JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth Speaker Review
Look and Design of the JBL Charge 3
The portable wireless speaker is IPX7-rated waterproof with a durable case made of fabric and rubber. The Bluetooth device measures 3.43” x 9.09” x 3.48” and is 1.76 lbs.
On top of the portable unit are buttons for power, volume, and play/skip/pause. There is also a button for JBL Connect, which enables you to connect more JBL speakers for bigger sound.
What are the Specs and Top Features?
The Charge 3 has to be able to deliver great sound for us to consider it amongst the best cheap Bluetooth speakers. It succeeds in this respect, for the most part, thanks to dual drivers and twin passive bass radiators. Other notable attributes of the Charge 3 include its USB port for charging devices and the built-in microphone.
The wireless speaker runs on a rechargeable 6000mAh lithium-ion battery, providing a good 20 hours of playtime. It uses Bluetooth 4.2 technology and requires a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone, tablet or another device.
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The top three features to highlight in this JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker review are:
- Waterproof Design
- Doubles as an External Charger
- Great Bass for the Price
Who Will Like JBL’s Wireless Speaker?
The Charge 3 from JBL is designed to be portable, so it will likely appeal to a person who wants to listen to music on the go. As it is waterproof, the wireless speaker is safe to take to the pool or beach without worrying about potential damage. It can also run up to 20 hours on a single battery charge, which is impressive.
For someone who wants a modern-looking Bluetooth speaker, the Charge 3 fits the bill. It has a modern, rugged look and the teal color is playful. The bold appearance will draw positive attention in a crowd.
The built-in speakerphone is one that a busy person can appreciate, especially since it is both echo- and noise-cancelling. Easily answer calls through the speaker, once your smartphone is connected, and the voice you hear is crisp and clear rather than muffled. The integrated microphone is a handy feature, in our opinion, and is lacking in other top 10 Bluetooth speakers.
JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth Speaker Review - Benefits of the Best Cheap Bluetooth Speaker
A major advantage we have already touched on in our JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker review is its durability. The JBL model is waterproof IPX7-rated, which means it is submersible completely under water for a short time. The case can also travel easily in a backpack given its small size and tough casing.
Another benefit is the big stereo sound that the Charge 3 delivers in spite of its small size. It has a deep bass and rich sound quality that made us want to re-listen to our favorite tracks on it. Given that it sits in the lower range of portable Bluetooth speakers on the market yet provides awesome audio quality, we consider it a great value.
You can even wirelessly link the small JBL unit to other JBL Connect enabled speakers to create a bigger soundstage or amp up the sound, such as at a get-together. The strong battery life of 20 hours that comes with the 6000mAH power bank is another great quality of the mobile speaker, along with its ability to operate either in wired or wireless mode.
Drawbacks to Note
We would be remiss in this JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker review to leave out its flaws, even though they are minor. Firstly, while the bass is great on it, the Charge 3 could do with a bit better balance between bass and treble. The highs are slightly muted, unfortunately.
Another disadvantage is the unit’s weight; at close to 2 lbs, it is heavier than other cheap Bluetooth speakers. That said, it is still light enough to carry with you and can go pretty much anywhere, unlike the three-piece Harman Kardon SoundSticks.
What is Unique about the Charge 3?
JBL crafted the teal Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker to do more than just play music. It has a speakerphone function, as we noted earlier, which works easily by pressing a single button to answer a phone call.
Also, the Bluetooth speaker can charge devices, such as a smartphone or tablet, unlike more expensive portable speakers like the UE Boom. The charging occurs easily via the USB port.
Final Remarks for the JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth Speaker Review
The teal JBL Charge 3 packs a powerful punch with its modern style, stereo sound, low price, and ability to charge mobile devices. It has a strong bass, although the bass-treble balance could be better. The Bluetooth portable speaker performs great in large, open spaces, though, even if it is raining.
The waterproof design is a step up from the previous model and shows the speaker’s excellent durability. Overall, we consider the Charge 3 to be a contender for the best cheap Bluetooth speaker on the market.
JBL Xtreme Bluetooth Speaker Review
Intro to the JBL Xtreme Wireless
Right away we noticed that this portable speaker has great style. It has a circular shape and comes wrapped in a tough fabric that is splash proof.
