Jbl Link Music Bluetooth Speaker – By Tim Gideon Tim Gideon Contributing Editor, Audio My Experience I have been a Contributing Editor since 2011. Before that I was an audio analyst from 2006 to 2011. This was my home, even though I was now a freelancer. Over a decade later, and reviewing audio gear is still my main focus. I worked as an audio engineer before starting a professional review tech – my love of recording eventually led me to write about audio equipment. Read full bio
The JBL Link Music smart speaker offers Google Assistant hands-free controls and powerful sound for a small size.
Jbl Link Music Bluetooth Speaker
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The $119.95 Link Music is JBL’s smallest and most affordable smart speaker. With support for AirPlay 2, Bluetooth, Chromecast and Google Assistant voice commands, there’s no shortage of features. In terms of sound, you can expect a very high sound level for its size, with rich bass and a good balance between lows and highs. That said, this is ultimately a mono speaker with one driver, so if you’re looking for booming bass, you’ll need to spend a little more.
Measuring 5.3 by 4.4 inches (HW), the cylindrical Link Music weighs 1.6 pounds and is available in light or dark gray. The outer panel of the speaker is covered by a fabric mesh, and the top panel has hole microphones for controlling Google Assistant, as well as plus/minus buttons for volume control and a central Google Assistant button for playback and alarm/timer controls. If you don’t want to use voice commands, holding the button for a few seconds will activate Google Assistant.
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The speaker’s rear panel features a Bluetooth pairing button, a microphone mute button (amber LEDs appear behind the grille on the front panel when the microphone is muted), and a connector for the power cord. The bottom of the speaker has a rubber coating to stabilize it on smooth surfaces.
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Setting up Link Music requires the Google Home app to use Google Assistant. Aside from entering the Wi-Fi password, the app handles everything for you, then you’re ready to play audio or control Google Assistant with hands-free voice commands. If a Link Music software update is needed, the Google Home app will automatically install it.
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Jbl Link Series
We found the volume control features to work well. Even when the music was playing fairly loud, the microphones picked up our voice commands and there were no misplaced commands.
Behind the grill, Link Music offers a 20-watt driver with a frequency range of 60 Hz to 20 kHz. It is compatible with Bluetooth 4.2 and works on 802.11a/b/g/n/ac wireless networks.
On songs with strong sub-bass content, such as Knife’s “Silence Scream,” the speaker lives up to its price with volume and low-frequency response. The punches are tight and there’s no distortion at high volumes – although at maximum volume the DSP (digital signal processing) significantly reduces the bass thump.
Bill Callahan’s “Driver,” a song with very shallow bass in the mix, gives us a better sense of the overall sound signature of Link’s music. The drums on this track can sound unnaturally thunderous on the bass-forward speakers, but through the Link Music mono driver, the drums are quieter. Instead, it’s Callahan’s baritone vocals that get the most bass presence—they’re richer than usual, and without a good midrange presence here, the mix risks sounding muddy. Acoustic strums and high-register percussion get enough high- and mid-range to keep the mix balanced, but surprisingly, even at this volume, it’s low-end. The Link Music can’t reproduce very deep frequencies, so the focus is on the mids and lows and the mids are pushed forward more than the frequencies.
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On Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “Wild Church,” the kick drum loop on the attack is high enough to keep the punch. Background conditions Here, he pushes forward and shows statues in high places. The dubbing drum loop sounds a little boosted with low-mid boost, but the beat is more subtle than the synth kick under the bass—we hear more of their super-stylish notes and less of an ominous deep bass. Often can pass the mixture. The vocals on this track are delivered with strong clarity and possibly added emulation.
, add some low-mid thrust and bring the lower-register instrument slightly forward in the mix. The brass, strings and vocals are much lower register than usual – the sound signature seems to shift subtly in the lows with little detail in the highs. It’s not muddy, but it’s brighter than what we’re used to hearing.
For its size and price, the JBL Link delivers palpable bass with enough balance to make music sound full and rich without sounding thick or lacking in detail. For a speaker in your kitchen or office, it packs more punch than you’d probably expect from a typical case. At $120, it’s a decent value, though you can get an Amazon Echo (3rd generation) for less. And if you’re looking for a little more power and bass depth in a smart speaker, solid options are the $130 Sonos One (Gen 2) and the $200 Amazon Echo Studioare.
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I have been a contributing editor since 2011. Before that I was an audio analyst from 2006 to 2011. Although I’m now a freelancer, I’ve been at home for over a decade, and audio equipment reviews are still my main focus. I worked as an audio engineer before starting a professional review tech – my love of recording eventually led me to write about audio equipment.
Table of Contents JBL Link Music $79.95 by JBL JBL Link Music $79.95 by JBL View it (opens in new window) One of the Link Music smart home speakers to review, and it’s safe to say the company is a real contender in it. has it. this place JBL Link Music may not carry the Google brand, but it goes a long way to what the search giant set out to do. That is, it means a solid audio offering at the end of the budget.
That’s not to say JBL Link music is without caveats. The company seems to have taken a few shortcuts to keep the cost down to just $119.99. Although the design language is strong, it has at least one significant flaw. Sound quality also falls short compared to more expensive offerings from competitors.
Portable Portable Multifunctional Bluetooth Speaker
Apart from that, this smart home gadget performs slightly better and louder than Google’s own home brand speaker.
At the same time, JBL has put quality materials front and center. The speaker includes all the features users expect from a smart home speaker – including a 3.5mm audio jack. Intuitive and easy-to-use controls and a set of usability-focused design features are part of it. About longevity and attention to detail.
That’s all right, this device also matches any decor in black or gray.
In short, the JBL Link Music is a speaker worth a closer look for anyone looking to expand or build their own smart home ecosystem.
Used Jbl Link Music Smart Speaker (black) Jbllinkmusicblkam B&h
JBL Link Music offers a standard design that is true in the world of smart home speakers. It takes the form of a short cylinder wrapped in fabric that looks like very soft touch plastics with decorations on the top and bottom. JBL has covered a special concave bottom in the rear material.
It’s printed with the usual branding, warning words and symbols and certifications, but it’s mainly used to add a bit of grip so it doesn’t slip and slide or wiggle in place.
It is not a perfect cylinder though. JBL instead designed it more like a flat square shape. The JBL comes in black or gray. My JBL Link Music review unit was the gray version.
The JBL brand is embedded on the “front”.
Jbl Link Music Review
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