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 PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- 2 Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- 3 LG G6 phone: full, in-depth review
- 4 Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Plex Cloud is now open to all paid users
- YouTube launches streaming TV service with 40 channels and unlimited cloud DVR storage
- Up next for Apple TV: 4K streaming reportedly in the works
- Apple’s original TV shows are almost ready for prime time
- Apple snags Amazon Fire TV exec to lead Apple TV efforts
PCW Evaluation Team
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSenior Network Security EngineerACT
- CCSenior Linux AdministratorNSW
- FTProject Manager, Asset Vision- SaaS, PaaS- Gov backgroundNSW
- CCSecurity Specialist - NV1ACT
- CCTest Analyst - Infrastructure - NV1 ClearanceACT
- FTPHP / WordPress DeveloperQLD
- CCSenior Process Specialist - TelcoVIC
- FTPMO And Governance ManagerNSW
- FTSenior IOS DeveloperNSW
- CCSenior IT Project ManagerNSW
- FTSecurity AnalystACT
- FTICT Transformation Integration ManagerNSW
- FTSenior Infrastructure Business AnalystVIC
- CCUser ResearchNSW
- CCBusiness AnalystNSW
- FTProject Manager (Cyber Security) - Permanent - IT Services - North Ryde areaNSW
- TPBusiness Analyst (BI Focus)WA
- CCIntegration ArchitectACT
- TPLevel 2/3 Desktop Support AnalystVIC
- CCSenior Java Web DeveloperNSW
- TPBI & Report Developer (SQL Developer)QLD
- CCNetwork Solution Architect - PresalesNSW
- FTPHP Full Stack DeveloperQLD
- CCBusiness Analyst - PegaNSW
- FTVDI EngineerACT