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Big Jambox vs Bose Soundlink... Side by side
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. ]