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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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Colour Name: Black|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The first thing to get out of the way is the design of these speakers.

They are in fact modelled on a Doc Martin boot.

This may divide opinions; some will love it, while others may write off the Solemate for this reason alone. I shall try to be objective, in the full knowledge that the styling alone may be the deciding factor for many. If the styling is not to your taste, I would suggest considering the Braven 650 (or one of its siblings) as I also have one of these, and have found it excellent, and which I shall use as a point of comparison. (Braven 650 Portable Wireless Speaker - Silver Aluminium)

The Solemate is marketed as being tough, dust and splashproof. It certainly feels well built with a black matt soft touch finish, steel grille, ridged rubber sole and carry loop. It is also quite heavy, and somewhat larger than the Braven (610g, 172mm x 64mm x 70mm VS 350g, 159mm x 64mm x 45mm).

Inside the case there are 3 speakers; two smaller and a larger central speaker. On one end there is a fabric grab strap, and on the other the 3.5mm audio, micro usb, off-on-Bluetooth multiswitch. On the top are three flush buttons for controlling the device. A clever design feature is the inclusion of a 3.5mm to 3.5mm connector in the style of a yellow boot lace which is stored in a groove in the sole.

The raison d'etre for speakers: Sound. Fortunately, the quality is excellent, with a very full sound. All frequencies sound well balanced, except that the bass seems somewhat emphasised. The sound was both louder and of better quality than the Braven 650, with no distortion evident, as there was for the Braven at full volume. However the sound is slightly directional, which was not a problem with the Braven. There was no difference in the sound when the speaker was inside the carry case.

The Solemate claims 120dB at 0.5m. I'm not sure how Jabra got this figure as it is the equivalent of standing next to a jet engine. As a commercial pilot I can assure you that this little speaker is not THAT loud! It is however loud enough to fill a room.

An unexpected and novel feature is that the device talks to you. When you turn it on it plays a (slightly dubious) jingle and you are instructed to turn on the Bluetooth on your phone. When it connects to your device, it tells you. It's a completely unnecessary, yet a really nice feature that illustrates the thought that has gone into the design.

In terms of additional tricks; you can connect it to your computer as a USB speaker, or with the 3.5mm cord. It will work as a handsfree speaker for phone, Skype, Gtalk or other VoIP, although only in Bluetooth and USB modes as the 3.5mm jack is output only. However, unlike the Braven, there is no full size USB to allow charging of other devices, which disappointing to see. The battery is also only rated at `up to' 8h, where the Braven is `up to' 20h.

In the box you will get instructions (very brief - it's very easy to setup and use), a 1 year warranty card, a micro USB charger, a USB to micro USB cable and a water/dustproof carry bag.
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Colour Name: Black|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
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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VINE VOICEon 16 October 2012
Colour Name: Black|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Jebra Solemate speaker is a funky device. I really like its quality, simple style and functionality.

The Solemate speaker has a solid feel, and weighs nearly 600g. It fits in the palm of my hand, and has a rippled base which looks like the bottom of a rugged boot or trainer hence I guess the name Solemate. The product has good quality sound for its size, and worked best with the volume on the source device (Player) turned up to close to maximum.

General operation/set up
The Solemate comes with very brief operating instructions. On one end there is a three position on/off/blutooth switch, the charging socket, connector socket for a player and two tiny indicators for battery and and blu tooth status. On the top are two volume buttons and a button which makes the device give verbal info. E.g. `battery full' or `battery low'. On the other end there's a nylon/cloth loop which is pinned in two places and gives the impression of a quality finish. The Solemate could easily be carried using two fingers in the loop.

