The JBL’s have been the pioneers of the LED Bluetooth speaker with the JBL Pulse series. This is the newest JBL Pulse 4 Portable Bluetooth Speaker and it aims to push the bar further.
Build and Design
This speaker a not what you would call lightweight, it carries a good bit of weight weighing in at close to 3 pounds. That heavyweight accompanied by the acrylic or glass-like material that houses the LED lights, makes it feel really fragile when you’re holding it in the hand. But this premium JBL Bluetooth speaker is a durable LED speaker with an IPX7 certified which means it can be submerged in up to 3.3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes. And if you at any point drip it in a pool of water it will float.
At the bottom, you will find the passive radiator and at the top is where you’ll find the actual driver. The driver pushes out 360 audio in all directions so you’re able to hear and enjoy the audio no matter where you’re located in the room. One of the things I like about the Pulse 4 over the previous generation is that it now provides you with more light coverage which is much more appealing and entertaining in my opinion.
There are 3 sides to the Pulse 4, one side has playback controls which includes pause/play, volume up/ down/ skip tracks. Whenever you adjust the volume the LED shows your volume levels. One feature that you don’t get is voice assistant, there no Seri or Google assistant builtin and since the Pulse 4 doesn’t have a built-in microphone and the speaker won’t be able to piggyback off your phone to use the voice assistant either.
The controls are located on the sides of the speaker. You’ll find the power, pairing, LED and Party Boost buttons. The Party Boost Button allows you to pair to the Pulse 4 with any JBL speaker with the Party Boost button to get a more stereo sound experience. The older speakers that use the Connect Plus feature is not yet compatible.
The LED Display
There is just no other mainstream speaker on the market that comes close to what this speaker can do in terms of LED lighting and customization. The LED button offers 5 lighting options which include; spiritual, campfire, wave, an equalizer LED display and a custom mode which allows you to change the direction that the LEDs are shining and also how many. You can use the app to make these adjustments and also use the camera mode to scan your favourite colour and add it to the speaker to give the LED your personal touch to suit your mood or to match your decor.
In my opinion, because the Pulse 3 offers basically the same LED features of the Pulse 4 when it comes to the LED lighting you don’t need to upgrade to the Pulse 4 if the LED lighting is your biggest priority.
You get Bluetooth 4.2 technology with over 80-feet in wireless range. And even though it’s not using the latest Bluetooth 5.0 technology you still get excellent coverage. So when watching movies and videos from NetFlix and YouTube you won’t have any syncing issues or audio delays. Also, there are 2 things to take note of when it comes to connectivity; the Pulse 4 is only able to pair to one device at a time and there is no 3.5mm audio port for wired connection.
JBL claims up to 12 hours of use which is on the low end for Bluetooth speakers in general especially in this premium price range. In real-world use at 50% volume, you will be able to achieve 14 and a half hours which is 2and a half hours more than JBLs claims.
The biggest surprise about the audio is the amount of bass you get. It’s not a table shaking subwoofer like JBLs other similarly priced Bluetooth speakers but for what this speaker is, it’s pretty impressive and far better than the Pulse 3. Thanks to its loud 360-degree audio, its powerful enough to fill up a large living space or dorm rooms.
The bass hits low and strong and it doesn’t overpower or make the mids muddy, it instead supplement the overall audio experience. The highs provide just the right amount of clarity that’s never too sharp or raspy even at max volume. The Pulse 4 delivers a truly excellent audio experience that’s miles ahead of the older Pulse 3 speaker.
To Wrap Things Up
Even though the JBL Pulse 4 is missing a few features that might deter a lot of consumers from purchasing, like the fact that it has no voice assistant features, a speakerphone for phone calls or even a 3.5mm port, the Pulse 4 is still an impressive well-rounded Bluetooth that’s perfect for those who want the best-LED lighting display on any Bluetooth speaker currently on the market backed by excellent audio.