Jam Hmdx Wireless Speaker

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The $50 Jam Plus version improves on the original Jam and it “parties in stereo” when you buy two.

Jam Hmdx Wireless Speaker

Jam Hmdx Wireless Speaker

Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of the Reviews team since 2000. He covers the range of devices and is a well-known reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He is also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Great Exodus and Lucidity. All titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Nook ebooks and audiobooks.

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Stood out from the rest of the mini Bluetooth speaker pack with a low price tag ($39.99) and some creative packaging: the speaker came in a “jam” jar made of hard translucent plastic, complete with a flip top.

Jam Hmdx Wireless Speaker

The affordable HMDX Jam Plus sounds better than the original Jam, has an attractive, fun design, and if you buy a second speaker, you can create a completely wireless pair of true stereo speakers.

No speaker capabilities; while the bass is somewhat improved, the speaker still sounds thin and distorted at higher volumes.

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Jam Hmdx Wireless Speaker

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With an attractive design, an affordable price and the ability to combine a second Jam Plus to create a left/right stereo pair, the Jam Plus is a worthy budget Bluetooth speaker.

Now the company is back with a new, improved edition, the Jam Plus, which costs around $50 and comes in several colors. The speaker is slightly larger than the original and also sounds slightly better, but its other selling point is that if you buy two of them, you can combine the two speakers and create a pair of left/right wireless stereo speakers. The Jam Plus is one of the first Bluetooth speakers to include such a stereo option and it certainly creates a better listening experience, although it doesn’t make up for the speakers’ shortcomings in the bass department.

Jam Hmdx Wireless Speaker

Design and Features The original or “classic” Jam is sold in six “flavors” — Strawberry, Grape, Blueberry, Blackberry, Apricot and Apple — referring to its different color options. This model avoids the fruit reference, but it comes in five different colors. Interestingly, the Plus is slightly larger than the original, but weighs a bit less (8 ounces vs. 9.6 ounces).

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The speaker is attractively styled in a fun way and looks like it’s aimed at tweens and younger tech users who might have an iPod Touch, for example (yes, the iPod Touch is aimed at a younger audience). It’s easy to pick up and carry from room to room, and although no carrying case is included for transport, you can use the plastic jar as a container.

Jam Hmdx Wireless Speaker

Like all Bluetooth speakers, the HMDX Jam connects wirelessly up to 30 feet away and works with all Bluetooth-enabled smartphones, tablets, and laptops/PCs. The rechargeable lithium-ion battery is rated to deliver up to 4 hours of wireless playtime, which is good but not great (your battery life will vary with volume level, so you might do better at lower volumes). It charges via USB and has an audio input for playing audio from non-Bluetooth devices.

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There is a switch on the bottom of the speaker that allows you to connect two speakers in “stereo” mode. Sarah Tew/

Jam Hmdx Wireless Speaker

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There are no speaker capabilities, but as mentioned, you can combine two speakers to create stereo. If you take a quick look at the instructions, it’s pretty easy to connect the two speakers (you set the switch at the bottom left for one speaker and right for the other).

HMDX also sells the rugged Jam Extreme ($59.99), which is “splash, drop and dirt resistant.” However, this model does not offer stereo pairing.

Jam Hmdx Wireless Speaker

Performance The Jam Plus sounds better than the original, with a bit more bass. Despite users’ high regard for the original Jam, I thought it sounded very thin. In contrast, this model just sounds thin, which is an improvement.

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With all of these mini Bluetooth speakers, I try to review them in their larger context. If an audiophile were to listen to them, he or she wouldn’t be too impressed (amazed might be a more accurate description), but mainstream users should be quite happy with the sound.

Jam Hmdx Wireless Speaker

The Jam Plus plays bigger than its size would suggest and its sound can be improved a bit by placing it close to a wall for reflection. It will distort with bass-heavy material, especially at higher volumes, so you’re best off not turning the speaker up and listening at more moderate volume levels.

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As I’ve noted in many of my reviews of small wireless speakers (and even some larger units), they offer no stereo separation. The good news here is that combining two of these speakers solves the problem. And by creating a wider soundstage, your music will sound fuller. The only problem is that the speakers don’t serve much bass, so the sound seems a bit thin. To be clear, almost all of these small speakers sound thin, although the Jawbone Jambox and JBL Flip (and JBL Charge) deliver noticeably more bass. The Philips SoundShooter is a slightly smaller speaker that retails for the same price (around $50). It offers double the battery life, a touch more bass and has speakerphone capabilities. But the Jam Plus looks like the more durable speaker.

Jam Hmdx Wireless Speaker

Jam Plus Portable Bluetooth Speaker In Grey At Gardner White

Conclusion The Jam Plus has some great plus points working in its favor. I liked its design, the speaker sounds better than the original, and you have the option to buy a second speaker and create a stereo. Oh, and at around $50, it’s pretty affordable.

There are plenty of other options to choose from, including the Philips SoundShooter and the more expensive JBL Flip and

Jam Hmdx Wireless Speaker

, which provides better performance. However, the HMDX Jam Plus is one of those products that may have few drawbacks (so-so battery life, lack of bass, no speaker function), but the sum of its parts makes it recommendable, especially for kids and teenagers.

Amazon.com: Jam Classic Wireless Bluetooth Speaker, Small Portable Speaker, Works With Iphone, Android, Tablets, Notebooks, Desktops, Ipad, Ipod, Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery, Great Sound, Hx P230bk Black

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Jam Hmdx Wireless Speaker

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