updated 01:50 am EDT, Wed August 24, 2011
Improves tonal richness over Bluetooth
Jawbone's small-but-impressive wireless Bluetooth speaker Jambox has received a software update that adds a feature the company calls LiveAudio -- intended to increase the "three-dimensional" and immersive qualities of music heard on the device, giving it a "spatial richess" that more closely approximates the kind of ambient and nuanced experience of enjoying a live performance. The update is included in the Jambox Software Update 2.0 release on the company's web page.
The Jambox itself is a small, lightweight, portable unit about half the size of a brick that uses clever airflow management to imbue its output with richer bass than one would normally expect from a device so small. It operates wirelessly via Bluetooth and batteries and includes a microphone so that it can also be used as an on-the-fly speakerphone -- loud enough for conference calls -- or as a portable speaker for music, games, videos and more.
The unit particularly shines when listening to special "binaural" recordings. The LiveAudio effect only works when streaming wirelessly over Bluetooth, and can be turned on or off by pressing the plus and minus buttons on the unit simultaneously until the user hears a special tone.
In addition to the LiveAudio DSP update, the v2 software update and other downloads allow the unit to perform more "tricks" such as vocal battery announcements, microphone muting and quiet power on/off. "AudioApps" that can add AOL Radio, Pandora, ESPN and other types of audio streaming to the device without a hookup to a computer are also available via Jawbone's MyTalk website. The company promises to continue adding options and software to the Jambox over time, increasing its usefulness.
The update is free for existing Jambox owners and will automatically be included in new units. The Jambox itself retails for $200, and is designed to work with Bluetooth-capable computers, tablets and smartphones.