Mini is definitely an apt name in this case, with the Solemate a genuinely dinky 125mm in length, 53mm deep and 61mm in height! This is proper ‘palm of your hand’ technology, and if portability is seriously high up on your list of requirements, then the Solemate Mini should be off to a great start already! The Solemate doesn’t sacrifice size for durability, though, with its sealed case and rubber coating specifically designed to be used in environments that aren’t always great for electronics (i.e. the beach!).
Outside of its diminutive size, the Solemate is packing in all of the usual features we see from this type of product. Bluetooth and NFC are both included for easy wireless connectivity, and a 3.5mm input is also included for Ye Olde devices that still deserve a look in, too! A built-in battery makes the unit entirely portable for up to a maximum of 8 hours from a single charge. Impressively, the Solemate can also last up to 90 days without a charge in standby mode – perfect for the forgetful among us! Finally, a built-in microphone allows calls to be taken without the rigmarole of disconnecting Bluetooth and reconnecting when done, which is always a nice feature to include.
The use of two drive units means the Solemate plays in stereo, whilst a built-in bass radiator helps to round out the bottom end. Small speakers will always have to contend with throwing out less bass than their larger brethren, but that’s not to say they have to give up completely. Clever use of technology can go a long way in helping to make a fair fight between the heavyweights and the featherweights.
Listening from a Samsung Galaxy S7 via Bluetooth and from the Tidal app, the Solemate Mini gave a solid showing, of what it’s capable of. Radiohead‘s latest, A Moon Shaped Pool is another late-career masterpiece, blending many of the styles of previous releases but always managing to sound fresh. Ful Stop is the first track to truly ‘rock out’ on the album, its hypnotic groove building into a full-on band explosion at the halfway point in its six-minute length. The Solemate Mini managed to keep up nicely with the action, keeping the many threads together and making things simple to follow. It certainly sounded like a larger unit than it is, giving a more substantial bass than expected given how small it is.
The same could be said for the debut album by Dutch duo, Weval. Full of wobbly synths and big basslines, the Solemate should have been much less capable than it was at getting the pair’s musical message across. You Made It (part 2) loping bassline and drums are a highlight on the record, and its impact wasn’t diminished here.
There are of course caveats: the bass is slightly ‘one note’, the mid-range is a little bit sucked in, emphasizing the top and bottom frequencies more than the mids, but it’s probably fair to say that the Mini wasn’t designed for critical listening. In the settings it’s likely to be used in, its ability to kick out music with the clarity and at the volume that it can is a huge plus point, certainly one that outweighs its minor downsides. Highly recommended for those looking to get out and about in what’s left of our British Summer!
To find out more about the Jabra Soulmate Mini, click here.
Author: Chris, Liverpool store