Last updated: August 12, 2021

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Today we will talk about the JBL speaker, which attracts more and more consumers because of the cheapening and popularization of the device.

But some potential customers are laymen on the subject and do not know what features should be taken into consideration when buying this type of device.

With that in mind, we have prepared this article, with all the information you need to know about JBL speakers and buying suggestions for you to choose a model with features that meet your expectations.




Summary

  • The audio quality of JBL speakers is excellent. There are two versions: stereo or mono sound, what differentiates one from the other is that the stereo sound comes out by two channels and the mono by only one.
  • These devices can be connected to smartphones with Android, Windows and iOS systems, via Bluetooth or by analogue connection. The speakers are charged via USB cable.
  • JBL speakers are waterproof and the rating ranges from IPX7 (immersion in up to 1 m of water for half an hour) to IP45 (withstands low intensity water splashes) or IPX5 (withstands rain and surface water contact).

The best JBL Speaker: Our picks

JBL Speaker: Shopping Guide

JBL is the leading brand in the portable speaker market, because of its very high sound quality, with defined highs and powerful bass, efficiency, durability and superior design, even in the most modest models. The best thing is that you can take your JBL speaker anywhere, because besides the device being portable, it offers water resistance, which allows it to be used in the pool, beach and during bathing.

Imagem de uma moça escutando música em um parque com uma caixa de som JBL.

JBL speakers are portable. (Source: Yarden/ Unsplash)

What's different about JBL speakers?

JBL speakers are world renowned for their high quality, not only in terms of audio, but of the equipment as a whole. The excellence made the entry and stabilization of the brand in Brazil happen effectively.
JBL speakers are world renowned for their high quality.

The sound quality varies from one model to another and may be mono (only one sound channel) or stereo (two sound channels), both are very good. The sound is also balanced, i.e. it balances the treble and bass well. In addition, these models are modern, have connection to electronic devices via Bluetooth, but all come with an analogue cable, in case you need a second alternative to operate. The battery capacity ranges from 600 to 20 thousand mAh, that means that the speakers of the brand can play music for at least five hours and at most 24 hours, non-stop.

An interesting feature is that the JBL speaker (from the simplest model to the most sophisticated) can make and receive live voice calls with crystal clear audio, without noise, squeaks and interference.

Most models have a rubberized structure, resistant fabric coating that ensures durability to the piece and offer water resistance at different levels (IPX5, IP45 and IPX7). The format and colours vary.

Advantages
  • All models have excellent sound quality
  • Versions in different shapes, sizes and colours
  • Reproduces music for 5 to 24 hours (battery of 600 to 20 thousand mAh)
  • Price ranges vary
Disadvantages
  • The most powerful models are heavy (1.5 and 3.5 kg)
  • The most powerful devices are expensive
  • Not all models are waterproof

Which JBL speaker model is best?

You will find various options of JBL speakers. All of them have Bluetooth and analogue cable connection, a button to increase and decrease the sound, a built-in microphone to make and answer calls and a rechargeable battery. However, each model has its own characteristics. In this section we will detail the differentials of the main versions: Charge, Flip, Xtreme, Go and Wind.

Go

The Go is one of the entry-level models, i.e., it is among the simplest versions of JBL speakers, but even so this device has excellent sound quality, clean, with well-defined treble and bass. The box has a 600mAh battery, with autonomy for up to 5 hours of uninterrupted music and three watts of power. This model has a retro design, square shape, weighs only 134 grams and has five colour options.

Wind

The JBL Wind sound box was developed especially to be attached to the handlebars of bicycles and motorbikes. This model is round, lightweight, resistant to splashing water and low-pressure jets (IPX5 classification). The differentials of this model, compared to the others, is that it is the only one that reads Micro SD card and has FM radio attached. Despite having a louder sound, he distorts a little, something that the Go model does not. The battery has mAh and this box can play up to 10 hours of music. This model also has 3 watts of power.

Flip

The JBL Flip speaker is considered an intermediate model, both in price and sound quality. This model is suitable for parties, for having a more powerful sound and two sound radiators. It has a medium size, cylindrical shape and weighs 515 grams. The Flip has rubberized sides, highly resistant fabric and can come into contact with pool water (it floats), as it is IPX7 rated. The battery is more powerful, with 3000mAh, 16 watts of power and battery autonomy of up to 12 hours. This model can be found in several colour options: black, white, red, blue, among others.

