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JBL is a household brand when it comes to speakers: the US company is one of the best-known names for those looking for top audio. Or for those who want a speaker equipped with dazzling lights that dance to the rhythm of the music, like this JBL Pulse 3 (Check on Amazon.com).
The JBL Pulse 3 looks like a cylinder cut in half: at the bottom we have the 360° speaker grid and the multimedia controls, while in the upper half we find the LEDs.
From a construction point of view, the JBL Pulse 3 is really commendable: the grid is covered with water-resistant fabric, the buttons are rubberized and clicky, and the top half, which looks fragile, is more resistant than what you might think. Obviously, this doesn’t mean that it’s unbreakable.
The cherry on top is the IPX7 certification that makes this JBL Pulse 3 perfect for pool parties.
Functions and audio quality
This is not a speaker that you buy for its audio quality. Mind you, it doesn’t sound bad at all, but for the price, you can get a speaker with better audio. In any case, thanks to the two passive woofers located at the base and at the top, the JBL Pulse 3 offers full-bodied bass without compromising the other frequencies. The highs are distinct and precise, but the mid-range is less perfect. The maximum volume is very high, but over 90% you are bound to lose a bit of quality: however, for home use, you will rarely raise the volume above half.
The JBL Pulse 3 has an enveloping sound and good quality for a well rounded audio; too bad that the JBL Connect app does not include an equalizer in order to let us customize the sound settings.
The real highlight, however, is the light effects: the wow effect is assured and the attention to detail testifies that JBL considers the light a key part of the user experience.
The light effects are used to indicate what happens to the JBL Pulse 3: the lights grow when we turn up the volume, flash blue when the speaker is in pairing mode, become all-white when updating the firmware, and so on. Beyond that, the LEDs dance to the rhythm of the music (or, at least they try).
You can switch between light patterns using the button on the back of the speaker, but the JBL Connect app makes the real difference. Through the app, in fact, you can choose the type of animations, but also create a custom one by selecting up to three patterns that the device will cycle through; moreover, for each pattern, you can set its color, which can also be done by framing an object with your phone’s camera (in case you want to match the speaker’s lights to the room, for example).
You can also use the Connect function to pair the Pulse 3 with other JBL speakers.
Finally, the battery: JBL declares 12 hours of autonomy, but during our tests, we found out that the battery lasts a little less around 10 hours.
The JBL Pulse 3 is sold for (Check on Amazon.com). If you are looking for a different kind of speaker that will double as a design piece with a WOW effect when in use, you cannot find a better one at this price range.
The JBL Pulse 3 is not just a speaker: it is a statement. The price is not for everyone, but if you are looking for a unique gadget, you will not regret buying it.