Note: due to the large number of users reporting long-term reliability issues with this headset (see comments below), we not longer recommend it for purchase. Our full review is preserved below in its original state.
Wireless headphones and earphones have long been the red-headed stepchild of audiophile communities – considering how quickly the wireless market is growing, they just don’t get enough time in the spotlight.
However, I am convinced that wireless is important to portable audio, especially the entry-level and mid-range segments, and even has the ability to deliver the sort of audio fidelity we are after here at The Headphone List.
Being un-tethered from your device is just too easy to get used to, and difficult to give up afterward. This is doubly true for exercise sets, where convenience and durability can be more important than sheer sound quality. Enter the JAM Transit Buds – a $50 set of Bluetooth wireless in-ear headphones designed for active use.
Design & Functionality
The JAM Transit Buds come in three colors and use a fairly conventional design – small driver chambers attached to larger housings holding the battery and Bluetooth circuitry. They end up looking like two mono Bluetooth headsets connected by a cable. The parts of the housings that sit inside the ear are small and comfortable, and the nozzles are angled for a better fit. A set of detachable ear hooks is included – these mount on the “neck” of the earphones between the driver chambers and main housings, keeping the earphones in place more securely.
The cable is rather long, but outfitted with an adjustable cinch that can be tightened when necessary. The Transit Buds are meant to be worn cable down, with the cord behind the neck. My favorite feature of the earphones is the pair of magnets built into the sides of the housings, which hold the left and right earpieces together. This makes the headset considerably more convenient and secure to wear around the neck when not in use – more so than any other I’ve tried.
The JAM Transit uses a 4-button control scheme – power button, multifunction button, and combined volume up/next track and volume down/previous track buttons. A Micro-USB charging port is located under a cover on top of the right earbud. The earphones are also sweat-resistant, with an IPX4 rating (for an overview of IPX ratings, see here).
Bluetooth version: 2.1 | aptX/AAC: No | NFC: No | Multipoint: No | Sweat resistance: Yes
Battery life (reported): 6 hrs | Battery life (as tested): 4.5 hrs
Range (reported): 30ft | Range (as tested): excellent*
Accessories: eartips (6 pairs), detachable earhooks (pair), Micro-USB charging cable
*subjective rating relative to other wireless headsets tested
For an introduction to Bluetooth audio and a brief overview of Bluetooth audio profiles, codecs, and other technologies, see my article on Bluetooth audio in headphones here.
The JAM Transit Buds seem to utilize a conventional Bluetooth 2.1 chipset with no support for optional codecs. All of the basics are covered, however, including voice dialing/Siri integration, and the day-to-day usability has been top notch in the month I’ve been using the headset. Passive noise isolation is average, but definitely good enough for use out and about or at the gym.
My go-to Bluetooth headset is the Sony SBH80, which I reviewed here. The SBH80 is a feature-rich headset with a “wearable” form factor. It is significantly more expensive and complex than the Transit Buds, but lagged behind the JAM unit in one key aspect – operating range. The Transit Buds maintained connection a little better over long distances and through walls and other solid objects.
[su_spoiler title=”Testing Note (click to expand)” anchor=”#testingnote”]
In testing the audio quality of the JAM Transit, the following equipment was used:
CSR Bluetooth dongle on Windows 7 x64
iPod Touch 5G
LG Nexus 5 [/su_spoiler]
I found the JAM Transit impressive as a Bluetooth headset, but slightly underwhelming as an earphone. I wasn’t expecting great things from a sub-$50 sports-oriented wireless set, but the wired in-ear market has been improving steadily in sound quality, with plenty of great-sounding products now found in the price range. The sound of the JAM is more reminiscent of entry-level wired earphones of several years back. The bass is deep, but bloated. There’s an excess of mid- and upper-bass, which causes the unit to sound a little sluggish. The bass bloat affects the midrange, which has mediocre clarity as a result. The treble is soft and laid-back, lacking in the way of energy and extension. A brighter sound would have helped with the clarity and perceived resolution.
