JBL Charge 2 Plus

It was time to get my first decent quality Bluetooth speaker. There is such a huge range in quality and price of these, with very little technical information easily available. Do I get a $79 speaker with pretty LCD colors on the front, or pay double for a brand name?

The price range goes from a sub $50AU point,  up to several hundred dollars! After asking for advice on Twitter and getting a bunch of different answers, I’d settled on the JBL Flip 3.

This changed when I walked into the store and saw a different JBL on special for $40 more, but $80 off the regular price. More googling and review reading in store locked in my decision to now get the JBL Charge 2 Plus – even though something inside me was slightly concerned about 2 being less than 3.

Luckily, someone had decided to video a comparison of the two units in question:

The reviewer chose the JBL Flip 3 due to it’s ‘loop’ cord. Not wanting to attach the speaker to my pants, I went against his recommendation and stuck with the JBL Charge 2.

20160220_071458JBL Charge 2 Plus in box

After getting my new purchase home, it was time to test it out:

20160220_071941JBL Charge 2 Plus not in box

All that was in the box was the speaker, some wrapping, and the charger cable:

20160220_071919Orange you glad there’s a charging cable?

The top of the speaker has the following easy to push buttons – power, bluetooth (for syncing), volume down, volume up, party mode and the call button:

20160220_071952Buttons with battery gauge dots in the middle

I didn’t test the party mode as it was only me, and that didn’t make for a fun party. I believe it lets you have multiple devices connected at once, and whoever plays music can take control from the last person playing music.

On the bottom reverse side, was the Micro USB in, Aux In, and USB Type-A out. You can charge other devices from this, which is handy if you want to leave a cheap tablet connected for a cool jukebox:

20160220_072024Bottom reverse of JBL Charge 2 Plus

Also cool were the side bass speakers, which visibly vibrate in excitement of the music they push out:

20160220_072009One of the side base speakers

The unit itself is quite hefty and solid feeling – putting it inside a pillow case would turn it into a very strong weapon.

Connectivity via Bluetooth was incredibly easy to do – press the Bluetooth button on the speaker, then go to your other device and scan for Bluetooth devices. Selecting ‘JBL Charge 2 Plus’ connected them together without any pins or codes required.

The sound itself that came out of the speaker was unlike cooked pasta – crisp. I was actually impressed with what I heard, exceeding my expectations of what a small speaker could do.

The speaker also functions as a speaker phone, which I also haven’t tested but assume it works. If someone really wants me to, I’ll call them and they can hear if I sound OK, then report back.

Despite not having a comparison for myself, I’d definitely recommend this speaker to someone having a look. How it compares to the JBL Flip 3 I’m not sure, but it does come with a loop.

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