Published on December 20th, 2017 | by Greg0
JBL’s Pulse 3 Bluetooth Speaker: Sound And Fury
Every time you think wireless audio hits a plateau- companies find a new way to improve and impress. Signals travel further and allow devices to stay connected from other rooms or floors; battery life is always getting better. This holiday, if you’re looking for a way to play your carols (or anything except carols) from your smartphone or tablet, then you probably want a better speaker than the tinny, tiny ones inside the devices themselves.
The JBL Pulse 3 is the latest edition of their popular Bluetooth speaker, and boasts a host of features that set it apart from the crowd. For starters, it’s waterproof (IPX7 rated), so you can bring it out poolside without worrying, or take it on a picnic and ignore the rain (or more seasonally appropriate, the snow). Plus, it’s got LED color-changing lighting inside, sort of like a modern-day lava lamp that can respond to rhythm. Rechargeable batteries capable of 12 hours of playtime mean you’ll be able to keep the party rocking for an entire day, and 20W of power is enough to provide tunes for a pretty large group. The built-in microphone is noise- and echo-canceling, so you can make a group speakerphone call with everyone gathered around- or use Siri or Google’s personal assistant remotely.
A couple of months ago, we checked out some sleek JBL headphones, and about a year ago, we checked out a similarly-shaped sister model (the Xtreme). This new version is part of a family that also includes the Flip and the Charge, but this one provides a few improvements over previous generations- like the ability to wirelessly connect more than 100 JBL Connect+ enabled speakers together, pairing them for multi-phonic sound. Earlier models could connect only two speakers at a time. And the coolest part is that the light show can be synchronized too. The controls on the base of the speaker are fairly subtle, and the battery meter as well.
Available in two color schemes- black or white- about the only thing we missed was a handle (or a carrying case). Bass response was pretty good, a little subdued which is standard for waterproof speakers, but mids and highs were clear and full. For those with previous models, you won’t be able to connect them sadly. But if you’re looking for a bit of a show with your songs, the JBL Pulse 3 puts on a great display- a bit showy, and a little over the top if you’re trying to watch a movie or something, but a ton of fun with the right crowd in the right environment. Expect to spend around $169 online and in stores for the latest model from JBL, the perfect stocking stuffer.