Need to buy a gift for somebody who loves technology but you can’t afford the big ticket items?
Jawbone Mini Jambox Bluetooth speaker
A colourful and compact Bluetooth speaker with excellent build quality, let down by price and volume
- Compact, well built design
- Reasonable sound quality at low volume
- Excellent companion iOS/Android app
- Distorts at maximum volume
- Limited volume levels
Jawbone's Mini Jambox stands out for all the right reasons. This colourful and compact Bluetooth speaker boasts excellent build quality and produces reasonable sound quality, but it's overpriced and distorts at maximum volume.
Price$ 229.99 (AUD)
There may be a wealth of similar sized, compact speakers currently available on the market, but Jawbone's Mini Jambox stands out for all the right reasons. This colourful and compact Bluetooth speaker boasts excellent build quality and produces reasonable sound quality, but it's overpriced and distorts at maximum volume.
Unibody aluminum design
Compact size and eye-catching design.
The most notable aspects of the Jawbone Mini Jambox are its compact size and eye-catching design. The speaker is constructed from a single piece of aluminium and feels extremely sturdy despite its small footprint. It's available in six different colours, and five different aluminium textures on both the back and the front including Red Dot, Silver Dot, Graphite Facet, Blue Diamond, Aqua Scales and Purple Snowflake. At 255g, the Mini Jambox is lightweight, especially taking into account the unibody aluminium frame.
The design isn't all about looks and is pretty practical, too. Two small rubber feet on either ends of the bottom cleverly prevent the Mini Jambox from sliding around on a desk or table, while the playback controls on the top (volume up, down and play/pause) are raised above the edge of the aluminium and have a sturdy, clicky feel.
On the right side you'll find a power button with surrounding LED ring, a pairing key, a 3.5mm line-in port, and a micro-USB port for charging and for connecting to a computer for future software updates. In a nice design touch, Jawbone includes a 3.5mm audio cable and micro-USB to USB charging cable that matches the colour of the Mini Jambox. The audio cable features a flat-style cord, so it doesn't tangle very easily.
Also located on the right side is a built-in microphone, which means the Mini Jambox can be used as a hands-free speakerphone. Incoming audio quality is reasonably loud and clear, though you'll need to sit relatively close to the unit when on a voice call to ensure outgoing audio is clearly audible.
Packs a punch, but distortion evident
Perfectly adequate for soft, background music.
The Mini Jambox can pair with two devices simultaneously using multipoint Bluetooth technology. Pairing a Bluetooth-enabled device is as simple as holding down the pairing button to activate pairing mode, then accepting the connection on the device. The Mini Jambox will alert you with a number of spoken commands during use including battery level status, Bluetooth connection status and what device the speaker is connected to. The commands are basic, such as "battery is about full" and "iPad connected", but they are a nice touch.
Jawbone says the Mini Jambox utilises two custom, stereo drivers with neodymium magnets, along with a passive bass radiator. Sound quality is reasonably impressive considering the size. While many users will long for more thumping bass, the Mini Jambox produces reasonably good bass notes at lower volumes. Equalisation is also impressive, as audio sounds clear and crisp even at very low volumes. This makes it perfectly adequate for soft, background music at a low key house party, for example.
Notable distortion on or close to the maximum volume.
Where the Mini Jambox struggles is when you start to increase volume levels. There's notable distortion on or close to the maximum volume level, and audio lacks the loudness of many competing devices. The much cheaper (though slightly larger) Logitech UE Mini Boom offers higher volume levels, for example, and can fill a small to medium sized room with sound. The similar priced Bose SoundLink Mini can play audio at louder volumes without distortion.
Jawbone promises the Mini Jambox's internal battery will last for up to 10 hours of music playback, and up to 75 hours of standby time. We managed around nine hours of use on most occasions, though do keep in mind that battery life will lessen when listening at maximum volume levels.
A Jawbone app for the Mini Jambox on both iOS and Android platforms is available as a free download. The best feature is the ability to add and curate playlists from multiple sources including iTunes, Spotify and Rdio. However, the feature is currently iOS only at the time of writing and merely "coming soon" to Android devices.
The app also allows you to change voice prompts, customise the Play/pause button, and activate a LiveAudio mode that simulates 3D stereo sound. There are 18 downloadable voice prompts available, while the Play button can be customised to activate certain features. These include skipping tracks or redialing a call when pressed twice, three times, or pressing and holding.
The Jawbone Mini Jambox is available now in Australia for $229.99 through Apple stores and online, Telstra stores, Optus stores, and Optus online.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy Watch review: Brilliant but not quite a breakthrough
- 2 HP Omen 15 (2018): Full, in-depth review
- 3 HP Envy x360 13 (Ryzen): Full, in-depth review
- 4 Moto G6 review: A solid mid-tier effort with few compromises
- 5 Dell G5 review: Easy to live with
Latest News Articles
- Hisense's first OLED TV finally gets Australian pricing and availability
- Sonos pushes back Google Assistant support for its smart speakers to 2019
- Sonos announce HAY for Sonos One Limited Edition Collection
- Amazon bolster Australian Echo lineup with Echo Show and Echo Sub
- Panasonic releases DP-UB9000 Blu-ray player
PCW Evaluation Team
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
- Google Pixel 3 XL review: Ghost in the machine
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Apple iPhone XS review: Astonishment at a price
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies