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Slightly larger than a pack of playing cards, with dimensions of 130 x 65 x 22mm (W x H x D), this Bluetooth speaker has an appearance that bears more than a passing resemblance to a bulky audio cassette that some of us still use to store our favourite music or a shrunken VHS video cassette, a technology that was replaced by digital recordings stored on PVRs. This resemblance is further emphasised by the clear plastic casing in which this Bluetooth speaker is supplied. I certainly have a number of audio tapes that would regard this type of case as home, admittedly with some space to spare.
Adopting a three colour scheme layout, encircling the body of the Rewind is a red, rubberised band containing the various controls and physical connection options. The speaker’s front and back plates are constructed of a dark grey plastic material with a Jam logo identifying the front of the unit. Arranged two at the front and two at the back, the Rewind’s four speakers are protected by circular black, perforated, metal grills with each one featuring a centrally positioned red cog wheel decoration. Even with the audio volume output level set reasonably low, you get a very noticeable tingling sensation if your fingers happen to come into contact with a speaker grill during playback.
As mentioned earlier, the red band holds the speaker’s controls. Moulded into the top of the speaker unit, running from left to right, are volume down and up, back / play / pause / forward options plus the power button which doubles as the Bluetooth pairing option. Some pressure will be required on the relevant control before there will be any response to the action.
Situated on the right side of the Rewind unit are a micro USB port for charging the unit’s internal battery which is rated at giving eight hours of playback and a 3.5mm jack socket for those occasions when you wish to listen to music stored on a device, such as an MP3 player, which does not have Bluetooth support. You will need to provide the appropriate lead for connecting the MP3 player as one is not included in the box. You do, however, get a short micro-to-standard USB lead.
There is one further control which you might almost miss or confuse with a reset option. Located on the base of the Rewind is a small pinhole. With the appropriate tool, not supplied, you can use this pinhole to switch between English, French, German and Italian languages used for the various announcements made at appropriate points. These announcements include pairing mode activated, paired and power down.
When a secondary audio source is attached to the Rewind, using the 3.5mm jack socket, two separate actions will occur. First the Bluetooth stream will be replaced by that being delivered from the MP3 player. The Bluetooth stream is not paused, as it carries on merrily in the background, but it does give priority to whatever is connected to the jack socket. This happens whether audio is being delivered or not by the device connected via the socket. In fact just the presence of the lead, with no connected device, will be enough to interrupt the Bluetooth stream. The second action concerns the appearance of an orange light on the top of the Rewind to indicate this method of audio delivery.
The Jam Rewind also has the ability to act as a speakerphone, with its build in microphone, when paired with a smartphone. Any incoming call will interrupt the music being played with a ringing tone and a vocal announcement. You can then decide whether to reject or accept the call using the controls on top of the Rewind. The Bluetooth music stream will be re-instated once the call has been completed.
While the Rewind’s performance was generally trouble-free, I did encounter one problem when I paired the Jam Rewind with one smartphone. The audio quality was poor and suffered from break up. By unpairing the smartphone from the Rewind and then rerunning the pairing process the problem disappeared. Apart from this solitary incident, the Rewind performed well. It is not a speaker that will fill a large room with its studio but should be fine for a small space either indoors or outdoors. The Jam Rewind is currently listed by Amazon.co.uk at £32.50.
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