JBL Pulse 4 Review: A Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker with Light Show
JBL Pulse 4
Value for Money
Pros & Cons
- Stunning light effect
- Good sound quality
- A bit expensive
- Lacks built-in speaker and 3.5mm aux input
- Lacks voice assistant support
- Insufficient battery life
JBL never fails to surprise its users. It is no wonder why it has gained huge popularity in such a short period of time. I have seen and heard a lot of JBL speakers and I must say the sound quality and the vibrant lighting is a stunner! Today I'm here with a complete review of another internet favorite: the JBL Pulse 4. Let's see if it is worth the hype or not!
It is gonna be very interesting, so make sure you read it until the end.
What is the JBL Pulse 4?
As you may know, the house of JBL is famous for its party speakers with maxed-out bass output and stunning light features. It is the unique selling point of the company. Undoubtedly, it has taken the audio market by storm.
JBL Pulse 4 is a similar kind of portable high-end speaker which has gained a substantial fan base over very little time. The company claims it to be the best in the series and calls it a "youth-oriented" speaker.
Hands down! What a great design!
I am actually in love with its aesthetic design. It is 8.2in tall and in a capsule shape. The shape and size fully complement its light show feature. When lights run along its length, it doubles as a great piece of décor. Absolutely gorgeous!
Furthermore, it is available in two base colors - black and white.
The JBL Pulse 4’s biggest disappointment is the absence of a 3.5mm auxiliary-in input and built-in microphone, as well as voice assistance function. For such a heft price, it lacks some of the more premium features.
It is a fairly heavy device that weighs a whopping 1.2kg and comes with an excellent IPX7 waterproof rating. This simply means the speaker will survive even if it's dipped in about 1 metre of water for about 30 minutes.
It earns extra brownie points for being dust and sand proof. You can take it everywhere and anywhere; from a pool party to a beach get-together.
While most speakers come with tiny plastic flappy lids on the inputs, Pulse 4's input socket is totally uncovered. I feel that the flappy caps are great in that they protect sockets from dust and water. Although its designers claim the Pulse 4 to be fully waterproof, I would still advise you to not to abuse this feature. As a best practice, make sure it is completely dry before plugging it into the switchboard.
The most stellar feature is, of course, the splendid light show. You will find all the control buttons at the rim of the speaker. You can use these buttons for controlling playback, volume, lighting, etc. You can even sync it with other JBL speakers using the beloved "Party Boost" feature. It allows you to create a quasi multi-room speaker system with more than 100 compatible speakers synced simultaneously.
It comes with Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity and covers a wireless range of about 80ft which is not bad at all.
You can control the light show using the physical buttons, but what I liked the most is the fact that it can also be controlled using JBL iOS and Android mobile apps.
A personal thumbs-up goes to the JBL Android and iOS apps. They are amazingly accurate at tracking the battery level and enable you to control lights and sound remotely. You can also customize the color scheme of the lights via the mobile app.
If I have to explain its sound quality in one word, it would be MIND-BLOWING!
Pulse 4 is well-tuned and offers an amazing bass. When the passive bass radiator gets combined with the driver, it gives out a crisp, even, and warm sound. It propels just the right amount of bass - neither too overpowering nor too weak. Furthermore, at an output of 20W, it can fully jazz up a larger room (that’s what matters the most afterall).
However, when I tested it above the 90% volume mark, it became a bit harsh on my ears. Not a huge issue as the majority of speakers get cranky when played at full speed.
This speaker charges pretty quickly and boasts 12 hours of non-stop playing when fully charged. It is not considered a long battery life speaker. The power drains away even faster with the lights turned on.
As far as performance is concerned, Pulse 4 is impressive. The sound quality is better than expected; and the light-up feature looks stunning.
Overall, it is a decent product for those who don’t mind its price-tag and absence of features (voice-assistance and inbuilt microphone).