Mini Jambox speakers play to smartphone lifestyles

Sep 04, 2013
A man uses a Jawbone UP fitness wristband and its smartphone application in Washington on July 16. Jawbone on Wednesday set out to keep in tune with mobile lifestyles with a stylish, powerful wireless speaker as easy to carry around as a smartphone packed with digital music.

Jawbone on Wednesday set out to keep in tune with mobile lifestyles with a stylish, powerful wireless speaker as easy to carry around as a smartphone packed with digital music.

The San Francisco-based firm unveiled Mini Jambox as a slim addition to its line-up of speakers that synch to smartphones or tablets using Bluetooth technology.

"A lot of speakers in the market don't lend themselves to being easily carried around," Jawbone audio product management senior director Tim Pryde said after pulling a Mini from a suit jacket pocket.

"If the best camera is the one you have on you, then the best speaker is the one you have on you."

Members of the Jambox team spent months experimenting with blocks of wood to find an ideal size and weight for the Mini, which is about half the size of the original Jambox but boasts louder volume and improved audio clarity.

Mini weighs in at nine ounces (255 grams) and measures 154 mm long, 24.5 mm wide, and 58 mm tall.

"This is about as small as you can get," Pryde said. "It's comfortable to grab and it's light."

Mini was priced the same as the original Jambox at $179 for its debut at .com and was to hit the shelves of real-world shops in North America this month and then roll out international in October.

A Big Jambox tailored for uses such as large outdoor gatherings was introduced last year and sells for $299.

Big Jambox measures 10 inches (25.6 centimeters) long, 3.1 inches (eight cm) wide and 3.6 inches (9.3 cm) high and weighs 2.7 pounds (1.2 kilograms).

"The Mini is as light as a can of Red Bull and fits in a clutch purse or a pants pocket," Pryde said.

"We believe Mini Jambox will allow you to have those spontaneous moments like sharing a YouTube video on your with your friend."

The wireless speaker market has been flooded with competitors since the original Jambox launched in 2011.

The San Francisco firm known for fashionable earpieces for smartphones crafted its trademark blend of art and engineering into an "intelligent wireless speaker."

Renowned industrial designer Yves Behar has helped Jawbone make its mark with wireless earpieces, speakers and fitness-tracking UP bracelets that combine fashion and sophisticated compact technologies.

"Our goal is to make products that revolve around people's lives," Pryde said.

"Understanding how you sleep with UP; having a better phone experience with a headset, and now a speaker that is with you all the time."

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