We also immediately noticed that it’s a larger size than some other top 10 wireless Bluetooth speakers. It has a sporty look and is meant to sit horizontally when in use given its embedded plastic stand. It’s obvious to us that JBL put a lot of thought into the design with its many small details, including the convenient top buttons for Bluetooth pairing, power, JBL connect, volume, and play or pause.
JBL Xtreme Review: Specs and Best Features
This JBL wireless speaker has dual 63mm woofers, two 35mm tweeters, and a pair of passive radiators to build up the bass. It has a 70Hz-20kHz frequency response too, which is more than a lot of other portable speakers.
The JBL Xtreme’s top 3 features are:
- Great Bass
- Clear Phone Calls
- Sturdy Design
The black device weighs 4.6lbs with a 126mm height, 283mm width, and 122mm depth. It runs continual music for as long as 15 hours on the built-in Lithium-ion battery.
Sound Benefits of the JBL Xtreme Speaker
The Xtreme has amazing sound quality, as many online reviewers agree. It is a must-have at a house party or outdoor gathering, especially since when you up the volume it won’t distort the sound very much. Also, several different music genres sound good on this device, from rock to pop to classical. Given that some songs have more bass than others, not all of them might sound good on a single device, but such is not the case for this JBL speaker as it can emit various levels of bass intensity easily. Its high frequencies have great precision and detail, and there is a warm mid-range.
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The Xtreme model’s bass sounds richer than the smaller JBL Charge 3. While the Charge 3 has quality sound, it can’t deliver the same booming bass. At a bonfire or pep rally, it’s this awesome bass that will take the event to the next level of fun or excitement.
Who Would Like This Bluetooth Speaker?
Right away we think of all serious audiophiles. These users demand great music quality, no matter the genre of the song. JBL’s Xteme device delivers in this regard and ups the bass as needed for full enjoyment of the tunes. Also, its black color will appeal to someone wanting a sophisticated-looking unit rather than being a bright color like the Charge 3.
The JBL Xtreme’s Pros and Cons
The Xtreme Wireless can answer calls in speakerphone mode using the play button. Just press that same button to end the call. In addition to being easy to use, it also has great sound clarity when on a phone call, thanks to the Echo-cancelling speakerphone.
Another advantage of the Xtreme Wireless Speaker is its splashproof casing. This feature gives you peace of mind that it won’t short out if it’s by the pool edge and gets a bit wet or if there is a bit of rain. It is also easy and fast to connect the portable device to Bluetooth, can charge your phone, and connects as many as 3 smartphones or tablets to the speaker for the ultimate playlist.
But our JBL Xtreme review must also point out a few minor limitations, including that it is not a speaker that can survive a total submersion in water. In other words, it can be splashed with water and still operate but is not fully waterproof. Also, the Xtreme is in the higher price range of portable Bluetooth speakers. But with a great bass boost that the Charge 3 simply doesn’t have, the Xtreme speaker is worth every dollar with its delivery of sound in any music track the way that the recording artist intended it to sound. Plus, this great music quality will liven up your party and impress those who attend it.
How is the JBL Xtreme More Unique than the Charge 3?
The Xtreme has a zipper to conceal its sensitive parts, which is more creative than the rubber piece that most other speakers use, including the JBL Charge 3. Within the Xtreme’s secure zippered compartment are two USB ports, power in, aux in, and a micro USB port. The Charge 3 only has one USB port. We like the creative thinking of the JBL team in using a zipper.
Also important to note in our JBL Xtreme review is that it is bigger and heavier than some other speakers, so it’s less mobile. But the portable speaker makes up for this aspect by coming with a shoulder strap that makes it easier to carry, and a built-in hard plastic stand at its bottom ensures it sits securely on the ground, table or another surface. It also feels sturdier in the larger size than the Charge 3, which we think is a good quality when it comes to electronics, especially if you’re heading outdoors.
JBL Xtreme Review Conclusions
The Xtreme portable Bluetooth speaker provides top sound quality, even when tunes are playing at higher volumes. While not everyone can afford the Xtreme, we feel it offers a better sound experience than the JBL Charge 3 that can take your next gathering to the next level. It also looks sleek and tough in black and doubles as a crystal clear speakerphone. We believe the Xtreme to be a great choice of Bluetooth wireless speaker.
