Lamp Sound – I once had a lamp with colorful fish floating on the walls: my brother and I would watch it for hours at night, until my parents took pity and bought a TV. JBL Pulse 3 is like this lamp, only better: not only does it shine enchantingly, but it also knows how to play music. If I had had such a column in my childhood instead of this lamp, maybe my life would have turned out differently.
I managed to keep my finger on the pulse: the result is a review of the representative of the third generation of the devices of the same name by the American company JBL (Harman), a protected portable Bluetooth speaker with integrated LEDs JBL Pulse 3.
The editors would like to thank the online store icases.org.ua for kindly providing the column for the review.
What’s interesting about JBL Pulse 3
JBL Pulse 3 by Harman is a one kilogram wireless bluetooth speaker with color music. The manufacturer promises around 12 hours of continuous music playback with light, which is close to the truth. Provided that the reading is not at full volume, the brightness of the lamp is also half, and you will listen to music for half an hour or an hour a day, the battery will last for a week or more. The charge will also be enough to ring a picnic out of town from morning to night – especially if you turn off or dim the LEDs.
The column uses Bluetooth version 4.2: you can connect up to two devices, there is a speaker with echo and noise cancellation, the possibility of using a laconic Google assistant or chatty Siri (configurable in the app JBL Connect).
The exclusive JBL Connect + mode lets you create an audio system of 2 to 100 JBL wireless speakers that support this technology – with such a speaker battery you can replace an entire gospel choir or, at the worse, have a party heard at home. A more realistic option is to pair two JBL Pulse 3s into a stereo system. Theoretically: in practice, it was not possible to verify.
The device is protected according to the IPX7 standard (protection against temporary immersion in water). At a minimum, the case can be rinsed, if necessary. The column is equipped with three 40mm loudspeakers arranged in a circle and hidden behind a “grille” at the bottom of the device, and two passive radiators.
What’s in the box and what the JBL Pulse 3 looks like
JBL Pulse 3 comes in a very nice big dense and shiny box with a wavy coating. I hope I don’t know a single person who would raise their hand to throw such a package. If you are looking at the Pulse 3 as a gift, it’s a good choice because of how the box looks. Inside: a black speaker (there is also a white one on sale), an orange charger (power supply and microUSB cable), documentation.
Pulse 3 is heavy (just under a kilogram), two-thirds of its surface is occupied by a lamp (there are hundreds of LEDs inside), the coating feels like acrylic to the touch. A kilogram is not a little: consider whether you are going to take it with you in nature, for example. At home, that weight is more of a plus: Pulse 3 is stable, like Klitschko in its prime, you won’t knock it down with an awkward push.
In the lower part there are speakers located in a circle hidden behind a grille. There is a small logo on it, on the opposite side there is a speaker control unit (power, volume, play / pause or start voice assistant, turn on / off the lamp, JBL Connect + for l pairing with brothers, Bluetooth). 7 buttons are hidden behind a plate with designations of their functions, between them a compartment with microUSB ports for charging the battery and the miniJack line input is tightly covered with a rubber plug.
Pressing buttons on touch is unlikely to work – be prepared to pick up the speakerphone every time or control playback from a computer / tablet / smartphone. Above the power button is a 5 LED charge level indicator. At the ends, there are low frequency transmitters which effectively shake while playing.
How JBL Pulse 3 sounds
I am not proposing prohibitive requirements for the sound of these devices. What an ordinary person wants: the sound is as “clean” and loud as possible, so that there is bass. In JBL Pulse 3 everything is fine with that: the sound is dense, saturated for a device of this size, the low frequencies are literally felt – it’s worth pressing the hand all the way or placing the speaker on a surface that resonates well. The sound is readable, the volume is excellent.
Of course, volume is a relative concept: audio material with a slight difference between the quietest and loudest sections (no more than 10dB) will subjectively sound loud and at the same time readable. In other words, the lower the dynamic range, the easier it is to turn up the volume – exactly what audiophiles don’t like and the average person will like. The sound spreads 360 ° – no matter how you turn it, you can hear it all, in the center of the large living room it belongs.
Of course, the JBL Pulse 3 is not intended for audiophiles – like any other Bluetooth enabled device. This does not deny the facts: it is pleasant to listen to, it easily “rings” a large room, at any volume the sound remains dense and clear. Life hack: put Pulse 3 on a wooden table or cabinet, the sound will become even thicker and a little louder.
