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Jambanz: Bluetooth Music on the Go

Lee Killian, a former radio executive with 21 years in the broadcasting business, was at an outdoor party two years ago, and noticed a group of kids sitting together—but none of them were talking. “The adults were all enjoying music on a Bluetooth speaker,” he recalls, “but the kids were wearing headphones or earbuds and were lost in their iPods and iPads.” A moment that should be full of laughter and fun was instead an awkward gathering of people who were barely interacting. Knowing how important music is to youngsters, he had a brainstorm: Why not create a device that allows kids to listen to and share their favorite music with their friends, in an easy-to-use, portable, and affordable package?

 

 

 

 

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The result is Jambanz, wearable Bluetooth speakers on colorful slap bands that pair seamlessly with all types of Bluetooth-enabled MP3 players, cell phones, and smart phones. Available in 10 styles—expertly chosen by Killian’s tween daughter, Emma—and in colorful packaging, they retail for $14.99 to $34.99. While they’re not waterproof, Jambanz are durable and can be toted around on a variety of outdoor adventures—and slapped to everything from a wrist to a belt, backpack, or bike handlebars—so music is always at a child’s fingertips, while still allowing him or her to be alert to the surroundings.

 

Setup takes seconds and needs to be completed only once per device, which makes switching between devices a breeze—ideal for ages 6 through 16, who typically progress from more basic devices like the iTouch when they’re small to iPad Minis as tweens and smart phones as teenagers. Jambanz come in a range of vibrant colors, so the style conscious can switch the speaker with other bands to match outfits and moods. The lithium-ion battery in Jambanz lasts for up to four hours at a time, and can be recharged via USB.

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Even better, Jambanz address a growing problem in children: hearing loss from exposure to loud music, particularly from the use of earbuds. “Headphones won’t ever go away, and there are places where they’re appropriate—on planes and trains, for instance. Jambanz provides a safe way for kids to listen to their music,” Killian offers.

 

Parents have taken note, and are now buying Jambanz slap bands and armbands for themselves for working out, for outdoor entertaining, and trips to the beach. With Jambanz, you can enjoy the music of your choice; then, if a call comes in, the music stops and a ringtone sounds. A simple press of a button allows you to take the call. (And, no, you don’t have to talk into your wrist like James Bond; Jambanz have great range.) Once you’re done talking, you can go back to the music with another push of a button.

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Jambanz are currently available in about 300 independent specialty stores, and will hit the shelves of Barnes & Noble in time for the holidays. Visit the Jambanz site for more information or to inquire about becoming a retailer.

-Robin Catalano

 

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