9 February 2015

REVIEW: Creative Sound Blaster JAM Bluetooth Headphones

Big sound, small price.

Normally when shopping for headphones, you have the option to go wired or wireless. Despite the greater amount of freedom wireless and Bluetooth headphones can offer, they tend to be a bit pricier then their wired siblings… until now. We check out the latest bank balance-pleasing Bluetooth ‘phones from creative, the Sound Blaster JAM.

The Creative Sound Blaster JAM Bluetooth Headphones are light and thin, yet surprisingly robust in the hand. They feel as if they shouldn’t be a pair of wireless ‘phones (if you know what we mean), and we were pleasantly surprised to hear that the small profile contains a battery with up to a 12 hour life. Also on-board is NFC communication abilities, controls, and a micro USB port.

As you might imagine, connecting via Bluetooth is a usual affair, and the Sound Blaster JAM will provide you with the typical ten metres of range from the source device. Unlike other Bluetooth headphones of the JAM’s class and price, you also get physical volume controls, a play/pause button, a call switch, and a special BASS function (more on that later). They are also extremely comfortable on, seeming to apply just the right amount of pressure to keep them on your head, without squeezing your brains out of your nose – even on our huge man skulls.

We've said it before but Bluetooth headphones are never going to completely capture the true potential of the media device to which they are connected, and that is something that holds true with the CreativeSound Blaster JAM. In a word, they’re all right; not fantastic but certainly not rubbish. The connection was always very clear to whatever was playing the tunes, be it a phone or a computer, but the depth of feeling of the musical reproduction was lacking somewhat, compared with a similarly priced pair of wired headphones.

But, and this is a definite swaying ‘but’ (ha, a ‘swaying butt!’), the BASS Enhancement button is a little marvel. We've tested other gadgets with a supposed bass enhancement and have always come off feeling a little cheated. But the JAM’s actually worked very well, upping the bass with enough subtlety to make the sound richer and more immersive, without pushing it too far and highlighting the cheaper build. It isn't something we recommend having switched on all the time, but with an album like Portishead’s Dummy, you suddenly feel as if you’re listening with a far more expensive pair of cans.

The Creative Sound Blaster JAM Bluetooth Headphones also include a pretty decent mic, so you can take calls from your phone effortlessly, and – unlike a lot of Bluetooth headphones with a call interrupt feature – you can tap a button on the ‘phones to answer and end the call, with your music conveniently pausing.

All-in-all, these are definitely worth the money, even just as a pair of back-up headphones. If you need a pair of wireless cans while pottering about, and aren't all that fussed about super high-quality sound, go and buy these right now.


Available from www.amazon.co.uk

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