August 30, 2014

Jabra Solemate review

jabra_720

With the holiday shopping season about to get underway, it’s time we start looking at some new accessories for our loved ones.  And for ourselves.  Don’t lie, you spend a bunch of money on your own goodies on Black Friday.  If you’re looking for something that works well for Android phones and/or tablets then you really should consider the Jabra Solemate.

At less than eight inches wide, this speaker delivers some of the most robust sound we’ve heard in a portable device.  Thanks to its pair of tweeters and subwoofer, the sound is deep and rich and far better than you’d assume.

As the name might imply, the Solemate could easily be mistaken for a shoe or rugged boot.  The bottom has a rubber grip sole that sticks to pretty much any surface and keeps it in place.  And, because it’s not a flat bottom, it sits just as comfortably in grass as it does on a desk. There’s also a very handy loop on one of end of the device which we’ve used to hang on a hook in the bathroom.  The Solemate is splash/dust/sweat resistant so, naturally, it has become our backing band for when we sing in the shower.

 

Underneath the speaker you will find a 3.5mm cord that lets you connect directly to a smartphone, MP3 player, tablet, laptop, or other device. The cord is around a foot long so it’s just the right length for connecting on the go.  Of course, there’s also Bluetooth technology at work here which lets us get up to around 30+ feet away from the Solemate.  It’s worth noting that there’s no way to control your music from the speaker as it does not offer AVRCP.

The battery on the Solemate is rated for 8-10 hours of continuous playback and we’ve found this to be pretty accurate.  Given we’re accustomed to charging whenever possible, we’re always juiced up for an impromptu karaoke session or office party. Like many Android accessories, the Solemate has microUSB port for charging.

If you’re connected to your Android handset then you’ll also be able to make and receive phone calls.  In fact, there are a number of options you can do in phone mode including rejecting calls, redialing, check battery, adjust call volume, and muting.

Features:

  • Powerful sound with 3 front facing speakers (2 acoustic tweeters and 1 powerful subwoofer) and a proprietary passive bass radiator
  • Take it anwhere and play music through durable sound bag, which provides additional protection from sand, sun and moisture
  • Connect wired or wirelessly via Bluetooth, USB cable or 3.5 mm audio cable located in the sole; use it with multiple devices to play high quality music, movies, games and more
  • Speakerphone capability – make and take calls from your computer, tablet or mobile phone; Up to 8 hours for calls or music and 40 days standby time
  • In the box: durable sound bag, AC wall charger, USB cable and 3.5mm audio cable (located in the sole)

What we liked: 

  • Compact size, not-so-compact sound
  • Comes with a removable 3.5mm cord for direct plugging
  • Resistant to water and dust means it goes everywhere
  • Make and take calls with much better speakerphone
  • Available in black or white

Room for improvement:

  • We’d love to be able to advance music tracks
  • Price tag might scare off a few

Where to buy:

You can pick one up a Jabra Solemate at Jabra’s website where it retails for $199.99.  Additionally, Amazon also offers the speaker in both black and white versions for the same price.  We have not seen it priced any lower yet but if anyone discounts accessories, it would be Amazon.  Best Buy, for its part, also sells it for $199.99, too.