Jam Audio Comfort Buds: Comfort at a Price

Thanks to Apple, there’s a surge of Bluetooth headphones hitting the market. Apple users are practically forced to go wireless, and other users find it convenient to ditch the cords. However, besides the sound quality issue of going wireless, there is also a comfort factor. Because more electronics have to be jammed into earphones, most Bluetooth earbuds are heavy, making them uncomfortable for many users. Jam Audio’s Comfort Buds is a solution for those sensitive listeners. Is comfort worth the sacrifice in sound quality?

The Comfort Buds ($50) from Jam Audio are a “collared" headset—the electronics are housed in a flexible neckband with thin wires leading to the earphones. The earphones themselves are very lightweight; unlike a high-end set with metal casings, the Comfort Buds are plastic. This difference in weight is noticeable after hours of use—the Comfort Buds barely put any pressure on sensitive ears.

The controls for pairing and volume are on the collar, along with the USB charging port and an LED that displays playback, pairing, and charging modes—the cables for the earphones come out of the ends of the collar. The earbuds provide up to 10 hours of playback on a single charge. There is not a wired connection—they are only able to connect to the audio source via Bluetooth. I wish they had an auxiliary input so they could be used at the gym or with in-flight entertainment on my next international flight.

I was concerned that the cables would get tangled in my hair, which currently could use a trim. Once the collar was under my hair, it wasn’t a problem, but I did get quite a bit of cable noise when my hair moved against the cables. A ponytail or that much needed haircut would solve that problem. The neckband itself is quite comfortable, and I barely felt it around my neck, even while working outdoors in warm weather. It is covered in a soft-touch rubber and tends to rest more on my collarbone than the back of my neck.

The Comfort Buds are quite affordable, and unfortunately, one shouldn’t expect phenomenal sound quality. The treble response is a tad bit peaky in the upper mid-range, with a bit of sibilance to female vocals and a brashness to cymbals and hihats. The bass response lacks deep impact and range. I was able to improve the bass by changing out the eartips. The Comfort Buds come with three different sizes, and moving up to a larger size created a tighter fit, thereby improving the bass performance a little bit.

The Jam Audio Comfort Buds are not the ideal solution for someone looking for a high-end listening experience. However, for anyone who has to wear wireless Bluetooth earbuds for any length of time, or users whose ears are a bit more sensitive to pressure, they are ones to consider.