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Listening to music on my phone or tablet is something I do constantly. That’s why having a good speaker is always a must. Up until now, I’ve been using my phone speaker on full blast or hooking it up to a small 2.1 speaker system via the headphone jack. Of course, I’ve seen a few Bluetooth speakers before but I’ve always been a little wary about purchasing.
Bluetooth is a good technology but its range is still quite limiting. Over the past few days, I got a chance to try out a Bluetooth speaker from HMDX Audio called the HMDX Jam. It’s a singular stereo Bluetooth speaker that packs a fairly good punch.
The HMDX Jam is built to impress. First of all the retail packaging is quaint. It comes in what looks like a small jam or jelly jar. Other than the speaker, you get instructions/warranty info, a USB charger. The Jam is as small as an apple (see video) and it’s audio range is pretty decent. The Jam comes in 6 colors: green, orange, gray, blue, purple and red; we got green or Apple.
Since it’s standard Bluetooth, it works with any device that Stereo Bluetooth (A2DP) enabled. I tried it with my iPad 3rd gen and a Motorola RAZR Maxx; worked like a dream. As for the speaker’s battery life, the packaging says 4 hours but I got around 3 and a half hours worth of continuous music.
As you can see, it fits in the palm of one’s hand and is weighted perfectly. The bottom of the speaker has a sticky grip pad so the speaker won’t topple over or slide off a table. There are 2 ports, one for charging with a microUSB cable and another for a 3.5 line in cable. Yes, this works with devices that aren’t Bluetooth, they just need to be able to connect through its headphone jack to the Jam.
As for the buttons, there are 3 buttons and one toggle switch. The buttons control the volume, pause and play although it would be nice to also control skipping. What’s really nice is the button controls even communicate to 3rd party apps like Slacker, Spotify and Google Music. Some other Bluetooth speakers I’ve used only recognize the phone’s default music player.
As for the sound quality, I tried a few genres and volume levels. When I played jazz, I couldn’t hear the bass all that well until I turned up the volume louder than I wanted. But with a genre such as Dubstep, a genre that prides its bass, the louder I turned it up, the more distorted it got; I expected that.
It comes down to what are you trying to do, play music in the background for a party or just for lounging around? If it’s for a party, don’t expect anyone to dance because it won’t be loud enough or it’ll be distorted if you turn it up all the way. But for just hanging out outside, the backyard, the beach or even a dorm room or work cubical, this speaker is a perfect solution.
Sure you can go out and get yourself a Bose Bluetooth speaker but the HMDX Jam is a perfect solution for cost conscience buyers. The speaker’s got a fairly good range and the quality is very good for the price. I would recommend this product for anyone look for a small and portable speaker for music, podcasts and books on tape.