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JBL Charge 2+ Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review
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JBL Charge 2+ Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review

by 2016/04/12
Overview
Price

$150

Product Name

Charge 2+

Positives

• Portable bluetooth speaker at an affordable price.
• Several interesting features, such as battery charger and social mode

Negatives

• Speaker is splash proof, but not water resistant.
• Performance is far from audiophile quality.

Rating
Our Rating
User Rating
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Sound Quality
85%
78%
Appearance
90%
43%
Worth it?
95%
74%
Ease of Use
90%
90%
Hardware
85%
74%
Features
90%
70%
Bottom Line

The Charge 2+ is a good portable bluetooth speaker at a nominal price point.

89%
Our Rating
72%
User Rating
4 ratings
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The Charge 2+ portable bluetooth speaker from JBL is an upgrade to the Charge lineup. It is a replacement to the Charge 2 speaker, which is now available at a lower price. The JBL Charge 2+ has several cool features  that extend its utility and make it attractive to users.

External Appearance and Design of the JBL Charge 2+

The JBL Charge 2+ speakers are long and cylindrical, very much like its elder Charge 2 sibling. However, the Charge 2+ is a tad bigger at 7.3 inch x 3.1 inch and also heavier at 21 ounces. The Charge 2+ is available in a range of bright colors, so users can select a color to their liking.

JBL Charge 2+ Colour Options

JBL Charge 2+ Colour Options

The Charge 2+ is designed to be splash proof, which is a useful feature for any portable device. You will no longer have to worry about exposing the speaker to rain or the occasional water spill. In fact, JBL claims that you can place the speaker under tap water without any untoward consequences. At the same time, it is important to remember that the speaker is only splash proof and not water resistant. This means that submerging the phone in water is a strict no.

JBL Charge 2+

JBL Charge 2+ being splashed with water and dirt.

The panel on the Charge 2+ houses buttons for the power, speakerphone, social mode (more on this later) and volume controls. The speakerphone button activates the microphone and is used to answer and end calls. A 5-level power indicator displays the charge left in the battery. One drawback of the Charge 2+ is the lack of equalizer settings to alter the tones. This means that the user must preset the setting on the app in the music player itself.

JBL Charge 2+ Controls

JBL Charge 2+ Controls

The speaker comes with an inbuilt 6000 mAh battery, which is 2 and half times the capacity of batteries found in typical smartphones. The battery lasts 12 hours on a full charge, which is adequate but fairly low when compared to other models available in the market. The speaker can connect to other devices via Bluetooth. For instance, it is straightforward to pair the Charge 2+ to a iPhone or an android smartphone. However, the speaker lacks NFC support. The rear of the speaker has a micro USB port to charge the speaker, a USB port and a 3.5mm aux input.

Related: Original Xiaomi Bluetooth Speaker Review

Internal hardware and performance

The Charge 2+ comes with two 45 mm transducers that output a decent mid and treble. Lows are accentuated by the speaker and the bass response is handled by dual passive radiators on the speaker exterior. It is fair to say that the bass response is good; in fact, it is probably the best you will find on a speaker at this price range.

JBL Charge 2+

JBL Charge 2+

The speaker delivers 15 watts of power, which is sufficiently loud. The speaker is rated for a frequency range of 70 Hz – 20 kHz, which means that low frequency sound below 70 Hz and sub-bass may distort heavily. The speaker also doesn’t support advanced options like an external sub-woofer.  The signal to noise ratio (SNR) is 80 dB, which is on the lower side – definitely not audiophile quality. The speakerphone supports a noise and echo cancellation algorithm, which should translate into clear audio calls.

Additional features on the Charge 2+

JBL has added a few interesting features on the Charge 2+ to make it attractive to the buyer. The Charge 2+ can double up as a portable battery charger. In order to charge a portable device, you can connect a USB cable to the USB port on the rear of the speaker. The 6000 mAh battery should be able to charge your phone and have sufficient charge left to power the speaker for about 6 hours.

JBL Charge 2+

JBL Charge 2+ Front

Another nice feature on the Charge 2+ is the social mode, which allows you to connect the speaker to multiple devices. You can play music from any of the connected devices. If you like to party with your friends, you will find this feature useful. The social button on the speaker allows you to select the device from which music should be played.

Final Comments

JBL Charge 2+ Box

JBL Charge 2+ Box

The JBL Charge 2+ is a portable bluetooth speaker with some handy features like a battery charger and a social mode. It costs $150 and is very affordable. The speaker is definitely not audiophile gear, but it is unfair to expect a better performance at such a low cost. We have no qualms in recommending the Charge 2+ if you are looking for a good portable bluetooth speaker at a nominal price point.

United States: Amazon, Target

International: Bhphotovideo

Great product, awesome speaker with tremendous bass power


This is simply the best portable speaker you can possibly get. I've had this for about 6 months now and it hasn't had any durability issues of any kind


Bought this speaker as a person who travels a lot and need mobility. The JBL Charge size is just perfect for the sound it delivers.


  • Power Output 15W
  • Bluetooth Support A2DP V1.3, AVRCP V1.5, HFP V1.6, HSP V1.2
  • Power Supply 5VDC USB output: 5V 2.1A (maximum)
  • Battery Type Lithium­ion Polymer (3.7V, 6000mAh)
  • Battery Charge Time 4 hrs @ 1.8A
  • Music Playing Time up to 12 hours (varies by volume level and audio content)
  • Bluetooth Transmitter Power 0­4 dBm
  • Bluetooth Transmitter Frequency Range 2.402 – 2.480 GHz
  • Bluetooth Transmitter Modulation GFSK, π/4 DQPSK, 8DPSK
  • Signal­to­Noise Ratio >80
  • Frequency Response 75Hz – 20kHz
  • Transducer 2 x 45mm
  • Height 79mm
  • Width 185.2mm
  • Depth 79mm
  • Weight 600g

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About The Author
Karthik

Karthik is a writer and an avid tech enthusiast. He holds a masters degree in electronics engineering. Apart from technology, he is passionate about finance and medicine.

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Sound Quality
Appearance
Worth it?
Ease of Use
Hardware
Features