The market is full of wireless speakers of all shapes and sizes. At Play3r we are contacted daily to review them and most of the time we have to refuse because they are just the same thing over and over again with nothing special to make them stand out from the crowd. With the Jabra Solemate Mini, I was a bit dubious at first because of how they restrict the full potential of some of their products, unless you use their app, however with the Solemate Mini, it was not required unless you wanted the Dolby certified audio playback (which can be configured using a third party EQ anyway). So I decided to take the plunge and to be frank, I was glad that I did.
The little speaker had incredible audio playback for such a small box – especially at medium volume levels where it produced some clear and crisp low, mid and high tones. It filled a large room and surprised even my colleagues as to how well it played back any genre of music thrown at it. That said, at higher volume levels some distortion was present around the lower tones, but the mid and highs still sounded great.
The tiny noise maker also boasts an 8 hour battery life, of which I got around 7 hours, which is still pretty decent considering its size. This is partially down to the low power Bluetooth – which again could be a problem if you phone is not compatible – although Jabra have also considered that and added a 3.5mm port and a short 3.5mm jack which hides very well on the base of the speaker.
One thing that did really annoy me was the music the device plays when you first turn it on, whilst it’s waiting to connect and when it has low battery – the latter of which decided to wake me up in the middle of the night because I forgot to turn it off. If there was a way to disable this and stick to an LED indication system, it would be much better in my eyes. There is also the negative in that you cannot control your music playback with the device, something you would expect for a £80
Overall I am thoroughly impressed with the Jabra Solemate Mini. It is such a small speaker, yet surprising has great audio quality at medium volume levels, making it ideal for when you are on the beach, in the kitchen or office – made even better by the long battery life. Sure it has poor audio playback at high volume, but you wouldn’t really use a speaker of this size if you wanted to play music that high. The connectivity is great and the inclusion of NFC and a 3.5mm jack and supplied cable makes it perfect for a portable speaker you can just chuck in your bag and not have to worry about connectivity issues later. So, for all these reasons I’m happy to admit that I was wrong in being dubious about testing this product, in fact I’m glad to say this is by far my favourite product to come from Jabra, so here, have an award!
Great audio quality and battery life for its size, but distorts at high volume and has annoying built in sounds when turned on and low battery.
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