "warmer" tones as an option. They have lots of flexibility in areas like this, as shown with the LiveAudio feature.
I love both units. While I like the warmer default tones of the Bose, I can set the Jambox to sound similar with the EQ setting, and I gain longer battery life and a killer speakerphone from the Big Jambox, so the winner for me is the Big Jambox.
I have side by side pictures of my red Big Jambox next to the Bose - I'll try to upload those shortly...
[update 1: the photos are now uploaded and showing]
[update 2: Before my Big Jambox arrived I had read a few reviews which said something about it being "too bad you need to carry the big charger block around" and that it would not charge from the micro-usb. This turns out to be incorrect. You CAN charge it from the micro-usb. Like the New iPads, it's battery capacity is HUGE and it takes a long time to get a charge from a small phone charger. I think it is a matter speed - using my iPad3 USB charger it works fine - nothing else to tote. - PS: A week later and I still love this thing. ]
255 of 277 people found the following review helpful
on September 29, 2012
I did my research for almost a month. I read all reviews that are available in the internet for this product. I read all the comparison reviews between Jawbone Big Jambox and Bose SoundLink. Last week I finally decided to go to an electronic store (Fry's) and compare myself the two Bluetooth speakers side by side. I played all kinds and genres of music on on both speakers alternately for an hour inside the store. In my opinion the Bose SoundLink has more warm and deeper bass than the Jawbone Big Jambox. However, the Big Jambox has a very defined and crystal clear mids and highs. The bass of Big Jambox is powerful and tight. Always present at all levels of volume. It has a better overall sound than the Bose SoundLink for my taste. Bose SoundLink sounds muffled because of the overpowering of the warm deep bass. If your music is hip hop and rap then SoundLink is for you. If your music is acoustic, jazz, orchestra, choral, classical, pop, rock then Big Jambox is for you because in my opinion the Big Jambox doesn't alter the sound. You'll hear the music how artists intended the music for the listeners to hear it. The Big Jambox also produces louder overall sound the Bose SoundLink. Also, the Big Jambox has longer battery life by a mile. That is a deal breaker for me. Not to mention that you can also use the Big Jambox as a speaker phone! The call is clear on both ends. How's that for a bonus? ;) I'm listening to a Brian McKnight music as I type this. For this size my mind is blown by the performance.
352 of 389 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2012
After many...and I mean many evaluations of bluetooth speakers, it has ultimately come down to the Bose S*******k and the Jawbone series of speakers, both the Jambox and Big Jambox. My 20 years of audio engineering and music composition have helped me be able to identify the right combination of true-to-recording sound, clarity, etc. for music. We ALL want our music to sound...well, amazing, right? For the $, the Big Jambox gives a HUGE sound...great low end representation, mids and highs are clear and crisp. Maybe a little too crisp for my ears on cymbals / vocals / synth overall, but that's an EQ thing. Bose S*******k has better low-end overall, mids are truer, but lacks the high-end definition in comparison to the Big. Stereo separation is truer on the Big and the buttons / features / software update-ability is a plus as well for the Big.
Jawbone has done a smart thing by keeping their speakers software based, and user update-able. Meaning...EQ settings, voices, features, BT updates etc. are all just a USB cord away. Love that feature on my Jambox, and appreciate Jawbone giving me (the end user) the ability to customize my device. Wish the Big came with some kind of case / cover...but that's another $50 accessory to tack on later. And WiFi audio would have been nice on there as well...oh well.
All in all...my vote is with the Big. Way to go Jawbone...
294 of 332 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2012
Note: This is an adaptation of my review of the Bose SoundLink Wireless Mobile Speaker - Nylon, which is also an excellent option, as noted below.
I recently purchased several bluetooth speakers to test in my bedroom and office in hopes that I would like one enough to keep. Before I get into the details, I'll cut to the chase and let you know that I decided to keep the Big Jambox over the Bose SoundLink. While the Bose puts out a truly impressive amount of sound from such a small, portable package, the sound quality is not as good as the Big Jambox at low to normal volume levels.
The products I tested were the Bose SoundLink Wireless, Jawbone Jambox, Jawbone Big Jambox, and Logitech Wireless Boombox. Without getting into too much detail about other products, I found that the two best speakers for filling a medium to large room with music were the Bose SoundLink and Big Jambox, which isn't a surprise given the that these are the two most expensive speakers of the bunch, both priced at $299. Ultimately, though, I felt that the Big Jambox sounded and looked better (for my taste), so I returned the Bose and Logitech Wireless Boombox (I also kept the little Jambox for my office, which doesn't sound nearly as good as the bigger speakers, but makes for a great ultra-portable speaker for half the price ($150)).