Bose SoundLink II Ranking
Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker II Review
What to Expect with the Bose Soundlink II
This compact wireless speaker measures 5” x 2.19” x 5.16” and has rounded corners, so it is easy to take with you in your backpack or move from one room in the house to another room. The speaker’s black silicone casing is soft to the touch and durable, as well as being splash resistant, which is great when you are listening to tunes at the beach or pool.
The three top features for the Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker II review are:
- Compact Design
- Bold Sound
- Doubles as a Speakerphone
Also, Bose designed the SoundLink II to connect to two Bluetooth devices at the same time. Connecting the additional devices is easy to do using the Bose Connect app.
As with the MEGABOOM Charcoal Bluetooth Speaker, the SoundLink II uses a rechargeable battery. The battery life is eight hours for the second-generation wireless device, and it has a wired option too (USB powered).
Qualities We Love about the Bose Best Bluetooth Speaker
In conducting the Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker II review, we realized almost right away that we underestimated its sound quality. As the unit is small, we assumed it would be limited in terms of the audio it offered us. However, when we used it, we were pleasantly surprised at the big sound that emanated from it. It is a step up in this regard from the SoundLink predecessor.
The bass and treble balance well in the newer Bluetooth audio streaming model. Along with the clear sound, the SoundLink II is made to stay where you put it, rather than falling over or moving a few inches, while in use, thanks to the dual opposing passive radiators that keep the vibrations low.
Another reason the Color SoundLink II is one of the best Bluetooth speakers available is that it is multi-functional. Rather than just being a portal to listen to music, the device has a built-in microphone. As a result, the connected unit enables you to pick up phones without having to reach for your smartphone. Simply press a button on the speaker to answer the call. We like the convenience of Bose’s speakerphone option.
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Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker II Review: The Drawbacks
We never said the SoundLink II is perfect. While the silicone material is great at repelling drops of water, it is less effective at keeping away the dust. The soft finish is nice to the touch, but it attracts lint and dust, which means having to clean it regularly to maintain its attractive look.
Also, it is important to make the distinction between splash resistance and waterproof. While the Bose model is splash resistant, it may not survive out in the rain for long. This means that if you have the wireless speaker outside and it starts pouring down with rain, you will want to cover up the speaker. Although it looks rugged, the unit does not function in all types of weather, which is a limitation.
Lastly, the battery life of eight hours is shorter than competitor models like the JBL Charge 3 that offers 20 hours of playtime. Being able to go longer between having to charge the Bose speaker would be nice. When it is time to recharge, the portable unit works with most USB power sources.
Who Would Like the SoundLink II?
The second-generation model delivers a quality of sound that will satisfy the majority of listeners. The balance of bass to treble is great, and users are likely to appreciate the depth of sound that comes from such a small unit.
For a person who is on the go a lot, the SoundLink II’s design is appealing as it is durable and small enough to withstand a journey in a bag or luggage, unlike the more elegant than rugged Harman Kardon SoundSticks Wireless. The speakerphone feature is convenient for a social butterfly or anyone in business, and the ability to connect two devices to the speaker makes it great for a multitasker.
Is this Bose Bluetooth Speaker Worth the Price?
In our quest for the best Bluetooth speaker, we assess the overall value of the top 10 Bluetooth speakers. In this case, the sound quality is great for the price. The wireless speaker is also compact, attractive and easy to carry.
Bose’s speaker is also high in value because of its special features. Not every Bluetooth speaker, for example, has the SoundLink II’s robust silicone exterior, which is both durable and soft to the touch. The built-in microphone for the speakerphone is a very useful feature too that we would like to see in more portable speakers.
While Bose’s SoundLink Speaker II is not the cheapest or the most expensive Bluetooth speaker on the market, we think that the mid-range price tag is appropriate given it offers good value.
Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker II Review Conclusions
While we have pointed out a few minor shortcomings of the SoundLink II Bluetooth Speaker, we realize there are many benefits to it, from the lengthy playtime to the compact design. For us, the best Bluetooth speaker has to have great sound quality, and this Bose wireless device gives us the kick we want in our music.
In conclusion, we think the black wireless Bluetooth speaker offers noteworthy value. It is a small speaker with big sound.
