Review: Jam Voice Portable Speaker Adds Amazon Alexa Support

Review: Jam Voice Portable Speaker Adds Amazon Alexa Support

I am a big fan of Amazon Alexa, the powerful voice assistant which, until now, was primarily only available on Amazon's hardware. Amazon opened up the service and now you can buy a Jam Voice ($59.99) from Jam Audio and enjoy Alexa with some extra benefits. The Jam Voice blends some of the features of Amazon's $130 Tap and $50 Echo Dot. Specifically, the Jam Voice is battery operated, like the Tap, and can last for up to four hours. The Jam Voice also activates Alexa using a touch, like Amazon's Tap, instead of always listening the way the Echo and Echo Dot do.

The Echo Dot, by Amazon's own admission, does not have a high quality speaker, so it's meant primarily for voice use, whereas the Jam Audio product has a decent speaker and is well-suited for listening to your own music via Bluetooth. The Jam Voice is smaller than Amazon's Tap, specifically about the size of a teacup. It ships in black or white with gray accents. Perhaps most notably, the Jam Voice costs a lot less than Amazon's Tap, although it does cost more than the Echo Dot, so it holds a position somewhere in the middle of Amazon's products.

Jam Voice

Pros

  • Up to four hours of battery life
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
  • Amazon Alexa support
  • Black or White
  • Compact and portable

Cons

  • Tap required to access Alexa

Final Verdict

If you want a low-cost way to access Amazon's Alexa, and you want to do so on the go, the Jam Voice is the way to go, although you'll have to stay in Wi-Fi range and tap a button to activate Alexa.

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Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP, About.com, BestAppEver.com, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.