We all know that Jawbone sets the bar for Bluetooth speakers, but yet so many other companies are trying to throw their hat into the ring to compete with Jawbone and it’s Jambox speaker. The market is flooded with speaker after speaker all trying to make a name for themselves and to steal some of the heavily guarded market from Jawbone.
I personally enjoy having a portable speaker in my arsenal of gadgets. Not having to use my earbuds to listen to music when my surroundings don’t require it is something that makes my music so much more enjoyable. Recently we’ve been testing out the EDGE.sound from Cubedge, and I’ve put it through the ringer to see if this can stand up against the Jambox as well as justify the $150 price tag.
We previously mentioned the EDGE.sound when we first heard about their Kickstarter project and we were given the press release. We were excited to get our hands on it, and now one of us is pissed at me because I was given the opportunity to give it a try. Either way, we were eager to see where the Edge.sound would fall in this crowding market.
I honestly really love the design of the EDGE.sound. Visually it matches most of my decor and many of my already used gadgets. So having something that can easily match or just plain ‘ol fit in any surrounding is a great selling point. The rectangular and compact design makes it nice for tucking away when not in use, or just having a speaker somewhere where you really won’t have to worry about it. I was sent the black model, and it looks great atop my desk next to my iMac. It isn’t a bulky mess that hurts your eyes to look at.
The EDGE.sound is being compared heavily to the Jambox, and honestly, I welcome this design over the Jawbone’s offering. I am not a fan of the front speaker portion of the Jambox, so having the gray tinted metallic grate on the front instead of the a bunch of wonky designs pulls at the simple-design strings of my minimalistic heart. I enjoy nothing overpowering the rest the items that barely clutter my desktop. I personally set out to fill my house with items I enjoy looking at. I’ll shop at Ikea because they get design, and when browsing the latest in gadgetry, I’ll look for pieces that fit well with the whole of my electronic world.
The Jambox is slightly smaller than the EDGE.sound, but it isn’t something anyone would really moan about. The EDGE.sound is completely comfortable to take on the go. It’s a lightweight piece-of-cute that fits in your bag but also has size behind it so it can punch out some great sound. It does feel somewhat on the cheaper side when comparing to the Jawbone rival. I don’t think it necessarily is a crazy horrible cheap design, I think it could withstand a fall and not just shatter, but it does give off that feeling of being built cheaper. This isn’t directly comparing it with the Jambox, because it is a cheaper unit, but aesthetically I do feel it gives that first impression. But the look of the speaker makes up for it.
What sets it apart, in my honest opinion, is the little Bluetooth indicator light on the front corner. The semi-triangular chunk that was taken out gives this speaker a one-up over the Jambox. Cubedge isn’t trying to make some funky design, they are creating a small yet gorgeous difference, and for me, it makes all the difference.
On top of the EDGE.sound is your volume up/down buttons with the pairing button set in the center. On back you have your micro-USB charging port as well as the 3.5mm jack if you prefer a wired experience. Also on the back is one of the biggest gripes I had with the unit – the power switch. Sliding your fingers on the EDGE.sound, you are given a smooth matte finish that doesn’t really separate itself from a protruding knob on the back. It’s somewhat harder to grab ahold of when you aren’t looking directly at it, but not only that, it doesn’t stick out as far as it probably should. I like how it isn’t labeled which way is on/off, but I noticed that to be somewhat confusing when the battery finally died on the little bugger. I wasn’t sure which way was on, as I couldn’t remember from when it was working. Either way, I think give it just the slightest push outwards will help separate the power button from the rest of the smooth design.
The EDGE.sound packs Bluetooth 3.0, and as I’ve compared with other Bluetooth speakers that do not support 3.0, it does give a faster pairing connection with my iPhone. This probably isn’t going to be a deciding factor in anyones purchase, but I did think it was worth the mention. I do love the fact that it also remembers the last connected device, this was nice when I was using the speaker in my car, it would automatically re-pair with my iPhone when I was in range.
We all love design, but when looking to make a speaker purchase, sound is what will probably weigh heavier on the final decision. Cubedge’s offering is actually louder than I expected. When it comes to some of the smaller Bluetooth speakers, you get a lighter more mellow sound. The EDGE.sound pumped out a louder volume, but during this loud output, you did have some distortion, especially in heavier hitting bass songs. When you turned the volume up closer to the max output, you would really notice this problem.
I was somewhat disappointed with the sound quality overall, even though it produced a louder volume, it seemed somewhat flat. It had no character, and a fuller sound is something I really look for when finding a speaker to fill my lonely ears. If the quality of sound isn’t something you are really looking for, than this device will probably be for you. But if you are looking for a full and clear sound, packed with bass and balance, you might want to spend the extra $50 for a Jambox.
As far as the speaker phone qualities, the EDGE.sound falls short. I found myself being able to somewhat hear the person the other end, but I found myself having to repeat myself more often than I would like. This along with the overall poor sound quality is somewhat upsetting. I really wanted to like this speaker, the design is gorgeous, but the sound couldn’t match it.
For $150, the price is right for the EDGE.sound. Coming in $50 cheaper than the obvious competition, everyone should really want to jump on the Cubedge offering. The design is spot on, a cute sleek form, obviously taking cues from the competition, but setting it’s self apart, and standing out. I love the look and overall feel of the EDGE.sound. it’s lightweight and smooth finish just looks stellar when paired with anything else in my house. Easily a portable device, you can take it anywhere you go and you’ll know that it’ll power through with almost 10 hours playback time.
But, the sound, oh the sound quality, it just isn’t there. The lack of full bass unless you push the dial to 11 is sad, and if you push those limits you get a distortion that just doesn’t fit when matched with the price tag. I suggest giving it a shot, but if you have the $150 to spend, you will do yourself a favor by saving a tad bit extra and throwing your money at Jawbone. If a sleek design is what you are after, I honestly think the EDGE.sound has a one-up, but it all comes down to the sound quality…
More: EDGE.sound from Cubedge
Thanks to Max Borges Agency for the review sample!