After the success of the JBL Pulse, the sound equipment manufacturer returns with a second edition. More LEDs, improved battery life and better bass sound, these are the promises of this JBL Pulse 2. But what about it really? We tell you everything in this detailed Review.
(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlpOqW0BnH0 (/ embed)
Category : smart health connected speaker
Mark : JBL
Availability : available
Price : 199 euros
What you will learn
JBL Pulse 2 Unboxing
As usual, JBL plays a lot on the "high end" side with its products, and it starts directly with the packaging. A cardboard box that plays on the lights with colorful reflections. A rather nice original idea. Inside, the enclosure wrapped in a relatively thick plastic film, but also a mains charger (which adapts with several types of sockets) and a flat micro-USB cable. The advantage of the latter being that it is difficult to tangle it, handy when you know that this Pulse 2 speaker has to be moved regularly.
Design & Ergonomics of the JBL Pulse 2
When we were talking earlier about JBL's effort to give its products a high-end look, it starts with a neat finish and a flamboyant design. This Pulse 2 is no exception to the rule. And if it is not fundamentally original, it has a frankly successful general appearance. The two bass outputs on the top and bottom of the product (or the sides depending on how you install it) make this Pulse 2 look terrible (in a good sense of the word). The changes from the first Pulse of the name are certainly relatively minor, but it is a success.
On one of the sections, all of the controls, namely: the on / off button, Bluetooth, brightness, volume, association with a second speaker without forgetting the play / pause button as well as a jack port for connecting a wired device and the jack for recharging.
If the design is nice, that the grip is just as much, we still have a small reservation on ergonomics. Because as you will understand, the two bass slots are located right across the speaker. And intuitively, you will put it vertically except that it stifles one of the two basses. To enjoy better sound, it is therefore recommended to lengthen it, the problem being that it does not hold very well on smooth surfaces. The best technique is to lay it on the side with the controls! In short, not practical at all. JBL should have thought of incorporating feet that could be folded in on themselves.
JBL Connect app: let there be light
Before taking an interest in the sound of this JBL Pulse 2, let's get to grips with its mobile application which allows you to manage its brightness. You should know that if the first Pulse speaker of the name offered 64 diodes, this version 2 ships 4 times more, or 256. There are 8 animations available: fire, rain, fireflies, stars, canvas, traffic, hourglass and fireworks. It is possible to change them directly on the speaker by holding the light button, but the interest of the application is to be able to customize them.
Personalization doesn't go very far, that's a bit of the problem. For example, it is not possible to change colors depending on the animation you choose. A big flaw when you know that precisely, there are more diodes and suddenly, more potential customization. So we're not saying that we should be able to change the color diode by diode, but still. The only real customization possible is the displacement and the intensity of the colors. So that’s a bit disappointing.
Otherwise, in itself the application is not badly made, quite the contrary. It’s even pretty good. Intuitive, it gives you a quick tutorial when you turn it on for the first time. Tutorial which is available endlessly. In addition, it is possible to download background sounds for fire, rain, fireflies and stars. It’s nice of course, but it’s not much use to be completely frank. We would have preferred a nice customization of colors (yes, we insist).
Finally, the application allows you to manage two speakers at the same time by creating a stereo effect. But as you can see, you need two speakers. But it's a cool feature that lets you install stereo audio devices anywhere, and that's good.
Use / Getting started with the JBL Pulse 2
Color customization exists, but …
When we say that color customization is not possible, it is not possible from the application, but JBL has integrated a colorimetric sensor in its enclosure. Just press the button surrounded by colored dots and point the sensor at an object and the speaker is supposed to reproduce the color of the latter. We say supposed because in practice it is relatively unclear. You need very good brightness and even with that, the expected result is often disappointing, not to mention the times when the speaker does not even copy the color. In short, a feature which in principle is nice but which in the end works quite badly. You will understand, we want our color customization in the application.
Light is good, but what about audio quality? We weren't really worried since JBL didn't really have any more evidence to give regarding its know-how and we were right. Unsurprisingly it is a powerful sound that does not forget the clear except maybe at high volume. It is especially the mids that suffer, the powerful bass of the product taking slightly the step when you push this Pulse 2 to its limit. Besides, since we are talking about sound volume, know that you can sound a room of 20 square meters without worries for a small grasshop where you do not hear yourself talking. Above, it may be quite complicated, the speaker not exceeding 100 decibels thoroughly. Still, for a nomadic product, it is still extremely correct. Clearly, regulars of JBL products will not be disoriented. The powerful bass gives this speaker a sacred cachet.
And in this period of release of Star Wars VII, we could not resist giving a damn to the fanfare of the Fox and the opening credits of the saga. And clearly, it sends. It is therefore not excluded to use it to watch a film in good sound conditions, even more if you install two speakers in stereo.
For the poolside
One of the novelties of this new Pulse edition is that it resists splashing water. But beware, this does not mean waterproof. Simply put, she should stay by the pool, but not too close. Impossible (yet) to walk in the water with it. But it’s not annoying. The mission of hosting a pool party is respected, we don't ask for more.
Another promise from JBL, a big autonomy. And the least we can say is that the bet is won. Allow about 10 hours before having to feel the charger, 16 hours even if you turn off the light which proves useless outside (except maybe at night, and again).
- Top finish
- Powerful bass
- Possible to pair two speakers in stereo mode
- Resists splashes
- Nice light effects…
- … But lacking personalization possibilities
- Lacks support
- The lights don't add much
At 199 euros, the JBL Pulse 2 is an excellent product that combines sound quality and competition autonomy. This Bluetooth speaker promises you many evenings indoors or outdoors with a nice light effect. The fact remains that this functionality, if it turns out to be nice, does not add much to the experience. Those who are interested in a pure sound experience will perhaps turn more to the JBL Flip 3 which offers similar performances, excluding lights, for around 130 euros.
(Review) JBL Pulse 2: Light and maestro music!
Reviewed by Thomas Remilleret
Design & Ergonomics : If it is not fundamentally original, this JBL Pulse 2 has a frankly successful general aspect. The two bass outputs on the top and bottom of the product look terrible (in a good sense of the word). JBL should have thought of integrating feet that could be folded in on themselves to take advantage of the two basses at best.
Application : In itself the application is not of bad quality, on the contrary. It’s even pretty good. Intuitive, it offers you a small tutorial of use when you turn it on for the first time.
Features : JBL Pulse 2 is an excellent product that combines sound quality and competition autonomy. This Bluetooth speaker promises you many evenings indoors or outdoors with a nice light effect. The fact remains that this functionality, if it turns out to be nice, does not add much to the experience. Above all, there is a lack of further personalization, directly from the application!
use: The sound is very good, even if the bass eclipses the medium at high volume. The colorimetric sensor is on its side rather badly damaged.
Value for money:: If you are looking for a speaker capable of combining quality sound and a bright atmosphere, the JBL Pulse 2 is the speaker for you. If you consider light as anecdotal, it's immediately a little less interesting. Still, the price / quality ratio is really good.
AB SMART HEALTH REVIEW