JBL has a wide-array of portable speakers in their arsenal. Here we have the JBL Charge. What sets it apart from JBL’s other offerings? If you guess that it can share its juice via a USB port, then you get the idea of JBL naming it the “œCharge”.
At first glance, the JBL Charge looks like your little brother’s tumbler. But don’t let its look fool you, this wireless portable speaker packs a lot of punch and was able to fill my room at just 75% volume.
Build & Design
Out of the box, you’ll see the capsule speaker and another box with the accessories. The speaker feels solid when you hold it in your hand and I’m sure it can handle the great outdoors pretty well. The drivers are at the front and are protected by a metal speaker grille with JBL’s logo.
You’ll find the controls on top of the speaker. You have the power-button, LED lights for the battery level and the volume up and down button.
On the right side you’ll find the speaker’s bass port and on the left, you’ll see the USB port for charging any MP3 device/smartphone you may have.
If your MP3 player doesn’t have Bluetooth support, you don’t have to worry because you’ll find a 3.5mm auxiliary port next to the micro-usb port for the power adapter at the back.
My iPod Touch 5th Gen didn’t have any troubles looking for the speaker. Basically, once you power it up, you have to hold the power button for 3 seconds and wait for the LED around the power button to blink. Once it’s blinking, any device with Bluetooth can easily pair with it and it provides an audio click once your device is paired.
This little capsule packs a mean punch. Sound quality is top-notch even at high volumes. Although in its size, you won’t expect that much low-frequency, there’s enough oomph to bring the mids and highs to balance. The mids are colorful enough to provide a pleasant music experience with any genre and producing fluid highs enough to bring your music on your adventure.
I tested the Charge with the following tracks:
The Way You Move by Kenny G. feat. Earth Wind and Fire ““ The saxophone is just lovely. It registers brightly without overwhelming the vocals. The bass drum attacks just right and the sound stage really sounds you’re listening to full speakers.
Lucky by Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams ““ Although the lower-end seems to be lacking, listening to the synth being reproduced at top-notch quality gives this portable speaker in everybody’s must-have list for outings and picnics.
Pull Me Under by Dream Theater – Again, being a drum-heavy track, the JBL charge lacks the depth for the bass drum to be noticed, but come the guitar and keyboard solo, it never fails to deliver.
The JBL Charge is powered by a 6,000mAH Li-ion battery giving it more than 12 hours of playability. But take note that if you’re charging a device, the 12 hours may come down significantly as smartphones today need a lot of battery power. On a full charge, it can give my iPod touch two full charges from 0 to 100%
The Charge delivers what it’s supposed to do with an option to help you charge your device in an emergency. If you’re looking to buy a portable Bluetooth speaker without having to bring an additional power pack, the Charge is for you. Enjoy your music wherever you are with the peace of mind of having another source of power for your USB devices.
The JBL Charge has an SRP of Php8,995 and is available at Power Mac Center, Listening Room, Sight, Digital Hub stores, Beyond the Box, and Abenson.
- Transducers: 2x 1=1/2″ (38mm)
- Amplifier: 2x 5W
- Frequency Response: 150Hz ““ 20,000Hz
- Battery: 6,000 mAH Li-ion
- Listening time on battery: >12 hours
- Battery Charge time: 3.5 hours