Jabra Solemate

Its acoustics may not be great, but this portable speaker could still be the best thing to take along on a picnic
Rs 10,990
It is a fun, multifunction speaker, which has Bluetooth to connect your phone or MP3 player

Portable speakers are now an essential part of my travel kit. Yes, there is always a TV screen no matter where you go these days. But that does not mean it will play what you want to hear or see. And even if does, you probably did not travel to a holiday destination to stay cooped up inside a hotel room. It is not a crime to want some music while lounging on a beach. And, who goes on a picnic without some music?

I already have a very high-end portable speaker, with which I am very satisfied. But it is also very expensive and I would think a few times before plonking it on a sandy beach or moist grass. I wanted something tough and sturdy, and that’s why I picked up the Jabra Solemate.

It is a fun, multifunction speaker, which has Bluetooth to connect your phone or MP3 player, and an EP cable too, for older players that don’t have Bluetooth. The Solemate has a built- in microphone, so it can be used as a speakerphone too.

It is probably called a ‘Solemate’ because of its rubberised base, which makes it look like a shoe. But this is a good thing for a speaker that is meant to be tough. The ‘sole’ prevents it from slipping off tables and sunbeds. The speaker is designed to take some drops here and there, but I did not try to check out that claim. It comes bundled with a soundbag that is sand and rain resistant. The bag keeps dust away from the gadget and still lets it play out loud and clear, completely muffle-free.

It has three front-facing speakers and a rectangular bass booster on the rear. Its sound output is good, even outdoors. On Christmas morning, I carried it on my bicycle ride and the entire group had a great time as we played Christmas carols on it.

The battery can last about 8 hours of playback, so a full day at the beach is not a problem. On standby, it can easily last over a month. And the speaker can be recharged with a standard Micro USB charger.