• JBL Pulse

Specs / Features


Speaker Configuration: 2.0 | Driver Type: 1.57" | RMS Output Power: 12 W | Frequency Response: 100 Hz to 20 kHz | Analog Audio Inputs: 1

Speaker Configuration: 2.0 | Driver Type: 1.57" | RMS Output Power: 12 W | Frequency Response: 100 Hz to 20 kHz | Analog Audio Inputs: 1

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Specification

Brand JBL
Model JBLPULBK
Size 17 x 17 cm (6.7 x 6.7 in)

Reviews summary

8.1/10AVG.
RATING
Based on 10 reviews

What's good  

  • Built-in LED light show with five default presets
  • Produces loud sound with modest bass reach
  • Lightweight and highly portable

What's bad  

  • Battery life gets cut in half when lights are on
  • Small size limits the level and quality of sound it can produce
  • A bit expensive considering it barely improves on the last model

The JBL Pulse would be just another beercan-shaped wireless speaker save for one thing; it has an integrated light show which you can easily switch on or off, and this alone sets it apart from everything else in the crowded Bluetooth speaker market. Sure, there are many who think that the lights are a useless gimmick, however, it definitely adds to the cool factor.

Luckily, the JBL Pulse doesn’t appear to rely on looks or gimmicky features alone. Darryl Johnson from TechRadar says in his review that it’s “a high quality speaker that delivers great sound with the ease of being completely wireless.” It is said to provide comparable if not superior sound quality when compared with other Bluetooth speakers in its price range, and with its visual extras it easily rises up above the rest.

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Will Greenwald from PC Magazine praised the JBL Pulse for its volume, and also referred to it as “the ultimate small-sized party speaker” because of its built-in light show. It loses points based on sound clarity, though, and its overall sound quality is rated as only decent by mostly all experts including David Carnoy from Cnet. Even David however didn’t fail to mention that the light show is the X factor, and that even if it’s only a gimmick, it’s definitely a good one--even considering that it cuts the battery life in half.

If you are considering the JBL Pulse, the question that needs to be asked is, “are the LED lights worth it?” Jeremy Horwitz from iLounge tries to answer this by saying: “when the unit is really analyzed in functionality, that’s the only real advantage it offers over last year’s stellar model.” So sure, it performs well and looks great, but at the end of the day it should be seen as competing with dozens of near-identical models from other makers of Bluetooth speakers.

You ultimate now just have to decide whether it’s better to save some money to get similar performance from a different unit, or spend a bit extra to cover the visual bonuses that turn the JBL Pulse into more than just another speaker.

Reviews (8.1/10 Avg. rating)


Tom's Guide

A visual treat, but a sonic letdown

from Tom's Guide

When you want a party started quickly, the JBL Pulse steps up the action by adding sight to sound: The $200 portable Bluetooth speaker is wrapped in LED lights, making it a portable light show. Though the sound and features don't stand up to the best Bluetooth speakers in its price range, the addition of lights brings a level of fun not found in competing devices.

The JBL Pulse is a treat for the eyes, if not the ears. If you're interested in sound quality, you should consider the Fugoo, which offers an excellent balance of treble, midrange and bass, not to mention speakerphone capa... Full review

9to5Mac

Small but formidable, with proper sound to boot

from 9to5Mac
The LED light show is an interesting concept but don’t expect it to transform your dull apartment party into a wild rave. This compact speaker will certainly look cool in a dimly-lit room, but it’s just too small to become the focal point of a large party. You’ll get about half as much battery (~5hrs) with the lights on as opposed to off (~10hrs). The sound quality is loud and clear indoors but gets a little lost when taken outside, and I still wish the bass had just a bit more pop.  .. Full review
TechRadar

It's gimmicky but the JBL Pulse brings the auditory goods

from TechRadar

The JBL Pulse may be seen as "gimmicky" due in most part to its visual display. However, the Pulse is a high quality speaker that delivers great sound with the ease of being completely wireless. The convenience and ease of the device is also a really great. It's very easy to use, and the controls are very intuitive. When comparing the Pulse to similar speakers around the same price, the Pulse definitely stands out. It provides comparable if not superior sound quality, and the alluring visually display is cooler than you realize.

If you're looking for a great Bluetooth speaker which... Full review

PC Magazine

Adds something unique on top of good looks and great sound

from PC Magazine

For volume, the Pulse is very impressive, but for clarity it doesn't quite reach the levels of the Bose SoundLink Mini. It's comparable to the UE Boom, another cylinder-shaped, large beer can-sized speaker with the aforementioned D-ring for hanging but lacking the nifty light show. Its bass reach is just as modest, and neither offer the warmth or detail in the low end of the SoundLink Mini.

Still, the JBL Pulse is the ultimate small-sized party speaker thanks to its unique light show. It's mesmerizing enough to make us accept its $200 price tag despite falling short of class-leading... Full review

iLounge

Not bad for a first attempt at something different

from iLounge

By default, Pulse ships with five different lighting effects as presets, and although they’re not incredibly impressive, they’re definitely more compelling than anything we’ve seen in earlier color-shifting audio systems.

Sonically, Pulse is able to generate enough music to fill a small room, and the sound is judiciously balanced, though slightly midbass-skewing in a way that won’t disappoint most listeners.

You’ll have to decide for yourself whether Pulse’s $100 premium over Flip is justified by the inclusion of the LED lighting system, b... Full review

Cnet

Easily stands out from the competition

from Cnet

The portable Bluetooth speaker market is very crowded these days, with a lot of products that don't sound all that different from one another. It's nice then to come across a product like JBL's Pulse, which attempts to shake things up by throwing a multi-LED light show into the mix.

Soundwise, the Pulse matches up pretty well against competing speakers in its price class.

The X factor is the light show. It may be a gimmick, but it's a good one, and certainly adds another dimension to the listening experience. Not everyone will like it, but combined with the speaker's decent... Full review

Gadgetmac

The LED light show is a nice perk, but negatively affects sound quality

from Gadgetmac

JBL's Pule isn't the best portable Bluetooth speaker we have tested at around $200, but it most definitely is the most fun and one of the more unique ones yet. And to many, the Pulse will come off as looking like a great big gimmick with lackluster audio quality. Contrary to such a preconceived notion, the Pulse does offer above average audio quality along with a really unique pulsating lighting effects that liven your listening experience.

The Pulse isn't just another portable wireless speaker, it will be an invaluable centerpiece of your home, office or outdoor party decor wheneve... Full review

Amazon.com Reviews Summary

500 from Amazon.com

500 Amazon.com shoppers shared a review for the JBL Pulse. Ratings are generally positive, averaging 4.5 out of 5 stars. See all Amazon.com customer reviews.

9/10

Amazon.ca Reviews Summary

41 from Amazon.ca

41 Amazon.ca shoppers shared a review for the JBL Pulse. Ratings are generally positive, averaging 4.3 out of 5 stars. See all Amazon.ca customer reviews.

8.6/10

Amazon.co.uk Reviews Summary

120 from Amazon.co.uk

120 Amazon.co.uk shoppers shared a review for the JBL Pulse. Ratings are generally positive, averaging 4.6 out of 5 stars. See all Amazon.co.uk customer reviews.

9.2/10

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