Portable Speaker Review: HMDX Jam Party Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Boombox Review
Editor's Ratings (1-5): 4
What's Hot: Very loud for speaker this size, clear audio with good bass power, easy to pair with devices.
What's Not: Certain tracks have hissing distortion in high volume.
Reviewed by Tong Zhang
Whether it's jam jar or lunchbox, HMDX's Jam series portable speakers have got you covered. Measuring 7.5 x 2.6 x 2.5 inches, the Jam Party Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Boombox houses two speaker drivers that produce surprisingly loud sound with good clarity and reasonably powerful bass. The portable speaker offers both Bluetooth wireless playback and 3.5mm audio input. The playful design and four eye-catching colors make this Bluetooth stereo speaker a great choice for dorm rooms or play dens.
One thing that the HMDX portable speakers lack is boring designs, just look at their Jam Plus and Rave speakers. The HMDX Jam Party Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Boombox is not exception. It comes in a half pyramid shape with two speakers dominating the front. Control buttons live on top of the speaker and these include track reverse and forward, play/pause, volume up and down and power on/off buttons. Two LED lights flank the control buttons and they include Bluetooth status LED and battery status LED. Two ports live on the back of the speaker, the charging port and the 3.5mm AUX port.
The HMDX Jam Party Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Boombox has soft touch coating that feels nice in hand and comes with a spring-loaded handle that gives the speaker the "boombox" look. Push on both ends of the handle on top to pop the spring and extend the handle. There's also a kickstand that lives on the bottom of the speaker; push the indicated spot to pop up the stand and tilt the speaker to direct sound more upward. The bottom of the speaker has rubber patches to prevent it from slipping on glass or other slippery surface, but the speaker's weight, 1.5 lbs., should also keep it in place even with powerful bass thumping.
As with many HMDX's speaker models, the HMDX Jam Party Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Boombox comes in playful colors to follow the "berry jam" theme. The four color options include Blackberry (gray), Blueberry (blue, as shown in pictures here), Pineapple (yellow) and Watermelon (pink).
Pairing the HMDX Jam Party Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Boombox with smartphones and tablets is ultra easy. The first time you turn on the speaker, it goes into Bluetooth pairing mode automatically. Use your device to search and pair with the speaker. When you delete the pairing from the device, the speaker will go into pairing automatically again when you turn it on without a paired partner.
We tested the Jam Party Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Boombox with the iPhone 5, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active, the HTC One, the iPad 4, and several Android tablets. All paired easily with the Jam Party easily. To clear the pairing history, press the play/pause button and the Power button simultaneously. You'll see the Bluetooth light blinking when the history is cleared. If you're using the speaker via Bluetooth, be sure to unplug the 3.5mm audio cable for the speaker to pair with Bluetooth devices.
As with the Jam Plus speakers, the Jam Party Boombox offers very loud sound thanks to the good size drivers and chambers. The speaker has good audio clarity and decent bass power at normal volume range, and dynamics are accurate with decent range. While the Jam Plus speakers didn't blow out at very high volume, the Jam Party Boombox surprisingly had some distortion with certain tracks that had heavy synthesis nature. The bass sound, while has good power, doesn't provide as good of a stereo effect as the Jam Plus speakers. We tested several genres of music tracks as well as movie and game playback on all the devices aforementioned, and found the audio quality consistent on all of them.
The audio quality via the 3.5mm audio input is noticeably better than via Bluetooth. The sound is fuller, dynamic range bigger and more natural and bass more powerful. You'll need to control the playback and volume using your device instead of the buttons on the speaker, but if you're seeking super audio clarity and nice dynamic range, that's worth the trouble.
The Jam Party boombox has built-in Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery and comes with an AC charger. It takes about 3 hours to fully charge the speaker and a full charge can give you about 8 hours of playback time via Bluetooth and 12 hours via 3.5mm AUX input. The speaker has a bright LED to indicate when the speaker needs charging (red), while it's charging (blinking green) and when it's charged (solid green).
The HMDX Jam Party Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Boombox has volume of a much larger speaker but it's compact and easy to carry. The speaker has a pleasing design and comes in attractive colors. The audio is good and bass is reasonably powerful. Sound quality is better when using the 3.5mm input than via Bluetooth, but as its name suggests, as a party speaker, the Jam Party can certainly pump out the volume.