JBL Link 10 Voice Activated Speaker Hands-on
JBL recently launched their newest series of speakers in the Philippines, the JBL Link. These are not ordinary wireless speakers though, as they have Google Assistant built-in, which essentially classifies them as smart speakers. In this case, we’re looking at the most portable in the family, the JBL Link 10.
The Link 10 comes in black color with a rounded body. It has a rugged feel to it thanks to the rubbery top and base and cloth mesh surrounding it. Compared to the JBL Pulse 2, it’s shorter and wider, yet it’s portable and can easily fit inside a backpack.
The top part houses the buttons which include the dedicated Google Assistant button at the center, Bluetooth, volume up and down, and play/pause. Also found here are two holes for the microphones with far-field voice recognition.
At the back is the backlit power button along with the battery level indicator, and mute button. Down at the bottom is the microUSB port for charging and reset pinhole.
Looking at the front is the JBL badge and the backlit WiFi signal indicator. What is not always visible here is the backlit indicator at the top consisting of four dots that shows the volume level as well as activates when Google Assistant is listening.
You can connect to the Link 10 with the usual Bluetooth connection, but if you want to use its smart features, you will need a working internet connection with WiFi and the Google Home app.
Just turn on the speaker then launch the Google Home app. Once it detects the speaker, just follow the setup instructions. At this point, the WiFi signal will start blinking but will go steady once the setup is complete. All in all, the setup takes about 5 minutes.
From here you can start activating Google Assistant with your voice: answer your questions on a wide variety of topics, command it to play music from Spotify, make Calendar entries, set alarms, even control your smart home devices. In my case, I have the YeeLight V2 RGB light bulb and I can tell the Link 10 to switch it on/off or change its color. I can even tell it to cast YouTube videos on my Xiaomi Mi Box 3, which is handy.
As for audio quality, it’s loud and enough for bedroom use or a small table party. It has good bass and crispy trebles although the mids could use some punch. If you want to fill your entire house with music, you might want to add the larger, but still portable Link 20 and the socket-dependent Link 300 and Link 500. The whole family supports WiFi connectivity with support for multi-room music playback, and of course, Google Assistant.
The JBL Link 10 is priced at PHP 9,999 which is pricier than your standard wireless speaker but a good starting point if you’re planning on installing more Google-supported smart devices at home. As for the rest of the Link family, check out their pricing below:
• JBL Link 20 — PHP 12,999
• JBL Link 300 — PHP 14,999
• JBL Link 500 — PHP 23,999