Jabra’s newest speaker, the Jabra Solemate Mini, has the same great design as the original Jabra Solemate but offers a lower price and has a smaller footprint. Great for listening to all kinds of music, at under $100 the Solemate Mini is small but has plenty of soul. It is a great option for anyone looking for a portable audio experience.
Here’s what Jabra has to say about it:
WIRELESS SPEAKER THAT’S GOOD TO GO: Despite what your eyes might tell you, the Jabra Solemate™ Mini packs two powerful speakers and a battery which gives up to 8 hours of playing time – for music, movies and games.
TAKE IT ANYWHERE – EVEN OUTDOORS: Resilient and ready to rock, the Mini is dust and splash resistant, and the all-over rubber coating protects it from the scrapes and bumps it might meet on your travels.
NO STRINGS ATTACHED: Jabra Solemate Mini takes wireless speaker sound to a new level. Connect it to any device using Bluetooth or NFC, and control the Mini from across the room (or tent or yurt or bonfire or boat…).
COLORFUL CALLS: Available in multiple colors, the Jabra Solemate Mini can also be used as a speakerphone. So you can share phone, PC or tablet conversations in glorious technicolor!
This speaker has the same oval shape, quality feel and thick rubber sole that is immediately reminiscent of an athletic shoe. In addition, the bottom of the speaker houses a 3.5 millimeter to 3.5 millimeter patch cable for those times when you want to make a physical connection between the audio source and the speaker itself.
Unlike the original Solemate, which remains one of my favorite Bluetooth speakers, the Solemate Mini include NFC- Near Field Communication- which allows you to pair an audio source to the speaker by simply touching the two devices together for a moment. Obviously this won’t work for something like an iPhone or an iPad since Apple has not seen fit to include NFC in their current models but it will work, and make things even quicker and easier when starting out, if you are using an Android device that has this feature built into it.
The packaging is simple but presents the speaker in a rather nice manner. Slip the cover off and there it is sitting inside the inner box.
Pull the speaker out and you are presented with a quick visual showing just how easy it is to start using the Jabra Solemate Mini.
Pulling the cardboard insert out reveals the scant accessories included with the speaker. There is a USB to microUSB charging cable and some paperwork. No bag for carrying the speaker is included and there is, sadly, no loop for connecting a wrist strap. To my mind the inclusion of one or the other would have been great and the lack of both is a misstep. A speaker this small and portable needs to be designed for use on the go and a wrist strap and carry bag are a central part of that.
What is included is a 3.5mm to 3.5mm patch cord for physically connecting the Jabra Solemate Mini to an audio source. Stowing the cable in the bottom of the speaker is a carryover from the design of the original Solemate.
It is a unique approach to including a cable and is a unique touch that is pure Solemate. And while the cable is relatively short it is more than sufficient for those times when you don’t want, or cannot, use Bluetooth.
Controls and buttons are kept to a minimum. On one side there is a power toggle, the 3.5mm input and a microUSB port for charging the speaker. To the left of the microUSB port is a microphone opening. Yes, like its big brother the Jabra Solemate Mini can also function as a Bluetooth speakerphone. This is an Omni Directional microphone with a noise filter the promises to enhance call clarity by eliminating background noise from the office. It also includes a mute function so you can mute/unmute the microphone directly on the device. The quality is fine but I would not recommend this for use in, for example, a Boardroom. For that I would look to Jabra’s dedicated Bluetooth speakerphones.
On top of the speaker there are just three buttons- volume down, play/pause/call and volume up.
The simple button layout is one of the features I like the most on the Jabra Solemate. It offers all the functionality one might want from a Bluetooth speaker but the ease-of-use that makes enjoying your music on the go… enjoyable.
In order to keep the buttons to a minimum Jabra designed the center button so it offers a variety of functionality. A few moments learning how to make full use of it is time wellspent.
The speaker takes about three hours to charge and offers about eight hours of music or talk time. This will, of course, vary depending upon such factors as the volume at which the music is played.
A small power indicator displays the general battery status of the speaker.
The two 1.4” drivers are visible if you look through the front grille. A 3.5”-long by 1.4”-tall bass radiator sits on the back. The result is a big sound that won’t disappoint if you want to take your tunes on the go.
I have always been taken with the design of the Jabra Solemate so I was positively inclined toward the Solemate Mini from the start. Fortunately the speaker lived up to my expectations and delivers far bigger sound than one might expect from a speaker this small. It definitely is up there with the likes of the UE Mini Boom and the MiPow Boom. No, it doesn’t offer the option to use two speakers as a stereo pair the way the UE Mini Boom does but I honestly don’t see many people going out and purchasing two Mini Booms and making use of this functionality. (For that price I would encourage people to purchase the UE Boom or something of similar size and power.)
The color offerings, unique design and excellent audio of the Solemate Mini come together to create a sub-$100 Bluetooth speaker that is definitely worth your consideration if you are in the market for a new Bluetooth speaker! Learn more here.
What I Like: Smaller than the original Solemate but still offers great sound; 3.5mm cable stows in the bottom; Available in four bright colors; Impressive sound; Doubles as an effective speakerphone
What Needs Improvement: No bag or wrist strap included
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample