This JBL Charge 2+ portable speaker contains a Bluetooth 3.0 interface with the social mode, so you may wirelessly link with up to Three compatible Bluetooth-enabled devices simultaneously. A USB port allows you to charge select units.
JBL Charge 2+: Design
Available in quite a lot of bright colors, the cylindrical, 3.1 x 7.3 x 3.1-inch, 1.3-pound JBL Charge 2+ is on the massive end of the spectrum of portable Bluetooth speakers. The speaker is splash-proof, so it could hang poolside, but it is not fully waterproof, so you should not take it into the pool itself. A passive bass radiator on both ends of the cylinder out low frequencies while dual 45 mm drivers deliver 15 W through the main speaker grilles that take up a lot of the JBL Charge 2+ real estate. A rubberized stand on the bottom of the speaker retains it from dancing across or rolling around table tops when the music vibrations are intense.
The control panel throughout the top has buttons for Power, Bluetooth Pairing, Volume Up/Down, Social Mode, and a multi-purpose Phone/Play/Pause button. You may also a track forward by pussing this button twice quickly, though we had trouble navigating backwards, which is typically three taps—it is probably best to navigate on your actual device when you’ve the choice. The pinhole mic for the speakerphone function can be located on this panel.
The “Social Mode” is a pleasant feature that lets you connect up to 3 units simultaneously. Once all are linked, music can stream from any of the paired devices. Whichever device you press play on immediately gets preference, making the stream change and halt, so there is additionally potential for some shenanigans between mates or siblings with devices paired to the same JBL Charge 2+.
JBL estimates the battery life for the JBL Charge 2+ to be roughly twelve hours, & the USB port lets you charge mobile devices with the speaker’s battery. A wall adapter and USB charging cable are included with the speaker. However, that is it for accessories—there is no carrying pouch, and although there is a 3.5mm Aux input for wired audio listening, there is no cable included.
JBL Charge 2+: Performance
The JBL Charge 2+ delivers robust bass for a portable speaker. But on tracks with powerful sub-bass content, like The Knife‘s “Silent Shout,“ it additionally distorts dramatically at top volumes. It’d be one factor if maximum volume had been obscenely loud, but the JBL Charge 2+ can only get moderately loud, especially for out of doors use—it is simple to see this being the default volume level you use within the backyard or poolside. So, if your music library has lots of deep bass tracks in it, it is probably greatest to consider a special option that either does not distort, just like the Bose SoundLink Mini II, or that can deliver massive bass, just like the outdoor-friendly, not-so-portable Soundcast Melody. At moderate volumes, the distortion disappears and the JBL Charge 2+ delivers a rich bass response.
This richness comes across much better on tracks with less intense deep bass, like Bill Callahan‘s “Drover.” His baritone vocals are delivered with a clean presence within the low-mids, matched with some high-mid treble edge. The drums on this track get a nice amount of bass boosting to them. It is nothing insane, simply enough to add a little bit of roundness to their sustain, and it provides the mix a pleasant anchor within the lows to match its crisp highs. The re is no distortion to talk of at maximum quantity on this track, and the passive bass radiators sound off in all of their glory. It is a full sound.
On Jay-Z and Kanye West‘s “No Church within the Wild,“ the kick drum loop’s attack will get plenty of high-mid presence through the JBL Charge 2+, giving it a sharpness that slices through the layers of the mix with ease. The loop’s sustain additionally packs a low-mid punch, while the sub-bass synth hits are delivered with a modest sense of deep bass. The vocals get loads of high-mid and high-frequency presence, permitting to them hover cleanly over the whole mix. At top volumes, the bass on this track additionally does not distort, so the distortion actually is on a case-by-case basis.
Classical tracks, just like the opening scene in John Adams‘ The Gospel According to the Other Mary, get some added bass response, permitting the lower register instrumentation to have a heightened presence within the mix. The upper register vocals, strings, and brass still have many of the spotlights right here, however. This is a sound signature that provides a bit of depth and brightness to the proceedings, but purists in search of a flatter response will find issues a bit too sculpted.
JBL Charge 2+: Verdict
The JBL Charge 2+ is a wireless Bluetooth speaker that sounds flat-out great — and can double as a backup battery for your phone, too.
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JBL Charge 2+ (Black)- $129.95
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