Imagem de uma caixa de som JBL Flip azul.

The JBL Flip is available in several colour options. (Source: Finkandi/ Pixabay)

Charge

The Charge by JBL already enters the category of high-end speaker. Starting with the battery, which has 6000 mAh, twice as much as the previous model, which guarantees autonomy of operation for up to 20 hours. The sound is also more powerful, and the box transmits it through the front and sides. The power is 20 watts and it has the charge function (hence the name), ie, charges up to two smartphones at once, while playing music. This model is also heavier, about 1.5 kg. The JBL Charge speaker comes with USB cable, source for battery recharge and plug adapters.

Xtreme

The Xtreme is one of the most powerful JBL speaker models, with a 10 thousand mAh battery, 3.5 kg (it even comes with a nylon strap to be carried like a bag), it has a zip to protect the cable entry, rubberized sides and resistant fabric coating.

Imagem de uma caixa de som JBL Xtreme.

The JBL Xtreme comes with several accessories, including a nylon strap for carrying. (Source: Wout Wanacker / Unspash)

Despite the powerful external features, this model is not waterproof so never submerge it in water as you will lose your device. It can only withstand splashes of water and low density jets (IPX5 rating). An interesting feature of the speaker Xtreme, is that with it you can connect up to two audio devices simultaneously, or pair three users alternately, so you share the command of the speaker with your friends.

Go Wind Flip Charge Xtreme
Format Square Round Cylindrical Cylindrical  
Weight 134 g 185 g 515 g 1.5 kg 3.5 kg
Differentials Excellent sound quality, low price Ideal for bikes and motorbikes, reads SD card and has FM radio Ideal for parties, several colour options, full-bodied sound Sends sound from the front and sides, has a very powerful sound and recharges mobile phone It is one of the most powerful models of the brand
Battery 600 mAh 800 mAh 3000 mAh 6000 mAh 10.000 mAh
Music hours 5 h 10 h 12h 20 h 15 h
Power 3 watts 3 watts 16 watts 20 watts 40 watts
Rating IPX7 IPX5 IPX7 IPX7 IPX5

Other interesting models are:

  • Trip: for listening to music in the car
  • Clip: for connecting the speaker to the travel bag
  • Pulse: which in addition to having a powerful sound, is equipped with LED lights that "dance to the music"

Shopping Criteria: Factors to Compare JBL Speakers

Now that you already know that there are several JBL speaker models, you must be confused about which one to choose. So, in this last part of the text you will know what are the main aspects that you should take into consideration when buying. They are

  • Sound quality
  • Battery life
  • Sound power
  • Connections
  • Water resistance
  • Design
  • Extra features

We will explain each of the items in detail below.

Sound quality

The first thing most people look at in a speaker is whether it can reproduce powerful bass, after all, who doesn't like to have a device that vibrates to the sound of music. However, most of the time, the devices that emphasise the bass can present low sound performance. That is why it is necessary to listen carefully and observe if it is possible to distinguish the sound of instruments and singers' voices.

A good speaker has to have powerful bass and balanced sound.

All JBL speakers have what the brand calls the "JBL sound signature", meaning that the audio quality is always very good. However, the sound quality changes from one model to another, this occurs for several reasons. The first is whether the sound is stereo or mono:

  • Mono (monophonic): is the sound reproduction system with only one audio signal emitted. The models with this type of sound are: Go and Clip.
  • Stereo: Speakers with stereo system have the audio divided into two channels, i.e., there are two speakers to reproduce the different audio signals.

Stereo sound has greater intensity and depth, which allows you to easily distinguish each instrument, because they are divided into right and left part. The models with stereo sound quality are: Charge, Xtreme, Flip and Pulse.

Battery Autonomy

Another important feature that differs from one model to another is the battery life of the speaker. It is worth buying a model suitable for the use you will make of it.

But it is important that you know that not always the amount of hours that the manufacturer informs that the device works is compatible with the real use of the equipment, because it depends on the type of music and the volume that it will be reproduced.

Just for you to have a parameter, the Go model has an autonomy of 5 hours, the Wind works for up to 10, Flip and Pulse stay on for 12 hours, Charge for 20 (it is the most powerful in this aspect) and Xtreme for 15 hours.