The speaker seemed a bit finicky to me about the source of the bluetooth signal: as soon as you move away a bit or hide, for example, the phone, the sound started to be interrupted. Everything was more stable with the laptop. I’m not ruling out that this is a problem with my smartphone, but I recommend taking this fact into account – however, I have yet to come across any Bluetooth speakers that would work perfectly when they are. connected to a smartphone. Fortunately, the JBL Pulse 3 has a line input.
Pulse 3 can be used to talk on the phone (or whatever you plug into it). The interlocutor hears well, there is no echo, no parasitic noise either.
What the backlight of the JBL Pulse 3 looks like
When you turn on the JBL Pulse 3, about two-thirds of the speaker comes to life with sound. At first I turned the speaker on and off a few times, it looks so cool. There are several preset lamp modes to choose from: different models, with the effects of “fire”, “sea wave”, “fireworks”, “equalizer”, etc. If you connect the speaker to a smartphone with the JBL Connect app installed, you can customize any effect, choose its color, or create your own.
The pre-installed ones were enough for me – the color scheme is pleasing to the eye, especially since while playing music all that beauty sparkles and changes in the music. In addition, with the help of light, an indication of the state of the volume of the speaker is carried out: they pressed the button, and the lamp turned on by the corresponding percentage: simple, beautiful and practical.
In fact, it’s best to see everything once: here’s a JBL Pulse 3 commercial, it looks exactly like this.
Can I turn off the lights and just listen to music? You can: by long pressing the button with the image of the “sun”. Lights up by briefly pressing the same button. The brightness is only adjustable from the JBL Connect app.
Competitors JBL Pulse 3
JBL Pulse 3 is part of a long line of portable acoustics JBL, costs about 7000 UAH in Ukraine. For the price, it falls between the JBL Charge 3 (cheaper) and the JBL Extreme (more expensive). Pulse 3 compares favorably with them by the possibility of having a disco with color music (or a romantic night under the soft light of a night light). At the time of writing this review there is a previous “pulse” on sale – JBL Pulse 2. It costs a little less, about 5500 UAH. Among the obvious advantages of Pulse 3 compared to its predecessor, the better security and lighting capabilities of the home; if it is worth giving up these opportunities to save 1,500 UAH, it is up to the buyer.
Several competitors under other brands at a reasonable price:
Marshall Loudspeaker Kilburn (strong, with carrying handle, no light or water resistant);
Marshall Portable Loudspeaker Stockwell (loud, dual amp, relatively compact, no shielding or backlighting)
Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay A1 (omnidirectional, loud, with a loop for transport, fear of water, no light music);
Harman Kardon GO + PLAY Mini (noisy, with handle, without protection and without light);
Beats Pill + (loud, stereo, you can pair it, charge your smartphone or tablet from it. There is no water and flashlight protection).
And a host of Chinese speakers: on their side the cost, on the side of JBL Pulse 3 – good sound quality for this class of devices, protection against water infiltration into the body and excellent lighting capabilities. If this is important to you.
In the dry residue
JBL Pulse 3 is a good backlit speaker, or night light with the ability to play sound. With equal success, the speaker will take up space on the bedside table and become the center of a party in the living room. Protection against dust and water can become a big selling point for someone when buying, as well as long term operation on a single charge, but the main “feature” of JBL Pulse 3 is the lightness. If you need such a device just for sound, you can consider other devices from the company.
3 reasons to buy JBL Pulse 3
You need a bluetooth speaker so you won’t be ashamed to put it in your living room
- Want to add high-tech romance by the pool / bathroom?
- A great universal option for a gift – it will be appropriate and everyone will like it
3 reasons not to buy the JBL Pulse 3
You certainly don’t need a light fixture
- You are audiophile and are offended by sound via bluetooth
- You need an SD card, an FM radio and (for example) a toaster in your portable speaker
|JBL Pulse 3 specifications|
|Speaker||3 pieces. (40 mm)|
|frequency range||65 Hz – 20 kHz|
|Signal to noise ratio||<80 dB|
|Switching||Bluetooth 4.2, 3.5mm miniJACK|
|Autonomous power supply||Up to 12 hours with backlight (depending on volume and content), 6000mAh Li-ion polymer battery, battery charge time 5 hours at 5V, 2.3|
|Dimensions (HxWxD)||223 x 92 x 92 mm|
|Finish||Combined acrylic and rubberized housing with 100 integrated LEDs|