Since 2006, Jawbone's been making noise-canceling bluetooth headsets boasting modern design and military-grade sound. This is not one of those. This is the Jawbone Jambox -- a wireless bluetooth speaker -- and it's what happened when the company decided to let the music out. Functionally it's almost exactly the same as a Jawbone Icon, down to the pairing process, and MyTALK upgradable software platform, but instead of a tiny mono earpiece you're getting a stylish portable speakerphone with a 3.5mm input jack and some serious stereo potential. We've had it playing for several hours now, and while it's not going to be the life of a large party even at maximum volume, it pumps out a terribly impressive amount of clear, room-filling sound for its size. If you pick it up or set it down on a table, you'll feel the vibrations nearby.
You can't quite tell from this angle, but that stainless steel grill wraps around an airtight enclosure made of polycarbonate infused with glass, which houses a pair of full-range drivers and a microphone up front and a "moving-wall passive bass radiator" around back for some extra low-end goodness. We're told this last was quite the innovation, which didn't impress us much until we were told what Jawbone put inside the radiator to ensure mass and rigidity: the unit's 800mAh lithium-ion battery. Speaking of juice, Jawbone tells us the unit's good for about eight hours of continuous playback at 75 percent volume. You'll be paying a good bit to get this designer toy pumping out your jams, as any of the black, red, blue or silver units will run $200 at Best Buy and the Apple Store when they hit November 16th, but if you've been aching for a modern, handheld ghetto blaster, this is definitely one way to go. PR after the break.
Update: As some have pointed out in comments, a number of the ideas here aren't actually new -- you can find a very similar portable Bluetooth speaker (down to a patent-pending "BassBattery" and a $200 price) in the Soundmatters foxL v2 with Bluetooth.
Update 2: As it turns out, the foxL v2 isn't exactly a competitor, it's an ally of sorts, because the Jambox is a collaboration with the same Dr. Godehard Guenther who invented the original device. "JAMBOX leverages the core analog acoustics that made FoxL great," says a representative, but with numerous improvements: Jawbone's noise cancellation and Bluetooth know-how, a thicker, stiffer speaker enclosure and a Yves Behar design.