Best JBL Speakers

Updated September 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

13 Models Considered
5 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
200 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best JBL speakers

Last Updated September 2020

If you’re listening to your favorite songs, watching a beloved film, or simply spending time with your friends, you want access to quality sound. Whether it’s a soundbar for your smart TV, a portable Bluetooth speaker at the park, or a smart speaker on your kitchen counter, high-end audio allows you to get the most out of your entertainment. And you won’t find better speakers than those offered by JBL.

JBL, named for founder James B. Lansing, has been one of the leaders in audio technological innovation for over 70 years. Whether it’s setting up sound systems for music festivals and concerts or supplying your home with all your audio needs, JBL has demonstrated its expertise and award-winning work ethic for decades.

JBL offers a wide range of speakers to fit your home and lifestyle. Our buying guide and recommendations can help you identify what’s available, what’s possible, and which speaker — or speakers — will enhance the soundtrack of your daily life.

Change your speaker’s name! Come up with something creative to differentiate it from others.

Key considerations

Speaker type

JBL crafts a variety of speakers for those who want to create a home theater, take music on the go, or simply throw a fun backyard party. Here are the options, but keep in mind some of the speakers in one category may fit into another depending on their attributes.

Portable Bluetooth: These are among the most popular and diverse options. Portable Bluetooth speakers are easy to transport and place in various environments, whether that’s in the park, at the pool, in the backyard, or on a kitchen countertop. These speakers likely have a high degree of water, dust, and shock protection to better endure the rigors of being outside. They also come in a variety of fun, eye-catching colors.

Home: These speakers include any soundbar, subwoofer, or large, standing speaker that can be a part of a home audio system. You may be able to buy them individually and pair them or purchase them as a set. These speakers are not portable. JBL also features in-ceiling and in-wall speakers for the ultimate in surround sound at home.

Party: A PartyBox from JBL is similar to a portable Bluetooth speaker except it features less variety in terms of size and shape and no protection from the elements. It can be moved around the home and paired with other JBL party speakers. One major feature of the PartyBox option is the lights that flash, change color, and add an exciting visual element to your audio setup.

Smart: The Link collection of speakers from JBL features Google Assistant and is compatible with Chromecast as well as Apple AirPlay2. Control these speakers using your voice, tablet, or phone, and connect them to other smart speakers throughout your home to create a multiroom system.

Kids: In an effort to appeal to a younger generation of aspiring audio enthusiasts, JBL has a line of colorful, glowing, and compact portable Bluetooth speakers. These are durable  waterproof options that automatically shut off if they’re left on too long. The small size means a shorter battery life, but it also allows kids to easily hold and carry them by the included wrist strap. These speakers come in a variety of colors and include a fun lightshow option.

Car and boat: JBL also offers speakers designed to be used in cars or boats (or other marine vehicles) to create a comprehensive and quality system when you’re on the go. The marine options are rugged and waterproof. Note the measurements for both car and boat speakers to make sure they’ll fit before purchasing. These speakers may require professional installation.

Impressive durability

A good portable Bluetooth speaker produces quality sound while standing up to the elements. The Flip 4 is waterproof — it can take rainwater, splashes, and even be briefly submerged. It's also shockproof and can withstand dirt and dust. It’s perfect for taking on all your adventures.

Features

Portability

Some of the smaller JBL speakers sport a feature to make them easier to hold, carry, or situate. Portable Bluetooth speakers may have a strap to secure it to a backpack or a ring to hook the speaker from a tree or the ceiling. If you’re feeling nostalgic, JBL also makes a boombox-style portable speaker that has a handle.

Color

Depending on the product you’re looking for, you may have the option of two or more different colors. Like other speakers, JBL speakers come in the standard black or white. However, you’ll find a wider array of options for portable Bluetooth speakers. Show off your personality with a brightly colored speaker in teal, ocean blue, red, or yellow!

EXPERT TIP

In-wall and in-ceiling speakers are made to blend in. That’s why they’re designed with a grille you can paint to match your décor.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Technically, you can submerge a JBL Flip in 3 feet of water for a few minutes, but the sound won’t be good. Also, hold onto it because it doesn’t float!


