I've mentioned before that Twelve South does a great job of design, not only on their products, but on the packaging as well. The BassJump comes in an attractive dark brown box that, when opened, reveals a bright red foam and cardboard frame holding the speaker in place. The aluminum sides of the BassJump are a perfect match for the unibody MacBooks, and the black perforated grill over the speaker provides a nice accent. Since the BassJump is made to be a portable subwoofer, Twelve South provides a small zippered case to hold the speaker and the USB cable.
The MacBook's sound system needs a way of piping the lower frequencies to the BassJump, so there's a driver that you must download and install before using the speaker. The driver includes a System Preference panel as well as a menu bar icon, both of which display an old-school analog VU meter (or two) to show the sound levels. The driver installation requires a reboot of your MacBook, but once the software is installed you're ready to roll. You just attach the BassJump to the MacBook with the included USB cable, enable the subwoofer through the syspref panel or menu, and then enjoy the sound.
In some cases, you may feel that the bass sound is too overwhelming. No problem! The system preferences allow you to adjust the crossover frequency and volume for the BassJump, or you can choose one of five presets (Classical, Default, Pop, R&B, and Rock) that optimize the BassJump for a specific music genre.
If you watched yesterday's TUAW TV Live, you saw and heard a demonstration of the BassJump. For those of you who didn't get a chance to watch it, I've put together a couple of short sound bites that illustrate just how much the BassJump adds to the sound quality of a MacBook (in this case, a MacBook Air). Both use the same short snippet of music and the same volume on the MacBook, and they demonstrate the difference the BassJump makes. I think you'll agree that the BassJump does an incredible job of providing the low frequency sounds that are missing from the built-in MacBook speakers. (Note: the sound snippets are best when listened to through earbuds or headphones).
Now we're going to continue a TUAW tradition and let one lucky reader win a BassJump. Remember, this device requires a MacBook (plain vanilla, Pro, or Air), so please don't enter unless you have a MacBook. The details follow:
- Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia who are 18 and older.
- To enter leave a comment telling us what kind of MacBook you own and what your favorite song is.
- The comment must be left before Saturday, January 16, 2010, 11:59PM Eastern Standard Time.
- You may enter only once.
- One winner will be selected in a random drawing.
- Prizes: Twelve South BassJump portable subwoofer (Value: US$79.99)
- Click Here for complete Official Rules.
The BassJump is also available at Apple Stores, so if you're not our lucky winner, you'll have the option of picking one up locally. Check out the gallery for some photos and screen shots.