he edict was set. The wife threw down the gauntlet and declared, "I want to be able to listen to my iPad kind of like we do with the iHome dock we have in the bedroom." Well, that got me thinking about the types of solutions availble to comply with that request. Using Airplay with our entertainment center was an option, but a bit too cumbersome and inconvienient, especially if one of us is already watching TV. Another clock/radio dock that accommodates the iPad was another choice. Choice number three was a dedicated speaker system that leveraged Bluetooth. Off to the Apple Store I went.
Looking over the choices, I came across the Ailph Jambox. The Jambox is a small (about the size of a wireless home phone handset, except a little thicker), rectangular box that comes in several colors (Blue, Red, Black, Blue, and Grey). Ailph claims the box can output up to 85 decibles of sound which is right in the middle of the sound output of an average motorcycle and a rock concert. The sound is generated by a pair of ultra domed speakers capable of both low (woofer) and high (tweeter) output. Based on my experience thusfar, I can vouch that the output from the Jambox can fill up a 25' x 19' room very nicely.
Connection to the Jambox is performed via Bluetooth. Pairing with the iPad was quick and painless. Sliding and holding the power switch on the side of the Jambox puts the device into pairing mode. A lovely voice tells you the state and status of the box. Upon a successful pairing, that lovely voice confirms that there is a connection and then you're good to go. On the iPad, a small icon is displayed in-between the Bluetooth symbol and the battey percentage meter.
How does the Jambox sound? I am certainly no audiophile but I do appreciate good-sounding music. In terms of loudness, the Jambox is capable of getting quite loud without signifcant distortion of sound. The device is able to pump out a surprising amount of bass as well. The official specs of the Jambox have the Frequency Response at 60 Hz - 20 kHz, a pretty respectible figure considering the size and power of this little box. I played several types of music genre's on the Jambox (some iTunes purchased 256kb AAC's and some 320kb MP3's) and all sounded fine at various sound levels. Only at the extreme most-upper volume levels did the sound start to sound a bit muffled.
The Jambox comes with a mini USB cable for connection to a host computer as well as charging with the included AC adapter. Aliph claims a full charge can product 10 hours of continuous playback depending on the sound levels. While I have not pressed the Jambox, I can say that device battery life does quite well on continuous play that myself or my wife have put it through.
One of the very cool features of the Jambox is its ability to connect to a host computer to change various settings (i.e. Multiple BT connections) and apply new/additional software updates to the device. Everything from 3D "Live" sound, voice calling, SIRI access (when connected to a iphone 4s), and much more can be added at any time. All you need is to install the MyTalk installer and then navigate to the MyTalk page in your browser when the Jambox is connected via USB to your computer. Once recognized, the Jambox can be updated very convieniently thru the web interface.
At $199.99, the Jambox is not cheap. You can probably find it on Amazon for a bit cheaper. However, for what you get in terms of sound quality, and portability, the price can be well worth it if you have a specific use-case for a device like this. There are probably better sounding speakers (more expensive too) but like everything else, whether or not the Jambox fits your needs is totally subjective. For my wife and how she uses it (in the living room, in the bathroom while getting ready, etc.), the Jambox has been a great purchase and she absolutely loves it. Based on your needs/wants, you may too. Take a trip to a local Apple store and try this puppy out. You may decide to walk out with one.
Aliph Jambox - $199.99
As an avid tech fan I look forward to sharing my tech experiences both personally and professionally with those that have similar interests and passion for technology.