Gone are the days when the bulky and high power-devouring speakers used to be installed for amplifying sound. These days, speakers are available in small form factor, which intensifies the sound level to a great extent without major compromises on the sound quality. And adding to the list, there is the JBL Go 2 Speaker, which comes at a portable size and promises a superior audio quality. But how does this device fares in real life? Let’s find out in this review.
JBL Go 2 Specifications
- Dimensions: 71.2 x 86.0 x 31.6 (mm)
- Weight: 184 grams
- Connectivity Options: wireless (Bluetooth), 3.5mm headphone jack
- Bluetooth Version: Bluetooth 4.1
- Controls: activate Bluetooth, power on/off, volume
- Battery: Lithium-ion polymer (3.7V, 730mAh)
- Recharge Time: 2.5 hours
- Battery Backup (Up To): 5 hours
- Frequency Response: 180Hz – 20kHz
- Output Power: 3W
- Transducer: 1 x 40mm
- Signal to Noise ratio: ≥80dB
- Protection: Waterproof (IPX7 certified), water resistant up to 3.3 ft
- Speaker Channel Type: Mono
- Intelligent Assistant Compatible: Google Assistant, Siri
- Hands-Free Function: Yes
- Audio Amplifier: Integrated
- JBL Go 2 Price in Nepal: Rs. 4,500 (Evostore)
Build And Design
On the design front, the JBL Go 2 may not look all fancy and eye-catching but it definitely looks sophisticated in its rectangular shape and rounded corners. Wrapped with the rubberized housing and with only the speaker grills on the front, the speaker surely looks sturdy and durable. On the top, the rubberized wrapping with an IPX7 certification also acts as a waterproof jacket, which prevents the speaker from getting damaged or destroyed in the time of drizzle and downpour. So even in this rainy season, I didn’t have to worry about carrying the speaker outdoors to listen to music.
And as you can see, we have the Deep Sea Blue color variant of the speaker as our review unit, which definitely looks stunning. But even if you don’t like this color, you don’t have to worry about. Since the speaker comes in a staggering 12 colors, so you can surely pick one that best represents your tastes.
In its miniature size and with its punchy sound, the speaker looks perfect. It is also light in terms of weight. It just weighs 184 grams, just as heavy as my phone. In addition, it fits perfectly on my palm and carrying around in my pocket haven’t been a problem for me at all. However, there are no any sorts of straps or clips to hang it on the backpack or on the belt loops. I definitely prefer a strap like on the Bose soundlink micro or a clip like that on the JBL Clip 2. So I did find this absence disappointing since it is not fun to walk around listening to music with a speaker stuffed in a pocket or inside a backpack.
Buttons and Controls
Talking about the buttons, all the buttons on the speaker is placed on the top. And on the right of the speaker is a rubber door that hides the micro USB charging port and 3.5mm auxiliary jack for legacy devices. You could see power button, pairing button, volume rockers, and a multifunctional button aligned meticulously on the top. The multifunctional button works as a playback controller and it can also be employed to access the voice assistant on the phone and managing the phone calls.
The speaker also has a mic embedded to it In order to command the voice assistant and to use it as a speakerphone. However, I was not quite pleased with the performance of the mic as it is not particularly sensitive. And during the review period, I ended up using my phone most of the times to complete the tasks, especially while using the Google Assistant.
The speaker has a grille on the front through which the sound projects outward. There is also the JBL logo on the grille and right on the top of the logo, you can see a tiny LED indicator, which glows white when the speaker is on. The indicator starts glowing red in the case of low battery and in the time of charging.
On the performance front, I didn’t have much expectations from the Go 2 given its small size. But to our surprise, it turned out to be a great performer when it comes to sound. The speaker filled my room with crisp and balanced sound and my mood with euphoria. The speaker can crank any kind of music, from jingles and tunes to metal and rock songs. The treble and mids sound perfect with absolute frequency response and smooth amplification. However, Bass is just ok. When it comes to bass, the speaker couldn’t produce sufficient beats to rock my room. And Deep bass….. Deep Bass seems to be non-existent as the speaker only amplifies sound from 180Hz frequency onwards.
Also when I tuned the volume up to higher values, I noticed the increase in distortions with the upsurge in volume. The harsh audio output at higher volumes is quite fatiguing. So I don’t suggest amplifying the sound to higher volumes. And since there is just a single speaker facing forward, you won’t be getting any stereo output or a 360-degree sound. The absence of the multidirectional audio can be felt as any shift from the speaker’s path results in the muddier and less intense sound. This had been absolutely displeasing when I played songs through the speaker in a group hangout.
Despite the minor displeasures, I did find the device as a decent speaker for music listening. Not just on listening to music, the device is also a great companion speaker for watching movies and streaming any sorts of video content. I watched a few of the How I met your mother’s episodes and the experience had been legendary. The audio sounded smooth and clear and I didn’t encounter any audio/video syncing problems.
In terms of battery, the device comes with the 730mAh battery, which provided me four hours of back up when I listened to music with my phone’s and speaker’s volume at maximum. But on the lower volumes, the battery backup tends to increase. I also tried listening to the music at around 60% volume and the battery accompanied me for slightly over six hours. Frankly, I was not satisfied with the backup the battery provided and wished for more. But given the size and price of the speaker, that was understandable.
Even in its small stature, the JBL Go 2 packs plenty of punch. With the amplification it provides and the audio quality it delivers, the JBL Go 2 is certainly one of the best portable Bluetooth speakers at its size and price. Yes, the device cannot produce 360-degree audio and battery backup is not so satisfactory. But that’s the compromise you have to make while buying small and inexpensive speakers.
If you are strictly into the audio quality, Bose Soundlink micro will be an ideal choice for you. The amplification is amazing and the quality of sound it delivers is really soothing. However, the speaker costs four times more than the JBL Go 2 on the purchase. For a multidirectional sound, Alloccacoc Audio Cube portable is a fine choice, which offers 360-degree sound and delivers a punchy 30-watt output. However, the speaker is rather big in size than the JBL Go 2 and is twice as much as expensive.