Review: Jambox Portable Bluetooth Speaker

It seems that I’m always on the look out for the ultimate portable travel speaker and I’ve reviewed quite a few here. With each one I think I’ve found the right one, that is until I find the next one. The Jambox is not a new product. However, for some reason I resisted it until recently. I was in my local Apple Store picking up something else and I saw the Jambox on the rack. I was immediately drawn in by the compact size. It’s much smaller than I thought it would be. Next thing you know I was doing the self check out using the Apple Store App on my iPhone and I was out the door.

I got back to my office and charged it up. One thing I appreciated right off the bat over previous speakers that I’ve reviewed here was the minimal amount of cords/cables. Other speakers that I’ve tried that separate and have a cable attached between them kinda bother me. The Jambox comes with a thin stereo cable to attach to your computer, mobile device or other music source. However, since this is a Bluetooth speaker that cable is totally optional. The only other cable is the standard micro USB cable for charging. Once you charge it up and disconnect the USB cable there are no other cables required to listen to your tunes wirelessly.

How does it sound?

I expected the sound to be good and it was. However, the bass was better than I expected for such a small box. I had no problem pairing it with my iPhone and iPad and the music playback from the Music app and Pandora app was flawless. No skips or drop outs.

Speaker phone bonus

If you do pair it with your smartphone you can also use it as a bluetooth speakerphone. There’s a dedicated answer call button right on the top of the Jambox. My iPhone 4s rang while the music was playing. It paused the music and I just tapped the button on top to answer the call via the built-in speaker phone. Nice!

The Bottom Line

I know I’ve said this before, but this time I really mean it (until I find a better one 🙂 ), this is hands down my favorite portable speaker for travel. It’s small, sounds good, charges via USB, works wirelessly, and can be used for my conference calls.

You can get the Jambox here in Black, Red, Blue or Grey for $179.43 ($199.99 list price)

10 Replies to “Review: Jambox Portable Bluetooth Speaker”

  1. Terry, When i first saw the Jambox it was in an ATT store. I was blown away by the sound and very cool to have a bluetooth connection too. However, as cool and novel as it is, I think the price is way out of line. $199 dang, that’s what my iPhone 4s costs me. I’m no stranger to paying for quality products, but think the pricing on this black box is simply out of line. At half the price maybe. Thanks for the review and for always having great info on your site.

  2. I have one and it’s great sound wise. But there’s trouble using it with more than one device since switching between source devices is not easy and takes time.

    You have to unable Bluetooth from the first device (or otherwise disconnect) to get it to play the sound from the second device. And then you have to disconnect the Bluetooth connection from the second device to get it to play sound from the first device (or third or fourth and so on).

    So in the end, if you want to use it with your iPad mainly but occasionally get sound from your iPhone or other device on the go or whatever, it is cumbersome and can make using it a bit frustrating.

    And there’s REALLY LOUD BEEPS whenever you change the volume or make a Bluetooth connection to it!

      1. That’s strange because when I switch Jambox off and back on it connects to whatever device was last connected. So I have to turn Bluetooth of on the first device to disconnect Jambox to be able connect it to next device.

        Would love I if it wouldn’t connect automatically to last device. How do you do that? Is there a setting I’m not aware of?

      2. Terry, can you confirm your Jambox doesn’t automatically connect to last Bluetooth device when turned on?

        This troubles me since with my Jambox I first have to turn off Bluetooth from the device before I can turn Jambox on and have it stream audio from second device.

  3. I received one as a gift at Christmas and absolutely love the thing. It’s great to toss in the suitcase for use in a hotel room too!

  4. Terry, have you came accross the Braven 600 speakers ? What do you thing to get Jambox or wait to hear the Braven speakers which are not yet available for sale.

  5. I had the Jambox and was highly disappointed. The box was just not what expected. I was looking for something to replace my Motorola RAZR EQ5 bluetooth speaker, now these speakers were loud but hand no bass to soften the tremble. So I looked into and purchase the Jambox and the box had the bass but was not loud enough to for a small presentation. The sound from it barely fill me, so I returned it. For $199 I expected more. Now after waiting for a while, I went and purchase the Bose Soundwave Bluetooth portable speaker and all I have to say is that every $299 bit of it was well worth it. Excellent sound, great base, sound is truly rich.

  6. The Jambox is a beauty, both in design and sound, but it has quirks.

    First, the sound is either LOUD (but less quality) or softer, with very good sound quality and an unbelievable stereo experience. But to get this feature, you have to download and install software, run some updater, and activate it through holding buttons simultaneously, and tapping your nose while clicking the bathroom’s light switch. Or something like that. Cool, but that clears up while some users don’t yet understand why others like you and me seem to love it…

    Second, the BlueTooth connection is fuzzy, especially when you have chosen to keep it paired with multiple sources. Switch this functionality off (also available through this install/update tool) and it’s less error prone.

    And lastly: indeed, the alerts are a nuisance. I always turn my ears away from it when I’m about to change the volume.

    I think the Jawbone engineers should spend a bit more time on these issues, then the Jambox is a perfect device !

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