At first sight, Creative’s Sound Blaster JAM look like an ordinary set of headphones. Put it on and everything changes.
The first thing you notice is how light these headphones actually are. The design cuts all external paraphernalia to produce slick minimal looking headphones. No cables, no chunky buttons, no design extravagance.
On to the important part, the sound. I am impressed by the tone and sound depth produced by this headphone. Right out the box, I switched on the Bluetooth on my Nexus 5 and paired it. Really simple. I played everything from Beethoven to Dualist Inquiry, and what I heard was impressive. The headphones render perfect bass and treble tones balancing the mids ever so neatly.
The mix which one ends up hearing is near perfect. Right from the moment I heard the first notes of Mendelssohn’s violin concerto in E Minor, I knew I had something special at hand. The static, swaying arpeggios, the minimal folk tones of Dylan; this pair renders sound perfectly, doing justice to all genres. The pair also comes with a bass boost option. I only needed the bass boost for noisy intervals in traffic, and for some electronic tracks.
The ear cups have padded comfortable ear cushions which makes the experience even better. It feels light and does not irritate the ear in any way. One thing is that it does not completely cover the ear so if you’re in the metro or in traffic you might miss some of the more delicate parts of your favourite song or performance. Noise does seep through and it can get a bit annoying at times, especially if you’re listening to an audiobook.
The SBJ connects on tap aided by Near Field Communication. I tried this with my Nexus 5 and it worked perfectly. It syncs across devices. It synced with my MacBook Pro with no issues. However, as is the case with most Bluetooth headphones, there is a basic latency issue. Being a video editor, it becomes important to be accurate. I do not use Bluetooth headphones for editing. Yes, I would listen to a 45 minute panel on Smart Cities to cut, on this headphone but as I soon as I begin editing, I switch to a cabled pair of headphones.
The ear cans of the headphones have a basic volume rocker, a clickable can top which is the power button and doubles up as the NFC button. There is also a hidden microphone in the can which picks up voice for phone calls. I took a couple of calls on this headphone. The voice clarity was a but muddy and static in places. Personally I just took the calls on my phone. Having said that I did find it a useful feature to have, if you’re out on a jog or in a crowded metro compartment.
The Sound Blaster Jam has an amazing battery life. On Bluetooth, I started using it right out the box without charging and it lasted the entire day till the next evening. I plugged it in for 15 minutes and left office. It lasted till the next night. This, I feel, is one of the highlights of this set.
The headphones are charged via a USB cable attached to a laptop, The awesome thing is that you can use the headphones even while they’re charging via the USB. How’s that for functionality!
The price is what makes this pair the best bargain in the market at the moment. The Creative Sound Blaster JAM Bluetooth headset, priced at Rs 3,499 will be available in India from end of May 2015 through Amazon India, Flipkart and Snapdeal. Creative has got the pricing right, which makes the SBJ a formidable contender in this range of headphones. Think of it like the Maruti 800 of headphones. Now that’s killer!
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