Sleek, stylish and compact, these are easily among the best adjustable dumbbells available, so long as you remember to charge them up.
- More compact than rivals
- Plates feel secure
- Stylish design
- Need to remember to charge them
- Changing weight takes longer than selectorized sets
- Larger weight jumps
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The JAXJOX DumbbellConnect are the world’s first digital dumbbells—the latest leap forward in free weights evolution. But are they the best dumbbells for a home gym or should you swerve them in favor of a mechanized set?
The innovation here is how you change the weight. Instead of twisting a dial, as with many adjustable dumbbells, you place this pair in their docking trays and select the weight you want using up and down buttons on the side. This is straightforward and takes seconds; so far, so good.
While taking up the same amount of floorspace as a single dumbbell, this set offers eight weight options, with jumps of 4lb (1.8kg) between 8-50lb (3.6kg-22.6kg). This is respectable, although it falls short of the Chris Hemsworth-approved Bowflex SelectTech 552 (something of an adjustable dumbbell gold standard) with its 15 settings, spanning 5-52.5lb (2.2kg-23.8kg).
However, the JAXJOX DumbbellConnect defeats rivals with its sleek design. While the bulky plastic-plated finish of the Bowflex set isn’t easy on the eye, the DumbbellConnect’s slim metal plates and knurled chrome handle wouldn’t look out of place in a slick city apartment.
So if it’s an innovative pair of adjustable dumbbells for muscle-building home workouts you’re after, these deserve a spot on your wishlist.
JAXJOX DumbbellConnect Adjustable Dumbbells: Price And Availability
The JAXJOX DumbbellConnect Adjustable Dumbbells cost $499.99 in the US and £499.99 in the UK. This is excessive for pretty much any set of weights, particularly one that tops out at 50lb. However, in recent years I’ve seen the price drop as low as $99.99 at Best Buy, and at the time of writing the UK site is offering 50% off, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for decent discounts.
Several retailers, such as Argos in the UK, are offering them as part of a clearance sale, while others have run out of stock. Whether this means they’re on their way out or in high demand, I haven’t been able to find out, but it does mean there are significant savings to be made if you can find a pair.
When I reviewed the Core Home Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells, I said they were among the best-looking adjustable dumbbells on the market. This JAXJOX set knocks them off that top spot, which is partly why I have given them pride of place in my home office (because nothing beats writer’s block like an impromptu set of biceps curls, right?).
The high-quality materials give them a high-end feel, while the knurled handle provides great grip, even during sweaty sessions, and the grooved metal plates slot together so the plates sit flush against one another. This looks neat, but also means there’s no movement, rattling or unnerving clanging during bodybuilding staples like the dumbbell bench press (something that can’t be said for several others I’ve tried).
The only design downfall is the small screen at the bottom of the docking trays, which displays the weight setting when you’re changing the load. Unless the dumbbells are on an elevated surface, this can be awkward to see without craning your neck. But, given this is the biggest design gripe I could find, I think it’s fair to give JAXJOX credit for this polished product.
How I Tested These Dumbbells
The JAXJOX DumbbellConnect Adjustable Dumbbells have been a fixture in my garage gym and (after a house move) my home office for the past year. In that time I’ve put them to use numerous times, for lighter accessory lifts to support my regular gym workouts and for efficient hypertrophy training sessions on days when I can’t make it to my CrossFit box.
For the purposes of this review, I’ve also used these dumbbells for all the workouts in Coach’s four-week dumbbell workout plan.
I was pleasantly surprised to find these digital dumbbells handle much like a traditional fixed-weight set. This is largely down to the plate design, with each one featuring built-in grooves that slot seamlessly together, whatever weight is loaded on the bar.
This means the plates feel secure, and don’t move, clang or rattle when lifted. So the idea of a stray plate coming loose and crashing down (something I’ve experienced with cheaper adjustable dumbbells) never crossed my mind.
The central metal grip has a medium knurling that provides great grip, even during sweaty supersets, but it’s not so coarse that it tears at your hands. The plastic buffers between the plates elevate their performance too, offering a comfortable surface for holding the dumbbells during goblet squats.
It feels like every element of these dumbbells has been designed with a care and attention to detail that I couldn’t help but appreciate. Even the flattened bottom of the circular weight plates to stop them rolling away during your rest periods contributes to the feeling of a superior product.
The top weight option of 50lb per dumbbell may not be enough for heavy lifters, and the 4lb jumps in weight (compared with the 2.2lb increments of the Bowflex SelectTech 552s) are a downside. There’s a big difference between lateral raises with 8lb dumbbells and the same exercise with 16lb dumbbells.
However, most of the few flaws I came across were, ironically, linked to the digital element that makes these dumbbells such a pioneering product. I tried linking them to the JAXJOX app, which promises to count your reps remotely and provide follow-along workouts, but this felt like more of a gimmick than something I’d keep coming back to.
The weight-changing, while effective, took longer than with the selectorized sets I own. The docking tray needs to register that the dumbbells were in place with a beep, then there’s a wait for you to use the buttons to cycle through the weight options, and only then can you set about altering the load.
Maybe I’m impatient, because this process takes 10 seconds tops and won’t affect most hypertrophy training sessions, but during time-sensitive drop sets I found myself wishing for a slightly speedier transition. Nevertheless, for most home bodybuilding sessions, these are an exemplary set of adjustable dumbbells.
Are The JAXJOX DumbbellConnect Adjustable Dumbbells Worth It?
If you can find a set at a decent discount ($200/£200 or below) then I think the JAXJOX DumbbellConnect Adjustable Dumbbells make a wise investment. They’re the Rolls-Royce of the adjustable dumbbell world, with a stylish aesthetic, thoughtful design and high-end performance that’s a pleasure to lift with.
If you’re a beginner, or looking to use them for lighter, accessory movements, you may want to opt for the Bowflex SelectTech 552i, which offer more weight options, or the less heavy (and less expensive) Powerblock Sport 24. Alternatively, if you’re a seasoned gym-goer and want something weightier, Bowflex’s SelectTech 1090s (and their top weight of 90lb/41kg) might be more your style.
However, if you’re after an adjustable dumbbell for home bodybuilding that won’t stick out like a sore thumb when stashed in the corner of your living room, the JAXJOX DumbbellConnects are for you.
Harry covers news, reviews and features for Coach, Fit&Well and Live Science. With over a decade of training experience, he has tried everything from powerlifting to gymnastics, cardio to CrossFit, all in a bid to find fun ways of building a healthy, functional body.