If Goldilocks was in the market for a speaker, she should look no further than the Jabra line of Solemate Bluetooth speakers. To that effect, Jabra offers their Solemate speaker systems in three discerning sizes that should fit everyone’s tastes – small, medium, and large. Their largest speaker is the Solemate Max and it is big, powerful and ready to be abused. To that effect, it can handle the elements and is ready to be lugged from party to party with its strong rubber handle. Its extra girth also means it has grown in features too.
Again, the Jabra Solemate Max is the beast of the entire Solemate line-up. Weighing nearly 8 lbs, (L 11.9 x W 4.02 x H 5.44 in), it still stays true to the signature Solemate aesthetics. It sports a rubberized sole, and a speaker grille that wraps around the speaker, along with the Solemate’s pretty indestructible build quality.
The Solemate Max however, packs in two tweeters, two woofers, and a bass slave that Jabra custom-designed themselves. Furthermore, connectivity isn’t just limited to Bluetooth – there is a micro USB port, which you can also use to charge a device, and there is also support for NFC. So not only will it pump up the jams, but it will also juice your phone – meaning the party has a very slim possibility of coming to a grinding halt. That is unless your playlist sucks, but you can’t blame the speaker for that. Let’s also not forget about the included AUX cable that is safely tucked inside the sole of the speaker.
The Solemate Max shines on most genres, but at times it did experience a sense of emptiness and lack of body on some tunes. It really performs the best with the volume turned up – this is when you really get to experience its sound spectrum the best. Plus, given the size and design, the Max was designed to be turned up to the ‘MAX.’ So it isn’t shocking that it performs better at higher volumes. And if you download the Jabra Sound App, you can make collaborative playlists with friends or add Dolby sound to your music.
But one our favorite features of the Solemate might be its simplest, and that is its ability to control the speaker, from the speaker itself. There are volume/track/play/pause controls all located on the top of the speaker. This way, not everything is left to your phone or media device to control. You also have that lovely mystery man in the speaker who tells you when the speaker has paired or what the battery status is.
The current state of the Bluetooth speaker market is crazy competitive and filled with so many options, so much so that it is really difficult to stand out from all the rest. Fortunately, the Jabra Solemate Max is a very solid addition to the Solemate line. It is tough, sounds great, and has enough bells and whistles to make it future-proof for the time being. We were also able to get the Solemate to play nearly 14 hours of music before coming to a screeching halt.
The one thing however that may throw you off about the Solemate Max is the price. The Solemate Max retails for $399.99 and that pricing is a bit hefty. In any case, it’s clear that Jabra, a company that built itself as a leader in hands-free technology, is quickly becoming a leader in the wireless speaker market.
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The Good: Solid and very rugged construction. Convenient controls on the speaker. Nice loud sound that really shines at higher volumes. Packed with lots of features that make it future-proof. Just the kind of speaker you want to use at an outdoor party. Very good battery life for its size.
The Bad: Some songs lack body. The price is a bit high.