Review: Jabra SOLEMATE Wireless Bluetooth Portable Speaker

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Jabra SOLEMATE Portable Speaker

Jabra SOLEMATE Portable Speaker

Jabra is well known in develops, manufactures and markets wireless and corded headsets. Jabra SOLEMATE is the Jabra’s first wireless portable speaker. Read on for my review of Jabra SOLEMATE multifunctional bluetooth portable speaker.

Unbox

Jabra SOLEMATE Portable Speaker

Jabra SOLEMATE Portable Speaker

Jabra SOLEMATE is packaged in a beautiful transparency solid plastic box. You can see the portable speaker through the box. It took some practice to remove the lit.

Jabra SOLEMATE Portable Speaker

Jabra SOLEMATE Portable Speaker

Lift the speaker, you found a 3.5mm audio cable nicely hidden at the bottom of speaker. Inside the box contains a charger, a USB cable, a durable sound bag, quick start guide.

Design

Jabra SOLEMATE Portable Speaker

Jabra SOLEMATE Portable Speaker

Jabra SOLEMATE design is mininal, clean. It looks like a small round corners brick (172 mm x 64 mm x 70 mm). Weights only 610 grams (like a 500ml soda bottle), SOLEMATE is light enough to be hold in one hand.

The non-slip rubber sole base not only allows you to place the speaker on any surface, it also securely store a 3.5mm audio cable. Brilliant!

Jabra SOLEMATE Portable Speaker

Jabra SOLEMATE Portable Speaker rubber sole base with 3.5mm audio cable

The review unit I received is white color with orange color audio cable. There’s also black color version with yellow color audio cable.

On the top, you get 3 buttons: Volume -, Volume +, and Answer/end button. The buttons are not backlit to be visible in night party.

On the right side are mini USB port, 3.5 mm jack connector, On/Off/Pairing switch, battery & connection lights. On the left side, you get a carry strap. It only fits my 2 fingers, I would like it to be big enough to worn around wrist.

Performance

Speaker

In the small package, it contains 3 front facing speakers (1x 2-inch subwoofer, 2x custom made tweeters for high notes), 3 channel Class D digital amplifier, and 4x 1-inch bass slave in the back. The rubber sole is vibration damping for better sound quality.

Jabra soulmate portable speaker

Jabra soulmate portable speaker

SOLTEMATE can output up to 120 dBSPL, that’s like Vuvuzela horn at 1 m! (possibly result hearing damage) Of course, you don’t want to use the max. volume and lose sound output. I use the middle volume.

The bass is strong, the treble is OK. Human voice is clear. Overall, I like the SOLEMATE sound. It is better than X-mini speakers.

Disclosure: I don’t have DJ good ears.

Sound bag

Jabra SOLEMATE Portable Speaker - sound bag

Jabra SOLEMATE Portable Speaker – sound bag

Jabra SOLEMATE portable speaker is outdoor friendly. It is sweat, dust and splash resistant. Bring it with you to play music at anytime and anywhere. For added protection, SOLEMATE inside the durable sound bag that comes with the package.

I took the risk of damaging the speaker by pouring water on the sound bag… guess what, the speaker inside is dry! In fact, the water does not get absorb by the sound bag.

Also, the sound bag is specially designed so that the sound volume and quality is not affected when you put Jabra SOLEMATE inside sound bag.

Now you can bring your Jabra SOLTEMATE to beach and play your favorite music when you are sun-bathing.

Connect

There are 3 ways to play your music on Jabra SOLTEMATE: 3.5mm jack connector, USB cable, and bluetooth (wireless).

Jabra SOLEMATE Portable Speaker

Jabra SOLEMATE Portable Speaker

The 3.5mm jack connector is the easiest and fastest way. The USB cable doesn’t work for Mac. Bluetooth wireless connection work with any bluetooth supported audio device (phone, computer, tablet, etc).

