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The second generation of JBL’s entry-level mini speakers gets full water resistance with better design and sound.
New] Jbl Go2 Portable Bluetooth Waterproof Speaker (black), Audio, Soundbars, Speakers & Amplifiers On Carousell
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of the review team since 2000. It covers the full range of tools and is an eminent reviewer for mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and amplifiers. He is also an e-reader and e-publishing expert, and author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit, and Lucidity. All of these titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Nook e-books and audiobooks.
JBL sells a wide range of wireless Bluetooth speakers and the Go line, now in the second generation Go 2, is the smallest and least expensive of the bunch.
The JBL Go 2 is a very compact wireless speaker that fits in a pocket and looks decent enough for its compact size. Its design and sound has been improved from the original and is now fully waterproof. In addition, it has amplifier capabilities.
In fact, the original JBL Gospeaker looked and felt somewhat like a toy speaker, weighing only 130 grams. The new version, which comes in several color options and costs $40, is slightly closed off—it weighs 184 grams—and the corners are rounded. It is also completely waterproof, with an IPX7 rating. This means that it can be completely submerged in 3 feet of water (1 meter) for up to 30 minutes.
Ipx7 Waterproof Wireless Portable Jbl Go2 Bluetooth Speaker
Although the headset is slightly heavier, it is very similar in size to the original and is designed for maximum portability. It takes up little space in a backpack, laptop bag, or purse, and it fits in plenty of pockets. In general, it sounds more substantial and more like a real speaker than a child’s play.
Battery life, like the original, is rated at 5 hours at moderate volume levels (that’s not great) and the power rating on the speaker, for what it’s worth, is 3 watts. It also works well as a speaker (it has a built-in microphone).
At the top of the speaker you’ll find volume controls, a pause/play button, and a dedicated Bluetooth button for pairing the speaker with your phone or other Bluetooth-enabled device. The 3.5mm audio input and micro-USB charging port (it takes 2.5 hours to charge the headset) are located under a gasket on the right side.
As far as the small speakers go, the sound quality is relatively good. I compared it to the original Go and the Go 2 plays a bit louder with more bass. However, as you might expect, this speaker overall lacks bass and won’t stand up much, even just a little. The more expensive Bose SoundLink Micro runs bigger and looks a lot better, but it costs 2.5 times more.
Silicone Case Travel Carrying Stand Up Protective Cover For Jbl Go2 Go 2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
While this might not be a great speaker for listening to music, I though it did fine as a companion speaker for watching movies or streaming other video content. Since the speaker is called Go, I streamed the 1999 Go movie (remember that?) and had no audio/video sync issues. Since small speakers tend to be stronger in the midrange, the dialogue plays well through the speaker.
If you try to choose between this and JBL’s Clip 2 or Clip 3, you’ll get similar sound quality but in a different form factor. I haven’t tested the Clip 3 yet, but it’s supposed to offer a slightly improved sound over the Clip 2, so it might sound a bit better than the Go 2, with slightly better bass response. The big difference is that you’ll get twice the battery life (10 hours) from the Clip 3. However, it costs an extra $20. (We’ll update this review as soon as we get the Clip 3 in.)
Despite the audio limitations, the JBL Go 2 is an attractive little Bluetooth speaker. It should cost around $30 or about £22 or AU$40 converted (you can find the original for around $25), but I wouldn’t knock it hard for that. The price should drift downward over time and become a better value.
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Jbl Go2 Bluetooth Speaker Light Blue
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