So some of you probably know I have been asking about Bluetooth speakers on Facebook. As you might imagine, we all spend quite a bit of time listening to music here at The Texas Music Scene. I am always checking out the latest and greatest our scene has to offer, as well as checking out music submitted to us. Usually, that is done in a car, driving to locations, running errands…etc.
My original intent was to ferret out opinions specifically related to a unit that was perfect for OUTDOOR use. By that I mean taking it on a boat, on an ATV, getting it wet, dropping it, possibly spilling adult beverages on/near it. The idea was that I needed something rugged and waterproof that I can use for my outdoors activities.
Well, I have a couple I’d really like to test out on that front: The Fugoo Tough ($229) and the ECOXGEAR ExoXBT ($99). Both are billed as waterproof and rugged. So I plan on testing both of those soon.
BUT, in the meantime, I wanted to mention another Bluetooth speaker that I came across in my pursuit of the perfect outdoor speaker. The Jam Rewind bluetooth speaker is pretty slick. First of all, it looks like a cassette, and even comes in an old fashioned, yet oversized, plastic cassette case. Now half of you probably don’t remember what that is, but you 80’s kids will know what I mean.
They are $79 on Amazon.com. It is NOT waterproof, and that was not my reason for getting this one. What I was looking for in this case was something I can carry in my pocket, but that didn’t sound like audio from a tin can. My big fancy Chevy truck is somewhat dated in the audio department (in fact I still DO have a cassette player in there). That means I don’t have Bluetooth, which means I can’t listen to Pandora, Spotify, or internet radio without headphones. So I thought I might be able to get a small Bluetooth speaker that would have the volume necessary to drown out the road noise.
So browsing around Wal-Mart recently, I saw the display that had all the Bluetooth speakers set up. I started messing with them and much to my dismay, they all sounded terrible. They were all rather “tinny,” and none of them had any considerable volume. Right before a manager came over to tell me to quit pushing all the buttons, I stumbled upon the Jam Rewind. There were three other Jam products on display, and they all fell short in my opinion. However, the Jam Rewind amazed me. They have the display programmed to play some awful house music or some such, but I could tell that this unit had a warmer tone, and certainly more volume. The low end was especially impressive for such a tiny device.
The Rewind is small enough to carry around in a pocket, and fits in the same cradle as my iPhone on my bicycle. I have been using this thing for about a week, and it is brilliant. I use it mostly in my truck to stream music from my phone. It is impressively loud for such a small device, and it has a deep, warm tone. The only drawback for the truck is that the back has two active speakers on it, so if you lay it down flat on its back, it will rattle. No big deal for me as I can easily put it one of my cup holders.
It is basically, a small, 4-speaker (2 active, 2 passive) enclosure that has a retro cassette look to it. Although I don’t use all the features, it does have voice prompts, and can work as a speakerphone.
Bottom Line: I love it. It isn’t the rugged, waterproof model I am still searching for, but it works great in the truck, out biking, or just out in the yard. I have been taking it everywhere with me. If you are looking for a better sound in a Bluetooth speaker, this one is worth a listen.