November 27 2013 – Today we take a look at the Solemate from Jabra. This is “the go-anywhere, do-anything portable speaker with massive sound that lets you take your music everywhere.” which is available as of today for an MSRP of $199.99 (US). However looking at street prices, it can be currently bought in Canada for $159.99 at The Source (right here) and for our US readers it can be purchased for$149.99 on Amazon.com – we do recommend searching around a bit for the best price. For the purposes of this review we will be considering this as a product with a cost of $160 and our conclusions will be based with that price in mind.
The Company: Headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark their website tells us this about the company –
Jabra is a global producer of innovative headset and speakerphone solutions. We employ around 875 people and we have sales offices all over the globe. We enable effortless communication for mobile users, office-based and contact center employees in all parts of the world.
Our brand, Jabra, is about empowering our customers. We recognize the tremendous potential inherent in technology. It can set us free and empower us to accomplish amazing things, on our own terms. Jabra’s products harness this technology and enable their users to work, live and play on their own terms. Always connected, always on and always ahead of the game.
The Product: This is simply a speaker albeit with a ton of features. One side of the unit features an integrated subwoofer, and the other side features dual tweeters. The main selling point from Jabra seems to be its ultimate connectivity. Music can be played through a Bluetooth connection providing a wireless experience, or through a typical 3.5mm audio cable (ear bud headphone size jack on both sides), or for the simplest case through USB connected to a PC. The Solemate can also be used as a speakerphone when paired to your Android or Apple iOS device.
The Solemate comes in high quality packaging – a very nice see through box with a handle. In the Box we find the Jabra Solemate speaker itself, 1 AC charger, 1 USB cable for charging, a 3.5 mm audio cable which is neatly tucked into the base of the unit,1 durable sound bag, 1 quick start manual, 1 warranty leaflet and 1 warning leaflet. If first impressions count for anything in tech gadgets these days, Jabra has delivered one of the most aesthetically pleasing packages we have ever seen.
Features and specifications: Jabra promises up to 8 hours of music battery life, a range of 33 feet and 40 days standby time. Charging time is 2.5 hours and is achieved by a Micro USB plug either via an included AC wall plug or a USB cable plugged into a PC. The unit is 6.77 inches long, 2.52 inches wide and 2.75 inches tall, it weighs 21.5 Oz
All the accessories are included in a container in the base of the package and can be seen above. The box includes Jabra Solemate speaker, 1 AC charger, 1 USB cable for charging, 3.5 mm audio cable,1 durable sound bag, 1 quick start manual, 1 warranty leaflet, and 1 warning leaflet.
Performance/output: We don’t have aural measuring tools at our disposal so we can only give our observations. First up we ran through one of our favorite rock albums of last year One Bad Son (by the band of the same name). The clarity of the mid and high notes was incredible especially on the vocals. Crystal clear is the phrase that comes to mind. Next up we wanted to throw in some heavier rock bass so we went right to Led Zeppelin IV and When The Levee Breaks. Bonham’s earth shattering bass pedal is impressive but could use a little bit more of a punch – in fact this is the only con of the device in our opinion. Same observation for songs like War Pigs by Black Sabbath. Keeping that in mind the sound the unit does produce is insanely good for it’s price and the Solemate will be a staple in the business trip suitcase from now on.
Aside from the sound which really should be the main consideration for a speaker everything else was top notch. A sturdy anti-grip sole gives the unit a nice aesthetic appeal. Volume up and Volume down buttons on the top of the unit make adjusting volume easy. The secondary main feature of the unit which is to use it as a speakerphone worked fine, but for us its all about the music it pumps out!
Owners of the unit at Amazon are very satisfied and give it a 4.5 out of 5 rating. Having said that we present our conclusion and rating below.
Verdict: 5 out of 5 Rich and powerful sound make this the little speaker that could. At the current price of $160 it is a must buy and is worthy of a “Best Of T-Mak World” honor.