Echo (2nd Generation) Ranking
Echo (2nd Generation) Bluetooth Speaker Review
Echo 2nd Generation: Top 3 Features
Amazon’s newer Echo offers:
- Smart Alexa technology
- Crisper sound than original
- Multi-room audio
Benefits of Alexa with the Echo Gen 2
Amazon connects the Echo speaker to the Alexa app to make it easy to do many activities. Put on music, ask questions, integrate it with at-home devices, and more. You can even call people using Alexa with voice command.
Not sure what questions to ask Alexa? It could be anything from the weather forecast to the name of the latest song from Bon Jovi. You can even order dinner via voice command. Smart home devices that can connect via the speaker include lights and thermostats. Hands-free calling is great when your hands are full, or you’re on the move within the house. This convenient speakerphone experience is also available with the JBL Xtreme.
Activating Alexa is as easy as clicking the button on the top of the Echo (Second Generation) Bluetooth Speaker. If you don’t want to use the voice-activated app then simply mute the microphone via the other button on the top. For WiFi, it works with both 2.4 and 5 GHz networks. You can also stream audio from your mobile device to Echo or from Echo to the speaker.
Lastly, this smart speaker is portable. It measures 5.8 inches x 3.4 inches by 3.4 inches. Easily move it from room to room within your house whenever you want.
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Amazon Echo Gen 1 vs. Gen 2: Pros & Cons
By now you’re likely wondering how the second generation is a step up from the original Echo. The Gen 2 smart speaker is as good looking as the first one. While it is still cylinder in shape, it is shorter and has a cloth cover that protects against fingerprints. The great thing about being a cylinder is that the speaker offers 360 degrees of music; you don’t have to move it a certain way to hear audio. The fabric cover comes in different colors too so that you can customize it to your home décor.
A great upgrade Amazon made with the Gen 2 is the Dolby speaker technology. If you like your music loud, it will still be crisp for vocals and have good bass when you want it with an integrated 2.5-inch woofer. The sound is sharper than the original model, as per some online reviews, while other users write that the quality is still not excellent. In our opinion, getting Dolby technology at an affordable price for this Bluetooth speaker is impressive, and Dolby is a reputable name. Plus, the use of the speaker with hands-free commands likely makes it worth the price tag for most people. The Gen 2 Echo Bluetooth speaker has a 0.6-inch tweeter too for close-to-flawless treble.
Amazon is phasing out the original Echo; only the second-generation model is available new. As for the price comparison, interestingly this Gen 2 Bluetooth speaker is less expensive than the original one was when it released new.
Both Echo models are corded. We recognize that some users may like battery powered devices more than chorded ones. But we also see the positive point here that there’s no battery to drain and have to replace or recharge over time.
What Makes the Echo (2nd Generation) Different?
Another elevated feature the original portable speaker didn’t have is the multi-room audio. What does this mean? You can now listen to one song in the bedroom, for example, while someone else at home plays a different song in the laundry room.
If you are a household that wants to share the Amazon Echo Gen 2, then you’ll likely enjoy this feature. Also great is that the new Echo provides the ability to send text messages via Alexa, in addition to hands-free calling. And the Echo 2nd Generation has seven microphones, making it easy for the Bluetooth speaker to hear you from whatever direction you are at while speaking to it and even with a song playing at the same time.
Speaking of music, this portable speaker works with Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Music and others. And if listening to tunes isn’t high on your list of priorities, other audios you can access include news briefs and Amazon audiobooks. Turn the volume up or down with ease by pressing the dedicated buttons at the speaker’s top.
Final Words on Amazon’s Echo (2nd Generation) Bluetooth Speaker
If you’re looking for a portable Bluetooth speaker that is affordable and provides quality sound, including good bass, Amazon’s Echo Second Generation may be right for you. While it’s not waterproof, it does integrate with the Alexa app for hands-free commands that make your daily life easier. It’s a step up from the original Echo with features such as multi-room audio, is attractive, and has Bluetooth connectivity. We give it a positive review for being so high in value.
JBL Charge 2+ Review
First Impressions of the JBL Charge 2+
JBL’s Charge 2+ has a modern and appealing design, just like its predecessor, the Charge 2. In fact, they look almost identical. Then again, why mess with something that is already great?
As with the Charge 2, the 2+ model has a metal grille across its front. It is playful in a bold orange color and has a rugged design. It can be stood on its side vertically or rest flat instead. The durable casing is made of rubber and plastic, without any sharp corners – unlike the Harman Kardon SoundSticks – that might be troublesome when carrying it around in a bag.