To setup bluetooth pairing, you press and hold the on/off/pairing switch up for 3 seconds, bluetooth light flash in pink, and SOLEMATE tells you it is ready forpairing.

I tested bluetooth pairing with iPhone and iMac. It works great. In case your device loss connection with SOLEMATE, simply repeat the bluetooth pairing steps.

Speakerphone

Did I tell you that Jabra SOLEMATE is also a speakerphone with build-in microhphone? After connected to phone via bluetooth, you can use SOLEMATE to make/answer/end call.

Jabra SOLEMATE connected to iPhone as speakerphone

Jabra SOLEMATE connected to iPhone as speakerphone

In my test call with my wife, she said that the sound quality is similar to iPhone’s speakerphone. Meaning, it works.

Voice guidance

SOLEMATE does not have LED to display information, instead it uses voice guidance. Press the Answer button, it tells you the battery status “Battery Full” or “Battery Low”, and “Recharge battery” when it needs immediate battery juice.

For bluetooth pairing, it tells you that it is ready for pairing “Go ahead and connect me. Use the Bluetooth setting in your phone”, and “SOLEMATE is connected” when pairing is successful. (watch demo video in this post)

These voice feedback gives human-feeling to the portable speaker. I am impressed.

Battery

As a portable speaker, the battery life is very important. The SOLEMATE build-in rechargeable lithiumion battery claims last up to 8 hours wireless music time, up to 40 days standby time. Full recharge only takes 2.5 hours.

I tested SOLEMATE as my iMac speaker via bluetooth connection. It indeed played more than 8 hours without recharging.

Demo video

Photo gallery

Price & availability

Jabra SOLEMATE available in black and white colours. The recommended retail price is RM699 in Malaysia. You can buy it at Apple premium resellers: Machines, Challenger stores, I-Tec and other authorised Jabra resellers.

LiewCF’s Buying Advice

Not everyone is willing to spend RM700 (~USD233) on a portable speaker. When you do, you are Jabra SOLEMATE target customers, who are on-the-go and want to enjoy great music anywhere, anyplace.

With the small size and bluetooth connectivity, it is a great add-on for your mobile office (play music on notebook, answer calls hands-free via bluetooth).

LiewCF recommends Jabra SOLEMATE portable speaker.

  • Pro: beautiful, small size, good battery life, great sound, dusk & splash resistant.
  • Con: not everyone can afford it.
  • Rate: 4 out of 5

Jabra | Jabra Singapore (fb)

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7 Responses to Review: Jabra SOLEMATE Wireless Bluetooth Portable Speaker

  1. Haris Abdul Rahman January 21, 2013 at 7:09 am #

    Still wondering how the actual sund quality is. The size is certainly portable. I just wonder if there is too many compromise being made here. Small portable speakers tended to sound tinny so far.

    • LiewCF January 23, 2013 at 2:32 am #

      I wish I have a good mic to record the actual sound quality for you. You may visit the nearby resellers to test the portable speaker. :)

  2. Mark R. Graves February 3, 2013 at 10:19 pm #

    Nice review – but I think I would have put a wadded up paper towel in the protective bag for the water test (just to be safe). But, glad it worked.

    • LiewCF February 8, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

      Thanks for the suggestion. I will be more careful next time.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    [...] SEE MORE: Review: Jabra SOLEMATE Wireless Bluetooth Portable Speaker [...]

  2. Congrats to 2013 Women's Month Giveaway Winner! (Jabra SOLEMATE) by @LiewCF - September 7, 2013

    [...] Thanks to all the participants and engagement in the 2013 Women’s Month Giveaway. We have a winner now! Congratulataions to Faheem Iqmal for winning the RM699 Jabra SOLEMATE wireless portable speaker (see review here). [...]

  3. Review: Boombot REX Wireless Portable Speaker by @LiewCF - September 7, 2013

    [...] I recommended Jabra Solemate portable speaker. Boombot REX is smaller in size, rugged, good sound quality, and cheaper. Now, I would recommend [...]

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