Full metal speaker.
Finding the right balance when making a Bluetooth speaker is tricky; make it too heavy and you lose portability, but make it too light and it won't be able to support decent drivers. From all the small speakers we've reviewed over the years, we've found that, regardless of size, weight is a good indicator of quality, so here's a speaker that doesn't try to conceal the fact that it is heavy. We test the Jam Heavy Metal.
The Jam Heavy Metal Bluetooth Speaker is just eight inches long, but because of a gloriously tactile anodized aluminium body, it weighs slightly more than your average Bluetooth boom box of this size. But before you dismiss it as a pain to lug around (if indeed portability is what you look for in a Bluetooth speaker), wait – because it sounds hot-damn fine.
First up, it looks great, with the metal casing wrapping all the way around the top, sides, and bottom. On the front and rear faces there is a grill, because the speaker can blast out tunes in 360 degrees, while on top there is also a fairly conspicuous array of control buttons. It charges via the included USB cable, has an aux-in port for wired connections, and also boasts a mic so it can be used as a speaker phone when connected to your phone. Also, the Jam logo is as subtle as logos get, which means if you hate your tech plastered with names and symbols, this is great.
The built-in battery lasts for eight hours of continuous playback, something we can confirm to be spot on. Also, the publicised charge time of about three hours is pretty conservative, as we found, after the first full drain, that it was charged up in just over two. When you first switch it on a clear and very realistic voice will tell you it is in pairing mode, and again when the speaker has paired to a device. We thought the voice was pretty sexy, but then again we always fall for computers we female voices.
Right, the sounds. The speaker has a total output of 20 Watts which, again, is pretty good for a speaker of this size. The dual drivers and dual passive bass radiators work well to produce awesome room-filling sounds. The bass particularly is very impressive, resonating well through every surface we placed the Jam Heavy Metal upon. All genres of music sounded very good, as did podcasts, audio books and the few calls we took via it.
The Jam Heavy Metal Bluetooth Speaker performed like it was a much larger, far more expensive bit of kit, so for that alone we can excuse a little extra weight in our bags as we carry it.