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.
Travelers, campers, heavy users, and those who spend a lot of time away from outlets know when you rely on your iPhone for work or play, it’s not making it through the day without at least one partial recharge. Especially with all the hip Vining and Instagramming we’re all do these days.
iCarrier Portable Dual USB Charger by New Trent Category: iOS Accessories Works With: iPhones, iPods, iPads, USB Devices Price: $68
For those who need a lot of portable power to-go, New Trent’s iCarrier, as the highest capacity portable charger they make, promises not just one smartphone recharge, but up to six. Six!
I devoted my iPhone 5 to iCarrier-only charging to see how well the big boy performed.
Yeah, that’s a bit of sarcasm up there in the hed; there’s obviously no lack of choice regarding Bluetooth speakers. This year’s CES exploded with Bluetooth, and it doesn’t seem a day goes by that a manufacturer doesn’t release another model.
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?
LAS VEGAS, CES 2013 – Apple accessory powerhouse iHome unleashed a mighty avalanche of products last night, the lion’s share of which was Bluetooth in nature. Highlights from the deluge include a Bluetooth version of the perennially popular iMH series portable speakers and the quirky iBT44, a Bluetooth boombox — not simply a Bluetooth-equipped speaker that some marketing guru has slapped the term with, but an honest-to-goodness, FM-equipped stereo circa 1983, only covered in rubber. Oh, and there was also a double-Lightning clock-dock. And Bluetooth headphones. And more Bluetooth speakers. And regular speakers.
We’re very stingy with our five-star ratings, and it’s even more rare for us to slap all five onto a gadget. So pay attention — because today we’re awarding the full five stars to the Logitech UE Boombox ($250), a portable, battery-equipped, eight-driver Bluetooth speaker that sounds absolutely astounding. In fact, the Boombox does a better job of rocking out than some non-portable, home systems costing much more.
Power! It’s the stuff I’m always hunting for in the halls of conventions, like the upcoming 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). For you see, when you’re multi-touching your iPhone 5 morning, noon, and night, a once-a-day charge isn’t going to cut it.
So this year, when I’m gadget-hunting on the floors of CES, in my bag I’ll definitely be carrying the Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation ($79). It’s tiny, looks great (more on that in a sec), and will charge a dying iPhone 5 up to two times. Yes sir, in my short time with it thus far, I reckon it’s already become one of my favorite new iPhone accessories.
We’ve mentioned Apparent’s Doxie Go portable document scanner a fewtimes in the past. The flexible, battery-powered scanner is a trusty tool for any mobile professional; anything fed into its maw can be turned into 300 dpi images on a Mac, iPad, the cloud — or Doxie can simply keep the scanned images for later download.
The new Doxie One, unveiled today, comes without the $200 Doxie Go’s rechargeable lithium battery — but at $150, it’s also considerably cheaper.
Wood is, indeed, awesome. Speaker makers have been using wood for years to wrap high-end speakers in, utilizing the highly resonant natural properties of wood for sound reproduction. Now, with the all the rage for tiny bluetooth speakers like the Jambox and the Logitech Mini Boombox, perhaps it’s time for something just a bit more, well, woody.
A long time ago, before this site was born, we reviewed the Altec Lansing BackBeat 906 Bluetooth headphones, and liked ‘em. Plantronics had their own identical version of the 906, as they had owned Plantronics since 2005 (the two companies parted ways about the time the 906 was released).
The Plantronics BackBeat Go ($100) is an evolution of the 906. Same principle — wireless (meaning there’s no wire conecting the player with the headset) music and calls in a compact form via the magic of Bluetooth — but in an even smaller and more svelte form factor. Should be even more fantstic, right? Let’s take a look.