Jam Heavy Metal
This speaker sounds like the sort of thing you might see on sale next to an emoji pillow. Most people haven’t heard of Jam Audio and the ‘Heavy Metal’ bit is the naming equivalent of a dad joke, given the speaker is made of aluminium.
Hold back the scorn, though, because this is the best portable speaker you can get for £70. It can duel with big names twice the price, and even beat some of them.
Good value from a smaller brand is nothing new, but the Jam Heavy Metal’s design is sweet too. It’s almost all-metal apart from the big vibration-stopping rubber foot on the bottom, and has a classy minimal look. Very grown-up.
It also has a mic for hands-free calls and an aux input for iPod Classic owners who aren’t ready to give up their beloved MP3 player. However, you can’t charge a phone using its 8hr battery and unlike some it won’t withstand being dropped in a swimming pool. It isn’t water resistant, so keep the abuse to a minimum.
The sound quality per pound will make you forget those missing bits. Like the best mini rectangle speakers, a dual bass radiator setup gets you serious bass power and enough volume to fill your lounge. Treble is crisp, but without the harshness of a speaker desperately trying to convince your ear it’s super-detailed.
The top £150 speakers have better mid-range detail and texture, which makes vocals sound even more realistic and natural. But the Jam can skip between genres like a pro and is alarmingly refined for the price. If you’re on a budget, the Jam Heavy Metal is more-or-less unbeatable right now.