The Jam Rewind is a portable rechargeable Bluetooth speaker from the makers of my favorite portable speaker, the HMDX Jam. And like the original speaker that set it all, this sets a new standard for big sound from a small source.

Maggie and the am Rewind Wireless Pocket Speaker

The Jam Rewind looks like a double-sized cassette tape (that’s what music came on in the 80’s for you whippersnappers), and mine shipped in a box that looked like an old school boom box (yours may vary). It comes with a large transparent cassette case-looking carrier, a carrying bag, and a USB recharge cable.

While they’ve obviously spent some time emulating the look of an old audio technology, they haven’t lost any sound quality for the odd (in the Jam universe) shape.

JAM Rewind specs

  • 5.8oz
  • 5.1 x 2.6 x 1-inch (Amazon); 5 x 8 x 2.5-inch (mfg?)
  • 30 foot Bluetooth range
  • Aux-in capable (non-Bluetooth input)
  • IPX4 splash rating
  • Eight hour playtime
  • Four speaker system

What’s in the JAM Rewind box?

  • Jam Rewind
  • USB to MicroUSB charging cable
  • User manual
  • Pouch
  • Language selector pin*

The JAM Rewind in action

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*I did not find a language selector pin in the unit that shipped to me. I only know about this due to the manual informing me it was supposed to have one. It was in English so this was not an issue; I also have paperclips so this wouldn’t have been much of an issue anyway.

The carrying pouch apparently is sized for the JAM Rewind by itself, not for the JAM Rewind plus the transparent plastic cassette case, although you can squish it in there if you try. The case is useful to hold your phone up while you’re playing, which is a reason to bring it with you. It also keeps dirt and dust from building up while transporting.

The audio is a lot louder than I would expect from a speaker this small. I should have expected this from the original JAM products, but it looked so cool I expected it had to compromise somewhere. I have not found that compromise yet.

I can’t find the wattage of the speakers listed (and it’s not listed on Amazon or Jamaudio.com), and you don’t know my house, but during an experiment leaving it playing upstairs I was able to hear it quite clearly downstairs in the kitchen, which is an accomplishment that the original JAM didn’t quite live up to.

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Bluejacking

One of the neat things about this, or terrible depending on your particular set of friends, is that pairing happens every time you turn the device on. This means there’s no set of buttons to press to put it into pairing mode, and once it comes online any previously paired device will attempt to re-pair with it.

This might suck if you have friends who want to be the party DJ as they can just turn the JAM Rewind off and turn it back on again, pair with it, and control the music. Alternately, if you’ve got a computer or another phone paired to it, you’ll have to de-pair from that device if it keeps picking it up before your phone can. However, audio security has never been something I’ve understood the necessity for, so for the average user and use case I don’t think this will be a problem.

It accomplishes the requirement to fill a room with well crafted sound, has a reasonable battery life, works with both Bluetooth and line-in, and brings back memories of when owning the biggest boom box meant 12 D batteries and a crick in your neck.

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Wrap-up

Overall the best pocketable portable speaker I’ve ever run across. Price unfortunately reflects that at the moment, but I would actually pay it for a speaker this loud and pocketable.

The  JAM Rewind is available from Amazon for $74.47. Color options are blue, grey, and red but they’re separate product links with slightly varying pricing.