Bonnie Cha

Recent Posts by Bonnie Cha

Jawbone Unveils Mini Jambox, a Boom Box for Your Pocket

With its original Jambox Bluetooth speaker, Jawbone went small. Then it went large with its Big Jambox. So where does the company go from there? Apparently, smaller.

Today, Jawbone introduced the Mini Jambox, a Bluetooth speaker solution that’s meant to be carried with you all the time.

The speaker is about the size of a can of Red Bull, measuring 6.06 inches long by 2.28 inches tall by 0.96-inch deep, and weighing half a pound. It’s constructed from a single piece of aluminum and comes in nine different colors and five different grille designs. Jawbone says the speaker’s battery can provide up to 10 hours of continuous playback.

While the original Jambox was designed to enhance the audio experience of mobile devices, the company’s goal in creating the Mini Jambox was to offer people a solution that can accommodate our increasingly mobile lifestyles.

“As others have tried copying Jambox, their approach is just to make a louder version of Jambox. But a louder version doesn’t necessarily solve the problem we believe people are having today,” said Tim Pryde, senior director of product management at Jawbone. “Every day, we’re more and more mobile, and that’s where we see this opportunity to create a speaker that allows you to improve the audio experience of your devices at all times.”

I got a sneak peek at the Mini Jambox, and not only is it a beautiful device, it sounds good, too. The speaker pumps out an impressive amount of volume for its size. And it’s not just loud — the audio is rich and natural-sounding, not distorted or tinny.

But as impressive as the sound may be, there’s still a question of whether people are going to want to carry a speaker with them all the time. The Jambox Mini may be small, but it’s not that small. And it’s not exactly cheap at $180.

Pryde is betting that people will go for it. “We know that people are willing to carry really big headphones that are much bigger than this [Mini Jambox] all the time, so why not carry a speaker that is smaller, to have those spontaneous moments of listening to music in a park or sharing videos with friends?” he said.

The Jambox Mini is available for preorder today, and is expected to ship later this month. It will also be sold through Best Buy, Target, Apple and other retailers.

In addition to the Mini Jambox, the company launched its free Jawbone app for iOS and Android app today. With it, you can access your Spotify, Rdio and iTunes playlists, so you can stream them directly to your Jambox speaker. (This feature is only supported on the iOS app at launch, but will be coming soon to Android). The app even highlights music from up-and-coming artists, and you can also use it to customize the Mini Jambox’s Talk button.

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— Gitesh Pandya of comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”