Last month, just before Christmas, you were introduced to the HMDX Jam right here in this very column. This month, it is time for the reviews to start coming out, and let me tell you, it has been an outright joy checking out these personal, portable sound machines. Read on to find out why.
As a general rule when testing products, especially when it comes to gadgets that should be relatively simple to operate, I forgo the instruction booklet and just jump right in. The way I see it, a simple device ought to be simple to operate. In short, if the interface requires too much effort or too many steps, the end user will eventually lose interest in trying to make it work every time he or she wants to use it. This is one of the categories where the HMDX Jam shines.
The Jam looks uncomplicated because it is. This little (2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5”) blue wireless speaker has an on/off switch, a play/pause button, and one button each for volume up and down, and that’s it. The only other features on this unit are about as straightforward as they get - there’s a clearly labeled micro USB (which is just about universal on personal electronics these days) for charging it, and a 3.5mm hole labeled “AUX IN” for hooking it up to non-Bluetooth devices.
After just over an hour, the Jam was ready to jam. Pairing the Jam with the device of your choosing is easy. Simply, turn it and the Bluetooth from the transmitting device (smartphone, laptop, tablet, etc) on, type in the Bluetooth passcode (0000), and that is it. Seconds later you are rocking out.
Speaking of rocking out, that is exactly what the Jam does. For its initial test, I figured the new Soundgarden album would be more than adequate at exploring the limits of the Jam, and found myself dumbfounded at what I heard. Loud, crystal clear music burst forth from the diminutive, horizontally mounted speaker and filled the room. Only at the absolute upper limit of its volume range did the music get a bit distorted.
Now, after living with the Jam for a month and running everything through it from Action Bronson, to Mahler, to Dave Brubeck, I can tell you without a doubt that this is easily one of the coolest personal gadgets I’ve ever had the pleasure of testing. One of my initial notes about the Jam was this: “I've not been this impressed by a new gadget in a very long time - probably since my first iPod. Listening to the new Soundgarden album from my phone right now, and I cannot believe the clarity. I am going to have to get a couple more of these for Christmas gifts.” Which I did. You’re welcome.
For the low, low price of $49.99, or lower, depending where you shop, I challenge you to find a better sounding, more compact Bluetooth speaker. If you happen to be the manufacturer of one, send it to me so I can be even more impressed. If a device of this nature was on your Christmas wish list and Santa did not see fit to fill your order for whatever reason (we’re not judging you, I swear) you might want to consider getting one of these for yourself. You can do so by clicking here or heading to your local Bay Area Best Buy. \m/
Full disclosure: This speaker was provided at no cost for the purpose of testing/reviewing. To think otherwise would be silly.