Jam Rhythm Review: An affordable Wi-Fi speaker

Among decent wireless speakers under £200, most are based on Bluetooth and increasing numbers offer multi-room operation (whereby sound from a single source plays to several speakers) ­ all controlled from your phone or tablet.

The Rhythm is at the lower end of the price range, but it also does multi-room, albeit with a smaller range of input options than many rivals. You can use Spotify Connect to stream music from the internet, for example, but you can’t use Google Cast to play from your Android device or PC.

Surprisingly, though, it’s based on Wi-Fi rather than Bluetooth, which means it supports Apple AirPlay. If you have an iPhone, iPad or Mac, that gives you theoretically better sound quality. For PCs and other devices AirPlay
is just a slightly more reliable form of wireless, but we found it a bit fiddly to set up, partly because it only works on the 2.4GHz waveband, so if your router is dual band, you need to pick the 2.4GHz option.

With that sorted, the Rhythm is easy to use. There’s a standard audio jack input too, for non-digital sources, and from the app the speaker also works as a one-way intercom. The 3.5in woofer and twin 2in speaker drivers put out rich, well-balanced sound, but we found bass fell off rather clumsily, and turning up the volume produced some harshness and distortion. At the moment, when you buy the bigger Symphony speaker (£130 from Jam), you get a Rhythm for free. That’s a bargain.

SPECIFICATIONS

3.5in woofer · 2x 2in drivers · Requires computer, phone or tablet with Wi-Fi · Supports Apple AirPlay for macOS and iOS · 156x206x104mm (HxWxD) · 1kg · One-year warranty

VERDICT:

Sound quality and connectivity are limited, but this is the cheapest way to start a Wi-Fi multi-room system

ALTERNATIVE:

Philips Izzy BM5 £86 This tidy five-watt speaker, in black or white, is another affordable multi-room option

8 Total Score
Jam Rhythm Review: An affordable Wi-Fi speaker

Sound quality and connectivity are limited, but this is the cheapest way to start a Wi-Fi multi-room system

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