Customer Review

86 of 112 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not so impressed, June 1, 2012
This review is from: Jawbone BIG JAMBOX Wireless Bluetooth Speaker - Graphite Hex - Retail Packaging (Wireless Phone Accessory)
I compared the Big Jambox to the little Jambox and the Bose Soundlink in a side-by-side comparison. The little Jambox has the least pleasing sound of the three, but it still sounds pretty good, especially considering its portability. As between the Soundlink and the BJ, the Soundlink was noticeably more pleasing. The BJ sounded tinny. It sounded a little better in the liveaudio mode (or whatever it's called) but the SL still sounded better.

I didn't trust myself so I had my kids and wife do a comparison -- they all agreed with me.

That being said, sound quality is subjective. I wanted to like the BJ because the software is more sophisticated and it has a better battery life. However, the battery life on the SL is great at normal volumes, the form factor is more appealing to me and I got it for $30 less than the BJ. So I kept the SL.

One other thing: the BJ seemed to drop the bluetooth connection a lot more often than the SL, but I can't say I listened to the BJ long enough to draw any conclusions.

Both units are pretty cool.
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Comments

Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 28 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 2, 2012 11:10:31 AM PDT
I love the design of the SoundLink, but I found the mids and highs to be very muffled. The bass was great, although overpowering in small rooms and at low volumes.

The Big Jambox sounded much better to me, with more pleasing and better matched bass, mid-range and treble.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 5, 2012 11:33:57 AM PDT
oluv says:
yeah i agree with paul, the bose sounds extremly powerful especially regarding its size, but it sounds better outside and at higher volumes. in small rooms at lower volume levels the sound is boomy and muffled. bose should have tuned it better as apart from this it is really an impressive speaker, but because of this i still tend to continue my search for a better portable solution that i can use inside and outside. i doubt the big jambox will sound that powerful outside, even if might have a better sound at lower levels.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 5, 2012 11:39:30 AM PDT
DC Steve says:
It does seem that the volume at which the speaker is played makes a difference. The Bose can sound muffled but I have it playing in my office at normal volumes and everytime I walk back into my office I'm thrilled by the sound.

Posted on Jun 13, 2012 11:44:27 AM PDT
Jack Ennett says:
I just about bought a BJB but after reading your review and scoping out the funky colors and top of the unit, I opted for the SL and couldn't be happier with the whole package of the SL.
I also downloaded an "Equalizer" app for free from Google Play for my Android device which really helps with the midrange of the SL.
Thanx for the review and Best Regards,
Jack Ennitt.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 13, 2012 1:02:56 PM PDT
DC Steve says:
I'm glad you found it helpful. What "equalizer" app did you download? Does it work for music services like Pandora?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2012 2:45:51 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 14, 2012 3:29:23 AM PDT
Jack Ennett says:
Greetings,
At the Google Play store there are several free 'EQUALIZER' apps. I downloaded the one with the icon of 'sliders'. All parameters of the music can be 'tweaked' using the sliders. There are the standard sliders and also a 'bass boost' and 'virtualizer' which acts as 'surround sound'. I use Slacker Radio and yes the app works with all my BT devices. Really helps with the mid-range frequencies on the Bose.
Best of all (at least for now) it's free. I've also found that it works with my 'Sync' system in my F-150 by accident. I always BT Slacker into my Sync and the first day after the download, I thought someone had installed some tweeters until I realized the equalizer was doing it's job, really well.
Best Regards,
Jack Ennitt
I've been using Bose products since the late 60's when my brother shipped me a pair of '901's over from Japan. I played drums for R&R bands thru the 70's and we used Bose voice monitors. I bought a set of Bose '301's in 1982, (wood cabinets) ended up shredding the diaphrams after 20 years of hard use and am on my second set of '301's since 2002. Can't beat Bose quality........

Posted on Jul 11, 2012 10:28:12 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 11, 2012 11:16:38 PM PDT
Rahul says:
Steve, I don't know if you still have any of the Jambox models but when you listened with the LiveAudio turned on, did you position yourself about 2 feet and exactly in front of the Jambox (1 foot for the little jambox) with it placed at eye-level? If not, you should do that, turn up the volume and play a binaural recording like (http://www.princeton.edu/3D3A/BinauralRecordings/Haircut16-44p1.aif) and experience 3D sound. Also show your wife and kids. I think they'll enjoy it. But only one person can experience it at a time (i.e. the person in front of the system and at the "sweetspot"). It's not very practical but it represents the first steps into superior 3D sound generation using two loudspeakers (there have been previous attempts but none as good).

EDIT: Actually 2 people (1 sitting exactly behind it (i.e. 2 people of similar heights facing each other at a distance of about 4 feet with the Jambox exactly in the middle and at eye-level)) can probably experience it at the same time). But I'm not 100% sure.

Tracks: Certain stereo recordings should also show some remarkable effects when listened to in the above manner. For instance, play some remastered stereo Beatles tracks (like Here Comes The Sun) purchased from iTunes for instance and you'll be able to perceive separation between the guitars, vocals and drums. You will also experience depth with the added improvement in Sound Quality you mentioned earlier in your post. Closing your eyes when listening to the audio might help the perception. For this particular beatles track, you should experience the guitar on the left of and behind the speaker, the vocals to the right of and behind the speaker, and the drums and the bass at the speakers.

If you want to be able to notice a difference more easily, then take a track like I Saw Her Standing There (Stereo) and bias the playback through the RIGHT speaker. (For this particular track, the right channel alone sounds better than the left alone). When you do this, it will appear as if there is NO sound coming through the jambox at all and everything is from some ghost speaker. I have the little jambox but this effect should be the same even with the BIG despite it's size.

Again, all this is not practical but it is a unique experience if you haven't done so already.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 12, 2012 1:32:49 AM PDT
oluv says:
I think the idea of Liveaudio is great, but it has a too big impact on overall sound. It emphasizes reverb effects more sometimes brings instruments to the background which have not meant to be. Liveaudio reproduces music which is far away from the original recording. I also notice that frequency response changes a lot on the original jambox when Liveaudio is turned on, not sure if it's the same with the BIG one, but with Liveaudio mid-frequencies are pulled away too much.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 12, 2012 1:59:23 PM PDT
Rahul says:
There is definitely some modification to the audio because there is some processing involved before it gets output but compared to previous attempts at generating a 3D sound field from just 2 speakers, the modifications to the original audio is considerably reduced. In fact in certain instances, audio enhancement is perceived. Furthermore, for LiveAudio to work at it's best, there are many other factors that need to be considered, primarily the recording process. Since this is not possible for tracks already recorded and available in the market, the best one can do is to position themselves correctly. As I said earlier, this only represents the first steps into 3D audio through 2 loudspeakers. Lastly, if you feel the frequency response on certain tracks is such that you are unable to enjoy the recording the way you like it, you can always try utilizing an equalizer to make manual adjustments as to which frequencies you would like enhanced. Again, not very practical I agree but the engineering that has gone into generating this 3D effect is quite outstanding.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 12, 2012 2:04:42 PM PDT
DC Steve says:
I agree. Interestingly, I like Liveaudio on the little Jambox.
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