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After being around for decades and earning a solid reputation among music enthusiasts, the best JBL speakers are hands down the undisputed solution for your audio requirements. JBL manufactures some of the best speakers with pure, uncompromised sound for outdoor-friendly excursions, immersive home theater setups, and large get-togethers.
Of all the speakers under the JBL belt, wireless, Bluetooth-enabled ones have revolutionized the music listening experience for the mass market. These diverse speakers boast a slew of features, from the loud output in compact designs and dual pairing for the stereo mode to powerful sound and durable fabric material. Additionally, you’ll find JBL speakers have a distinct audio profile set in bass-heavy tones that deliver rich sound to get your next party pumped up.
Keep reading our buying guide to learn everything about JBL speakers and what they have to offer for a powerful and room-shaking listening experience.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: You can connect this speaker to up to two devices at once, making it a super convenient option. It’s also waterproofed so that you don’t have to worry about bad weather or conditions.
This is a genuinely all-purpose speaker, and its multifunctionality makes it an excellent match for just about anybody. It’s just as helpful during a loud party as it is for a relaxing get-together. It’s highly portable, and you can take it just about anywhere with you. Unfortunately, there have been reports of a “crackling” sound when this speaker is playing lower sounds. This could be a dealbreaker for some, especially if you happen to be an audiophile.
The fabric it’s made with is highly durable. It’s also waterproofed, so you don’t have to worry about bad weather ruining your speaker. Longevity won’t be a problem for this option since it has such a rugged exterior. It can connect wirelessly to devices using Bluetooth, making it a convenient option for those looking to get hooked up to it quickly. It can connect to up to two devices at a time.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This fantastic little model packs in a powerful rechargeable battery to ensure you can take it anywhere with you. It also provides a “Quick Start” guide that will help you get started right away.
If you’re looking for a speaker that will keep going for hours, you’ll love this option. It’s capable of providing 12 hours of playtime under optimal conditions. You can also use PartyBoost to connect it to other speakers, creating a surround-sound effect for audio. Unfortunately, there are some reports from consumers that the battery might not be quite as long-lasting as the brand advertises. It drains in just a few hours when on maximum volume.
This waterproof option is fantastic for taking anywhere you want to go. It can withstand the elements, so camping, hiking, and beach trips are all on the table. You’ll enjoy the premium sound quality that this brand is known for providing. It has a rechargeable battery, so you don’t have to worry about wires needlessly getting in the way. The package includes a “Quick Start” guide, a safety sheet, and a warranty card.
Award: BEST FOR BAD WEATHER
WHY WE LIKE IT: This model is highly resistant to damage that might be done by liquids, making it perfect for bad weather. It also provides seamless wireless streaming from any device. You’ll love the extremely rugged material.
Those who want the ultimate experience for their party will love what this speaker offers. It’s perfect for outdoor parties since it’s resistant to poor weather, just like the JBL Charge 3, so you never have to worry about a drizzle or passing storm ruining it. You’ll also be free from worrying about spills or splashes. If a working auxiliary input is something you absolutely need in a speaker, this might not be the right choice. There are some reports of this port having some issues.
You’ll appreciate the built-in battery of this model. It’s made of lithium-ion and is 7,500mAH. This means it can provide an astounding 20 hours of playtime to you. It is also able to charge your devices using built-in USB ports, meaning it can also serve as a power bank. You’ll be able to connect this speaker to other speakers by this brand, ensuring that you can hear your music no matter how loud the party gets.
Award: BEST FOR TRAVELING
WHY WE LIKE IT: You’ll love how easy it is to travel with this highly compact model. It can go absolutely anywhere with you, especially since it’s resistant to liquid damage. It has a rugged design and is extremely easy to use.
Those who are often traveling or on the go will appreciate how compact this speaker is. It’s incredibly easy to take with you, especially if you carry a backpack or purse. The model features a built-in carabiner that you can clip onto your bag or body to keep the music going even when you’re on the move. If you’re looking for a super-powerful speaker that can produce room-filling noise, this will not be the right option for you. It may just be too small of a model to fit your needs.
