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Sacrifices were made – Review Geek



Rating:
6/10
?

  • 1 – Absolutely hot waste
  • 2 – Sorta lukewarm waste
  • 3 – Severely flawed design
  • 4 – Some advantages, many disadvantages
  • 5 – Acceptably imperfect
  • 6 – Good enough to buy on sale
  • 7 – Great, but not best in class
  • 8 – Fantastic, with some footnotes
  • 9 – Shut up and take my money
  • 10 – Absolute design Nirvana

Price: $ 39.99

Sound Blaster Jam V2 headphones set against a rocky backdrop
Eric Schoon

The Sound Blaster Jam V2 is out and promises great sound for a budget price of $ 39.99. But you can’t have it all, so the question is, do these headphones make an impression in general or are they left out in search of that high-end sound?

And what we don’t do

  • Thin build quality
  • Uncomfortable

The Sound Blaster Jam V2 has some impressive specifications, including a battery life of 22 hours and a low weight of 84 grams. And with a small profile and the ability to switch on-the-fly between a wired (USB-A) connection and a wireless (Bluetooth) connection, these sound great on paper. But once you get your hands on them, you realize how many corners Creative cut to accomplish this – and frankly, it wasn’t worth it.

Index

What you see is what you get

Sound Blaster Jam V2 against a concrete background
Eric Schoon

The Sound Blaster Jam V2 is a modest pair of headphones with an all-black, rugged plastic housing. They feel pretty cheap and flimsy on the hands, and while that was probably done to proudly market the 84 gram weight of Creative, I think something was lost in the process. These should be used in a variety of situations, but I felt the need to be more careful with them than most headphones.

And even when it comes to comfort, things aren’t going great here either. I’ll admit I’m not a big fan of on-ear headphones in general, but the thin pads on each ear pad helped little. They were never really comfortable to wear, but the low weight didn’t put any active strain on my ears or head. The fit wasn’t very secure either, even if I wore them tighter than I normally would.

Close-up of the Sound Blaster Jam V2 ear cushion
Eric Schoon

The construction of this is just disappointing, and while that’s understandable to some extent due to the price, I think more could have been done here to make the listening experience more enjoyable. I didn’t want to wear these for long sessions, even with the low weight, which removes the excuse for the poor build quality. I would have preferred a bit more cushioning and a solid build, even if it added a few grams.

Close-up of Sound Blaster Jam V2 right ear pad
Eric Schoon

Creative has made some smart design decisions though, namely the array of shortcut keys on the right ear pad. These include some basic volume controls (also used to skip songs), a bass boost button, and a multi-function button that allows you to call up your voice assistant, pair the headphones via Bluetooth, or play / pause music. Some of these actions require simple shortcuts, namely holding down the volume button to skip tracks or double-tapping the multi-function button for your voice assistant. It’s a nice touch, but it saves the hardware of these headphones very little.

At least they sound good

It would be a real travesty if the sound, on top of the substandard hardware, didn’t live up to this – luckily Creative delivered a great performance on this front. These headphones often sound good, even great. I had some minor issues with crackling sound and background hiss (mainly when used in wired mode), but those issues were rare.

But overall, the Sound Blaster Jam V2 delivers quality sound for whatever you’re doing. While it may sound a bit flat, the sound you get for the money here is really good. You can also use the “Bass Boost” button to help things out, but honestly I hardly noticed a difference whether this was on or off.

You can also adjust the sound via the Creative App, which offers a variety of options, such as adjusting the EQ levels and the headphone sample rate. However, these options are only available when the headphones are connected to a Windows PC, which makes me doubt their usefulness as wireless is such a big focus here. The headphones themselves don’t have internal memory, so you can’t download profiles to use them wirelessly – too bad.

Either way, it’s hard to say anything bad about the sound; it is definitely the strongest part of these headphones. Possibly too strong as I was leaking out a lot of sound here so I’d turn the volume down a bit if you’re around others.

Out of balance

Sound Blaster Jam V2 on concrete step
Eric Schoon

Creative has gone to great lengths to use the audio quality of these headphones, and while that’s not a bad idea conceptually, in practice it means they feel out of balance. The sound quality might make you think about these costs way more than they do, but it feels like the actual hardware is below the price. If you only care about sound that’s fine, but for everyone else the question is “Should you buy these?” is more complicated.

The low weight and small profile suggests portability to me, but you’d get something more comfortable and wearable from a pair of earbuds. And if home use is the goal, I’m not sure why they skimped on comfort so much. Basically, these have the housing of headphones you’d only wear for fast bursts, but the audio quality for many longer use.

I would never call the Sound Blaster Jam V2 bad – they are great in some ways – but I could only recommend these at full price if the audio quality is your only concern. If not I would wait for a sale or generally stay away.

Rating: 6/10

Price: $ 39.99

And what we don’t do

  • Thin build quality
  • Uncomfortable

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