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JBL Pulse 4 review

Portable speaker type. Priced at $329.

CHOICE Expert Rating

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What is the CHOICE Expert Rating

CHOICE Expert rating

This is the product's overall performance score, based on key tests conducted by our industry experts in the CHOICE labs.

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Good points

The product's best features and benefits

Bad points

Drawbacks or issues you need to know about
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Recommended View more details.

Recommended speakers have earned overall scores of 70% or above, as well as listening scores of 75% or above. Speakers with listening scores above 70% may also be worth considering if the price is right.

CHOICE Expert Rating View more details.

This overall score is made up of music quality, ease of use. See the How We Test section for the breakdown for home, portable and smart screen speakers.

Classical music score View more details.

Our testers assess the speaker to see how well it performs when playing classical music

Jazz music score View more details.

Our tester assesses how well the speaker performs when playing jazz music

Pop music score View more details.

Our tester assesses how well the speaker performs when playing pop music

Speech score View more details.

Our tester assesses how well the speaker performs for speech

Setup score View more details.

We test initial set up and any physical controls on the speaker.

Everyday score View more details.

We look at things such as connecting the speaker to your devices – be it Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or via a wire.

App score View more details.

Our testers look at the app and see how easy and useful it is to play music

Battery time (hours) View more details.

Shown in hours, this is a lab measured figure under the same usage case scenario for each model with battery power.

Price View more details.

Recommended retail.

$329
Annual running cost View more details.

Only measured for speakers that connect to a wall outlet, as they are designed to be "always on."

Power options View more details.

Speakers that offer both mains and battery power provide versatility to use at home and take out and about 

Battery
Other controls View more details.

Additional controls built into the unit.

Play/Pause, Vol +/-, Next track, Party Boost, Light Show
Music service support View more details.

Refers to services from which music can be played when you request it via voice command, directly from the smart speaker.

Not applicable
Apps available
JBL Connect
Dimensions (mm, HxWxD) View more details.

Rounded up to nearest 5mm.

208 x 109 x 109
Weight (grams) View more details.

Weight of speaker rounded to nearest gram

1278
Bluetooth View more details.

Bluetooth is the most common direct wireless connection option between a wireless speaker and a smart device.

Yes
Wi-Fi (5GHz) View more details.

Wi-Fi connectivity for both 2.4GHz as well as 5GHz allows you to connect a number of devices over a wireless network with less conflicts. 

The big advantage with Wi-Fi over Bluetooth is the range, with Wi-Fi networks often able to project well over 30 metres.

No
Wi-Fi (2.4GHz) View more details.

Wi-Fi connectivity for both 2.4GHz as well as 5GHz allows you to connect a number of devices over a wireless network with less conflicts. 

The big advantage with Wi-Fi over Bluetooth is the range, with Wi-Fi networks often able to project well over 30 metres.

No
Personal assistant View more details.

Is a digital assistant included with the smart speaker

No
Apple AirPlay View more details.

Apple Airplay support 2

No
Google home support View more details.

Support for the Google Home smart home control environment

Not applicable
Auxiliary input View more details.

3.5mm aux-in port.

No
Alexa View more details.

Support for Amazon Alexa voice assistant environment 

Not applicable
Siri View more details.

Support for Apple Siri voice assistant environment 

Not applicable
Surround support View more details.

Some wireless speakers can be integrated into a surround sound system, working as the back left and right speakers for a multi speaker setup


No
Stereo pairing View more details.

Grouping two speakers together over a Bluetooth connection in order to play the same song with more volume, or to work as a two channel sound system by assigning left- and right- roles to the speakers.

Yes
Speakerphone View more details.

Speakers with this feature allow you to take a call using the speaker to hear the call and an onboard mic to talk to the caller. Once the call is finished, the music will continue to play.


No
Dust/water resistant View more details.

Some speakers can handle the outdoors better than others, with some models able to comfortably handle rain, dust and the occasional dunking.

IPX7
Battery life indicator View more details.

Whether the speaker provides a visual indication of remaining battery life such as a blinking light or changing colour from green to red or in the case of speakers like the Logitech UE Boom and Megaboom models that deliver an audio indication of battery life such as "80% charged" when holding the + and - volume buttons down at the same time.

Yes
USB can charge other devices View more details.

Most of these speakers have larger batteries than a smartphone so can be very handy when you are caught out and about and need to juice up your mobile. Simply plug the USB cable from the speaker to the phone and you are ready to go.

No
Travel case
No

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