For whatever reason you need music pumped into the background of an event or the foreground of a party, you have a discomforting number of options for speakers in the market. Well, Samsung-owned JBL has gone and complicated that market a bit further this IFA and while it has typically does a quality job on everything, you might need a little introduction on what all these speakers are good for — that's what we're here for.
We only have UK release details for these new products at the moment, so we'll be looking out for US information whenever that comes — frankly speaking, we'd be surprised if these were missing from a Black Friday sale.
To start with, JBL is bringing out a new, dedicated series of soundbars:
- The JBL BAR 2.0 All-in-One measures 24" and delivers all-around improved sound when compared with your average TV speakers, though you can connect any source up via optical cable or with Bluetooth. It's rated for 80 watts maximum output. It costs £159.
- The JBL BAR 2.1 Deep Bass takes the BAR 2.0 extends the range to 38" to accommodate a subwoofer with Dolby Digital sound, ramping the power up to 300 watts. It features a display at the front and costs £300.
- The JBL BAR 5.1 Surround Sound is a 40" soundbar with a 10" subwoofer embedded. JBL MultiBeam technology allows users to wirelessly connect multiple speakers up with the bar. Plus, there's Wi-Fi, Airplay 2, Chromecast support, and 4K Dolby Vision HDMI pass-through, too. All of this for £550.
To follow that trio, JBL has also pushed out a trio of updated portable speakers:
- The JBL Pulse 4 pairs Bluetooth party speaker — rated IPX7 against water immersion — with a bunch of LED lights wrapped around its body. Users can customize flashing patterns with the JBL Connect app and sync up with other JBL PartyBoost-compatible speakers for music in every room. With 12 hours per power cycle and USB-C charging, you can get it in black or white for £229.
- JBL has also updated its more utilitarian Link portable speakers with the Link Portable and Link Music. Drivers emanate 24-bit, 96kHz sound on all 360 degrees and delivers content from all sources thanks to Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, plus built-in AirPlay 2, Chromecast, and Google Assistant capabilities. The Link Portable has IPX7 water ingress resistance and an 8-hour battery with a price tag of £139 while the smaller Link Music has a smaller cost on its side: £90.
Finally, the company is debuting a new pair of active noise-canceling wireless earbuds: the appropriately-named JBL LIVE 300TWS (why can't anyone name anything without a load of numbers and letters in the trunk).
You can control how much ANC you're getting with the HARMAN Personi-Fi app and select your choice of Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. It's IPX5-rated for sweat and light spray, has 6 hours of battery life (with a quick 10-minute charge to get 1 hour more), and a charging case that can deliver up to 14 more hours. It's available in black, white, and blue for £150 starting in November — again, at least in the United Kingdom.