I remember back in the early 80’s when I got my first chance to try out the new Sony Walkman. When I saw the tiny little headphones it came with, I wasn’t expecting much. Before that I had only used the big over the ear headphones typical of the time. When I pressed play, my whole world changed. I couldn’t believe the sound coming out of those small headphones. That was a WOW moment that I will never forget. The JAM Voice may not give that same wow, but it is a great speaker for as small as it is.
The JAM Voice Portable has the following features and specifications:
- Alexa Voice Services
- Streaming music via Bluetooth
- Free JAM app with EQ
- Pair multiple JAM speakers together
- Battery life 4 hours
What’s In The Box
- JAM Voice Portable
- USB Charging cable
- Quick Start Guide
- Legal card/instructions
Bluetooth speakers come in all shapes and sizes. The JAM Voice is on the smaller side. If you’re looking for a speaker to set on your cluttered desk without taking up too much valuable real estate, this would be a good one to check out. It is so small that I was able to place it inside of an 8oz tumbler. It is available in either black or white. The top of the unit is speaker mesh with the Alexa voice service button directly in the middle. The front of the JAM Voice gives discreet access to the play/pause buttons as well as controls for volume.
The rear of the unit has a battery light, WiFi/Bluetooth light, and a port for charging the battery. On the bottom you’ll find a power button, WiFi/Bluetooth mode selector and a reset button. The overall design of the JAM Voice is very elegant and simple; most buttons are covered with stamped rubber giving the unit a very sleek look. The body of the unit I reviewed is gloss black. It looks great but shows every fingerprint and speck of dust. I would think the white version of this speaker would be a bit easier to keep clean.
Ease of Use
Setting up the unit is simplicity itself; I had no problems at all. Instructions are very well laid out and easy to follow. The only issue I found with using the speaker is that the power button is on the bottom. Every time you want to turn it on or off you must pick the speaker up and press the button on the bottom. Another issue that may annoy some is the auto-off feature when not in use, the speaker will power off after 1o minutes of non-use. The free JAM App lets you play music from Spotify, TuneIn, iHeart Radio, Tidal and your own music library. One note, the speaker only connects to 2.4GHz Wi-Fi so it will not be able to use the 5GHz band.
The app is very intuitive and easy to use, I have used some wireless speaker apps that don’t continue playing the music if you exit out of the app to answer a text or to look something up on the internet. The JAM Voice does not have that problem. You can use your smartphone as you normally would and it continues happily playing music in the background for your enjoyment. Ask Alexa a question while your music is playing, she will stop the music and answer you, and then your music will seamlessly resume when she is done. Very nice!
As previously mentioned, the JAM Voice is a very small speaker, roughly the size of a medium apple. It measures 3″ x 3″ x 3″ and weighs 268 grams. The small size of the unit does limit the range of sound that it is able to produce. Once the volume is turned up more than ¾ of the way, the speaker begins to buzz. For the best sound you would want to keep the volume at no more than half.
The JAM App does include an equalizer, but using it does not seem to produce any noticeable difference in the sound. I turned the bass all the way up and the treble all the way down, and did not notice any difference in the dynamics of the music. If you like to feel the bass, then this is not the speaker for you. If you just want some background music and don’t need to have the walls shaking, then this speaker would work just fine.
Alexa Voice Service
I went into this review never having used the Alexa voice service and not really expecting much. I won’t go into too many details in regards to the service, but I can tell you that I was really impressed. I asked Alexa about the weather, times in different countries, distances to other states, nearest pizza place, and many other questions. She always gave me a good answer. Alexa even has other features besides answering questions. You can set up a shopping list, which you can access on the Alexa app; you can set alarms and timers, and you can even link Alexa to your Amazon account. She will give you information about your orders, add items to your cart and if you have Amazon Music or a Prime account, she will even play music. Overall, I found the Alexa voice service to be very useful.
Reception and call quality are good enough to get the job done but as with most Bluetooth speakers, not the best, but I’ve never used speakers for calls.
JAM Audio states the battery life of the JAM Voice is 4 hours. I fully charged the unit and was able to listen for 4 hours and 36 minutes at half volume before the unit shut itself off. Turning up the volume would of course reduce the amount of time the battery lasts.
The added versatility of the Alexa voice service makes the JAM Voice well worth the list price of $79.99USD and right now you can snag it for less on Amazon.
If you are looking for a small, portable speaker that sounds much better than your smart phone, you should consider the JAM Voice by JAM Audio. The addition of the Alexa voice service makes this little speaker stand out in a crowded market.[rwp-review id=”0″]
*We were sent a sample of the JAM Voice Portable for the purposes of this review.
Last Updated on December 15, 2016.