Creative Sound Blaster Jam review:

An ultrabudget Bluetooth headphone that sounds surprisingly good

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CNET Editors' Rating

The Good The Creative Sound Blaster is an inexpensive, lightweight, on-ear Bluetooth headphone that fits comfortably and sounds good for its price. It also offers decent battery life (12 hours).

The Bad Doesn't work so well as a headset for making calls; design may be a little too basic for some people.

The Bottom Line While not without some weaknesses, the Creative Sound Blaster Jam is a strong budget Bluetooth headphone that delivers good sound for its modest price point.

7.7 Overall
  • Design 7.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Sound 8.0
  • Value 8.0

Until recently, it was hard to find Bluetooth headphones that sounded decent for less than $100. But that's changing as higher grade chips and components get cheaper.

Case in point: The Creative Sound Blaster Jam, a $50 (£40, AU$70) Bluetooth headphone that's lightweight, relatively comfortable to wear and sounds good, particularly for its modest price.

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The Sound Blaster Jam's design is basic but endearingly retro. Sarah Tew/CNET

True to its budget roots, the Sound Blaster Jam has a pretty no-frills design; in fact, it looks a little like the headphones that came with the Walkman back in the 80s. But there is something endearing about its throwback design.

On the downside, not everybody likes an on-ear design, and the dearth of padding on the top of the headband may bother some. They also don't fold up in any way. And while they seem to sturdy enough, I can't predict how well they'll hold up over time.

That said, they're lightweight and should fit most people pretty well.

As far as features go, there's a pause/play button that doubles as an answer/end button for cell phone calls. The requisite volume controls are on board, and when you hold those buttons down they turn into transport controls, allowing you to advance tracks forward and back. You also get a bass boost button that does just that: boosts the bass a little while sacrificing a little clarity.

Last but not least, there's NFC tap-to-pair technology for devices like the Samsung Galaxy phones that support it. Otherwise, it'll pair with any Bluetooth-enabled phone or audio source (including the iPhone) when you hold down the pairing button.

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What you get in the box. Sarah Tew/CNET

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