We like that the volume button lights up, so you’re not fumbling to find it in the dark. This button and the Bluetooth pairing button sit at the top of the unit.
JBL Bluetooth Speaker Review: A Look at the Features
To help determine whether this wireless unit is the best Bluetooth speaker or not, let’s look at its features. The orange Charge 2+ has an integrated microphone so you can pick up calls hands-free on it and you can add three smartphones or other mobile devices to it via Bluetooth.
The best features of JBL’s Charge 2+ are:
- Great Sound Performance
- Splash Resistance
- External Battery Functionality
The JBL portable speaker has both wireless and wired options and the replaceable battery charges via its USB port. The battery provides 12 hours of listening enjoyment before requiring a charge.
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Highlighting the Good and the Bad
Many benefits justify the Charge 2+ Bluetooth speaker as one of the best Bluetooth speakers on the market. For example, the device pairs quickly to your smartphone or another Bluetooth-enabled device, so you won’t have to wait long for the tunes to start playing.
That leads us to the sound performance, which is excellent. The crisp, clear sound that came from such a small speaker surprised us when we played songs of various genres for this JBL Bluetooth speaker review. The highs and lows were not distorted, even when we cranked up the volume. Bass performance was top-notch too. We feel that the price tag is not unreasonable for the great sound you get with the JBL speaker.
Also advantageous is the splash resistant feature. If the portable wireless speaker is by the pool, it can withstand splashes of water. That said, it is not IPX7 Certified or waterproof like the UE Megaboom. Thus, the Charge 2+ cannot be submerged and be expected to survive.
Along with wishing it were waterproof, we also would like if the battery life were longer than 12 hours. The battery doesn’t last as long as some of the other best Bluetooth speakers that offer upwards of 20 hours of playtime.
On a more positive note, the built-in microphone enables the wireless Bluetooth speaker to double as a speakerphone. Answering calls while in the midst of a playlist is a cool function that doesn’t come with every Bluetooth speaker. Moreover, being able to tote the JBL speaker around to play music wirelessly, with a wired option available too, shows the speaker’s high versatility.
Who Will Love the Charge 2+?
As we did testing for this JBL Bluetooth speaker review, we asked ourselves who would be the ideal user. Given the rugged, portable design, the unit is likely to be a favorite with active people who want to be able to throw it in the backseat to use at the campground or stuff it into a backpack.
For the social person in the group, being able to connect multiple devices to the speaker is handy. It is great for a party, for example, when different people want to control the music via their smartphone playlists. The Charge 2+ portable Bluetooth speaker is compatible with both iOS and Android devices.
This JBL wireless device will also satisfy most listeners with its fantastic sound performance that, in our opinion, is better than the Charge 2 and rivals the Charge 3 Speaker. As for the bright orange casing, it is sure to be a hit with anyone who wants to turn heads rather than be lost in the crowd.
What Makes the JBL Charge 2+ Different?
The Charge 2+ provides better sound than many of the best Bluetooth speakers in the same price range. Even when the sound is up at the 90 decibels level, there isn’t the distortion you get when some other models perform that high (if they can even reach that height).
Also, as the name suggests, the Charge 2+ can double as an external battery or charge up smartphones and tablets. The 6,000-mAh battery is powerful. Just be mindful that charging devices will reduce the battery’s 12-hour playtime.
JBL Bluetooth Speaker Review: Final Thoughts
While the orange JBL Charge 2+ is splash-resistant rather than waterproof and could use a longer battery life, the device has many redeeming qualities. For example, it is easily portable and can function as both an external battery and a speakerphone.
The sound quality is excellent too, especially given the Bluetooth speaker’s small size and mid-range pricing. It has a rich bass, and the sound doesn’t distort at the 90-decibal level. The vibrant Bluetooth speaker is wireless and durable in design so it can travel with you easily. With so much in favor of the Charge 2+, we consider it one of the best Bluetooth speakers in its price range.
White Beats Pill 2.0 Ranking
White Beats Pill 2.0 Bluetooth Speaker Review
Beats Pill 2.0 Bluetooth Speaker Review Overview
While the second-generation Beats Pill comes in a range of colors, this review focuses on only the white model. The Pill 2.0 wireless speaker is designed to enable you to listen to music and take calls, all while being wireless. So, does it deliver on this purpose?
