Bluetooth speakers are a dime a dozen these days. Seriously, EVERYONE is making a Bluetooth speaker of some sort. So it really takes a lot to stand-out in the crowd and JBL has accomplished this feat with the JBL Pulse.
Besides its cylindrical design, what makes the JBL Pulse so impressive and different, is its pulsating LED light show that throbs as the music plays on. Simply put, that makes the JBL Pulse a party machine. A mesh metal wraps the speaker which only enhances the pulsating lights that are about to flicker before your eyes. To top it all off, it feels great in your hand, it’s easy to carry around, and when you pair it with your mobile device – you are in for a rocking good time.
The Pulse’s nifty light show can be controlled via two different methods. On the body of the speaker, the listener can adjust the intensity, or the style of light show they would like the Pulse to display. The second, and probably the most interactive way to control the speaker is via the JBL App. Download the app to your iPhone (Android App coming soon!), and you can sync new light shows to the Pulse or adjust the many different LED settings built into the app.
Besides its cool exterior, the JBL Pulse is actually a great speaker too. It is loud and will fill the room with music. Its strengths are definitely the highs and mids and it provides a nice low-end warmth on select songs too. Not all music is created equal and we found that the Pulse preforms better on some songs rather than others. For example, Rihanna’s ‘Stay’ sounds amazing, while Pink’s ‘Try’ left our ears stinging with its slight distortion. MS MR’s ‘Hurricane’ sounds absolutely haunting, while Fitz and the Tantrums ‘The Walker’ sounds tinny at some points. Like we said, it’s hit or miss depending on what you choose to listen too. That said, the JBL Pulse is still one of the best sounding portable bluetooth speakers we have tested for under $250
The JBL Pulse will mesmerize you as it fills the room with its booming sound and bright colors. This is hands down the most fun we have had in a long time with a Bluetooth speaker. We were disappointed that there was no included carrying case; since the Pulse just begs to be taken everywhere. However, we do love how smoothly the JBL app integrates with the speaker and with future light shows coming; JBL has made sure the good times roll well into 2014. The JBL Pulse retails for $199.95 and is available now.
The Good: Ingenious design that will intrigue everyone. Loud booming sound that fills the room. Very portable. Great app integration. The most fun you’ll ever have with a Bluetooth speaker.
The Bad: No carrying case. Some songs might experience some very light distortion.