Big Jambox is like the original, only bigger. And better.
Macworld - Jawbone's original Jambox ( Macworld rated 4.5 out of 5 mice ) Bluetooth speaker is one of my favorite iOS accessories--it looks cool, it fits in your pocket, it connects simply, and it generates amazing sound for its size. But as Jawbone vice president Travis Bogard told me, "Sometimes, there are situations where you want more sound." That, said Bogard, is why the company made the Big Jambox.
At $299, the Big Jambox costs $100 more than its younger sibling; it measures 10 inches wide, 3.5 inches tall, and just over 3 inches deep, and it weighs 2.7 pounds. In other words, the Big in Big Jambox is relative--the speaker is big compared to the Jambox (6.0 by 2.2 by 1.6 inches and 1.5 pounds), but a far cry from huge. I can comfortably hold the Big Jambox in one hand to tote it around--though, as it lacks the thick, rubber padding of the original Jambox, I'm less likely to (literally) toss the Big Jambox into a bag.
You can pick one of three colors when purchasing a Big Jambox: There's black ("graphite hex"), white ("white wave"), and my favorite--and the version I tested--red ("red dot"). On top of the rectangular unit sit six buttons, each shaped to match its function: talk/Jambox (a circle with a J on it), play/pause (a play symbol), previous and next (left- and right-facing arrows, respectively) and volume down and up (minus and plus symbols, respectively). This range of controls is a decided improvement over the simple, three-button control scheme on the original Jambox.
The talk/Jambox button, as the slash indicates, does double duty. When you're paired with a phone over Bluetooth, holding down the button initiates voice dialing (or, in the case of an iPhone 4S, triggers Siri). A quick press of the button results in a spoken update on the Big Jambox's battery status.
On the right-hand end of the Big Jambox are a glowing Power button, a Bluetooth-pairing button, a 3.5mm (1/8 inch) stereo auxiliary-input jack (for connecting a wired audio source), a Micro USB port, and a jack for the included power adapter.The original Jambox used a sliding power switch; the new button works just as well--you hold it for a second or two to toggle power on and off--and the button glows to reflects charging and pairing status.
The dedicated Bluetooth button makes quick work of pairing the Big Jambox; I connected my iPhone, iPad, and Mac without difficulty. You can have two Bluetooth devices paired with the Big Jambox at one time, though only one can be actively connected and streaming audio. When you connect an audio source to the Big Jambox's auxiliary-input jack, that audio takes precedence over Bluetooth streaming, although you can still use the Big Jambox as a speakerphone.
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