To find out, we tested it for audio performance and features, as well as assessing its price and battery life in comparison to other top 10 Bluetooth speakers. There are pros and cons, as well as unique features, all of which we explain below.
To be the best Bluetooth speaker, the White Pill 2.0 has to have at least a handful of great features. Here are the top three:
- Goes very loud
- Speakerphone capacity
- Simple Bluetooth pairing
The Dr. Dre wireless device weighs 11.2 ounces (0.7 pounds) and measures 7.5” x 2” x 2”. It has an internal microphone, an integrated audio amp, active amplification, and both wired and wireless options. The lithium ion rechargeable battery has a run time of about 7 hours and is rechargeable via USB.
The transmission range is 33 feet, which means you can change songs and alter volume from your smartphone within this distance of the speaker. It is a considerably shorter distance than the 100-feet Bluetooth range of the UE Megaboom. The Beats Pill 2.0 in white comes with a USB cable, 3.5mm audio cable, and a wall charger.
We like the look of this speaker. It is shaped like a large pill, with a speaker grill along the front. The rounded shape is modern and fun. The control buttons are easily within reach and enable you to play/pause, power on/off, change tracks forward/back, put the volume up/down, and answer/end calls. With its small size, it is easily portable, which is great when you are on the go.
Advantages: Is it Amongst the Best Bluetooth Speakers?
A benefit of Dr. Dre’s Pill 2.0, beyond its ease of portability, is its loudness. Given the small size of this portable speaker, the big volume that came from it amazed us. It is amongst the loudest for its size in our top 10. If you want to impress your friends with large sound or are in an open space like a campground, this wireless speaker will likely meet your audio needs.
The Bluetooth speaker also has NFC capability, meaning that it can pair easily with your Bluetooth-enabled phone, tablet or laptop simply by tapping it to the speaker. The process of listening to music is, therefore, simple and fast.
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You can even tap two Pills together to get stereo sound. When we did so, as part of our research for this Beats Pill 2.0 Bluetooth speaker review, one Pill became the left outlet, and the other speaker was the right outlet.
The white Beats Pill 2.0 has an integrated mic that enables the unit to double as a speakerphone. Bluetooth conferencing can be handy for anyone in business who is on the move and wants an easy hands-free way to answer calls. The speakerphone in the 2.0 model sounds better than the original Pill, so we think there has been some fine-tuning done on it.
Pointing Out the Disadvantages
As we already touched on in our Beats Pill 2.0 Bluetooth speaker review, the Bluetooth range of this portable speaker is somewhat limited. Also, while the speaker is loud, its sound quality falls short of what we expected.
We tried both the wired and wireless options. In both instances, the music that emitted from the speaker sounded thin. It also didn’t have a strong bass. As a result, instruments seemed to fall flat in songs we played. The high end also seems to be overpowering at times. On a positive note, the sound is better than that of the average smartphone’s speaker.
Lastly, the design is not as rugged as some other top 10 Bluetooth speakers. For example, it lacks the durable, waterproof casing you get with JBL’s Charge 3. The Beats Pill 2.0 Speaker also feels a bit flimsy when you hold it in your hand.
The Intended Audience
This Dr. Dre portable speaker will appeal to anyone looking for a speaker that looks playful and emits loud sound. The grab n’ go design will suit a person with an active lifestyle or a businessperson who travels a lot as it is small and lightweight, so it fits easily into your bag.
The price will also delight a consumer who wants to a speaker from a well-known brand without having to invest an exorbitant amount of money. Of the best Bluetooth speakers we have reviewed, the White Pill 2.0 provides great functionality for its price range (it is within the low-end range).
Concluding Comments: The Beats Pill 2.0 Bluetooth Speaker Review
While the White Beats Pill 2.0 by Dr. Dre is not perfect in sound quality, it has an innovative design and provides big sound for such a small size. It also enables you to change tracks and volume on it remotely from your smartphone and is easily portable.
The wireless unit can function as a speaker as well as a speakerphone, which makes it a versatile device that is worthy of a place amongst the best Bluetooth speakers we have tested thus far. In your search for the ideal unit to play music, you may want to try it.
Harman Kardon SoundSticks Ranking
Harman Kardon Beauty and Sound – Review
Overview of the Harman Kardon SoundSticks Bluetooth Speaker Review
The 2.1-channel sound system enables you to stream audio from your PC, Mac, smartphone or tablet wirelessly. As with all of the best Bluetooth speakers on the market, we put the Harman Kardon SoundSticks to the test.
