Saturday, October 6, 2012

JBL Micro Wireless Speaker Review

Advertised as providing "exceptional sound" quality in a small, portable package, the JBL Micro Wireless Bluetooth speaker by Harman is designed for use with smartphones and tablets. Is this $60 ultra-portable speaker a good buy? Read on for my full review!

In the Box
A small carrying bag, a charging cord, and instruction manual are included with the Micro Wireless.

First, let’s look take a tour of the Micro Wireless’s hardware. On the left side, there is a power button and a volume dial. A micro USB port is on the bottom side, and a 3.5mm port is on the right side. This port can be used to daisy-chain several Micro Wireless speakers together. (I successfully daisy-chained the Micro Wireless and a JBL Micro II together, even though the JBL website doesn't mention this works.)

On the back side, the 3.5mm cable wraps around the circumference of the speaker, and snaps into a little groove. It's a small detail, but I appreciate having the cord neatly coiled and out of the way. It shows that JBL has treated this like a premium product.

The Micro Wireless isn't quite small enough to be carried in a pocket, but it certainly can be tossed in a purse or gear bag. Since it is quite light, it also can be clipped to clothes, etc. with a carabiner clip. At five ounces, it makes larger portable Bluetooth speakers like the 1 lb. Jawbone Jambox look as portable as a brick. :)

Pairing the Micro Wireless to a Kyocera smartphone and a Lenovo tablet via Bluetooth was quick and uncomplicated. The Micro Wireless works flawlessly when your smartphone/tablet is about ten or fewer feet away. If your mp3 player, cellphone, or computer doesn't have Bluetooth capabilities, you can always use the 3.5 mm cable to connect the Micro Wireless to your device.

Battery Life
According to JBL, the Micro Wireless gets about five hours of play time from its rechargeable Li-ion battery. In my experience, the Micro Wireless lasted about 4 1/2 to 5 hours before shutting itself off.

Sound quality
The Micro Wireless produces clear, pleasant sound. Its audio is well-balanced, although it tends toward the bass-rich side. It doesn't distort at very high or very low volumes, but the sound does seem ''fuller'' when the volume is turned up past 50%.  And yes, the Micro Wireless can get very loud! It can more than fill a large room with sound. Crank up the tunes and party!

In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with the $60 JBL Micro Wireless speaker. It provides very enjoyable sound, ultra-portable size, thoughtful design, and decent battery life.

Product Info

MSRP:$59 from JBL
Manufacturer:JBL by Harman
    Premium design, very good sound quality, ultra-portable size  
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