Last week at CES, we caught up with Travis Bogard from Aliph to get the rundown on the Jawbone Jambox. You may know Aliph, and the Jawbone brand, as the makers of awesome Bluetooth headsets (like the Jawbone Icon,) but the Jambox is a portable Bluetooth speaker with built-in microphone that rocks for playing audio from your Bluetooth-enabled devices. That could be your phone, digital audio player, or anything else that supports A2DP. Even cooler, you can even use the Jambox to take calls.
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Aliph has made top-quality mono Bluetooth headsets for years, but the company has generally stayed away from the murky world of Bluetooth stereo. That changes with the Jawbone Jambox speaker set ($199.99 direct), the company's first foray into stereo. It's a small, battery-powered speaker that can play music from a wired or Bluetooth connection from your cell phone and also function as a speakerphone. It packs a surprising amount of punch for such a tiny device, and while it doesn't sound perfect, it's surprisingly good.
The Jambox looks like a cross between an Aliph Jawbone Icon ($69, 4 stars) headset and a brick. It's perfectly rectangular, with stark, straight lines. The top and bottom of the speaker are capped with hard rubber, and the metal grill between them wraps all the way around the body. The grill has a diamond pattern, evoking the look of Aliph's headsets. At 6 by 2.2 by 1.6 inches (HWD), the Jambox is a compact, if blocky, device. It's also surprisingly heavy, weighing 12 ounces.
Pretty much any modern smartphone or tablet device has Bluetooth built into it nowadays, and that means you can pair them to a speaker device to send audio wirelessly through a more powerful, louder unit. The thing is, those have been few and far between, and not very good. Aliph changed that with their newly-released Jawbone Jambox Bluetooth speaker. You can easily pair it with your phone, iPod touch, iPad, or any other device that support Bluetooth audio. It's a small speaker that you can hold in your hand, but manufactured in such a way that it provides fantastic sound, so you can stream audio to it from wherever you are in the room, no wires needed. You can choose from four colors, and the battery is rechargeable. You can get it from Best Buy or Apple for $199.
Oh, and of course, if you or someone you know needs a Bluetooth heads, the Aliph Jawbone is one of the best. These guys know how to make Bluetooth devices.