Review: JBL Go 2

Regardless of how good your laptop or phone speakers are, there are times where you need a speaker that gives you more sound that those can provide. Or you need a more robust speaker for going to the beach with. JBL has you covered on that front with their Go 2 speaker:

Here’s what you get in the box:

Besides the speaker, you get a USB-A to micro USB cable. Which in the age of USB-C is a #Fail. And the usual documentation that nobody will read. The speaker itself has these controls and connections:

There is a very thick rubber flap that covers these ports:

You get a micro USB connector and a 3.5mm input.

You get controls on the other side of the speaker including power and volume. The speaker is pretty compact and is easy to carry. It takes up little room in a backpack, laptop bag or purse.

The Go 2 supports Bluetooth 4.1 and have a battery life of 5 hours and takes 2.5 hours to charge. The speaker is IPX7 waterproof which means taking it to the pool or the beach is not an issue as it means it can be fully submersed in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes.

The question is, how does it sound? To find out, I paired it to my 16″ MacBook Pro and played one of my audio torture test playlists that I use when I evaluate car audio systems. Paring it is dead easy as I was able to turn the speaker on and have it pop up in the Bluetooth menu of my MacBook Pro. Once paired, there’s a white light that goes from flashing to solid as well as some sounds that you hear when it is powered up and it is paired. Once I did that, I had to hurriedly turn down the volume as the Go 2 is loud. It also has a surprising amount of bass, though you’re not going to shake windows with this speaker. Even at full volume. Beyond that, the sound is pretty good and I suspect that you will have no complaints. And just in the interest of pushing the envelope a bit, I played a couple of videos and found zero issues in terms of having the audio synced with the video. It also performs reasonably well as a speakerphone as there’s a built-in microphone. But I am not sure that I would use this in a noisy environment as background sound was picked up and was audible on my test calls.

My verdict is that the JBL Go 2 is a speaker that will provide you with decent sound at a decent price. Which is $35 USD as I type this. Though mine is black, there are a number of colours available. One thing that I should point out is the Go 3 is now available from JBL so you might want to either look at that, or look for the best deal on the Go 2 that you can find. Regardless, the Go 2 is worth a listen to if you are in the market for a portable Bluetooth speaker that is waterproof.

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