Charging/battery life:
The Solemate is charged via a small (micro) USB socket the kind used on many current mobile phones. The device tested was supplied with a charging cable, but had a European two pin plug socket, so was charged using an equivalent cable with the same connector but UK three pin plug. It took around 2-3 hours to charge the first time. When turned on the device makes a short booming sound and the small battery indicator light illuminates green/red. Turning off the Solemate and powering down produces a booming noise which reminded me a little of the Homer Simpson `doh'. The Solemate voice is deep, masculine with an accent (American?), for some it maybe be an irritation and unlike bossy sat navs does not appear to have an alternative voice. After several hours connected to an ipad playing the sound on a video the Solemate was still saying the battery was fully charged. It was recharged for a longer period up to 4 hours second time round, and again gave 2-3 hours play at a medium volume.
Unlike other devices the Solemate can be used as a speaker and charged at the same time.

Speaker connections:
Cable
The Solemate can be wired directly to a player using the supplied cable which has 3.5mm jack (like small head phone connector) plugs on both ends. One end attaches to the player, and the other goes into the speaker socket on the Solemate. The cable slots into the base of the Solemate when not in use.
Using the cable the Solemate sucessfully played an ipod Touch, Sony Walkman, ipad, iphone.

Blu tooth:
The Solemate will also connect to devices via Blutooth. The on switch is pushed up and held for 3 seconds, the sole mate gives verbal instructions to pair devices. A phone and an ipod paired without problem but an original ipad, pad2 and Android phone would not connect, although these have been paired successfully with other blue tooth devices. (At the time of writing IS6 has just been released with some niggles which might be a factor rather than the Jebra)

Having paired a device the distance of operation was much greater than expected operating at 10-12m with no walls in between, and at 5-10m with stud partitions walls between. However in some locations there was some interruption to the sound especially if a person walked between the Solemate and the player.

Physical features/accessories:
It is also supplied with a draw string bag which claims to be sand and water resistant The bag is made of water repellent fabric, however when held under a shower running at low pressure the inside of the bag was wet within a few minutes. I'd not take the device and an expensive player to the beach or any where outside where it might get damp and expect the bag to adequately protect it.
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on 1 January 2013
I used this with an Iphone4s and it produces excellent sound quality from such a small unit. Bluetooh connection is easy and reliable. There is also a built in Head phone jack plug option as well.
It has a microphone so if it on the desk you can have a hands free conversation as well.
The device is quite heavy, 650 grams ish but that goes with the great build quality. The battery has a good life as yet i haven't run it down in 3+ hours. Haven't determined if the battery can be changed out for a new one. I had a tivoli radio but the batteries keep dying, dispite changing them, so it now runs off mains power which is not good for use outside.
I steam internet radio, play podcasts and music in the garage / shed / greenhouse (at neighbourly volume) because the repoduction is clear as a bell. Hopefully this solution will endure.
The only irritationg thing is the greeting voice that tells you "solemate is connected" when it finds your device.
It is pricey but I'd say the sound quality makes it worth it.
Dispite Amazon's usual value, I've seen this for £99 in a high street shop.
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on 1 June 2014
Handy and better-priced than some competitors.

Good sound: warm, rich, good bass, sparkly trebles and powerful mids.
Easy peasy to set up and get going
Decent volume
The carry bag is a nice touch and good that you can use it as a cover with no loss of sound quality
Great design and the 3.5mm lead fitted into the base is a great idea
Solid, robust - and better than several others at a higher price (eg I would go for this over the Bose)

On the down side it's not light (about 1kg), and at that level you have to think twice about it as a travel companion.
The main downside for me is that sound begins to distort once you get to about "7" on the scale - I've tried lowering input at source level as well as on the speaker and it makes no difference.

Ultimately went for the Minx Go, about the same price but even better sound.
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on 9 September 2014
Many others have detailed the technical spec, bells and whistles of this Jabra Soulmate speaker. I just want to say I really love it. During the summer I've spent a lot of time in the garden and having music from my iPhone library keep me company has been excellent.

Apart from the sound quality and ease of use I particularly like the protective bag that comes with the unit - a really thoughtful touch. As I've been creating a lot of dust, and there's been a few spots of rain on occasions, it's been good to know that my superb Soulmate has been protected from the elements.

Thoroughly recommended!
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Colour Name: Black|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have been using the Logitech Wireless Boombox for a while and it is a great sounding unit, so thought this would have a job living up to expectations.

