Since its introduction in November 2010, Jawbone's Jambox has done what few products in its space have: remained relevant. While we've since seen various iterations of the Yves Béhar design, from Big Jambox to our very own CH Edition Jambox, the portable speaker and speakerphone has become the benchmark by which all portables are measured—at least aesthetically. Three years in, they've updated just about all aspects of the product's design—smaller, lighter, better performing, and even less expensive. The all-new Mini Jambox sports a seriously slimmed-down profile and sleek matte finish and is nothing less than impressive at first glance.
Once users get past the size of the speaker—and its undeniable sexiness—you'll immediately notice its resemblance to that of its bigger brothers. The Mini features Jambox's signature grill and geometric-inspired side panels, with the same simple top and side button configuration as before. Like the other Jamboxes it offers flexibility and customization options as well as the handy speakerphone. The design continuity creates a reassuring sense of familiarity, making it easy for anyone with a Jambox to immediately get the music going. One new feature we love is that up to eight devices can be paired with the Mini—with two able to connect simultaneously to share control.
Performance-wise the Mini is stronger than past versions—even at half the size. We found it to be more than capable with a range of genres and bands, from Daft Punk to T.Rex. One pet peeve is ours is that many portable speakers tend to sound great at either low or high volumes. The Mini sounds great at both low and high volumes, allowing for use in range of environments—not just parties. Weighing in at just nine ounces, it's very easy to toss in your bag or your pocket.
To add a touch of craft to the industrial device, Jawbone signed on LA-based designer KILLSPENCER to hand-make custom Mini Jambox cases. A thin combination of leather and nylon is used for the single slab case, which reminds us of old school eyewear cases. Both the one-off cases and the Mini Jambox are now available from KILLSPENCER and Jawbone, respectively. The Mini Jambox comes in many colors and sells for $179. We expect to see limited editions and exclusives soon. Both the Jambox (at a new lower price) and Big Jambox remain to complete the family.
Images by Josh Rubin