On the whole the sound of the JAM Transit is very warm and very smooth, but just not very impressive from a fidelity standpoint. However, first-time headset buyers coming from stock earbuds or inexpensive wired earphones, and listeners who prioritize the non-audio features of the JAM Transit, such as its sweat resistance, will enjoy the earphones – especially the deep, powerful, hard-hitting bass.
The JAM Transit Buds deliver what they promise – easy-to-use Bluetooth functionality with a design that’s suitable for workouts thanks to a secure fit in the ear. The sound could be better, with overpowered bass resulting in warm and somewhat muffled audio, but on the whole the Transit works well. I especially like the built-in magnets, which make the headset easier to store and more “wearable”, as well as the impressive wireless range, which beats the Sony SBH80 by a couple of feet.
JAM Transit Wireless Earbuds product page
JAM Transit Wireless Earbuds on Amazon.com
I have one pair I bought about 2 years ago for ~”30 at Best Buy. The sound signature is just way too warm, but an EQ tweak and these things really sound good.
Never had charging issues but I use a 60 watt smart hub to charge everything.
Exchanged my Jam earbuds (which wouldn’t charge) with their mini (or lighter) version, and these fail to pair 2 out of 3 tries. Looks like this brand has some problems.
Check out reviews on amazon for Rowkin earbuds too. One of the best earbuds in my opinion.
TBH I don’t know what any of these comments are talking about. I just bought my second pair of jam transit buds (I lost my previous one) and they work perfectly. The only thing that makes me a bit bad about them is that they don’t turn on after 3 seconds when you hold the power button. They pair to my phone every time I turn them on. They charge just fine. You just have to know what you’re doing because their original charger is bad and you have to try another brand (Samsung works for me). And I’ve tried pairing them to iPhone, iPad, and android and they’ve paired perfectly each time
Their original charger only works for a couple of days. Samsung chargers usually do the trick long term
I just borrowed these earbuds from a friend. For some reason now, I can’t charge the headphones for some reason. Any ideas to help?
This is my third replacement of Jam earbuds after days thy wont charge or pair
Worked great for 6 weeks. Now won’t charge!!!
I love these. They were perfect for me. Then they didn’t recharge. the first time I tried…
I found it out…after attempting to turn them on and finally getting them on after lots of repeated attempts (just keep holding for three seconds and keep one headphone in you will hear it turn on). Once it tue s on, plug in the charger and they will charge fine.
Darn things suddenly don’t won’t to take a charge after only a month. Not acceptable. Should have known the price would turn out too good to be true.
first one quit working/charging within a few weeks. Customer service was fairly helpful sent me a new one took a little over a week to receive and its DOA, it will not charge will not turn on will not do anything so frustrating…… The next post will probably be a video of me and hammer beating these things to pieces.
Mine were DOA right out of the box. Called customer service and was instructed to take a picture of serial number end of box and send it in to CS. I did and then got nothing, so I did it again. Months later still nothing. I really makes me angry when a company pulls this stuff and gets away with it. SO I called them one last time…I have been on hold (speaker) for 45 minuets. what a joke of a company…Never ever buy anything from Jam Audio!
Hello, just a suggestion… when you unplugged the buds, did you place them in your ears then hold the power button until you heard a chime or jingle sound? Following the sound it will make another sound when connected to bluetooth on your device. Hope this helps ♡
They wont charge. Not. Even. One. Time. Taking this shit back. Disappointed. Especially, after reading the reviews.
Agreed – mine won’t charge. Just bought over xmas at Khols.
Another vote for won’t charge and don’t work unless plugged into a 3 inch USB chord which doesn’t bode well for WIRELESS. Absolute pieces of trash
What the hell they won’t charge. I have been trying to charge them for the past three days all it every does is blank red at me and im so damn tired of the FUCKING COLOR!
I purchased and it was wonderfull great sound good battery, but after 2 months and 6 charges never goes on again.
Fuck these things
Same problem and pair and they won’t charge
Also, their customer service is terrible. I called 2X and waited for 15 mins and hung up, because NOBODY PICKED UP! I mean really, they’re a headphone company, how many people are calling them at once? They’re not some huge market like Beats by Dre. Headphones don’t work, fine. But, pick up the phone man.
