Jawbone BIG Jambox Review: Super Speaker

It's the end of a long day. You slink into your comfy leather office chair and kick back with your favourite beverage from your bar fridge and throw some tunes on from your laptop, tablet or smartphone, only to be assaulted by the rubbish sounds from your tiny speakers. Does this sound like you? Don't worry, Jawbone are here to help with the BIG Jambox.

What Is It?

The Jawbone BIG Jambox is exactly what it says it is: a big version of the wireless Jambox speaker we loved so much back in 2010. Now that speaker has grown up, buffed-out and gotten all sexy. It will set you back $349 if you want to get your hands on one in Australia.

It supports Bluetooth music streaming, and comes with a gamut of other connectivity options including USB and stereo cables.

What's Good?

The first thing you notice about the BIG Jambox is the design. We tested the sexy white version and that wave pattern on the front of the unit is so nice to look at. It's coated in an aluminium grille and weighs enough to feel like it's worth the money you pay for it.

It pairs like a dream, too. One button to enter pairing mode rather than holding down four buttons at once like some Bluetooth devices is seriously great.

As far as using as a speaker goes, it's as loud as my powered desktop speakers, if not louder. It'll blow the roof off of your home office and because it's portable you can even whip it out at a party and still get an awesome performance.

Battery life goes on and on and on so you won't have to worry about racing for the power cable between albums, either.

What's Bad?

It's probably best to use the BIG Jambox for rock music mostly. I tested it by listening to music from a variety of genres including rock, pop, dance and dubstep and found that rock music sounds best. The speaker's a little tinny when playing something that relies on a lot of treble like dance and the bass is a bit lacking when it comes to dropping it to dubstep.

This isn't the fault of the speaker though, it's mainly a Bluetooth music streaming issue. Use your stereo or USB cable if you want better quality audio.

This Is Weird...

The weirdest thing happened when I was testing it over Bluetooth literally on every song, the volume would change itself without warning. If the speaker was turned down, it would turn itself up about five notches. That's a big jump when you're lying in bed listening to some quiet tunes. The same thing when I was doing a volume test, too: the speaker dropped its own volume by about five notches. Seriously strange.

I found that the situation was best remedied by having the speaker and the music player from which it was streaming from at around the same volume. Even then it still played around with its own volume, but the jumps weren't anywhere near as severe.

Should You Buy One?

If you're after a wireless speaker that produces top quality sound while outclassing catwalk models for style, then the BIG Jambox is for you. The only thing that might put you off is the price tag. $349 is expensive, but you're getting a great piece of kit for your money.

If you don't want to spend that much on a great Bluetooth speaker, though, check out our favourites that will only set you back up to $150


    "a variety of genres including rock, pop, dance and dubstep"

    Wow so much variety!

    Dubstep sounded terrible through the Jambox because.... dubstep is terrible.

      hey - what's dubstep ever done to you

        what have you done lately for me eddie

    Summary: 'It's all buffed out and sexy. Totes big issues with volume, but I liked the wavy pattern on the front. LOL'

    Seriously, this is a pretty poor review..

    Umm, isn't that volume changing issue a fairly major problem, or did I misread it? It sounds like a deal breaker in a speaker purchase, not a "hey, this thing is awesome, apart from when it randomly jacks the volume up 5 notches on every song" minor quibble.

    I'm not sure what 'dance' music is in your world but on Earth, dance relies quite a bit on bass and not at all on treble. Awful review.

      Turn down the treble next time you listen to dance music and see how good it sounds, fool.

    so many compatibility issues, if you want to pair it with a macbook, then forget about it, you pair and unpair about ten times a day just to get basic functionality working that breaks randomly, really not ready for the market currently and the current userbase are all testers, hence why no major advertising push has been done yet. my advice would be either buy the Bose one, or wait a year until they can sort out all of these issues... also their customer service team have no fixes, they are completely clueless.

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