It’s inevitable that any review of the Braven 650 portable Bluetooth speaker compares it to JawBone’s JamBox, and so will this one. Short answer? The Braven sounds better. Long answer? That’s a bit more complicated.
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I suppose that product meeting for the V-Moda Vamp went something like this:
Designer: Here it is! The Vamp case. It’s a metal case for the iPhone.
Boss: What the hell is wrong with you? That thing is huge. It’s an embarrassment to the good name of V-Moda. My god. With a box that size you could fit in literally anything. ANYTHING!
(Light bulb goes off over designer’s head)
Imagine a JawBone JamBox, complete with its cute combination packaging/display case. Now imagine that it has been shrunken down into a two-inch cube. Further, try to picture a box that has had the Bluetooth radio extracted and replaced by a high-end DAC (digital analog converter) and a quality headphone amp. Now, keep this picture on your head as you reach around and pat yourself on the back and hear the theme from Rocky in your head.
Congratulations — you have successfully imagined the NuForce Cube, whilst simultaneously engaging all three of your main sensory systems.
Pssst! You there, the one just about to buy that Airport Express for your AirPlay setup. Don’t waste your $99 on that plastic wall-wart. Come over here and I’ll sell you this nice white plastic AirPlay brick instead. How much? Well, seeing as it’s you, just $199, although it normally goes for $275.
Oh, by the way. It’s called the playGo AP1. You’re welcome.
What if I told you that you could buy a Bluetooth speaker than you would never need to charge again? “Charlie!” you would say, “Have you lost your mind? Have you been drinking again?” To which I would answer “No” and “Yes” respectively. Because such a speaker does indeed exist. It’s called the Rukus Solar, and it gets its power from the 620 million metric tons of hydrogen fused each second by the Sun’s nuclear furnace.
Custom molded headphones are — it turns out — pretty great. But what a pain to visit an audiologist and get silicone injected into your ear-holes. What if there was a fun, geeky way to do it yourself, in the comfort of your own home?
Thanks to SonoFit Eers, there is. I tested out the $300 PC250 headphones and found the fitting process to be kind of freaky and fun, and the results to be quite excellent. Read on to see just how they work, and how good they sound.
If you have been reading Ken Segall’s new book about Apple, Insanely Simple, then you’ll recognize the hallmarks of simplicity all over JawBone’s work. Even the e-mail containing the press release for its new speaker reads as little more than “Jawbone just released a BIG JAMBOX.”
That’s what it’s called. The BIG JAMBOX. And from its name, you know almost all there is to know about it.
Jean Michel Jarre might be laying off the lasers, the lightshows and the spectacular outdoor concerts, but he’s not letting his 63 years catch up with him: he has simply switched his ostentatious attentions to high-end iPhone and iPad docks.
The latest is the AeroPad Two, a 30-pin dock connector-equipped behemoth of a home stereo which could probably shake your house to pieces.
I don’t hate the iPad’s speaker as much as I used to. The rear-firing grille on the iPads 2 and 3 doesn’t sound that bad if you lay the iPad face down and let it blast its vibrations straight at you. But as most of us use the iPad to watch movies, or to listen to music while reading, this adequate-sounding speaker simply sends its sound off into the nothingness, hoping that a nearby wall might reflect a little of it back to your ears.
My current answer is a battery-powered Bluetooth speaker, but that’s battery powered. And heavy. The Amplifiear, on the other hand, is lightweight and requires no power.
Rogue Amoeba’s AirFoil started out as a way to stream any non-iTunes audio to your AirPort Express mini-router, back when AirPlay was still called AirTunes. Then it was expanded with a free iOS app which would let you stream music from AirFoil on the Mac to AirFoil on your iPod or iPhone, handy for hooking up to a stereo.
Now we have AirFoil Speakers Touch 3 for iOS, and it adds in proper AirPlay support, letting you send music from pretty much any iDevice you own.