Staff  | BestReviews

Accessories

Headphones: JBL E45BT Wireless Headphones
Trust JBL to supply your audio when you’re at home, and enjoy music on the go with a pair of wireless JBL headphones. This high-quality pair of on-ear headphones is inexpensive and comes in a variety of colors.

Speaker stands: TransDeco Speaker Stands
You want a safe and stylish place to keep your JBL speakers at home, and these glass and steel stands from TransDeco can keep them conveniently located and on display.

JBL speaker prices

Inexpensive: The least expensive JBL speakers cost around $50 and are likely of the portable Bluetooth variety. These may be older models as well, but they still produce quality sound. Kids’ speakers are also in this price range.

Midrange: Between $50 and $100, you can find a selection of portable Bluetooth speakers, including newer generations. You’ll find some home speakers in this range, but they are single items and likely not the newest models.

Expensive: Spend over $100, and even over $200 in some cases, and you can find high-quality home speakers, including in-wall and in-ceiling options, as well as smart speakers.

If you have questions about your speaker, JBL’s customer support is available all day via online chat, telephone, or email.

Tips

  • Buy real JBL products. Electronics are among the most pirated products on the market. Make sure you buy new speakers from a reputable retailer.
  • Know if your JBL speaker is submersible or just waterproof. While most portable speakers are waterproof, only some of them can be submerged. Always make sure the charging port is closed, because water will damage it.
  • Download the JBL Connect app. The JBL app can be used to connect your speaker, pair it with others, and ensure the device is updated.
  • Experiment with placement. When setting up your home system, take the time to find the optimal placement. Soundbars should be central, while floor speakers should be nestled by walls and in corners.

Ultimate convenience

As the name suggests, the JBL Go is made for those on the go. The compact design makes it easy to store, transport, and set up. The low cost makes it a terrific value for those looking for quality sound without breaking the bank. Hook a strap to the speaker to keep it handy or hang it up to play.

Other products we considered

If you don’t see your next JBL speaker in our matrix, we found a few other products for you. For those looking for a quality soundbar to match their high-end smart TV, check out the JBL Bar Studio 2.0 Soundbar, which features built-in bass. Connect to your TV via an HDMI cable but operate wirelessly and enjoy the best sound possible.

For the little ones in your family, be sure to note the JBL JR POP Bluetooth Speaker. It’s inexpensive and offered in several fun colors.

Last, as a central hub for your audio needs, we recommend the JBL Playlist 150. Control it using Google Home, or cast from a streaming service with Chromecast, to enjoy crystal-clear sound.

Coordinate with friends and family before investing in a speaker. If others buy speakers in the same line, you can connect seamlessly for parties and other events.

FAQ

Q. How do I set up a multiroom sound system?
A.
You can control speakers in multiple rooms provided they’re supported by Google Home. Using your phone or tablet, you can pair all such devices in various spots in your house to play in sync.
 

Q. How long does the battery in a Bluetooth speaker last?
A.
JBL’s line of portable Bluetooth speakers have different battery lives. The kids’ line, as well as the older generation models and inexpensive options, only have around 5 or 6 hours of play. The newer models offer up to 10 or 12 hours of battery life. A PartyBox should run for 16 hours.
 

Q. How many JBL speakers can I connect at once?
A.
That depends on the type of speakers. Provided you have speakers of the same series and model, you can pair countless portable Bluetooth speakers with one another. You can connect two JBL PartyBoxes together.  Other smart speakers can connect with one another via an app. It’s also worth checking how many connections a speaker can hold. Most can only connect to one device, though some newer Bluetooth speakers allow multiple phones or tablets to connect, so several people can control the audio.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn Llewellyn
    Bronwyn Llewellyn
    Editor
  • Ciera Pasturel
    Ciera Pasturel
    Digital Content Producer
  • Kyle Schurman
    Kyle Schurman
    Writer
  • Melinda Snowden
    Melinda Snowden
    Web Producer

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