Top positive review
1,587 people found this helpful
Pricey, but impressive bluetooth speaker
on December 23, 2010
I decided to try out this highly rated bluetooth speaker for my iPad and iPhone and was shocked at its ease of use, sound quality, small footprint, portability and long battery life. I liked the choice of colors which makes these small speakers standout and easy to spot. When I first opened the package, I was pleased that the company included several high quality cords including both short and long micro USB cords for recharging and computer synching, charge adapter, and a tangle-free audio cord for non-bluetooth sources. You can create an account on the Jawbone MyTALK site to download voice profiles and apps. In pairing mode, it easily connected with all of our iPads and iPhones. I tested the iPad first with Netflix, Pandora, Hulu+, Air Video Server, and iTunes. Considering that the speaker is only the size of 2 stacked Wii controllers, the sound was surprisingly strong, clear, full-bodied, and free of hisses or pops that I have experienced with other bluetooth speakers and maintained the bluetooth connection without a single drop. Next, I paired both an iPhone 4 and 3Gs and both easily paired with the speaker. I ran Pandora and tested the speakerphone function which worked nicely. You can program a quickdial number that can be immediately dialed by pushing the round botton on the top when paired with a phone. You can download apps for voice commands which I didn't try since I rarely ever use, but the transmission and receiving sound quality is quite good. The next day, I went to work in the operating room and everyone was curious when I pulled out the small speaker and placed my iPhone by its side. There's no need to bring any cords which is the real advantage of using this speaker for true convenient portability. When I started playing my Pandora selections from the iPhone, no one in the O.R. could believe it was coming out of this small speaker. It obviously isn't going to challenge a Bose SoundDock or Dr. Dre Beatbox, but we all had a pleasant day in the operating room doing a full day of cases with great tunes and the speaker lasted the entire day using only 50% of the battery life. At home, I was surprised when my son was playing games on the iPad downstairs and the sound was coming through the Jambox speakers located upstairs with perfect clarity. I researched all of the bluetooth speakers currently available, and this stands out by far. Personally, I prefer using this small speaker which I can pull out of my labcoat, rather than carrying around a large heavy sounddock with cords shoved in a bag. I now leave the sounddock in my office. The only reason I didn't rate this 5-stars is due to the sticker-shocker price which I personally feel is a bit excessive and would be more competitive in the $150 - $170 range. At the $200 pricepoint, most people are audiophiles and will likely make the unfair comparison to larger sounddocks. On the other hand, this is perfect for people like myself willing to sacrifice a bit of room-filling base-rumbling sound for a truly portable wireless speaker with accurate sound reproduction. Overall, I am very pleased with my purchase and will buy another when and if the price drops.
True to my word, when this went on a Gold box deal for $149, I purchased a second speaker for the kids who used them on camping trips to watch movies on their iPads with their friends. I've been using this daily over the past year with only a few minor issues. I am not a big fan of the latest downloaded software update to add "Live Audio" sound processing which really dampens the sound volume too much to be effective and have only noticed a subtle difference for certain music files. I suspect there will be more reviewers who will knock this device due to dissatisifaction with the Live Audio update, but don't realize that this can be simply toggled on/off by depressing and holding the minus and plus buttons together a few seconds. After purchasing a second one for the kids to use with their iPads, I had to change the bluetooth device names to distinguish multiple speakers since it is default set as "JAMBOX by Jawbone." If you have already synced your i"Device" you will notice that it will keep the old name. Simply go to Settings/General/Bluetooth and select the Not Connected icon and select "Forget this device." This will reset the name for the device and you can simply rescan and resync with the speaker to update the name in your bluetooth device list. I don't understand why there are so many poor reviews for syncing problems which I have never experienced using iOS devices. Other reviewers have also recommended the Soundfreaq SFQ-1 which has equal (to my ears, slightly superior to others) bluetooth sound quality and comparable pricing. I like the SoundFreaq, but I still prefer the JAMBOX due to its smaller size and simple rectangular shape which easily fits in my coat pocket for portability. The sound quality coupled with design factor make this a much more flexible purchase. Ignore reviews that make unfair comparisons to larger expensive office/room audiophile speakers which serve different purposes. I use both the Bose SoundDock and Dr. Dre Beatbox and also really enjoyed the inexpensive, but discontinued Griffin Amplfi speaker which all give a wider and fuller sound experience but are all impractical to drag around with you.
*** update 10/10/2011 ***
The new Jambox 2.1 software upgrade has fixed all the problems with the previous LiveAudio upgrade. The new SoundClarity algorithm is really nice and preserves the higher volume levels. I turn the LiveAudio off when we're in the operating room and it gives nice spatial sound and turn it back on when I'm alone in the office for a softer, but improved sound. I've noticed continued bad ratings complaining of frequent bluetooth connection drops. I have 2 Jambox speakers (blue and black) and have used them daily for 10 months with our iPhones, iPads, and recently an Asus Transformer android tablet and honestly have never had a single connection drop. I use the devices to listen to music in the operating room for 8-10 straight hours and we have have never had a dropped connection. I wonder if folks were unlucky to get a bad speaker or perhaps their problems are actually with their media devices that have outdated bluetooth protocols (i.e. non iOS devices).