Let the portable Bluetooth speaker wars begin. A new contender has entered the ring from Jabra called the Jabra Solemate. There are so many portable wireless speakers popping up these days, it’s hard to keep track. Jawbone, Bose, iHome, Philips, and countless others are making them, and the list goes on and on. We also highly doubt that there is an end in site for this type of speaker, since docking stations are getting the cold shoulder, especially from new iPhone 5 users.
So what does the Solemate offer that the others don’t? Well how about a design that is out-of-the-box, along with looks that mirror the rubber sole of your Air Jordans. And fortunately, while the Solemate might be pint-size, it looks and sounds like something double its size. Combining personality and portability, the Jabra Solemate begs for you to take it out and show it off. It takes a lot for a company to consider the elements when creating a portable speaker and Jabra has done just that. It’s rubber bottom looks gnarly enough to leave tracks in someone’s face, yet it also houses an AUX cable. Meaning that no party will go dead if the Bluetooth goes out.
The top of the speaker features the volume up/down buttons and a text bubble, that when pressed, starts voice guidance.On one side of the speaker there is a toggle for the power and Bluetooth pairing. There is also a AUX port and Micro USB port for charging. On the other side is a very handy loop handle.
When you are ready to pair, Solemate will tell you via a very sexy sounding husky man “that it is ready.” That’s right Siri; this guy sounds way hotter than you. The voice guidance is super clear and can easily be understood by those less than tech savvy. Once paired with your mobile device, the Solemate will find it immediately and will begin streaming music for 10 hours or so. That is, if your mobile device can survive that long.
Android devices, Windows Phones, and iOS devices all connect flawlessly to the Solemate. And if they don’t, the ability to play through the AUX is always an available option. Jabra has even been thoughtful enough to include a sound bag – just in case your Solemate is placed somewhere that might get a little dirty. Sound played through the bag just fine without any obstruction to the sound experience.
When it comes to audio quality, the Solemate consists of three speakers including 2 tweeters and a subwoofer. The sound emanating out of the speaker is crisp and clear and certainly impressive given the size of the speaker. Voice is also smooth and silky, conference calls sound especially crisp and clear. All different types of music genres sound impressive, although at times we will admit there is a bit of tinniness. But given other portable speakers we have tested in the past, the Solemate certainly doesn’t sound like an alarm clock radio.
It’s obvious that Jabra is looking to nip at Jawbone’s Jambox heels with their freshman Bluetooth speaker. The construction of the Solemate is solid, the sound quality is above par, and connectivity is a breeze. What more could you ask for? Both are at the same price point, but Solemate’s sound and overall durable design edges out the competition. The Jabra Solemate retails for $199 on Amazon and is available in black or white.
The Good: Great design, voice guidance feature is neat, easy to use and set-up, very good sound quality for its size, perfect beach or party companion, Jabra really thought of everything.
The Bad: Rubber on white Solemate easily gets dirty.