Sound power

When you're choosing a speaker, look at its sound power. This index is measured in watts RMS and the higher it is, the more powerful the speaker is. The device should have the appropriate power for the size of the room where the speaker will be used, so that the space will be filled and everyone in the room will enjoy the music that is playing.

The standard 3 W speakers such as the Go, Clip and Wind models are suitable for sound reproduction in small environments with few people such as living rooms, bedrooms and vehicles. The more powerful models such as Flip (16 watts), Charge and Xtreme (20 watts each) are indicated for external environments such as swimming pool parties, barbecues, camping and others.

Imagem de pessoas fazendo uma festa na piscina.

With the JBL speaker you will be able to have a Pool Party. (Source: Eric Nonapen / Unsplash)

Oh, and don't get confused, sound power has nothing to do with sound quality, these are distinct characteristics. For this reason, don't be fooled by the numbers when buying your JBL speaker, thinking that the bigger, the better.

Connections

Analyze the connections available on the speaker is important to buy a model that meets your needs and preferences. All models of JBL, have Bluetooth connection to play music, 3.5 mm analogue cable if you want to connect your smartphone, tablet or Smart TV directly to the speaker and USB input for recharging.

But from one model to the other, you find some differences, for example, the Wind is the only one that reads Micro SD card. The models Charge and Xtreme charge smartphones via USB cable.

Most models connect to Android and iOS operating systems, but the SoundFly model also connects to Windows Phone. Some models also have voice command and allow connection with Google Assistant and Siri

Water Resistance

If you want to buy a speaker to have parties at the pool, beach or even to listen to music while swimming, JBL's models are a good choice, as they all have water resistance. This protection varies from one model to another and is measured in IP, short for "Ingress Protection", that is, it is the technology that protects your speaker against water, dust, sand and other particles that could damage the equipment.

Imagem de uma caixa de som da JBL molhada.

JBL speakers are water resistant. (Source: nadeem 1991 / Pixabay)
  • IPX5: IPX5 rated speakers can withstand higher pressure water jets. This means that your device will not burn if it rains lightly or if it accidentally falls into water. The Xtreme model falls into this category.
  • IP45: These models are protected against solids of 1 mm or more in diameter and against low, medium or high pressure water jets. The Wind model falls into this category.
  • IPX7: Speakers with IPX7 protection are the most resistant, as they can withstand immersion in up to one metre of water for up to 30 minutes. You can put it in the pool and the speaker will float. The models with this rating are Flip, GO, Charge and Pulse.

Design

Having a product with a modern and beautiful design is interesting, but you should not get carried away only by the visual aspect of the equipment, after all, all the criteria listed above are much more important. Each JBL speaker model has a unique design. The Go model has retro style, square shape with rounded edges and eight colour options: blue, black, pink, orange, red, yellow, gray and tiffany blue.

The Wind and Clip models have a round design, with a carabiner for hanging. Besides the visual aspect, the design is also functional, since the equipment can be affixed on different surfaces and offer stability and safety. The Xtreme model has nylon straps to be carried, is available in several colour and print options (it is the only model with this feature) and has a zip on the back to isolate the entries.

Imagem de uma caixa de som Xtreme da JBL com estampa camuflada.

You can find the JBL Xtreme sound box in camouflage print. (Source: Claudio Hirschberger / Unsplash)

The Flip, Pulse and Charge speakers have a cylindrical shape, which makes them easier to handle. The Flip can be found in several colour options and is smaller, the Pulse has LED lighting and the Charge can be used vertically and horizontally and has handles. Two other JBL speaker models stand out, this time for their futuristic design: the Soundfly BT and Soundgear.

Extra features

  • JBL Connect: This feature allows you to connect your device to 100 other JBL-branded speakers simultaneously.
  • Social Mode: Allows up to three devices (tablets or smartphones) to be connected simultaneously via Bluetooth (or USB cable) so that these three users can share control of the speaker alternately. This feature is available on the Xtreme model.
  • Charge function: Models with this function allow you to connect up to two smartphones to the speaker so that they can recharge while you listen to the music. The versions with this function are the Charge and Xtreme speakers.
  • Stereo Pairing: This feature is used to connect two JBL speakers to play or maximise the stereo sound effect. This technology uses two speakers to create a more realistic and immersive sound.
  • Speakerphone: JBL speakers have built-in microphone with speakerphone technology that eliminates noise and squealing so you receive and make phone calls more cleanly and without interference.

(Image source: Jeele Van Leest / Unsplash)

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