It’s unlikely that the Jawbone Jambox will be shoved off its throne anytime soon; not necessarily because it’s the best-sounding portable Bluetooth speaker out there, but because it was here first, and it made a huge splash (in part because, yes, it sounds pretty good).
But I were to bet on a challenger, I might put my money on the smart new UE Boom. Not only is it ruggedized against drops and splashes, but it’s armed with two very unusual tricks.
Well, Jambox, move over: there’s a new king in town. We’ll be hard pressed to recommend you anymore after getting our hands on the JBL Flip, a Bluetooth speaker that has better (and louder) sound than the Jambox, at a cheaper price, and a killer trick up its sleeve: it’s also an external battery pack, capable of charging your iPhone on the go!
The Big Jambox is pretty much the rockingest portable Bluetooth speaker you can get, but at $299, it’s not cheap. If you don’t mind a couple of minor aesthetic blemishes, though, you can now get a Big Jambox for about the price of the regular Jambox: around $158.
The deal is being made over at All4Cellular, which is offering the Big Jambox speaker (refurbished) for about half off in Graphite Hex and White Wave colors. They might come with a few dents and scratches, but they’ll sound just the same and come fully covered with a 90 day warranty.
Rechargeable, portable, and built to live on or under your Mac or iDevice, the Sound Cylinder (SC) speaker is a first from audio maker Definitive Technology (DT), who usually focuses their acoustic talents on high-end home theater equipment.
Sound Cylinder by Definitive Technology Category: Wireless Speakers Works With: iPhone, iPod, iPad, Mac, or anything with Bluetooth Price: $200
But can Definitive Technology, with its years of experience engineering coveted boutique audio, create a portable speaker that usurps the top spot of the much-loved and most-excellent sounding Jawbone Jambox?
Owners of the Big Jambox are in for a treat. Just head over to the MyTalk page and administer a new firmware update. You ill be treated to two whole hours of extra battery life (in addition to the 15 you already enjoy) plus a host of genuinely hand new features.
This small Bluetooth speaker looks remarkably like the iconic Jawbone Jambox, arguably the most popular ultra-portable Bluetooth speaker on the market right now. And just like the Jambox, it can be used to stream music and make calls. It even comes in what looks like the same colors — or very similar colors — the Jambox comes in.
But look more closely, and you’ll see small cosmetic differences — because this isn’t the Jambox. It’s the Urge Basics Sound Brick, and it has one very big difference with the Jambox: it’s less than one-third the price.
Apple was on fire in 2012. Along with the incredible iPhone 5, we saw the first retina tablet and the pocketable iPad mini. This was also the year in which Apple let the iPod touch out to play, giving it features on a par with the iPhone 4S instead of using leftover components from Google’s leftover Nexus parts bin.
But not everything from Apple made it into our top ten. The Retina MacBook Pro, despite being an amazing machine, is still a laptop, albeit one with a hi-res screen and no DVD player. And the new iMac’s most interesting contribution to tech is the HDD/SSD Fusion Drive. Sure, it’s skinny, but who really cares about a thin desktop machine? It’s like making the world’s thinnest lawnmower.
Most of the rest of my picks reflect the fact that high-tech consumer electronics are now as utterly mainstream as the iron or the microwave oven. Sure, us nerds still love to play with the latest crap, and there will always be plenty of ill-informed consumers who are suckered into buying cheapo Android tablets, but these days gadgets generally Just Work, and the differences are in the little details.
That’s why we have fitness widgets alongside fancy portable speakers and implausibly good-for-the-price headphones.
So, should you be in the mood to read yet another end-of-year best-of list, carry on.
One of the better Yuletide traditions is the venerable holiday Advent Calendar, in which each day of December leading up to Christmas is marked off on a special calendar by opening its corresponding door to find a small gift, toy or chocolate squirreled away inside.
This year, we here at Cult of Mac decided we wanted to give our readers their very own Apple-themed advent calendar, filled with the year’s best apps, gadgets, stories and other curios. So each day in December, we’re going to lovingly peel back the door on the Cult of Mac 2012 Advent Calendar to reveal another delicious morsel, something really special that came out this year that we think every one of you should enjoy.
Day 23 is here, and today, we’re talking about JamBox’s bulkier big bro: the Big JamBox.
Believe it or not, Black Friday has already come and gone. Pretty soon the Christmas season will begin, and we’ll mark this midwinter festival by getting together with friends and family and continuing to drink and eat far too much.
Meanwhile, we also buy gifts for those same friends and family members, whether they want them or not. Luckily, we’re here to help, and if you follow our festive advice, your gifts just might make it into the “wanted” category.
From now until Christmas, Cult of Mac will be putting together holiday gift guys full of ideas for the special ones in your life, no matter what their interests or your budget. Today, we’re looking at gifts for people who are like, totally into their iPads. Totally.
The little Jambox speaker isn’t the loudest, or even the best-sounding portable speaker out there, but somehow it is the most popular, and it’s probably the most portable. And it’s certainly the most cute.
I have one and I love it. Sometimes, though, you just need more. And that’s the idea of the Big Jambox, the best-named product of the year. Is it just a bigger version of its little brother? Kinda, but not quite.