The main features of the SoundSticks are:
- Industrial Styling
- Rich Bass
- Multimedia System
The sophisticated-looking system has a unique setup consisting of three parts, rather than the single unit used by most modern Bluetooth speakers. The Harman Kardon SoundSticks package consists of a subwoofer with 6-inch bass driver and two satellite speakers that have a total of eight 1-inch full-range transducers between the pair.
There are dedicated buttons for power, volume, and mute, as well as the option to add an extra audio source via the 3.5mm jack in the back of the subwoofer. An AC plug comes in the box too.
Assessing the Benefits
The audio is standout quality, which is one reason it is a contender for the best Bluetooth speaker. Between the system’s two satellites and 40-watt output, listeners can expect great sound. The mid-range is silky, even when the subwoofer is on a low setting. The four transducers in the satellite pods complete the sound just as the composer wanted the user to hear it.
Enjoy deep bass with the 6-inch speaker cone in the subwoofer. The down-firing subwoofer spreads out the sound so that it waves off the surface on which the unit sits. There is even a separate bass knob from the volume knob, giving you complete control over how the audio sounds.
As for what type of audio you can play, it is not just for music, unlike the UE Megaboom. Harman Kardon has made their system to be multimedia, meaning you can listen to music, gaming audio, and high-def movies on it. If you have a CD or DVD player, the chances are good that you can connect it to the SoundSticks. If you are a gamer, as long as your system has a “Y” adapter cable, then it will work with the sophisticated audio system.
Special Features of Harman Kardon’s Bluetooth Speaker
We appreciate the industrial styling of the Harman Kardon Bluetooth Wireless 2.1 Channel System. It is transparent, unlike other top Bluetooth speakers like the JBL Charge 2+ Splashproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker. With many other Bluetooth speakers feature colorful casings, Harman Kardon’s system has a see-through design that stands apart from the competition. The black accents and white LED glow complete the elegant look. It is minimalistic design at its best, in our eyes.
While writing this Harman Kardon SoundSticks Bluetooth speaker review, we discovered that the quality audio performance achievable through wireless Bluetooth streaming comes from HARMON TrueStream. The advanced Bluetooth technology provides excellent sound and won’t come with every Bluetooth speaker on the market.
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An Honest Look at the Drawbacks
We would be remiss not to point out in the Harman Kardon SoundSticks Bluetooth speaker review that the device has a few shortcomings. The most obvious one is that there are cables between the satellite pods and the subwoofer, which means the Harman Kardon SoundSticks are not totally “wireless.”
Unfortunately, the sound system is only wireless as far as it being a Bluetooth streaming device; there are wires that extend from the satellite pods to the subwoofer. This design is different than most of the other best Bluetooth speakers, which have internal batteries that keep the music flowing. As Harmon Kardon’s satellite units are wired, they are more difficult to move around the house or take with you on the go.
Also, the subwoofer’s power button and level knob are on the back rather than the front. Unfortunately, these controls are difficult to reach if the subwoofer is under a desk, which is exactly where many people would put it.
Is This the Best Bluetooth Speaker for You?
The ideal user will like modern design and want a great-looking system. The predecessor was put into the permanent collection at NYC’s Museum of Modern Art, so we are not the only ones saying it is a head turner.
The Bluetooth SoundSticks will also appeal to a person who is looking for a multimedia audio system rather than only one that plays music. As for the price of the Harman Kardon Wireless, it is mid-range amongst the best Bluetooth speakers, so it will not blow the budget.
Summing Up the Harman Kardon SoundSticks Bluetooth Speaker Review
This Bluetooth-enabled 2.1 speaker system from Harman Kardon offers rich bass and great sound with its 40 watts of amplification and down-firing subwoofer with satellite speakers. The price is not outrageous given the main features, which includes a cutting-edge design with translucent casing, black accents, and white LED glow.
The audio performance is top-notch when wirelessly streaming via Bluetooth, thanks to the easy-to-use HARMAN TrueStream. As well, the system is multimedia so that you can use it for all of your audio, from music to games and movies. It is obvious to us that the Harman Kardon Bluetooth SoundSticks System has a lot to offer without breaking the bank.