Before there was the Google Home, there was Alexa. She (or it) is the personal assistant that comes baked into Amazon’s Echo and Echo dot speakers. You can ask questions, set timers, control your music, and even control your house, but if you wanted Alexa you had to buy one of the Echo products. Similarly, if you want the new Google Assistant in a home-friendly speaker you have to buy the new Google Home. While the Google Assistant will be open to developers soon, companies can’t just take it and put it in their own speaker. But since Amazon made Alexa open to all, that’s exactly what you can do with Amazon’s Alexa. Now we’re starting to reap the benefits as consumers. Enter the Jam Voice speaker from Jam Audio, one of the first non-Amazon speakers to make use of the Amazon Voice Service.
The Jam Voice has a similar size and shape to the company’s previous Bluetooth speakers that you might have seen at Best Buy and Wal-Mart, but with the added benefit of Alexa integration. Towards the front of the speaker are three playback buttons that let you pause or play music as well as adjust the volume. But the fun starts when you press the Amazon Voice services button.
By just tapping a button you can ask it questions, control your music, or call an Uber. You can connect it to your Wi-Fi at home and also Bluetooth when you’re on the go. Unfortunately, it only has a 4- hour battery so don’t expect to get all-day usage. But it should be enough to keep you going until you can plug it back in. If you own or purchase any other Jam Wi-Fi speakers and set them up in your house, the Jam Voice can also link to them for simultaneous playback in multiple rooms similar to a Sonos system. There’s even a free app that lets you control it further.
If you’ve been wanting to give virtual assistants a try, the Jam Voice is available now in white or black color options for $79.