Jawbone's original Jambox wireless speaker for smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices was ahead of its time when it was\u00a0released in 2010. The Big Jambox is the company's next-generation\u00a0portable speaker.\u00a0The\u00a02.7-lb Big Jambox is significantly larger and heavier than its little brother, and Jawbone\u00a0says it's designed to fill\u00a0larger spaces with high-quality audio. Its battery should also\u00a0last\u00a0roughly\u00a015 hours\u00a0or 50 percent longer than the\u00a0original Jambox.\n\tThe Big Jambox has the same\u00a0signature-patterned metal mesh as the smaller version, and\u00a0it's clear\u00a0that both products are\u00a0made by the\u00a0same company. Some may\u00a0think the Big Jambox loses some of\u00a0the smaller Jambox's\u00a0chic sophistication and \u201cwow\u201d factor, but\u00a0I think Jawbone did a great job with the new version.\n\tA few cosmetic differences\u00a0are immediately\u00a0obvious. The original Jambox is surrounded by\u00a0two slabs of rigid, rubbery material that span the entire top and bottom. In contrast, the speaker mesh of the Big Jambox covers its top and bottom, and it has\u00a0a thinner slice of the same rubbery material on its sides.\n\tAnother photo of the original Jambox stacked on top of the Big Jambox.\n\tControls are located on top and on the right side of the Big Jambox.\n\tTo move the Big Jambox you need to grab the metal mesh, which flexes slightly when gripped, but you don\u2019t have to worry about damaging it; the sturdy stainless steel\u00a0shifts back into shape when released.\n\tAnother obvious difference is the presence of six buttons along the top of the Big Jambox compared to the three found\u00a0on its predecessor. The new keys are dedicated buttons for Previous, Next and Play\/Pause controls. A Bluetooth button on the side\u00a0makes for more intuitive pairing, and next to the Bluetooth button is a new DC port for charging.\n\tMy Favorite Things About the Big Jambox\n\tThe original Jambox had a single bass\u00a0output, but\u00a0the Big Jambox\u00a0has a pair of them that point in opposite directions to help reduce excessive vibration. Eight rubber feet\u00a0 on its base also further\u00a0reduce vibrations and\u00a0unwanted\u00a0movement. These design enhancements work very well: I\u2019ve seen the older Jambox literally move across a table due to vibrations when used at high volumes, but the Big Jambox\u00a0is rock solid even when blasting music at the maximum volume.\n\tMake no mistake, the Big Jambox is really loud. The original Jambox really doesn't work well in rooms packed with people or\u00a0in rooms with noticeable amounts of ambient noise, but the Big Jambox packs sufficient volume to power the loudest parties.\u00a0The Big Jambox produces vocals and high frequency notes very well, and its much larger size means bass\u00a0output is also\u00a0significantly better than the original version. The Big Jambox's size does impose a limitation in the amount of air it can move, however, so you shouldn't expect anything near the power of dedicated subwoofers.\n\tJawbone says it used equalization and multiband compression technologies to increase both the perceived volume and the quality of music playback produced by the Big Jawbone. That means that you probably won't\u00a0get audiophile-grade sound. Regardless, I enjoyed listening to the jazz and pop tunes I played on the Big Jambox\u00a0during my tests. Like the original Jambox, the Big Jambox can also be used as a speakphone for conference calls.\n\tA close-up shot of the controls on the right of the Big Jambox. From top to bottom: Power button, Bluetooth pairing button, 3.5mm input jack, micro-USB port for upgrades and DC port for charging.\n\tButtons from left to right: Talk, Play\/Pause, Previous, Next, Volume down and\u00a0Volume up.\n\tBig Jambox: Room for Improvement\n\tUnlike the original Jambox, the Big Jambox uses an AC adapter to charge. I appreciate the portability\u00a0of the\u00a0original Jambox and its ability to recharge via micro USB port, so the need to lug around an AC adapter for the larger Jambox is somewhat disappointing.\u00a0And though you can\u00a0fully recharge the Big Jambox in\u00a0two and a half\u00a0hours,\u00a0that seems like a long time to me; I wish it\u00a0took an hour or less to charge the device.\n\tWith the Big Jambox, Jawbone has decided to sell a carrying case as a separate product\u00a0for $49.99 from the Jawbone Store. And since the Big Jambox costs $400, you will definitely want to get\u00a0a case to protect it from dings and scratches, which pushes the overall cost even higher. The not-insignificant price tag\u00a0would be more palatable if Jawbone offered to sell its\u00a0carrying case at a lower price, say $20, if purchased along with the Big Jambox.\n\tThe rubber feet on the bottom are designed to\u00a0further isolate vibrations and reduce movement.\n\tBig Jambox: Conclusion\n\tJawbone crafted the Big Jambox to satisfy users who want an even louder portable speaker. The company\u00a0succeeded in this regard, and the Big Jambox is a\u00a0piece of art that's capable of raising a ruckus in just about every enclosed area and even in open spaces such as a parks or by the beach.\n\tFans of the original Jambox who are already pleased with its volume levels may have no reason to upgrade, but I recommend new users who\u00a0may not care about\u00a0the ultra-portability of the original Jambox consider the Big Jambox as a first choice.\n\tHowever,Big Jambox costs $299.99, and that's\u00a0a hefty price for a portable speaker. Factor in the need to fork out another $50 for the carrying case, and the total cost of ownership inches uncomfortably close to the $400 price of other, AirPlay-capable speakers such as the Audyssey Audio Dock Air and Logitech UE Air Speaker.\n\tStill, for users bent on getting the loudest, coolest-looking portable speaker available, the Big Jambox really stands out. The Big Jambox comes in the same Red Dot, White Wave and Graphite Hex styles as the original version.