I had wanted the Jambox for a VERY long time but just could not bring myself to bleed the cash they want for them.
I finally decided to bite the bullet on the Apr 22nd, and ordered a RED one. I was excited when it arrived Apr 24.
...Until I noticed that it did not work... Major buzz kill on the pre-built excitement.
I went through all the proper channels, on Apr 25 after charging all night, I contacted Jawbone support, described the issue (would not stay turned on more than 2 seconds when plugged in, and would not come on at all when not plugged in) They walked me through a couple of steps to reset the device, and then pretty promptly told me it should be exchanged for a new one.
I wasn't particularly worried because Amazon is excellent at handling this sort of thing quickly and elegantly - that day another one was on it's way to me, and mine was picked up the next afternoon by UPS. My 2nd new Jambox arrived Apr 27.
Now onto my evaluation of the working product:
+ It is compact, for sure and good looking
+ My iPhone earbud indicator shows the relative battery charge for the Jambox
+ It has surprisingly full rich sound when turned NEARLY all the way up
+ It was easy pair with my iPhone4S
+ When plugged into my iMac to register and update, it worked well
+ The MyTalk website worked well to update the firmware in the unit
+ The update added or updated a feature called "LiveAudio"
+ LiveAudio does freaky cool things to my music when sitting in front of the jambox - it is eerily like surround sound but the audio source is just two channels, and there is no rear speaker. On my bartop it sounds great for most of the kitchen.
- I have not found a way to stop the obnoxious, loud, full volume "R2D2" noises it makes when turning on and off.
- LiveAudio CUTS THE VOLUME NEARLY IN HALF to do it's magic.
- You can turn LiveAudio on and off, but once off, the audio is substantially less appealing
- The last notch or two of volume severely distorts the audio, requiring non-max volume be selected.
- The loudest volume this unit can produce is several percent quieter than my previous travel speaker (more on that below)
Now I will compare apples and doughnuts:
As different as they both are, I can eat either of them for breakfast.
Likewise, I can use a substantially different type of speaker in my luggage for hotel and mobile entertainment.
The speaker I traveled with for hotel room entertainment etc, was an Altec Lansing Altec Lansing Technologies IMT227 OrbitM Ultra Portable Speakers
To be clear, the Altec uses a wire, and was NOT stereo - (it combines the channels, but throws out the sound... big). I did some countertop experiments with these two on highs, clarity, bass, and volume. The Altec wins for non-distorted loudness, and for lower bass, the Jambox wins for no wires, true stereo, slightly crisper highs. And switching to LiveAudio, if your room is quiet, the effect is really excellent.
In all, I think I will find a place in my heart for the Jambox, but it is not the place I thought it would be...
I may find that I leverage the speakerphone feature.
I may find that I use it for really high quality surround-sound music in a quiet space of my home
I may find that I bring both the Jambox and the Altec in my bag for the next few trips to give them a hotel experiment.
UPDATE after 3 more days... ---------
Downgraded to 2 stars... I just could not fall in love with the lack of volume here.
The sound quality is really great, but the volume is only suited to intimate situations where headphones would be a better fit anyway...
For me, this item did not work out well enough for the premium price it demands, so I decided just to send it back.
PS: Perhaps the newly announced "BIG Jambox" will solve the volume issue once released.