Customer Review

33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good speaker but outscored by the competition, 17 Oct 2012
This review is from: Jabra SOLEMATE Portable Bluetooth Speaker -Black (Electronics)
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This is a chunky, very heavy (620g) and well made Bluetooth speaker. Design features included a neat integrated 3.5mm jack lead stored in the base of the unit and three large control buttons - volume up; volume down; battery status/hands free - well placed on top of the speaker. The Bluetooth connected seamlessly with my iPod and laptop and the range is good around the house although limited outside (but this is a flaw of Bluetooth technology in general, not the speaker).

The sound is good and it will fill a room, but the bass relies too much on bass boost support and on bass heavy songs it just sounds a little too forced. The battery lasts for approximately 9 hours with the volume at 75% and it takes about 2 hours to fully charge it.

Ultimately though I have to compare this speaker with the Braven 650 Bluetooth Speaker (the price of it goes up and down but at the time of writing it costs the same as the Jabra) which outscores it in a number of areas. The Braven is more compact and nowhere near as heavy (370g) and in the two most important areas when considering a portable speaker - sound quality and battery life - the Braven beats this hands down. It delivers the same volume of sound but it handles bass much better - it sounds natural and unforced - and it has a battery that lasts 16-17 hours. Additionally, the volume buttons allow you to skip between tracks and you can also charge a mobile phone from it, features that the Solemate does NOT have.

Whilst this is a decent speaker, there is a better speaker in the same price range (at the time of writing) available and for that reason alone 3½ stars is an appropriate rating.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 28 May 2013 00:35:08 BDT
Last edited by the author on 28 May 2013 00:46:39 BDT
golfa says:
Wow the brevan is like £50.00 more expensive and looks like something I took to school on the 1980s.....it's like saying an upgraded elegro is better now would you buy one if it was triptronic or zero carbon emissions lol naaaaa...oh let's take the brevan camping..what if it gets wet or sand gets in it ..how will we attach it to the inside tent hanging loop errrrr..oh let's take the solemate lol...

Posted on 2 Aug 2013 16:44:58 BDT
Jake says:
I actually bought the braven 650, and then a friend told me he got a solemate and raved about it. I got a solemate to try it....I actually kept both, I use the Braven at work and for business trips, and the solemate for "fun" at home and on the weekends, the beach, etc.

Areas where I give the edge to the Solemate: I think the solemate has better volume. It gets louder. Also, the solemate is water and shock resistant, the Braven is not. The solemate comes with a dry bag to keep sand and heavier splashes of water from damaging the speaker, the Braven does not come with that. I think the solemate is more solidly made. The volume buttons on the top of the solemate are much easier to find and use, the sound buttons on the Braven are tiny and you have to hunt for them. In terms of overall sound...I actually think the solemate has more punch to it, and better bass. Definitely gets louder. The solemate also has a nifty little feature to store a cable for connected non BT devices, right in the bottom of the speaker, the Braven does not have that.

Areas where the Braven is better: Its lighter, a little smaller, which makes it a little easier to carry. Great clarity of sound in the Braven. Absolutely no distortion when the Braven is at max volume (which does occur on the solemate) which makes me wonder if Braven just made a decision to keep the volume lower so there would be no point where there was distortion. But even at a notch below top volume before any distortion occurs on the solemate, its still louder. Braven is a nice design, looks very professional. Other big plus for the Braven 650 is 20 hours of battery life, and the ability to use it to charge your smartphone if you need to. Also, the Braven has both a line-in and a line-out, so you can daisy-chain multiple speakers for more sound. Can't do that with the solemate.

So which is "BETTER"? I think it really depends on what you are looking for. If you want durable, louder, better (in my opinion) bass - something that can sit out on your deck and not worry its going to get ruined, or even take to a sandy beach, the solemate is a great choice. If you don't care about daisy chaining speakers, if you don't care about being able to charge a cell phone with it - if those features don't mean anything to you, or at least are not as important as durability and what I think is slightly better sound - then get the solemate.

If you care primarily about the longest battery life, the ability to charge your cell phone, smaller / lighter, and you don't really care too much about taking it to the beach or getting it wet, then get the Braven. It sounds really good.

Like I said, I think both are really good and I kept both because I like them both very very much. Its hard to go wrong with either choice.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Nov 2013 20:39:46 GMT
Electro says:
Great review JG - thanks!
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