We’ve heard a lot of music come from lots of speakers already, but the JBL Charge boasts that it can offer to charge a lot of juice into your portable devices with a large battery packed inside in addition to its quality audio production. Does it deliver? Read on to find out!
Design & Construction
Taking on the form of a cylinder with two-tone colors, the JBL Charge looks conventional and clean. Our blue and white model gave us the impression that it could be waterproof, but it’s not – it just looks fresh and clean, cool to the eyes.
On top you’ll find the battery indicator, the power button and the volume rocker. On the left side you’ll see the USB port for charging your devices and on the right you’ll see the part for the bass. On the back lies aux in and the micro-USB port for charging the speaker itself. The whole build of the device can get dirty through time, but you can easily clean it; the rubber flap covering the USB port, not so much. There are gaps between parts of the device too, which makes it look less appealing.
Setting up is very easy as JBL explains it immediately upon opening the box. There’s an LED ring around the power button that helps with that, and it adds an element of taste into the whole design too.
As for the sound quality itself, it’s all good initially. Voices sound whole, the bass is fine and the highs are okay. Most of the bass comes in from the side as that’s how it is constructed, but that didn’t pose much of a problem. With my playlist composing of mostly songs with heavy bass, I didn’t notice it immediately, but when I payed attention to the dirty guitar riffs and the rest of the mids, I found it quite lacking. The music sounds impressive you play through, say, Zedd’s whole Clarity album, but I say it can use some improvement with some of Arctic Monkey’s guitar heavy songs.
You will notice the mid shortcoming significantly when listening to Smoke on the Water, as I always try all my audio equipment to that tune. Other tracks I tested came from Immediate Music, The Cab, This Century, Avicii and Sleeping With Sirens – and they all went out just fine, including the acoustic versions.
The speaker can stand in two ways, and both shoot music just fine and loud. In fact, the volume can reach incredible heights without distortion; I never found myself listening to sound at maximum even when I’m in the next room – the neighbors might hear it.
But even so, the speakers itself only fire in limited directions. Covering it up when placing on your bed rolling can mess up your music experience, so that’s one thing to note.
As for the battery, they don’t call this the Charge for no good reason. The device packs a beefy 6,000mAh battery that’s well optimized, and it lasts us days even on loud volumes! Without charging any of your devices into it and playing music on a slightly above average volume for the living room for a few hours a day, it can get us around 2-3 days; more if you’re a casual listener and less if you have plans on using it as a power bank a lot.
At a price of Php7,995, you can get the JBL Charge both as an amazing set of speakers and as a charger for your portable devices. It’s something light enough for you to bring along with, and it’s extremely loud with the quality being impressive. While the design is cool, it can use some polishing, and while the music produced isn’t even half bad, it can also use a little boost. Nevertheless, the JBL Charge stands up for its name - it’s powerful.
The JBL Charge is available in all JBL stores nationwide and comes complete with a pouch and charger.
What we liked about it:
- Cool design
- Non-confusing setup
- Loud volume
- Great sound quality
- Impressive battery life
- Can sufficiently charge your devices
- Carrying pouch
What we didn’t like about it:
- Gaps in design
- Mids need improvement
- Limited directions in firing audio