Which JBL speakers are best?

The JBL name is synonymous with quality, and whatever your speaker needs are, JBL has you covered. Founded by James B. Lansing over 70 years ago, the company’s reputation has grown steadily throughout the years. You can use JBL speakers to enhance your TV audio, chill out to your favorite tunes in the park or by the pool, or hook up all the rooms in the household with quality sound.

There are a plethora of different speakers available for a variety of needs. The JBL Flip 5, which offers wireless Bluetooth streaming and 12 hours of play time, is an excellent choice for your next gathering.

What to know before you buy a JBL speaker

Type of speaker

The most popular type of JBL speaker and the type they’re widely recognized for is their portable Bluetooth speakers. However, JBL also produces other kinds, such as speakers suitable for home use or party use, smart speakers and speakers that appeal to children. Car speakers are always popular, and even boat speakers are available. Whatever you require your speaker for, JBL has an option for you.

Color

You may prefer plain and traditional black, but JBL speakers often have various color options. You might wish to choose a color that reflects your personality or the occasion by opting for a more vivid color.

Portability

JBL speakers are typically portable and have various transporting options depending on the type of speaker. Smaller speakers may have a strap that allows attachment to a backpack or jacket. There may be a hook that can be used for hanging from a post or a tree, while ’80s boombox lovers may love the handle on the aptly named JBL Boombox.

What to look for in a quality JBL speaker

PartyBoost

The PartyBoost feature found in some JBL speakers allows you to pair any PartyBoost-compatible JBL speakers via Bluetooth. This enhances your audio output and can be a great choice at parties or outdoor events when speakers may be struggling to reach everybody.

Waterproofing

Keep in mind that when speakers say they’re waterproof, this doesn’t mean you can take them scuba diving. Any devices that claim to be waterproof, from JBL speakers to flashlights, are in fact water-resistant. The degree to which they’re water-resistant depends on their IP rating. Many JBL speakers have an IP7 waterproof rating, meaning they can be submerged in water up to 1 meter for 30 minutes. A higher IP rating means it can be submerged for a longer time at a deeper level. Lower means it’s protected from a short burst of weather, splashing or spray.

Dustproof

As well as being waterproof, some JBL speakers note how dustproof they are. An IP rating also measures dustproofing. For example, when you see an IP rating at IP67, the six is how dustproof it is, and the seven is how waterproof. However, you might see a device that says IPX6 or IPX7; this means that it doesn’t have a dustproof rating (the X), but it does have a waterproof rating (the 6 or 7). These speakers should be taken care of when at the beach, but poolside won’t be a worry. 

How much you can expect to spend on a JBL speaker

There’s something for everyone looking to buy a JBL speaker on any budget. They can start as low as $30, with options that appeal to young children. Powerful-sounding party speakers can reach up to $800.

JBL speaker FAQ

Will a Bluetooth speaker get damaged if I leave it plugged in all the time?

A. The components in a Bluetooth speaker allow for it to be permanently plugged in with no damage occurring. Even when fully charged, it’s perfectly safe for the speaker to be powered from a wall socket.

How many hours of play do Bluetooth speaker batteries offer?

A. This depends on the size of the speaker. Smaller and more budget-friendly speakers last reasonably long, at around five hours. Depending on the volume level, bigger and more expensive speakers can last longer; some even last up to 24 hours at a moderate volume.

What’s the best JBL speaker to buy?

Top JBL speaker

JBL Flip 5

JBL Flip 5

What you need to know: This is a well-designed portable speaker featuring a powerful bass to accompany its great sound with a 20-watt output.

What you’ll love: The IPX7 waterproof rating means it can be submerged up to 1 meter for as long as 30 minutes, so it’s perfectly safe at the beach, the pool or even if you get stuck in a spot of rain at an outdoor barbecue. It can be displayed horizontally or vertically. Another cool feature is the PartyBoost pairing. This allows any compatible JBL Bluetooth speaker to pair with it, thus boosting those beats at your party.

What you should consider: Some reviewers complained the battery life didn’t last as long as advertised.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top JBL speaker for the money

JBL Go 3

JBL Go 3

What you need to know: This is a budget-friendly compact design with a 4.2-watt output.

What you’ll love: Designed for travel or easy transport, this small speaker doesn’t take up much room in any luggage or day bag. The 4.2-watt output produces enough decibels for room-level audio, and it comes in various fun colors. It has an IP67 rating, meaning it’s sand- and dustproof and can be submerged up to 1 meter for 30 minutes, making it an excellent choice for personal use at the beach.

What you should consider: It’s a small speaker, so it isn’t loud, and the battery life is five hours.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

JBL Boombox 2

JBL Boombox 2

What you need to know: This loud speaker with a strong bass is suitable for outdoor parties or poolside gatherings.

What you’ll love: It’s a larger speaker, inconvenient for travel but portable. It has a classic handle, making it reminiscent of boomboxes popular in the 1980s for those looking for a bit of nostalgia. It weighs in at 13 pounds and is 22 inches long. With an IPX7 rating, this speaker is suitable for anywhere where it might get a splash or two. It has an impressive 24-hour battery life and is PartyBoost-compatible.

What you should consider: It’s on the pricier end of the scale for a JBL speaker.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Barry Peacock writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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