However, I am pleasantly surprised. It looks light but has a good weight and feels rugged and well constructed. The base looks like the tread of a boot, but this is an improvement over the previous Jabra offerings as it helps it keep still instead of vibrating off the table.

The unit easily paired with my phone, and tells you when it is paired in a nice tone. When switched on you hear a nice vibrating tone to let you know its on. When its connected via Bluetooth you hear "Soulmate is connected". You have a separate volume control on top of the unit so you can alter the sound from either the unit or your device (when using the buttons on the unit, the iPhone volume slider moves to coincide with a higher/lower volume. The overall volume is loud but probably not as loud as claimed.

At the base is a lead to connect to an headphone out socket on any device. This looks like a yellow lace and therefore continues the shoe styling. There is also a sound bag to keep it in when you are out and about. You get a USB lead for charging and a main USB lead in case you do not have a computer to charge it from, but the plug is a 2 pin shaver type, so you will need an adapter to use it.

The big test is sound. Sound overall feels OK, it has a good bass for the size of the unit and high notes are ok, but not brilliant. When compared to the Logitech mentioned above which offers a better bass and higher clearer notes, it feels flat. However, they are for two entirely different markets. This is not for keeping in one place, it is a small portable speaker system that can be taken anywhere because of the compact size.

If you want a compact portable speaker then this would be ideal. If you just intend to keep it in teh house, then look at the Logitech Wireless Boombox which I think gives a crisper sound at a lower price.

Which one do I prefer? I keep one inside, and take this with me when going on picnics.
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on 2 January 2014
Bought this for my 22 year old son for Christmas. Was concerned it was going to be too big but when it arrived I was shocked (and pleasantly suprised) at how neat and compact it was. More to the point, my son is thrilled with it and the sound seems very good, not at all tinny. Sorry review not more technical but it may help someone!
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on 24 August 2014
This really.isn't bad, its no replacement for a hi.fi (even a cheap micro hi fi sounds better) but its bassy, connects incredibly easily to anything bluetooth and is loud. Mids are tinny, but totally expected that, it is very small after all. Bought the soles.to.go.with it which are fun too.
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on 16 April 2013
I bought this to serve me during a full 5 month ski season in the alps and it's been flawless in every situation i've put it into so far.

It's small size has been a great advantage in getting it around, from entertaining guests in a spacious chalet to carrying it out to our back-country kicker in -3 degrees for beers and jumps it is perfect. It's heavier than it looks but this seems only natural once you have heard it... It doesn't sound like a light or flimsy device, it's actually reassuringly heavy and feels solid and very well made when you handle it.

The only downside to owning this is the cheesy american voice that over-rides the music when the battery is low or another device has connected. I really like knowing when it's time to re-charge but I'd like to be able to disable this/change the voice/have more control over how often or soon a voice interruption would happen.

I've found that it is perfect when connected via bluetooth to an iphone but when watching films on a laptop the bluetooth has a slight delay and this won't work for lip-sync. The natural remedy is using the neat built in AUX connector on the base which has a direct headphone jack connection. This is great but you will find it is much easier to 'over-drive' the device without careful balancing of inputs.. for instance I found the best way to view a film in VLC player is to turn down volume from 200% to about 100% in the app, have the soulmate volume turned up full and control the overall volume from the laptop controls to keep it within it's maximum tolerances. If I do this it actually performs louder than when connected via bluetooth but you have to be aware that bass frequencies can quickly sound terrible if you don't keep an ear out for distortion... If I use full volume from the app and computer it sounds distorted at pretty low volumes on the soulmate.

Overall I love it so much that I bought one for my brother for his birthday and he loves it too.

Listen to it... if you need more bass then you really need a bigger unit, I also have Altec Lansing iM7 which is 4 time the size and delivers astonishing bass and volume but the soulmate is so close in terms of sound quality despite it's small size and price that it's hard to believe. Battery is great, design is innovative throughout... should serve me well for many years and I have no problem highly recommending to anybody.
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