By: Rahul Gupta, The Mobile Indian, New Delhi
Last updated : Saturday, August 24, 2013 - 17:50
Music for the soul as well as the masses.
Real 2.1 speaker setup
Good battery backup
Price could have been better
In the world of mobile accessories Jabra is a well-known player and in the past we have seen some really nice products from this brand. But as more and more players have jumped into the arena we have seen a lot of innovation from established players just to maintain their position in the market. Jabra is more of a communications enabler rather than just an accessory maker and that's the reason why the company believes in offering complete solutions rather than just another accessory.
Jabra Solemate is the latest product from Jabra that is a Bluetooth loudspeaker and a multimedia player combined. We got the Jabra Solemate at our test center for review, so lets find out what this Rs 10,990 (MRP) accessory is really worth.
Jabra is known for its appealing designs, which till now have been the biggest selling point for its products. Built on the same ideology is the Jabra Solemate as well. The speaker is simple in design, yet there are so many minute and unique details about it to make it great.
Solemate has a curvy rectangular design that accommodates its three speakers, which are the soul of the Solemate. The casing is built using sturdy plastics that have been treated with a rubberized coating for scratch and smudge protection, and gives it a matte finish that looks good.
The Solemate comes in black and white options so it is possible for color conscious users to choose one based on their device. The design of the speaker due to its front placement is uni directional. Although the speakers generate enough sound to fill up the corners of a room, it's still better to hear when it is directly in front.
The top of the Solemate features the volume control keys and the call connect/disconnect/battery level key as well. The two way pairing/connection and power key is provided on the right side of the speaker along with the charging port and the 3.5 mm key used for connectivity with non Bluetooth supporting devices with the use of wires.
Just above the power key is the charging indicator that lights up while charging and turns green when the charging completes. Also, there is the Bluetooth activity indicator that comes alive while the device is in paring mode.
The back side houses a bass radiator that helps resonate the sound, offering overall great sounding music.
Jabra's products are always backed with an idea and that what powers the Solemate as well. The Solemate is a personal music device that also doubles up as a hands free loudspeaker as well. But when you are in need of some big sound too there is no backings off as the volume levels offered by the Solemate are enough to host a little party at any place.
The cabinet or the casing of the speaker encloses a resonance chamber that helps in amplifying and improving the overall sound quality. The Jabra Solemate utilizes a 2 inch driver size based subwoofer that reproduces lower and lower octave of the Mid Range frequencies with full conviction. To support the subwoofer there are two Â¾ inch soft dome tweeters that offer high and the higher octave of the Mid range frequencies. The 9 watt digital three channel amplifier utilized in the Jabra Solemate is neutrally balanced, which means that the speakers reproduce generic sound which is unaltered.
The resonance chamber does full justice to sounds by enhancing bass and mid frequencies for a fuller sound, the bass radiator given at the back helps resonate the sound even more by offering an expandable chamber while at the same time the diaphragm acts as an additional speaker creating a low sound that adds on. All in all these there speakers do full justice to the sound being reproduced.
The loudspeaker functionality is enhanced by the Digital sound processor that helps reduce ambient sounds to a limit and offer better sounds to the receivers. Although being a loudspeaker the receiver of the call gets a feel of the distance between the speaker and the microphone but even in outdoors or noisy conditions the sound is clear.
The Jabra Solemate in terms of connectivity is just like any other Bluetooth speaker out there but with the added advantage of a loudspeaker for hands free communications.
The Jabra Solemate utilizes Bluetooth version 3.0 for easy connectivity between devices. Along with that it is capable of connecting to non Bluetooth based devices utilizing the 3.5 mm cable which is supplied with the speaker, and it sounds as good as it does on Bluetooth.
With the use of the Bluetooth media remote profile the Jabra Solemate makes sure that it moves to the call as soon as the mobile receives a call and continues the music once the call disconnects.
The performance, sound quality and battery
After using the Jabra Solemate for quite a few days now we are nothing short of impressed with the quality of the sound reproduced. But first things first, the Solemate is a really sturdy device. Especially with its shock absorbing rubber sole base it can handle accidental falls well. The Solemate comes with a carry bag that allows the speaker to pump the sound out but it never lets the dust or water in. Although it's not water proof but still the bag adds an additional layer of protection that one would love to have while using this speaker outdoors.
The sound quality offered by Solemate is great. One thing to be aware of is that the higher the bit rate of the song the better it sounds. The bass on lower bit rate songs, however, ties to overpower other frequencies. Overall, the sound is nice and balanced with clear highs, subtle mid's and deeper lows. The bass radiator design makes a big difference at higher volumes as it helps the air move more freely inside the chamber.
The battery in the Jabra Solemate is a standard non user replaceable battery that, as per the company, gives the speakers 8 hours worth of playback time when played at 60-70 per cent volume. Well, to be exact, we did not play the speakers for 8 hours straight, but over the 2-3 hours spread across 4 days that we did manage to run the speakers for, overall we got more than what was advertized. The charge up time varies between 2-3 hours using the supplied charger or any other smartphone charger. And one of the best things is the audio battery level prompts that you can get by pressing the action key on the top. The level of battery also affects how the speaker prompts the message. So if you have full battery the voice is peppy and energetic while the low battery levels result in an exhausted voice prompt.
Available in the market for around Rs 9,500 (MOP) the Jabra Solemate is a great sounding Bluetooth speaker that has enough features to put even bigger audio systems to shame. Its got a sturdy build, better battery backup and it can connect to all the audio players and mobile phones out there, either with Bluetooth or with the audio cable.
The Jabra Solemate gives clean and powerful sound with ample bass and vibrancy anyone seeks from a good quality speaker. And if you listen to decent volume levels you are in for a treat as it will last longer than your average battery powered speaker. The added weight of the speaker, which is about 600 grams, and the rubber sole, definitely help the speaker stick to the place and protect it from damage as well. Also, the retail packaging can be used to transport Solemate while travelling.
So the bottom line is that the Jabra Solemate is a great personal audio accessory that has no problems going out loud for a few more heads and it does full justice to sound. We loved the device and we recommend it to anyone who is looking for an all in one solution that offers Jabra's quality.