JBL’s hottest and pocketable speaker is so-named to invoke a name to motion – to ‘Go’ out and search journey. One take a look at the newest model, the JBL Go 3, nonetheless, and we wish to head for a bathe; it actually does appear to be a cleaning soap on a rope.
As you possibly can see above, our pink pattern (the Go Three is obtainable in eight colourways) is extra of a pink and blush combine, the place the chord loop, rubberised accents and emblem are all a pinkish hue. Whereas its dimensions and likeness to a bar of cleaning soap place it squarely in Go territory, the Go Three has clearly had a design overhaul over its Go 2 predecessor.
That signifies that the metallic grille is now swathed in cloth. Although it’s nonetheless a small speaker, it’s virtually 1cm thicker, 30g heavier and has a extra rounded really feel.
JBL Go Three tech specs
Bluetooth model 5.1
Battery life 5 hours
Dimensions (hwd) 8.Eight x 7.5 x 4.1cm
It now has a chord loop on its left facet when wanting on the branding, which is a helpful addition regardless of not with the ability to stretch or detach. Beneath that, you’ll discover the USB-C charging port, which now not wants a canopy to boast an IP67 score for mud and water ingress.
Throughout the highest curve of the unit are three properly tactile play/pause and quantity controls, and on the precise panel there’s a round energy button, a Bluetooth pairing button and an LED gentle. The Go 2’s LED gentle shone out from the grille to let you realize it was on, however that’s now not right here.
The underside panel and the underside of the unit have been given new rubber reinforcement panels too, permitting you to put it flat or stand in it both portrait or panorama mode. The Go 2’s 3.5mm port for wired listening and the mic for speakerphone duties are now not discovered on the Go 3, however we don’t actually miss them in such a small and moveable design.
Our solely actual gripe is the end on the Go 3’s new cloth jacket. It’s an answer seen in lots of inexpensive Bluetooth choices, however the place it joins the rounded edges of the rubber panels on our pattern, it has frayed barely in a number of locations. It nonetheless feels comparatively rugged and sturdy, however given the energy of the earlier iteration – and JBL’s wealthy heritage of rock-solid designs – it’s a little disappointing.
The Go Three options Bluetooth 5.1 as an alternative of 4.1, plus a most energy output of 4.2W, up from 3W within the Go 2. The one specification that hasn’t modified, although, is the battery life. It takes 2.5 hours to cost totally, and you may nonetheless solely get 5 hours of playtime from it from a single cost. This was a criticism once we reviewed the earlier mannequin, and it’s a disgrace JBL couldn’t eke out somewhat extra stamina on this replace.
There’s nonetheless no app help, so PartyBoost daisy-chaining with different JBL audio system shouldn’t be attainable, nor are you able to pair two Go 3s in both mono or stereo mode. At this worth, it’s maybe unreasonable to count on such options, however then once more, the inexpensive Tribit Stormbox Micro can create a mono or stereo pair, and that five-star mannequin additionally boasts a mic and eight hours of playback on a full cost.
We’re glad of some enhancements within the sound division, thoughts. We cue up The Waterboys’ The Complete Of The Moon on Apple Music from our iPhone and instantly we will inform that the replace has resulted in some sonic enhancements. JBL hasn’t disclosed any details about the driving force underneath the hood, but it surely’s fully attainable that the additional energy and overhauled design will be attributed to the extra built-in, rounded, balanced sound over the JBL Go 2.
Mike Scott’s vocal is central however not as ahead as within the second-gen mannequin. The upright bass passages are extra weighty and impactful in direct comparability, too. You’ll additionally get extra quantity from the brand new Go 3. Crank it as much as close to its most and it’ll simply fill your front room or kitchen.
We then play Has It Come To This by The Streets, and discover the JBL Go Three a extra musically pleasing pay attention due to the better higher frequencies, a stability that enables sonic nuances via the mids to step into the highlight. The keys within the observe are glowing however underpinned by a handy guide a rough dance beat via the low finish that by no means intrudes on the melody or comes off bloated.
All through Koffee’s Toast we discover a lot to take pleasure in in regards to the Go 3’s timing, accuracy and emotive vocal presentation too. Although it isn’t excellent – there’s a restrict to the bass clout a product this measurement can present, after all – JBL has carried out an important job right here. The bass feels fuller on this newest mannequin and the treble only a shade smoother, thus producing a barely higher sound total.
As our playlist continues to R U Sleeping by Indo, we attempt the Go Three in direct comparability with the Tribit Stormbox Micro and discover its rival affords simply an additional ounce of element inside a extra spacious combine. It’s a barely dearer product, however you need to know that investing an additional few kilos will web vital positive aspects.
We just like the up to date JBL Go 3, however we are saying ‘like’ somewhat than ‘love’, as a result of because the Go 2 was unveiled in 2019, a just about unknown model referred to as Tribit has produced a five-star Bluetooth belter referred to as the Stormbox Micro for just a bit additional cash, and that has altered the sport at this worth level.
For those who can take care of a five-hour battery and prolonged charging time, you don’t desire a mic for speakerphone duties and also you’re ready to miss some minor issues in regards to the construct high quality, the JBL Go Three sounds musically pleasing and surprisingly loud for the cash. Whereas there’s only a few too many ‘ifs’ for a five-star assessment – even at this inexpensive stage – we prefer it very a lot.
Learn our information to the best Bluetooth speakers
Learn our Tribit Audio Stormbox Micro review
Learn our JBL Go 2 review