Just bought these 2 days ago. They took a charge only once. I can’t even get them to turn on, let alone charge. Huge waste of time and energy. Was looking to exchange them for a different pair, but after reading all these comments, no thank you. I don’t get why stores even sell these pieces of junk. Also, when the headphones WERE working, the sound quality wasn’t all that great. I want bass, clarity, etc. I could buy a $20 pair of Skull Candy’s with decent bass for the price. $40 for these, I expect better. Although, those break all the time. These are Overpriced POS earbuds. My recommendation, DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME, DO NOT BUY!!!
These are an absolute waste of money…this is my second pair in the last two days and they will not charge. What an absolute waste of my time and energy…. All the reviews that said that this is a really great starter headphones are misleading..I have had no luck with the two tbat I purchased…They won’t turn on, the lights wont come on and they won’t charge to enable pairing. I’m taking this back to Best Buy ASAP.
I’ve had my Jam Transit Earbuds for about 6 months and use them almost everyday. The only problem I’ve had is the audio is lower on left channel than on the right, but for $40ish, they’re better than i expected.
mine wont charge what a waste of 40 buck it sucks dont get them i took them home they charged in the car but the next day ateemted to charge them again and they are not pairing right and then the red light is still on so they freaking suck they dont charge dont waste time and money i should have looked before hand on the internet what they were like.
Got mine about 6 months ago. I guess I was lucky. Mlne work great for spring out and while riding my motorcycle. All I have to do is push the center button to answer my phone. I’m hard on headphones but so far so good
A waste of $40. Wont charge, wont stay in your ear, and distorted sound. I finally got some enjoyment out of them when i blew them up with termite tho.
Mine won’t charge. Period. I’ve had them for 1 week and it won’t charge, therefore, my Bluetooth ony phone won’t hook up with it. So annoyed.
This is a defect, a pretty common one with cheaper earphones because there is no QC on every unit, so the left and right drivers can end up mismatched. New unit should fix the problem.
Bought a pair of Jam Transit Earbuds at Walmart yesterday. The price was right and they looked impressive. They do feel comfortable, which is a plus. Only problem is that the audio is SIGNIFICANTLY lower on the right channel than on the left. Don’t know if this is a defect with the earbuds or not. Will return to Walmart for exchange, but if the same problem pops up in another pair of buds, I’ll have to look elsewhere.
i won jams earbuds in a contest .. i was so excited.. when i got them out it was a different story . although they look awesome they are uncomfortable to wear the ear pieces that go over your ear, the sound when you can get it is great but its iffy on when its going to be distored or clear.. i was so excited.. sadly not so much now . but was a free win so i cant complain about that part.. just wish now that i had received the headphones instead :/ ..
My husband bought these for me recently from Best Buy for the price I think they do a great job I use them daily to study and listen to my nursing lectured PowerPoints, youtube videos and to voice dictate papers and talk on the phone. I can only walk about 5 feet away from the device I am using before the sound is distorted then disconnects.
JAM Wireless EarBuds are the WORST! DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME AND MONEY!!
I purchased a pair at Bed Bath & Beyond thinking this is just what I was looking for.
I got home and attempted to charge it overnight. In the morning it would not work.
OK stuff happens. I drove back to BB&B and exchanged it for different pair. SAME RESULT!! Instead of just getting my money back I thought lightning can’t possibly strike 3 times…BUT IT DID!! For the 3rd time it didn’t work. I attempted to discuss my dissatisfaction with customer service but they were as BAD AS THEIR LOUSY EARBUDS. They couldn’t care less about the hassle they put me through. Last week I tweeted about my experience and they responded requesting my contact information (which they already had) so they could get in touch with me. THEY DIDN’T. The next day I tweeted again and they tweeted back the same BS contact request and they never contacted me. I guess the requests were just to fool their other Twitter followers into thinking they care….THEY DON’T! AGAIN, THIS PRODUCT DOES NOT WORK AND THEY DON’T STAND BEHIND IT. Also, how BB&B can carry products like this doesn’t speak to highly of their quality control.
ljokerl’s Innerfidelityreview of the IE-800:
And thus the countdown to the IE 800 review continues. But keep up with the quality reviews anyways.