What is being reviewed?
Up for review today is the Jabra Solemate, a portable speaker with Bluetooth. The Solemate is currently available, priced at $199.99 and is touted as being the “ultimate portable speaker.” That being said, read on to find out if we think that ultimate description is accurate or a silly tagline.
Disclaimer: The Jabra Solemate was provided to GadgeTell for the purpose of this review.
- 3 front-facing speakers (2 acoustic tweeters and 1 subwoofer)
- 1 “proprietary” passive bass radiator on the backside
- Bluetooth and 3.5mm headphone jack connectivity
- Sweat, dust and splash resistant
- Built-in rechargeable battery with up to 8 hours of wireless music listening time (and up to 40 hours on standby mode)
- Voice Guidance for pairing, connection status and more
- Status Display for at-a-glance checking of connectivity and battery level status
- Measurements: 6.77 x 2.52 x 2.75-inches
- Weight: 21.5 ounces
- Included in the box: a carrying bag, 3.5mm audio cable and AC wall adapter
The Jabra Solemate, an item that could be considered yet another portable Bluetooth speaker. But on that note, I must say that I really liked the Solemate. That is not to say it is a perfect product, but aside from what I would describe as a really cool look — it has a good sound quality and a durable feel. Nonetheless, I did have a few small complaints. Before we dive into those, lets get into what the Solemate can do and what I liked.
To begin with, the look is nice. Of course, that is subject to personal opinion. I also liked that the Solemate has a durable feel. And while I didn’t put it through any drop tests, it sort of feels like it can handle a bit of bouncing around. The Solemate was a nice addition on a recent family camping trip. At up to 8 hours of listening time, it provided more than enough juice for a little bit of listening over the course of a few days and thanks to the included carry bag, we had a bit less to worry about in terms of water and or dirt. I should clarify though, the Solemate is splash-resistant.
The sound quality was good. I would describe it as being on par with, if not a bit higher quality as compared to similar offerings. Jabra has the Solemate priced at $199.99 and available in two colors — black (with yellow trim) and white (with black trim). I had the black in for review. A few other perks and points worth mentioning, the Solemate is capable of streaming over Bluetooth and can also be connected using the included 3.5mm cable. And nicely done, the 3.5mm cable is secured in the bottom — just in case you need it.
In addition to streaming audio (music and/or podcasts), the Solemate also works rather nicely as a speakerphone for your smartphone. The speaker has a “make call” button up top that can be used to answer and/or end a call. The make call button will also reject a call if you hold it down for 2 seconds. A double-tap will redial the last number and a press (when not on a call) will give the current battery level. In my experience, using the Solemate as a speakerphone worked well and I never had anyone complain. In fact, it made our bi-weekly editors conference call here at TechnologyTell a bit easier.
As to my complaints, they really are minor. The Solemate feels heavy. Granted it is only 21.5 ounces, but it still feels heavy when you pick it up. Still, trying to spin that into something positive, I suppose the extra weight was nicer in that it makes it feel sturdy and durable. The other issue was the charging. The Solemate shipped only with an AC wall adapter in the bag. And while I suspect that will be more than enough for many, I prefer a standard USB cable so I can charge using a multi-USB wall adapter or directly plugged into my notebook computer.
The bottom line
All said and done I like the Solemate. I like the sound quality, I like the build quality and I liked the way it looked. Simply put, I would happily and comfortably recommend this to others.
Product [Jabra Solemate]
Follow @GadgeTell on Twitter.