My biggest problem with the sound of the Bose Soundlink is that there's far too much bass at low to normal volume levels. This is a problem for me because the bass clouds the rest of the music -- vocals become difficult to hear and the treble is nearly non-existent. The Bose sounds muddy and veiled under these circumstances, especially in small rooms. And to be clear, I'm a big fan of bass. I hate speakers that have no bass because the music I listen to (jazz, pop, hip hop, electronic) really benefit from bass. In contrast, the Big Jambox has a much better balance of bass, midrange, and treble at low to normal volume levels, providing a clearer overall sound.*
However, this is only an issue when the volume on the Bose is lower. As you turn the volume up, the bass becomes less pronounced, as if the other frequencies get louder but the bass stays at the same level. It sounds much much better when the volume is cranked up. In fact, I would say the Bose sounds significantly better than the Big Jambox at high volumes -- at their loudest settings, the Bose projects a bigger, richer sound than the Big Jambox, which can sound a bit shrill and boxed in at its higher settings. The "better" speaker ultimately comes down to how loud you listen to music.
This isn't to say that the Big Jambox sounds bad at high volumes. Frankly, I don't think anyone relying on a small wireless speaker is expecting perfection. The Big Jambox can still fill a very large room with an impressive amount of sound, and I find that it tends to distort less at higher volumes than the Bose. Not to mention the Big Jambox comes in a fantastic package. The speaker in white is extremely attractive, well built, has a long battery life, syncs easily with multiple devices, and has a great speakerphone option. Ultimately, I preferred the sound of the Big Jambox for my use and decided to keep that speaker. If you're more of a party-level listener, though, you would be wise to choose differently.
*One issue I've had with the Big Jambox is that, unlike the Bose, the Big Jambox emits a static "hissing" sound that is audible in a quiet room. If you listen to music at low volume or sit near the speaker, this sound will be very obvious (and possibly quite annoying). The Bose has no hiss sound whatsoever. I'm hoping this is an issue Jawbone can fix with a firmware update, as they did with the little Jambox, but it's not much of an issue for me since I listen at normal volumes and never sit near the speaker.
48 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2013
I usually buy stuff like this from Amazon, but the price had me dithering. It sat in my cart for weeks while I tried to decide whether I wanted to pay $300, and the continuing answer was "no." Then a local store (sorry, Amazon, sometimes I do wander into real stores) had it on sale for $250 and caught me in a weak mood. I bought it.
"Why did you buy that," my son sniped. "It looks like something a teenager would buy. Dad, you'll look silly with that on your desk. It's red. Are you just trying to look cool? Well, you don't." I fought down the urge to whack him over the head with it. It's nice and heavy, feels well built, and if I really wanted to whack anyone over the head with it, he wouldn't get up any time soon. I'd have preferred to buy it in charcoal (or black, or dark blue) but it was on sale, red was what they had, and red is what I bought. Okay, so I've got this big red brick on my otherwise very traditional looking desk. It doesn't bother me. It bothers my son, but so do my socks, my ties, my car and my haircut. He's been angry and embarrassed by me since that morning last December when puberty struck. That's not going to change for a few years (if I don't whack him with my Jambox), so I don't waste time worrying about what he thinks. I plugged it in, let it charge for a while, then turned it on. It paired immediately with my iMac and my phone. I tried out some music on the iMac. Organ, choral, cello, Elton John. My son likes Elton John. He came back into the office. "That sounds really good!" It did.
The organ music sounds pretty good, not great. I like to feel my rib cage resonate to the low notes and my teeth rattle in my head, and that isn't happening with the Jawbone. On the other hand, that's why I have big expensive speakers attached to my sound system. There's no way a small box like this is going to shake the fillings out of my teeth. I moved on to some Dvorak. Lovely. Russian choral music - crystal clear, very pleasing. A Brahms symphony. Meh. A lot better than my computer speakers, but nothing to get excited about. (* Update: Now that I've used it for a month or so and it's been broken in, Brahms sounds great. *)
Now came the real test, the reason that I wanted the Jambox and not another speaker. I dialed a hard-of-hearing friend on my phone and turned on the speaker. "Hello?" "Hi, it's Jim. can you hear me?" "Loud and clear. What's up?" What's up is that I was able to move back and forth between music from my computer and using this thing as a speaker for my phone with no trouble at all. And I could hear the other side clearly, and he could hear me just as clearly. I asked my wife to call me from the Jambox so I could hear how it sounded. It was clear, with none of the echo or background noise that drives me crazy when people use speakerphones. Sweet.
