Jawbone Mini Jambox review
Abbas Jaffar Ali
Big things come in small packages and the new MINI JAMBOX from Jawbone is a testament to that. The unit landed in our office a couple of days back and has been making a lot of noise ever since.
Packaged in a small box thats about twice the size of the unit, the Mini Jambox comes with a 36” long flat stereo cable and a 24” USB cable. These cables match the colour of your Mini Jambox and you have nine to select from including red, blue, green, orange and purple. I chose to stick with the traditional dark grey. Yes, call me boring. Also included are the quintessential quick start and safety guides.
The Mini Jambox measures 154x58x24.5mm and weighs 255grams which is certainly very portable but I won’t go as far as calling it pocketable as Jawbone like to advertise it. Crafted from a single piece of extruded aluminium, the Mini Jambox feels like a premium device. The aluminium also helps making it lighter in weight compared to other similar products and supposedly increases loudness.
On the top of the unit, you have the Play/Pause button along with volume buttons. The play button also acts as a skip button- twice for forward and thrice for going back. On the right side, you have a power button as well as a paring button, a USB port and the 3.5mm jack. When the unit is on, the pressing the power button announces the battery level which is a pretty cool touch. The USB port is used to charge the device while the 3.5mm jack lets you connect the Jambox to devices that don’t have Bluetooth.
As you would expect, you have to keep the pairing button pressed to switch the Jawbone. The speaker announces that it’s in pairing more although strangely, the unit does not switch to pairing mode automatically when turned on the very first time as we’ve seen in some other portable speakers. Pairing the Jawbone to my iPhone 5S was a pretty straightforward process and I was streaming songs from it within a minute or so,
Sound quality from the Mini Jambox is impressive for a device of this size. It can distort on the loudest volume levels- especially with a song that is bass heavy but it was not something I experienced often. The following is a sample recorded using the Zoom H4n recorder.
[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/125549124" params="color=ff6600&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]
Other than playing music, the Mini Jambox can also be used as a hands-free device to make or receive calls- convenient for putting it on your office desk. The incoming number is announced on the Mini so you don’t have to worry about checking your phone on who is calling. Also worth mentioning is that Jawbone has an app available on the AppStore for the Mini Jambox although one that really doesn’t do much such as change the equaliser settings. There is one very cool option which is to change the voice of the announcer. Current options include Bombshell, Hero and Mobster. It’s tons of fun just listening to them although downloading requires you to connect the Mini Jambox to your computer.
The Mini Jambox has premium written all over it and that’s exactly the market that Jawbone is going after so the pricing of AED 799 doesn’t come as a surprise. Yes, it is quite expensive and yes, you can find other portable speakers half the price but the same argument can be made for any premium product.