I’m a big fan of music and like to keep the quality as high as possible. Now we are in a low-fi worlds nowadays with squeaking tiny speakers or little speakers built into other devices. Of course they work and of course we are listening to a compressed digital file that is missing most of its complexity due to compression and digitalisation processing but can’t we still strive for nice sound?
Maybe I am being critical about this but for a few years already we are teaching our next generation that this squeaking is standard and not only tolerable but also acceptable. The result of that happening is a decrease of demand in high quality audio product development and especially the home “hi-fi” scene seems to be mostly through.
What I however came across is a portable Bluetooth speaker by JBL, now part of the Harman family, that goes by the name Charge 2. As the name suggests it is the successor of the JBL Charge, which is known for its reliability and good quality. JBL built their new product on top of these corner stones. in order to bring good sound to people who almost forgot about good sound.
The body is well designed and available in several colors. The sound is indicated to play only at a frequency response of 75Hz – 20kHz but the subjective feeling of bass and low frequencies is really solid. It is quite enjoyable to watch the sides of the speaker to get pumped by the base to your favorite track, as you still remember it from more traditional speaker bottoms.
The Lithium-ion Polymer battery (3.7V, 6000mAh) is good for up to 12 hours of music playback (depending on volume and style of music). The JBL Charge 2 also introduces a really useful feature for all you wall-hugger, always in need of a power plug to charge your smartphone or other device. The speaker’s body provides a USB host port that enables the user to plug in their device for charging. You will definitely lose some battery life on your trip like this but for emergency this is an amazing last means of reviving your means of using your phone.
If you don’t have a top notch stereo in your car, feel free to bring your Charge 2 with you while you drive. Next to the option of connecting the speaker to the cars power ports for longer battery life, you could also charge your phone without worries, as described above. And it gets better – you can use the Charge 2 to have audio conferences and take normal phone calls without using your hands. Safety first! If you are not a car person, why not attach the speaker to your bike or hiking gear? Just make sure that everybody in the city can hear your favourite country song just as well as you can now. Be creative!
The JBL Charge 2 can simultaneously connect up to 3 devices in the “social mode” and the users can decide on their own who plays what and when. As soon as they press play, they will be live on the speakers, for everybody to enjoy shared music. If some of your friends are not so tech-savvy, no worries, just use the standard 3.5mm port to connect a standard audio cable from an MP3 player or another similar source.
Is the JBL Charge 2 right for me?
As mentioned above the Charge 2 has the capability to make phone calls in an absolutely adequate manner but if you are looking for a professional solution on audio and video conferencing you should definitely consider the Logitech P710e Speakerphone, which we introduced not long ago.
If you pursue to listen to music with a portable speaker primarily and want great sound with great quality you should really consider the Charge 2. We agree with other reviews of the product category, that this particular speaker has better sound than the also popular Beats Pill, regardless of other functions.
YouTube: The JBL Charge 2 Wireless Speaker
Photo credit: JBL – By Harman