Cult Of Mac’s Awesome 2012 Advent Calendar: Day 23 – Big JamBox



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.

Bigjam 03

What possible gadget could be worth writing about on the day before Christmas? For me, it’s something that I will actually be using tomorrow (Christmas Day) to help me get through the familial ordeal now that I have given up drinking: It’s Jawbone’s Big Jambox, a music and movie-lovers best friend.

The Big Jambox is a great little device, but it is feeling its age, with many louder, better-sounding rivals now on the market. And its best feature – its neat faux-surround-sound-creating Live Audio – knocks off enough volume during processing to make it too quiet for movie and TV-watching purposes.

Enter the Big Jambox, a bigger, louder version.

I watch all my TV and movies on an iPad 3’s amazing Retina screen. some of my friends have giant TVs, but they also have giant houses, and those big screens are far enough away that my iPad actually makes for a bigger picture when propped on the bed in front of me. Plus, the iPad has a higher-def screen than any of their oversized TVs.

Connected via Bluetooth to the Big Jambox, movies and TV shows come alive. You still need to crank the volume all the way up (or you can use a cable and — unlike the little Jambox — you don’t lose the Live Audio), but the surround sound really envelopes you. Sound effects crash in from seemingly outside the room, and more than once I have had to pause the video to check if that was the neighbors banging on the wall, or just part of the soundtrack (it has been both).

For music, too, the Big Jambox is fantastic. It’s not as portable as its little brother, but it’s totally portable enough to be used anywhere in your home or garden. If I was more popular, I’d say it rocks my roof-terrace parties. As it is, I like it for its big bass and clear reproduction, even when I’m sitting alone on my roof terrace. It drowns out the traffic drone from below.

Is it worth $300? For that money you can get much better wired, mains-powered speakers, but the Big Jambox really does fill a niche of its own – the great-sounding, portable, battery-powered speaker niche.

To quote the great philosopher Ferris Bueller – if you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.


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