Review: Jimmyjane Little Chroma

The Jimmyjane Little Chroma is an old vibrator. It was designed and released years ago. Its technology is outdated, at least in the realm of luxury sex toys. And yet, when I was offered the Little Chroma to review, I wanted it. Because Jimmyjane’s marketing hustle is strong.

They made me want this vibe, with their talk of it being “everlasting” (they sell $20 replaceable motors for when the first one burns out) and “versatile” (yes, you can technically insert it in your vagina, though it’s only 2/3″ wide so I doubt you would) and “waterproof” (it isn’t really, but we’ll get to that). They make it sound damn enticing, like the best investment you could possibly make for your genitals. But the Little Chroma is all talk, no walk. It can’t live up to its hype.

First, the few good things about this toy: it’s made of aluminum, so it feels really smooth and sexy in the hand, and it holds temperature exceptionally well. It comes in cute colors like purple and black. It has a 3-year limited warranty. But… that’s about it. Everything else about it sucks.

Jimmyjane’s marketing for the Little Chroma is based on several lies-by-omission. I’ll list them for you here.

Lie #1: Vibrations. Jimmyjane’s website simply describes the toy’s vibrations as “strong-yet-silent.” What they don’t tell you is that this toy only has one speed. That’s right: unlike virtually every vibrator that sells for more than $15, the Little Chroma doesn’t offer you any options in terms of vibration strength. If you don’t like the one setting they supply you with, you’re fucked – and you probably won’t like it, because it’s as weak and buzzy as a typical bullet vibe.

In the instructional manual, Jimmyjane claims that the Little Chroma’s one speed is “the right speed” and that you can change how strong the vibrations feel by changing where you position the toy on your body. It’s true that the vibrations feel slightly stronger at the tip than on the shaft of the toy, but I only ever use the tip because even there the vibrations don’t feel strong enough. And yet somehow they make my fingers numb as I hold the toy. Ugh.

Using the Little Chroma takes me back to the days when I first started using vibrators – mostly cheap, battery-operated ones, because I was 16 – and I would go numb from the high-pitched vibrations within minutes. I would then have to physically rub the vibrator against myself in order to reach orgasm, and sometimes I wouldn’t even get off at all because there was no sensation left in my clit. Eventually I discovered rumblier vibes and found out that if a toy is good, you can usually just leave it in one spot and let it do the work for you. The Little Chroma does not fall into this definition of a good toy: it desensitizes me alarmingly fast, and I have to rub it up and down against my body to get anywhere close to an orgasm. This process also takes a lot longer than getting off with virtually any other toy.

Lie #2: Waterproof. With most waterproof toys, you can set them down on the side of the bathtub, settle into your bath, get comfy, and then grab your toy and have a nice orgasm with it. This isn’t possible with the Little Chroma, despite its claims of being waterproof.

See, the Little Chroma is only waterproof when the toy’s battery chamber is screwed shut – makes sense, right? – but when the battery chamber is screwed shut, the toy is on. There is no “off” button; you just unscrew the cap to turn it off. So when it’s off, it’s not waterproof – and when it’s waterproof, it’s always on. It has to be on the entire time you’re near water or you risk ruining your $125 toy. I cannot overemphasize how irritating this is.

Lie #3: Quiet. Don’t get me wrong – the Little Chroma is reasonably quiet when it’s actually in use. But when you’re twisting the cap (which, remember, is every time you want to turn the vibe on or off for any reason), it becomes loud, like a tiny little buzzsaw.

So picture this: your roommate comes home unexpectedly, or your mom suddenly knocks on your door while you’re masturbating, and you have to turn off your vibrator in a hurry. Not only does it take several seconds to twist the cap to the “off” position, but the vibrator also becomes weirdly loud while you’re doing this. If your intruder didn’t know you were masturbating before, they will certainly know when you slowly and loudly attempt to turn the toy off. Discreet? Nope. Not in the slightest.

Lie #4: Worth the price. The Little Chroma costs $125. You also have to pay for the AA batteries it uses, and an additional $20 for each additional replacement motor if the first one dies. For that much money, here’s what I think you ought to be able to expect from a vibrator: at least 5 speeds, rechargeability, full waterproofness, and easy orgasms. The Little Chroma delivers on none of these things.

True, the Little Chroma was designed at a time when expectations for luxury vibes weren’t really established yet and when consumers were still setting the bar pretty low for what a vibrator should do. But if we’re viewing this from a 2014 paradigm, the Little Chroma is a colossal waste of $125+. You’d be far better off spending that money on a Lelo Mia 2 (stronger, many more settings and speeds, rechargeable, waterproof) or a We-Vibe Tango (way stronger, 4 speeds, rechargeable, waterproof, super quiet) – hell, you could even get both of those, because even put together, they’re still only $25 more than the Little Chroma. And way, way, way better in every conceivable way.

Here’s what Jimmyjane should do: make the Little Chroma rechargeable, give it a much stronger and rumblier motor, turn its twist-off cap into a twist-dial speed controller, and make it actually waterproof. That could make it one of the best vibes on the market – but I doubt it’ll ever happen.