It’s effortless to set up and has a connect-and-play functionality right out of the box. You’ll love that this model can provide up to 10 hours of playtime to you, especially if you’re out camping. It’s a noise-canceling model that allows you to get the most out of your audio experience without worrying about ambient noise getting in the way. This model is rugged and durable so you can trust its longevity.
Award: BEST FOR PORTABILITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: You’ll enjoy the inclusion of an easy-carry strap, making this a highly portable design that can be quickly picked up and carried anywhere. It’s made out of a durable, rugged material perfect for camping, the beach, and more.
If you need an easy-to-carry speaker, this option will be perfect. It includes an easy-carry strap to avoid having to struggle while lugging it around. This model also offers wireless Bluetooth streaming, making it a highly convenient choice for consumers. You can connect easily with your tablet, smartphone, or other compatible devices. Unfortunately, it is a little bit on the bulky side. Because of this, you may not want to carry it over long distances even though it has a carrying strap.
You’ll be able to access 15 hours of playtime with this model. That means you won’t have to worry about the battery running out early and leaving you without your entertainment. It’s perfect to use at events, but you can also keep it as a personal speaker system in your house. It provides far better audio than the stock systems included for most devices. It has a 3.5-millimeter stereo input to provide added convenience.
Award: BEST FOR ALARM CLOCKS
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’d like to have a little alarm clock for your desk, this speaker will make a perfect pair with your phone. It’s incredibly compact and doesn’t take up much room, so it’s friendly for tight spaces.
You’ll love how easy it is to put this speaker right on your desk or in any other tight space. This is due to the compact design of the model. It’s perfect to use with your computer and even handier to have as an alarm clock. However, those who require the best sound possible won’t get what they’re looking for from this speaker. It tends to be heavier on the bass while sounding muffled since there’s no equalizer.
This speaker can provide up to five hours of playtime under optimal conditions. This is more than enough for most people, especially if you don’t plan on traveling too much with it. There is a built-in lithium-ion battery that’s rechargeable, so you won’t have to worry about being restricted by unnecessary wires. You can also use it as a speaker for conference calls since it has a built-in speakerphone. This makes it a convenient choice for those who work from home.
JBL was founded by James Bullough Lansing in Los Angeles in 1927, and after 13 years of struggle selling loudspeakers during the Great Depression, JBL Sound was born in 1946. During this time, the company saw enormous success with its entry into the music reinforcement field. Soon after, it forayed into the international market when Harman Professional acquired JBL in the 1960s. Due to the team’s uncompromising commitment, the JBL market prospered.
Today, there are two major divisions within the company — JBL Professional Production and JBL Consumer. While the former is responsible for producing professional audio systems for theaters, DJ systems and high-end DJ speakers, and music festivals, the latter has expanded its product offerings to include wired/wireless headphones, earphones, soundbars, and a variety of different speakers, including the top WiFi speakers.
From big party subwoofers for outdoor activities to pocket-sized Bluetooth 5.0 options, JBL gives you the freedom to listen to your favorite music with speakers that deliver the out-of-this-world audio output and wireless range. For someone looking for home speakers, JBL offers floor-standing varieties and soundbars that give you the cinematic experience and room-filling, accurate sound without compromising on vocals sound.
(Pro 1) JBL manufactures a diverse lineup: Apart from pumping out powerful room-filling sound, JBL’s diverse product offerings are what set it apart from competing brands like Sony and Bose. You’ll find a wide range of wireless speakers, from portable high-end Bluetooth speakers and large thumpy bass subwoofers to pool party boombox-style models and travel-friendly options that can withstand the elements.
(Con 1) Affordable JBL speakers have poor battery life: Opting for a budget wireless JBL speaker, like the Go 3, means you’ll have to settle for a five to eight-hour battery life. Charging your compact speaker every five hours will begin to feel like a burden over time, ultimately taking away from your listening experience. Instead, you’ll be better off with affordably priced speakers from Sony (SRS-XB13) that give you a playtime of 12-16 hours between charges. That said, if you’re willing to shell out more money, you can purchase a JBL speaker with 15-hour battery life.
