We take two of the most competitive and popular Bluetooth speakers-and pit them against each other in an effort to determine which is the better option. Today’s match features the Aliph Jawbone Jambox against the Monster iClarityHD. Each device will be evaluated in 3 key categories including Hardware & Software, Construction & Interface, and Sound & Style. Each contender will be given a score from 1 to 5 in each category. The winner will be the device with the highest average score.
Round 1: Hardware & Software
In terms of hardware, both the Aliph Jabone Jambox and iClarity HD are fitted with 3.5mm inputs. The auxiliary 3.5mm allows users to connect virtually any device directly to either device. Moreover, both Bluetooth speakers are properly loaded with an accessible USB charging port for simple charging.
Yet one very clear difference between these Bluetooth speakers arises when we observe
the time of continuous play they can perform. On the one hand, the Jambox boasts of up to 10 hours of music while the iClarityHD is expected to bump for only 5 hours. Yet another hardware distinction comes to the fore when the iClarityHD noise cancelling microphone is compared to that of the Jambox. Of course, being one of the top Bluetooth headset manufacturers the Jambox mic is of superior quality and transmits your voice clearly.
One area in which the Jambox is clearly superior is in software. Being fully compatible with the MyTalk platform, the Jambox can be loaded with various apps, upgrades, and features. Among its many benefits, the platform allows users to select different voices and offers the LiveAudio app which essentially calibrates the Jambox to deliver more “lifelike” performance.
Winner: For the most part, the Jambox and iClarityHD are equally matched. But the distinctive software features, extended battery life, and superior Bluetooth microphone give the Jambox a slight lead in this category.
Round 2: Construction & Interface
Build quality is generally a good indicator of overall durability. If this is true, you can expect the Jambox to be around for a long time. Compared to the iClarityHD’s completely plastic construction, the Jambox features thick rubber caps on the top and bottom and a tough metallic body. The rubberized bottom of the Jambox prevent it from sliding around and keep it stable on uneven surfaces.
Pairing either devices with a Bluetooth compatible device is remarkably easy. Both speakers pair quickly and reliably with the push of a single button. Nonetheless, the Jambox wields a secret weapon–it can be paired with up to two Bluetooth enabled devices simultaneously, a feature enabled by the MyTalk platform.
In terms of navigation, both devices are simple to use and have clearly labeled controls. In another well fought category, the Jambox’s advantage is again very slight. The ability to pair to multiple devices is an impressive novelty that alone might not warrant a wind, but its the solid construction of the Jambox that really pushes it ahead of the iClarity HD. In this category, the iClarityHD delivers only the bare minimum.
Round 3: Sound & Style
This category has a clear victor. Its virtually impossible to deny the superior styling of the Jambox. With its modernistic design approach, the Jambox’s simple lines and solid colors make it immediately attractive. Because its function is not immediately betrayed by its design, I have found that this immediately gets people asking about its function.
On the other hand, the Monster iClarityHD looks decent but does not have the same allure of the Jambox. Its function is straight forward and it looks a lot like an alarm clock (never a good association).
In terms of sound, the Jambox knocks the iClarityHD out again. While the iClarity is definitely a good option, with loud and clear reproduction, it does not match the or surpass that of the Jambox. One of the reasons for the superiority of the Jambox in the sound category is that it is fitted with a proprietary passive bass radiator which enhances the bass response of the Jambox and gives the sound greater depth and detail. Like in the preceding categories, the iClarityHD only delivers the bare minimum and while its sound certainly of acceptable quality it is not immediately impressive.
Winner and Closing Comments
The Jambox consistently delivers excellent quality in every category we rated, making it the clear winner over the Monster iClarityHD. Of course, we do not rate these contenders on cost efficiency because the price tag of a device can often convince buyers to give up certain features in order to save a buck. While there is certainly nothing wrong with frugality, I feel it can be the source of bias. But in the interest of a balanced and fair evaluation, it must be said that the Moster iClarityHD is certainly a great value for the price point and while it may not stack-up against the Jambox spec-for-spec, it certainly makes it a much more viable option for a greater population.
However, if you are willing and able to spend the cash necessary to get your hands on a Jambox it will certainly be worth it.
Today’s winner by total average score:
Aliph Jawbone Jambox= 4
Monster iClarityHD= 2.33