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The Jabra Solemate Mini was a drawing prize for a webinar I attended somewhat recently. A few weeks later I received a yellow Solemate Mini and was excited to test it out!
I’m very familiar with Bluetooth pairing: both cars have Bluetooth, prior to that we had a hands free Bluetooth device for my car, my running earbuds are Bluetooth, and strategically placed around my house are wireless speakers, so I know what to expect. I have several speakers I’ve accumulated over the years, and I’ve laid down some pretty good money for outstanding sound quality (I need to feel the soul of Led Zeppelin’s music in my bones, y’all; you can’t get that from crappy speakers), so I know what to look for and I know what to expect. This Jabra Solemate Mini has blown me away.
First, the packaging is great. The product arrived in one piece and snugly fit in a perfectly marketed and helpful case. Once opened, you realize that the Solemate Mini is in fact just as durable and compact as they advertise. When I turned the Solemate Mini on, not only is there a power indication LED to let me know it’s powered up, but the device audibly tells you it’s on. There is a forward facing speaker and a backwards facing speaker, so it creates this great omnidirection full sound and it doesn’t matter which way it’s pointing, everyone can hear the Solemate Mini.
I paired my iPhone easy-peasy. Just press and hold the center button on the top of the Solemate and find the device in the Bluetooth settings on your mobile device. There was no guess work because, again, the Solemate Mini audibly tells you “Solemate is connected.”
In all honesty, I can admit how impressed I am with the responsiveness of this Bluetooth Speaker. I’m used to a slight delay in any paired device, but the connection between the Solemate Mini and iPhone 5 is as instantaneous as I’ve ever experienced. It’s truly unlike any other Bluetooth device I’ve owned before. Even the streaming music quality, which when done over Bluetooth can lose some of it’s magic (and even in some cases sound like a warped tape–anyone with me here? I’m probably the last micro-gen to ever use tapes, but someone reading this has to remember when tapes would warp; that’s what poorly connected Bluetooth music sounds like!), but the Solemate Mini’s connection to my iPhone was strong and it performed amazing.
My husband used the NFC-enabled function since he has a Samsung Note 3 and the connection was identical. I will say, you need to put the Solemate Mini back into pairing mode. It’s not as ridiculously easy as tv commercials make NFC-pairing (just holding one device to another and magic happens), but it’s almost there. Push the center button again for pairing mode (I turned my iPhone Bluetooth off for good measure), and he held his Android to the Solemate Mini, and in a second we heard “Solemate is connected”. Again, quick, responsive, high quality sound. We loved it. Whenever calls come in over our phones, we take them right there hooked up to the Mini. Best sounding calls we ever hear.
If you’re not into Bluetooth or NFC, there is also an auxiliary input and a mini USB port for music “streaming” as well. You don’t even need to bring your own aux cable to the party, the Soulmate Mini includes it’s own aux cable in the base of the unit (see picture). Pull it out and snap it away whenever you need it or not. A charging USB cable is also included in the package. Since I normally listen to music or podcasts at my desk, I’ll plug the speaker in to charge on my laptop every couple of days.
We’ve taken the Solemate Mini on two trips and use it both outside and in the house. It’s robust, the battery life is good (obviously, since I normally keep it by my desk I don’t forget to plug it in too often), and as I’ve said a dozen times, the audio quality is terrific. I’ve been impressed with the standby battery life as well. I didn’t think it would make an entire week without a charge and still work, but it did. We weren’t using it a lot since most of the trip was in the car and, as mentioned, there’s Bluetooth there, but my expectations for standby battery life is pretty conservative, so I think this is a legitimate claim to a good product. Overall, I’m very impressed.
Jabra did great with the Solemate Mini. It’s a good product, easily portable, functional, and the colors to choose from bring a little splash of fun into your day. I’m thrilled I got this product as a prize, but knowing what I know now, I would most certainly pay the $69.99 Jabra has the Solemate Mini for on Amazon. The functionality and value is absolutely there. If you’re considering the Jabra Solemate Mini, I say go for it, you’re not going to be disappointed!