(Pro 2) JBL Speakers sport a rugged design for your wildest adventures: Most JBL models are covered in an IPX7 fabric which means they have a level 7 waterproof rating and can be submerged in three feet of water without damaging the speaker circuitry. Moreover, these outdoor speakers are robust enough to take a beating when exposed to the outside elements. Some even have an in-built carabiner clip (JBL clip 4) to attach to your travel bags. On the other hand, speakers like the Bose SoundLink Color are just not equipped to handle the outside world.
(Con 2) The USB charging port can feel flimsy: The charging port on some models appears to be slightly delicate and considering most JBL speakers are travel-friendly, this can prove quite the problem. In that case, you’ll need to get in touch with JBL’s customer care team or register for a warranty if you’re still eligible.
(Pro 3) Has a punchy, bass-driven signature sound profile: If you enjoy different kinds of music with deeper and more extended low-bass found in contemporary metal, hip-hop music genres, and electronic dance music, the JBL Boombox is your go-to. This brand is well-known for its hard-hitting bass, and some models like the JBL Party 310 even have a bass boost feature that bumps up the bass in your audio. This massive speaker is perfect for outdoor parties.
(Con 3) The JBL line is expensive: When pitted against other budget speaker brands, JBL speakers can look pricey. However, the cost tends to even out when you compare the sound quality, durability, and aesthetic appeal of these speakers.
Whether you’re in the market for an on-the-go, portable speaker, or a party speaker powerful enough to reverberate throughout your room, JBL has an audio solution for you. With JBL speakers, you’ll get a bass-heavy audio profile, a longer-lasting battery, a companion app for making equalization adjustments, a rugged rubber housing for outdoor escapades, and 360-degree sound from its powerful drivers. You can even trade portability for the best home theater speakers JBL offers.
Apart from these standout features, you’ll also find that JBL manufactures some of the most attractive-looking speakers with a cylindrical design. The brand further takes this up a notch with the JBL Pulse 4 which puts on a bit of a show with its full-body LED light display.
Though a major drawback of JBL is that its entire lineup is slightly on the higher end of the price spectrum, it ensures there’s no compromise when it comes to quality. After all, JBL is one of the biggest names in the audio industry and continues to serve audiophiles and music lovers alike with impeccable sound clarity and massive sound be it on any occasion.
Since most JBL speakers are wireless with Bluetooth connectivity, you can expect them to last for many years before the batteries begin to wear out. Li-ion batteries have finite charge/discharge cycles, so it’s normal for your speakers to have a reduced battery life after one year of heavy use, even for top speakers like JBL.
Just like the best laptop speakers, the lifespan of your JBL speakers depends on key variables like how often you use the speaker, its exposure to the elements, and how well it’s stored. If you use your speaker every day till it runs out of juice, and your speaker only has 300 charge cycles, that means it’ll last at its optimal capacity only for 300 days. In that case, you’ll want to opt for premium speakers that offer more charge cycles.
You’ll also want only one device connected to the speaker at once so that the built-in battery doesn’t drain out as quickly. Additionally, playing music at quieter volumes ensures extended battery life.
However, when it comes to JBL’s home theater speakers, you can expect them to last a couple of decades as long as you properly care for them, just like the top smart speakers. They’ll last if you take care of them. If you want your equipment to last the long haul, you’ll want to wipe down your entire speaker frequently to prevent dust build-up. By doing this, you’ll also drastically improve your speaker’s overall sound quality.
The first part of a speaker you’ll want to protect is the lining around the drivers that can easily tear if they dry out. Use a pea-sized amount of silicon sealant on the material to keep it in brand new condition. Lastly, never place your speakers in moist environments as this will not only corrode the bass radiators but can lead to scratchy-sounding audio content.
Unless stated otherwise, the JBL speakers warranty period lasts for one year after the original date of purchase by the original end-use customer. For a warranty exchange, you’ll have to fill out a form on JBL’s website. On filling out the form, you’ll receive an email to which you’ll have to reply with an original purchase receipt or invoice, your shipping address, and the product’s serial number. A customer service agent will get in touch with you within a day or two after sending in the details.