Portable speakers is a rather huge business for users who need an easy solution to play their favourite music while away from a decent sound system. There are many occasions where a portable speaker will come in handy and Jabra has a small solution for it – but with big sound.
What we like about it
Upon first investigation, users should not be fooled by the unit’s small size. The old saying of ‘dynamite comes in small packages’ is very true for the Solemate. Making use of Bluetooth connectivity, it is incredibly easy to set up and pair with any Bluetooth capable device.
There is nothing more frustrating than setting up an electronics device that requires extensive knowledge of physics and astronomy. But luckily Jabra (as they do with all their products) make it very easy – flip and hold the Bluetooth switch and simply add it to the music device of choice. It is really that simple.
As a whole the unit is incredibly easy to operate – the top of the device houses the volume buttons and a button to check the battery level. On the side sits the On/Off/Bluetooth switch, and underneath that is the audio-in jack and the micro-USB port for charging.
The clear case in which the Solemate is housed comes packed with the USB charger, a separate USB cable for charging and transferring data, and a durable sound bag as well as an extremely short users’ manual.
Naturally the unit works with any device that has Bluetooth functionality or an audio-out 3.5mm port – which is all that the speaker needs to operate. It can easily be connected to a laptop, iPad, iPod or even a smartphone for music on the go.
In terms of technical specifications, the unit can play loud, very loud – without distortion. Essentially big sound without any distortion is what user want in a portable speaker, and the Wideband speakers deliver. The speakers also make use of Digital Signal Processing, which digitally optimizes voice and music and suppresses echoes.
Portability for Jabra here is obviously of huge importance, as the 3.5mm cable that will be used to connect to non-Bluetooth devices is neatly tucked away under the sole.
What we do not like about it
There is not a lot of criticism that can be levelled against the Solemate, but if something has to be picked on, it is the fact that it does not have a headphones port for occasional private listening. We understand it is a portable speaker and a headphone jack would be completely against the point, but sometimes it is just a nifty function to have.
While the unit is also capable of accepting and reject telephone calls while connected to a smartphone, we are just no sure who would accept their calls through a speaker. But with that said, it does enhance the hands-free element of it, so it is not all pointless.
The unit works as intended and delivers a big sound to boot. It is a portable Bluetooth speaker with big sound… what more do users want?
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor