• JBL Charge
  • JBL Charge
  • JBL Charge
  • JBL Charge
  • JBL Charge
  • JBL Charge
  • JBL Charge

Specs / Features


Speaker type: Portable | Power Requirements: Rechargeable lithium-ion battery (included) | Built-In Amplifier Power: 10W | Color: Black | Dimensions: 8.2" x 7.0" x 3.2"

Speaker type: Portable | Power Requirements: Rechargeable lithium-ion battery (included) | Built-In Amplifier Power: 10W | Color: Black | Dimensions: 8.2" x 7.0" x 3.2"

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Specification

Brand JBL
Model JBLCHARGESHADOWAM
Size 20 x 17 cm (7.9 x 6.7 in)

Reviews summary

7.9/10AVG.
RATING
Based on 14 reviews

What's good

  • Plain and straightforward design makes it user-friendly
  • Uses a durable plastic shell
  • Can be used to charge other devices (i.e. smartphones)

What's bad

  • Lacks extra features present in other models
  • Sound gets distorted at higher volumes
  • A bit expensive for the sound quality it brings

The JBL Charge follows the usual formula of a typical Bluetooth wireless speaker. It uses lightweight construction for a highly portable body that packs decent sound quality in as small a package as possible. It also offers something extra: it can charge external devices through micro USB. So essentially, it can function as a Bluetooth speaker as well as a power bank. It’s two devices in one.

As far as design is concerned, JBL doesn’t go wild at all with the Charge. It uses a simple cylindrical shape that looks good in black with light gray accents, and there’s a handful of hardware buttons lined up along one of the outer edges. Like most other Bluetooth speakers, it’s extremely portable. Seth Weintraub from 9to5Mac even talks about how he was able to bring it around with him by putting it in his bike’s water bottle holder. That’s not something that you can do with most speakers.

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In terms of sound quality, JBL's Charge has been deemed by experts as very appealing. Ryan Waniata from Digital Trends calls it “a friendlier option for the great outdoors,” and says it “provides rich definition, as well as some of the brawniest velocity in its class.” Meanwhile, the folks at What Hi-Fi declare that “there’s a punchy and enthusiastic sound underneath that coarse surface that’s worth a listen.” Overall, the sound from the Charge is seen as decent for its size and price.

As attractive as it might be however, it is of course not without its flaws. According to Tim Gideon from PC Magazine, “distortion comes into the mix at high volumes on tracks with deep bass content,” and “its audio performance isn't quite on par with its asking price.” Basically, when judged purely as an audio accessory, the Charge doesn’t quite make it up to the level that it aspires to. Reviewers seem to all agree that there are simply better speakers.

The Charge looks to be only a 'decent' option. One that's worthy of consideration only if you aren’t too demanding when it comes to sound quality and see the extra device charging feature as an important perk.

Reviews (7.9/10 Avg. rating)


Tom's Guide

Solid sound with power to spare

from Tom's Guide

The Charge keeps it simple when it comes to design as well as features. The unit sports a power button, volume button and battery indicator on the top. One end has a bass port that helps produce better low tones than similar speakers. On the other end, a cap hides the Charge's secret power. The USB port underneath can charge a mobile device; think of it as a battery backup that can play music, too....

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The Charge keeps it simple when it comes to design as well as features. The unit sports a power button, volume button and battery indicator on the top. One end has a bass port that helps produce better low tones than similar speakers. On the other end, a cap hides the Charge's secret power. The USB port underneath can charge a mobile device; think of it as a battery backup that can play music, too.

No other device in this price range sounds better. While the Charge lacks the features that some others $150 speakers include, such as a speakerphone or weatherproofing, the option to power your mobile device means you can keep the party going without worrying about your player running out of juice. If you can spend $50 more, we'd recommend the Fugoo, which has superior sound, a speakerphone and is waterproof. But if you're on a tighter budget, the JBL Charge is a very good option.

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What Hi-Fi

Follows a tradition of impressive quality

from What Hi-Fi

The JBL Charge is a decent portable option. Its £120 price-tag makes it more competitive than rivals such as the Beats Pill (£170), although the far more capable JBL Flip remains its biggest competition at just £100.

The JBL Charge’s harsh treble might be hard to get over for some, but there’s a punchy and enthusiastic sound underneath that coarse surface that’s worth a listen.

Read full review

The JBL Charge is a decent portable option. Its £120 price-tag makes it more competitive than rivals such as the Beats Pill (£170), although the far more capable JBL Flip remains its biggest competition at just £100.

The JBL Charge’s harsh treble might be hard to get over for some, but there’s a punchy and enthusiastic sound underneath that coarse surface that’s worth a listen.

Read full review

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Wired

A solid product with some issues

from Wired

The JBL Charge has a lot going for it on paper. Unfortunately, to go small in size, you also lose a lot in audio quality.

The Charge is definitely missing fidelity. If you want to hear a wide range of sound on a portable device, there are better options.

The best thing about the Charge is the price — so if you’re not a freak for fidelity and need to save cash, it might make sense.

Read full review

The JBL Charge has a lot going for it on paper. Unfortunately, to go small in size, you also lose a lot in audio quality.

The Charge is definitely missing fidelity. If you want to hear a wide range of sound on a portable device, there are better options.

The best thing about the Charge is the price — so if you’re not a freak for fidelity and need to save cash, it might make sense.

Read full review

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PC Magazine

Offers decent sound at the right price

from PC Magazine

JBL's Charge, a $149.95 (direct) portable Bluetooth speaker, delivers on one of these fronts—with certain genres, it has a pleasant richness, balanced by clear, articulate high-mids and highs. Unfortunately, distortion comes into the mix at high volumes on tracks with deep bass content. If the Charge were priced lower, we'd give it a higher rating, but its audio performance isn't quite on par with its asking price, and it lacks any real special features to make up for this....

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JBL's Charge, a $149.95 (direct) portable Bluetooth speaker, delivers on one of these fronts—with certain genres, it has a pleasant richness, balanced by clear, articulate high-mids and highs. Unfortunately, distortion comes into the mix at high volumes on tracks with deep bass content. If the Charge were priced lower, we'd give it a higher rating, but its audio performance isn't quite on par with its asking price, and it lacks any real special features to make up for this.

Basically, the Charge sounds like a $100 speaker—and if that were the actual price, it would have a higher rating. Bass lovers will need to spend a little more money for wireless speakers that can convey lows with any real sense of power.

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UnleashThePhones

Easy to recommend over pricier alternatives

from UnleashThePhones

JBL has actually done a really good job with the JBL Charge. They perform very well for speakers in their price range and size, and they boast solid build quality, great battery life, with the ability to charge other devices, to boot.

You can place them horizontally, or vertically, and while it cant be used as a speakerphone or handle heavy bass at high volumes, it still strikes a nice balance for folks that want a great sounding speaker that’s affordable-ish.

Read full review

JBL has actually done a really good job with the JBL Charge. They perform very well for speakers in their price range and size, and they boast solid build quality, great battery life, with the ability to charge other devices, to boot.

You can place them horizontally, or vertically, and while it cant be used as a speakerphone or handle heavy bass at high volumes, it still strikes a nice balance for folks that want a great sounding speaker that’s affordable-ish.

Read full review

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Digital Trends

Overall audio performance makes it very appealing

from Digital Trends

At $150, the Charge is a bigger investment, but it also offers better battery life and a more durable plastic shell, making it a friendlier option for the great outdoors.

Though it’s not without its flaws, the Charge provides rich definition, as well as some of the brawniest velocity in its class, blasting us out of the room at full volume, and easily cutting through outdoor ambience....

More

At $150, the Charge is a bigger investment, but it also offers better battery life and a more durable plastic shell, making it a friendlier option for the great outdoors.

Though it’s not without its flaws, the Charge provides rich definition, as well as some of the brawniest velocity in its class, blasting us out of the room at full volume, and easily cutting through outdoor ambience.

With its unflappable exterior shell, sporty design, and vigorous display of power and definition, JBL’s Charge is a worthy successor to the Flip. The speaker is light on features, but when it comes right down to it, sound is the great equalizer, and the Charge provides all you need to enjoy your music wherever you are. If you’re looking to get into the portable Bluetooth game, or step up to something more rugged and powerful, the Charge is a great option.

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Android Police

A good choice considering the price, but fails to stand out

from Android Police

The JBL Charge does solve two of the big problems many people had with the Flip. The addition of microUSB charging and a much, much larger battery make it better-suited to compete with the premium segment of the Bluetooth speaker market. Accessory charging is an added bonus. And I can't deny the increased utility, it's a substantial improvement from the Flip in that sense (apart from the removed speakerphone functionality)....

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The JBL Charge does solve two of the big problems many people had with the Flip. The addition of microUSB charging and a much, much larger battery make it better-suited to compete with the premium segment of the Bluetooth speaker market. Accessory charging is an added bonus. And I can't deny the increased utility, it's a substantial improvement from the Flip in that sense (apart from the removed speakerphone functionality).

For you, the Charge may press the right buttons. It does most of what the Flip did right and more. You just have to shell out an extra fifty bucks for the privilege. If you're willing to spend more to get more, you're looking for a product that meets a set of needs more than one that fits a budget. And at that point it becomes much harder to recommend the Charge.

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Gadgetmac

An innovative extra feature makes the difference for this speaker

from Gadgetmac

JBL's Charge sells itself as a portable wireless stereo speaker with impressive gadget-charging capabilities all rolled into one attractive and compact device. If there ever was a portable speaker that combined all-day long battery life, an ultra-fast backup battery charger with big sound in a small package - it would definitely have to be the Charge, and the Charge alone....

More

JBL's Charge sells itself as a portable wireless stereo speaker with impressive gadget-charging capabilities all rolled into one attractive and compact device. If there ever was a portable speaker that combined all-day long battery life, an ultra-fast backup battery charger with big sound in a small package - it would definitely have to be the Charge, and the Charge alone.

JBL's Charge is worthy of our Editors' Choice Award for performing excellent in the sound department and as a portable speaker with a fantastically useful backup battery charging feature we found came in handy on more than one occasion. And that's exactly why someone would consider getting the Charge over other portable wireless speakers.

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Mashable

Size of a beer can, sounds big as a keg

from Mashable

The JBL Charge's battery will certainly last longer than your party will, unless you're engaged in some sort of dance marathon. And, it'll charge your smartphone to its full capacity in about 2 hours, and even take a power-hungry tablet more than halfway there.

It sounds better than any other of its size I've ever tested — even better than the Soundfreaq Sound Kick, my former favorite small Bluetooth speaker whose battery lasts seven hours, costs $100 and sounds great....

More

The JBL Charge's battery will certainly last longer than your party will, unless you're engaged in some sort of dance marathon. And, it'll charge your smartphone to its full capacity in about 2 hours, and even take a power-hungry tablet more than halfway there.

It sounds better than any other of its size I've ever tested — even better than the Soundfreaq Sound Kick, my former favorite small Bluetooth speaker whose battery lasts seven hours, costs $100 and sounds great.

Is the JBL Charge Bluetooth speaker worth its $149.95 price? Yes. It sounds excellent, looks cool, is a winner of our Mashable Choice designation, and is certainly worthy of your consideration.

Read full review

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iLounge

Retains the terrific audio performance of a previous model

from iLounge

Overall, JBL’s Charge is a very good $150 portable speaker, though outshone in some regards by its fantastic sub-$100 brother.

If you prefer the newer design, which will apparently be available in three color schemes (blue, green, or gray) versus Flip’s two, or if you really value the improvements JBL has made to its power functionality relative to Flip, Charge offers almost everything that made last year’s best speaker so special.

Read full review

Overall, JBL’s Charge is a very good $150 portable speaker, though outshone in some regards by its fantastic sub-$100 brother.

If you prefer the newer design, which will apparently be available in three color schemes (blue, green, or gray) versus Flip’s two, or if you really value the improvements JBL has made to its power functionality relative to Flip, Charge offers almost everything that made last year’s best speaker so special.

Read full review

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Amazon.com Reviews Summary

2,115 from Amazon.com

2,115 Amazon.com shoppers shared a review for the JBL Charge. Ratings are generally positive, averaging 4.4 out of 5 stars. See all Amazon.com customer reviews.

8.8/10

Amazon.ca Reviews Summary

18 from Amazon.ca

18 Amazon.ca shoppers shared a review for the JBL Charge. Ratings are generally positive, averaging 4.8 out of 5 stars. See all Amazon.ca customer reviews.

9.6/10

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