JBL Charge Bluetooth Speaker: Product Review

The JBL Charge Bluetooth Speaker is a fantastic upgrade from the JBL Flip speaker I had reviewed last year. Photo: Patricia Vollmer.
The JBL Charge Bluetooth Speaker is a fantastic upgrade from the JBL Flip speaker I had reviewed last year. Photo: Patricia Vollmer.

After last year’s review of the JBL Flip speaker, which is perfect for small gatherings and trips to the park or beach, I never dreamed of having the same capability but with an added charging dock for your mobile devices.

But that’s what we have with the JBL Charge. A ruggedized Bluetooth speaker with a USB port. Through the port, plug in your device’s charging cable and you’re on your way!

I will refer readers to the JBL Flip review I wrote last year: many of the attributes about this speaker are similar including the size, the multi-function button, the visual instructions, Bluetooth range, and quality of sound. Unlike the Flip, the Charge does not have a microphone to give it a speakerphone capability.

What Comes in the Box

  • Charge speaker
  • Neoprene carrying case
  • USB-to-MicroUSB charging cable
  • A/C adapter for above charging cable
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Safety Information Guide

Features

The JBL Charge is one of a kind: it has a 6000mAh Li-ion battery for high-speed device charging . Plug in your smart phone, tablet or ereader (with its own charging cable) and it will charge for you at about 0.5% per minute (based on what Kindle and iPhone actually charges). If you have a device that charges with a microUSB cable, you can use the included cable for charging.

It took about 90 minutes for the JBL to take on its full charge when plugged into an A/C outlet. I didn’t measure how long it would take to charge from my laptop, but I’m sure the timing will be similar. Three little blue lights next to the power button will help indicate how much charge it has.

Once it’s charged, you can unplug the power cable and get ready to rock! The graphic-friendly Quick Start Guide will help you sync the speaker to your Bluetooth device, or you can use an auxiliary cable to directly connect to the speaker through the “Aux” port.

The sound on this speaker is quite powerful; JBL boasts a built-in bass port that can make my kitchen counter vibrate when the volume is loud enough. It was powerful enough for me, that’s for sure!

The JBL Charge Bluetooth speaker is available at major electronics retailers and has a MSRP of $149.95. It comes in an assortment of colors, including blue, white, grey and green.

A complimentary sample of this product was provided for review purposes.

Patricia Vollmer is the proud mother of two emerging geek sons, ages 12 & 15. She is a meteorologist with the Air Force Reserve and is currently assigned to the U.S. Air Force Academy. Patricia blogs about her family's nomadic military life at Ground Control to Major Mom. Home is always where the Air Force sends her family, which is currently in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Hobbies include running, despite no one chasing her, sharing her love for Disney and Star Wars, and exploring the world with her boys. Ask her why the sky is blue at your own risk.