Sunday, April 28, 2013

It just has to be bigger on the inside…



Last Christmas, Lavie gifted me with a cute little Jawbone JAMBOX unit.

I thought it was pretty cool. It uses a Bluetooth connection to join from your supported device and provides significantly better sound quality than most “on-board” device speakers do.

But then I use and enjoy the latest Apple ear Pods that came with my iPhone 5 so I was skeptical on just how much use I would get out of.

Turns out Lavie knows me better that I do as the answer to that turns out to be “a lot.”

My use of it started out simple.  I synced it with my iPhone 5 and left it on my bed stand. At night going to bed I would play it with my Naturespace app playing on a timer to fall asleep to relaxing sound loops. The sound quality was so full and rich it provided a great immersive experience. Some of my favorite rainstorm and wind-blowing-in-the-tree loops sounded like I was right there. Since I wasn’t wearing ear pods, I could fall asleep without care.  So with the Wave Alarm to get me up in the morning and Naturespace to lull me to sleep, the bedside digital clock I’ve had for years got removed and went into the garage-sale box.

About a month later, I was finally able to get Lavie interested in watching a DCI Banks series I had enjoyed on PBS. Only it has long-past run. Fortunately I found it still available on a PBS streaming channel and we watched it on the laptop…but the sound quality from the laptop speakers wasn’t quite as nice as desired. So I synced the little Jambox up to the laptop’s Bluetooth and the sound was totally super.

Lately I’ve been now hauling it to work with me each day. Sure, I could connect my iPhone to some spare pc speakers with the mini-plug but the sound from them just doesn’t compare to that coming from the little box. It really fills my cubicle space up with the Naturespace sound loops or tunes from the iPhone library, but because it is so rich, I don’t have to crank it up loud at all and worry about disturbing my fellow cubicle mates or even turning it down/off when incoming phone calls roll in.

The only drawback was the loud “syncing” speaking dialog and sounds when it would establish the Bluetooth device connection.  That was really annoying.

While poking around on the JAWBONE site looking for a new headset a few weeks ago, I took a chance look at the Jambox page and found their MyTALK page. Turns out, you can register for free and then download upgrade software packages to your device that really expand the feature sets. First I upgraded (over USB wire) the firmware for my Jambox. Then I was able to customize a bunch of settings, such as disable the paring vocalizations (this is called Silent Mode) that were irritating me. You can also load different voices if you like the vocalization but just not the voice itself. There are a variety of female and male voices with different accents to pick from. There are also some “apps” that expand features such as using it as a speakerphone to name just a few.

Maybe if I read the manual that came with it I would have figured this out sooner, but if not, and if you do have a Jambox unit, I really encourage you to check out the MyTALK features and easily expand the capabilities of the device.  That’s really the point of this post, to tip off other users of a Jambox who might not have uncovered this ability to update and customize the internals of their device.

It isn’t the only Bluetooth portable speaker device on the market, but it has awesome sound and is very high-quality and solid. And there is just so much high-quality sound pack into that little bitty box, you would swear it must be using Time Lord technology…


Claus V.

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