The original idea behind the series of Bluetooth speaker articles and reviews was that there was supposed to be some sort of winner declared at the end. However, the more I got to know each of these marvels of modern technology, the more I realized that declaring a winner was going to be impossible. This isn’t to say that it ended in a dead-heat, because that’s not the case. It’s just that though superficially similar in regard to basic functionality, each unit had a particular feature or set of features that made it stand out to the point that each was in a field of its own, and here’s why:
- The HMDX Jam is a very cleverly packaged product that is both cute (it comes in a rainbow of fruit flavors, for example) and very good at what it does. If for no other reason, the HMDX Jam is a winner, because it is simply the best unit for the price. It can be purchased from QVC for $32.96, but you should certainly not ever pay more than the suggested retail price of $49.99.
- The Logitech UE Mobile Boombox appears to be the most serious of the bunch. Logitech squeezed a lot of sweet technology into the little $99 rubberized rectangle. Great sound, an amazing range of about 50 feet, and ten hours of playback make this unit a very attractive buy. The fact that it has a great (and I mean GREAT) speakerphone pushes it into a league of its own and makes it unfair to compare it to the others on this series.
- The JBL Micro Wireless would have easily won if the only criteria for winning was portability. This unit is the smallest and lightest of the bunch, yet the sound quality is pretty much what you’d expect from JBL. For $59, getting a loud, small speaker with the ability to be daisy-chained built right in is a thing of beauty.
- The SuperTooth Disco 2 is in a league all its own. It is the biggest, heaviest, and loudest speaker of the bunch, and it is the only one to house a (albeit, long-lasting) Ni-MH battery. It also has a set of buttons on top of it that can control most features of the music player on whatever device it is connected to. If the purpose of this series was to find the best wireless speaker to display like a music-playing piece of avant-garde art, the $99 Disco 2 would be it.
- The Braven 600 was chosen to be a part of this series to act as a high-zoot counterpoint to the sub-$100 class of speakers, and it did not disappoint. This $149 unit plays music, makes phone calls, charges other micro-devices, and can be daisy-chained to other speakers. The 600 pushes the envelope of what a Bluetooth speaker can and should do without sacrificing style or portability.
Much to my surprise, I discovered that getting to know each of these speakers was like getting to know new people. Each one has a personality and a set of traits unique to itself, and each one is worth getting to know. Having me decide which one is best, would be like choosing a best friend for a stranger. They all play music well, however, beyond that, it’s up to you which set of features you want and what price you’re willing to pay for them.