I must admit that at first I thought I might return this Bluetooth speaker. Now, I love it! We will get into my initial hang-up shortly, but let’s talk about what matters most first; the sound.
The JBL Charge 2 Plus puts out amazing, distortion free sound that can fill an entire room. It is by far the loudest Bluetooth speaker I tested prior to my purchase. Compared to the speakers in a similar price point there is no debating that volume and sound quality are superior. Stereo sound is more noticeable on this speaker than others because of the drivers on both sides. Where others might sound tinny or flat, JBL produces a fuller and more stereophonic experience. I think UE makes a good product at this price point and would be my second choice. Beats sounds just horrific and distorted. Skip it.
The bass is very good on the Charge 2 Plus and the speaker is quite bass heavy. It is truly a pleasure to watch the side drivers vibrating while that glorious bass streams out. If you are not a fan of a lot of bass, skip this speaker and go straight to the UE. I happen to love it, so that is another plus in my book.
Apparently the Charge 2 had some prior distortion issues which have been corrected with software in the Charge 2 Plus, so make sure not to confuse one with the other.
The Charge 2 Plus has some other standout features other than just the sound:
12-hour battery life! 12 freakin’ hours! I listen to this thing several hours a day for almost a week before any charging is needed.
It can pair up 3 devices to it at one time and then play whichever device happens to be utilized. Other speakers require you to unpair them in order to pair with another device. What a pain! It is currently paired to my tablet, my phone and my laptop.
If a call comes in while your music is shaking the room, a phone button on the top of the speaker can be
pushed to take the call and communicate right through the speaker itself. I haven’t seen another speaker with this feature.
The back of the Charge 2 Plus has a speaker out port (not sure if I’ll ever use it, because why?) and a USB port that can be used to charge your phone when you need some extra juice. You not only have a great speaker but a back-up power source.
Sitting in the hot tub listening to this speaker is not an issue as it is also splash proof. Just to make sure of this, I have tested it repeatedly by utilizing a hot tub. I still encourage extra testing though. If you bring the beer I will entertain an intern.
So why did I almost take it back? Simply put, JBL apps suck. Clearly JBL does sound well but not software at all.
Whereas the UE speaker has a great app that shows battery level and has an equalizer with pre-sets. I couldn’t even get the JBL app to connect with the speaker. While frustrating, all of the other plusses of this speaker soon overcame this one drawback.
MSRP for the JBL Charge 2 Plus is $149.99, but I have seen it as low as $119 online (Walmart.com open box) and priced at $129 over on Amazon.com. At this price point it is simply the best Bluetooth speaker for the money. I feel that the sound easily surpasses speakers priced $100 more (Beats especially).
If you are looking for a best in class Bluetooth speaker, don’t care about the app and want to save some cash, I could not recommend the JBL Charge 2 Plus more highly.
gRant is a musical genius as a past member of the band Fly2Void and is a lifestyle and tech contributor to zenruption.com. He is edgy, loves beer and his awesome girlfriend. We love him!