The on-ear headphone market is an important space. Not everyone wants to cumbersome size of over-ear headphones, nor the discomfort and lower audio quality of in-ear headphones. Every now and then a new brand comes along to try and disrupt the space — and the latest of those is Jam, which recently released the Jam Out There headphones.
But are the Out There headphones worth buying? At $70, they face some stuff competition. We put the headphones to the test to see whether they rose above that competition or note.
The first thing to notice about the headphones is their design, and they have a pleasantly simple look about them, with a few subtle tweaks. For starters, the headphones are largely built with plastic, though there’s metal where it really counts — in the construction of the frame. That’s good news for those that want headphones that can last.
While the shape of the headphones is largely basic, there are some design elements that make them unique. On the left ear cup you’ll find a simple switch for noise cancellation, along with a MicroUSB charging port and an aux port hidden behind a rubber door, however the right ear cup has large blue “X” and “O” buttons, which are used to control volume and either fast forward or rewind, depending on the button. There’s also a central button on the bottom of the right ear cup, which is used for playback control.
Ultimately, while the controls were pretty easy to get used to, we didn’t really like the feel of some of the buttons — especially the noise cancellation switch, which didn’t really have much of a feel to it at all. It’s a small complaint, to be sure, but speaks a little to the build quality of the headphones.
In the box, apart from the headphones themselves, you’ll find a MicroUSB charging cable and an aux cable. We would have liked to see a carry pouch or case of some kind come with the headphones.
The headphones may look decent, but how do they feel? Thankfully, not bad at all — though there are a few small issues with their comfort level. For starters, the clamp is pretty tight, and we found that they got a little uncomfortable after some time because of that.
Still, thankfully, the headphones offered plenty of padding in the ear cups, and while initially it seemed like there wouldn’t be enough padding in the head band, because of the hard clamp, there doesn’t really need to be much padding.
Thanks to the padding, the headphones were generally pretty comfortable, but the overly hard clamp could have softened up a little to provide a higher comfort level.
In the end, the most important thing to consider is how the headphones sound, and while the Jam Out There headphones sounded decent, there were a few issues.
Let’s start with the bass, which we found to a little weak. Not only were the bass frequencies that were there a little too laid back, but the bass didn’t extend anywhere near as low as we would have liked. When the noise cancellation was turned off, the lows did seem to get a slightly better sound to them — but only a little.
The mid range was also interestingly tuned. The low mids were also pretty laid back, while the high mids seem to get a slight boost, giving the headphones an almost radio-like tone to them.
The high end was the weakest aspect of the headphones. In fact, they were almost non-existent. We’ve heard budget headphones with a budget sound before, but if you have any inkling of what great audio sounds like, you’ll want to steer clear of these.
There are other issues with the headphones too, like the fact that they seemed to have a ton of Bluetooth noise. There was a constant hiss in the background, and while the noise cancellation on the headphones did seem to work pretty well, it’s a little pointless to cancel outside noise if you’re going to add extra noise. Turning the noise cancellation off did seem to help a little, but again, there’s still Bluetooth noise regardless.
The Jam Out There headphones connect to your listening device through an unspecified Bluetooth version, but we didn’t notice any real skips or jumps in normal use. The battery life on the headphones comes in at 18 hours on a full charge, which isn’t bad, but not groundbreaking. Some headphones have a longer battery life, and some have a shorter one.
Are the Jam Out There headphones worth buying? Well, that really depends. They have a decent design, noise cancellation, and a ton of features — but in the end they have issues with comfort, and don’t sound great, so if those things are important to you then we recommend you steer clear.
There are a few headphones in this category that we think are a better pick if sound quality is important to you. Perhaps headphones to go for are the JBL E35 headphones, which are wired and don’t have noise cancellation, but they sound a whole lot better than these.
What these headphones are best at is packing features in at a cheap price. There aren’t many on-ear headphones that have Bluetooth and noise cancellation in this price range, but considering the sound quality, we don’t think that makes these headphones worth it. If you’re looking for wireless noise cancelling headphones, it’s best to save up a little more.
|Frequency response||Unknown||Active noise cancellation
|Driver size||Unknown||Noise attenuation||Unknown|
|Total harmonic distortion
|Rated input power
||Unknown||Battery life||18 Hours|
|Maximum input power
||Unknown||Wireless distance||10m (33ft)|
||Bluetooth||Cable length||1.2m (4ft)|