Gadget Review: JBL Pulse 2 - Let the show begin

JBL’s Pulse 2 offers a unique visual experience apart from portability

Going by the looks of the JBL Pulse 2, one can’t help but be in awe. The slick portable speaker, which comes with a unique LED panel fixed on the exterior, has gotten louder, heavier and fancier. We find out how it scores.

What we like
JBL Pulse 2 is more than just sound. It’s about experience, one that excites you from the moment you turn it on. Though heavier by a few grams from its predecessor, the Pulse 2 exceeds the awesomeness that its makers introduced to us in Pulse. The Pulse 2 has gotten bigger, louder, and is now splash proof, so, you can use it by the poolside or in bathrooms (just don’t dip it in water). It’s more cheery, especially the two side speakers, whose vibration provide a much-needed climax to your auditory sensors. We played our favourite tracks across genres — Thrill is Gone by BB King, Wake Me Up by Avicii, Hello by Adele and our special mix of Metallica hits — and we were satisfied.

The LED panel has gotten denser, and the LED light show, the main feature that sets it apart from other portable wireless speakers (including those from JBL), offers more customisation. Apart from a colour switcher, it features a colour sensor that allows you to change the colour of light by just pointing it to any object — it will automatically change the LED light to match with the colour of the object. You can also customise light patterns and movements using the app, JBL Connect, available for free on Android and iOS.

The Bluetooth range is good as well, and the battery lasts nearly 12 hours (the final output may vary depending on the volume and distance between the speaker and the music player such as your phone).

What we don’t like
Though you may not find any distortion when playing directly to the device, when we played the same sets of songs in other portable speakers, we found the Pulse 2 to be noisier. The beats sound a bit coarse as compared to other devices available within the same price range. The problem, however, can be resolved if you bring down the volume, and make a few adjustments in the player equaliser.

Wi-Fi vs Bluetooth
Bluetooth is universally compatible, but offers shorter range, and audio is compressed. Wi-Fi music offers up to 150 feet range and audio is lossless, but often has compatibility issues.


Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.1 (can connect upto 3)
MODES: Bluetooth stereo and handsfree
Output Power: 2x8W
Battery: 6,000mAH (upto 10 hours), recharges in 5 hours
Weight: 775g
Price: Rs 14,990
Available at All major retailers (online and offline)

The guide VERDICT The JBL Pulse 2 is undoubtedly one of the best portable speakers from the brand, offering more than just good sound output. It is a decent buy in the 15k range. However, the larger question here, that concerns all other Bluetooth speakers in the Indian market, is: Should you get a Bluetooth speaker when we are moving toward Wi-Fi music and there are devices in India that support both, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi music? The answer depends on what you want.

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