I think the Big Jambox is pricey if it's just for the portable music. If that's all I wanted, I'd spend less on another bluetooth speaker that might not sound as good, but not so much less good that I'd notice. The bass isn't as rich as my brother-in-law's Bose. It sounds very nice, though, and as a portable speaker it's probably as good all around as any I've listened to. What makes it worth the money for me (yes, I'd even pay the full retail $299.99) is the speaker-phone ability. That's very, very nice. And it's very easy to set up and use. (* Update: It still works well, but when I'm listening to music and turn on my phone to check the weather or something other than make a phone call, it has an annoying tendency to suddenly switch over to the phone and stop the music. It switches back easily enough, but I wish it wouldn't change devices without me asking it to. *)
My son still thinks the red is just wrong for me, but he'd be happy to take it off my hands if I let him. As for me, I'll be conducting phone business on it without having a headset plugged into my ear all day, and listening to music when I'm not on the phone. I need to find an excuse to arrange more conference calls. (* Update: I've held a few conference calls, and I love it. But I find myself using it mostly to listen to music. I'll probably buy another one for my regular office. For full price on the Jawbone website, you can get it in dozens of color combinations. It's worth the money, but knowing that it comes on sale from time to time on Amazon, I'll just wait and buy it in red, charcoal or white. I'm not willing to pay $50 more than I have to to buy it in violet, navy or lime. *)
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2013
After many hours of research online,looking for the best portable bluetooth speaker,I narrowed it down to the Jawbone Big Jambox and Bose Soundlink II speakers.Both have a retail price of $299.00.Both are highly rated.Although,after reading countless professional reviews (literally all online reviews),and many customer reviews,I decided on the Jawbone speaker.After receiving my Jawbone Big Jambox,quite simply put..."I am totally blown away".How on this earth such an amazing rich and full sound could originate from a compact portable speaker is beyond me.The Jawbone instantly connected with my Kindle Fire HD 8.9" tablet's bluetooth.Music,talk radio,movies,television shows,YouTube and even live police scanner calls all sound amazing.YouTube videos of Elvis Presley singing "Don't Cry Daddy" and "In The Ghetto" sounded stunning.If I closed my eyes,I would swear that Elvis was in the room.Loud,rich and full audio.The Jawbone is well constructed,and the battery lasts for many hours of audio bliss.I will be using the Jawbone with my Apple iMac,portable dvd players,Kindle Fire tablet,and also for tv audio.I was at first hesitant to spend this much on a portable bluetooth speaker,but now feel that it is worth twice the cost.Do yourself a favor,splurge and buy this speaker.Life is short.Enjoy "Audio Heaven" while still on this earth.You will not regret your purchase.
Update: April 11,2013-
The "best" just got better.I just performed my first software update for my Jawbone Big Jambox.After creating an account on the Jawbone website,and connecting the supplied usb cable from my Jawbone speaker to my Apple iMac 27" desktop computer,the most recent 2.0 software update took just minutes.The update provides a better audio experience with improved audio streaming and fewer dropouts via bluetooth,two additional hours of battery life to the already very long duration and a synced volume control.These quick,smart software updates will keep my speaker at it's very best.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2013
started out working great, then the sound changed; all audio became muffled or skipped. Sent it back to jawbone per their warranty. jawbone confirmed receipt of my speaker, and said it would ship the replacement with 48 hours (via their return policy), but 2 weeks+ later, I still haven't received my replacement despite multiple communications with the jawbone customer service team...
59 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2012
Overall Big Jambox produces very good sound for a Bluetooth-based speaker. It is also quite sharp looking. Up to last week I would have given it a 5 star review. However, the pairing button stopped working. I don't know exactly when because I only noticed when trying to pair it recently. The unit is only 6 weeks old and I had only paired it twice, including the original pairing which is done at first power up without having to use the button. The pairing button no longer works. Judging by other posts in the Jawbone forums this is not an isolated incident. It seems like there may be issues with the pairing button for many units. That would be ok if Jawbone had a better system for replacing malfunctioning speakers. I missed the Amazon window for returning the item otherwise I would have sent it back already. I am very unhappy with how Jawbone deals with items under warranty. On one hand one representative says that I will get a new one shipped and then to use the packaging to send the malfunctioning one back. That would be good customer service. Then I get an e-mail with different instructions (send the malfunctioning one, they'll check it and see what they can do and then send me a new one if needed). Under that system I could be without the speaker for some time and I use it a lot everyday.
In short, really good speaker but there may be some reliability issues and customer service is, at best, very disorganized. I should have gotten a different speaker instead.
45 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on May 20, 2012
Okay, I don't write a lot of reviews, unless I am either A) really impressed, or B) p-i-s-s-e-d off. Consider this the former.
The BIG JAMBOX *rocks*. Literally.
You have to have Bluetooth on your computer(s) and/or phone(s) to use it. But if you do, WOW, you will immediately fall in love with this thing. The sound is unreal. Just phenomenal. Full sounding across the entire voice spectrum - I don't know the sound specs on it, but I know *sound*, and it ROCKS. Great treble, great bass, just great all around. It's a bluetooth wireless speaker, and it claims the battery life is 15+ hours with continuous sound (much, much longer if it isn't playing). I've been jamming out with it all morning - lovin' it.
Best purchase in months. No kidding. If you're wishy-washy/considering/whatever, just do it. You won't be sorry.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2012
I decided to buy the big jambox after listening to the Bose Soundlink. I couldn't decide which one to buy until I listened to the Bose. I felt the Bose sounded a bit muddy as a result of the hyped bass. The Jambox sounds even and pleasant. The bass is not hyped like the Soundlink and, after listening to different genres of music, it sound good with everything. If you're into hip hop and r&b, you may fine the jambox a little light in the bass. Of course, it's a matter of preference. Some people will prefer the hyped bass response of the Soundlink.
I'm a part time audio engineer and listen to professional monitors that cost $3,500 for hours when I'm mixing music for clients. Although the jam box can't compare to my monitors, they were designed to sound natural and with a somewhat even frequency response at a reasonable volume. I'm glad I bought the jambox over the Bose Soundlink.