Jabra Solemate Mini Bluetooth speaker

Jabra’s Solemate mini is a wireless speaker that is compact, lightweight and gives you plenty of bang for your buck. Just keep the volume below 80 per cent.

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Jabra Solemate Mini
  • Jabra Solemate Mini
  • Jabra Solemate Mini
  • Jabra Solemate Mini
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • Compact and durable
  • Easy setup via Bluetooth
  • Works with wide range of devices

Cons

  • Sound distorts at higher volume
  • Audio dissipates quickly at distance

Bottom Line

Jabra's Solemate Mini is a good little speaker for $99. We don't recommend for audio enthusiasts, but for listening to MP3s via Bluetooth in a casual setting, it performs well. It works with a range of different devices and the setup is quick and easy.

Would you buy this?

The Jabra Solemate Mini is an impressive little speaker that provides good sound in both indoor and outdoor environments. It’s priced at around $99, and the speaker’s clarity is good at low-to-mid-level volumes. While it doesn’t look as nice as some other speakers on the market, the minimalist design purveys a utilitarian approach to construction that we like.

Design

The Solemate Mini is a durable unit with a sturdy rubber base that grips the table well to avoid movement, so don’t even think of buying two and racing them. It measures 12.4x5.3x5.8cm (length, width, height), and is small enough to fit into a large pocket or small bag.

The Solemate Mini has a compact design, with speakers on one side of the unit. The other houses a passive radiator that improves the bass output. On the top of the box there are three buttons, two for volume, and one for pairing. The pairing button can also be used for activating Siri on your iPhone.

The advantage of the size is portability, and the dual direction of the sound output means that it provides relatively balanced audio. A stereo cord is supplied that that allows the speaker to also be used with any non-Bluetooth devices, and the fact that it clips conveniently into the base of the unit means that you don’t need to remember to take it with you if a friend wants to plug in their device — just turn the speaker upside-down and the cord will be there.

Functionality

We tested the unit with an iPhone 4s, an HTC Sensation XE, a Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 and a MacBook Air. The results were consistent across all devices, with pairing via Bluetooth being an easy three-step process.

The Bluetooth pairing is very simple. Just turn on Bluetooth on your device, hit the middle button on top of the Jabra, connect, and you’re away. NFC can also be used to pair the device. For devices that don’t have Bluetooth, then the provided cord that we mentioned earlier will come in handy.

We were able to get around seven and a half hours of continuous playback from the unit, which is pretty close to the eight hours claimed by Jabra. Seven and a half hours is still a considerable amount of time, and plenty for a small gathering where background music is all you want.

While it’s difficult to test the validity of Jabra’s claim of three months standby battery life, we were able to go one week between uses and the battery still held plenty of charge. Devices such as this are rarely used continuously over a prolonged period, so it’s nice to know that you can put it away and have some battery life the next time you use it. To charge it from empty only took about two hours.

Sound

The sound quality is good in an indoor environment or in fairly close proximity while outdoors. We were able to clearly hear audio in the next room inside an apartment. As long as the volume is not pushed above about 80 per cent, the clarity is good. We don’t recommend the Jabra if you are an audio purist, but suspect you will be looking at higher priced units if you are.

In Outdoor environments the sound dissipates considerably beyond about 10m. If there is any ambient noise about, audio can get lost in the ether. Sitting around a table with a group of friends, there is no problem hearing audio over normal conversation.

The balance in the Solemate Mini is nice in terms of bass versus mid- and high-range frequencies. As we mentioned, above eighty per cent volume or so there is considerable distortion, especially at the low end. This results in some serious rumble and vibration from the unit that makes some bass-heavy music particularly hard to hear. Unless you are planning a speaker war with a friend and aren’t looking for high-end sound quality, you should have no problems with performance.

Other Bluetooth speaker reviews

Logitech UE Boombox speaker review
Braven 855s rugged Bluetooth speaker
Polk Woodbourne Wireless Bluetooth speaker
Fenda W18BT Swan portable Bluetooth speaker
Jawbone Mini Jambox Bluetooth speaker
Studio Proper PA1 Bluetooth speaker
Logitech Z600 Bluetooth Speakers

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?