JBL Charge Portable Wireless Stereo Speaker and Charger with Bluetooth (Gray)
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504 of 538 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2013
I have been looking for a bluetooth speaker for quite awhile now and I initially purchased the Bose Soundlink II. The JBL Charge was not available in a store near me and I opted to purchase a speaker I could listen to in person to determine sound quality and also one that I felt I would have less of a chance of being disappointed with. I didn't want to order something online without being able to hear it in person. As a result, I bought the Bose Soundlink II about one week ago and I was initially impressed, but as the days wore on I couldn't help but feel that it didn't justify the $300 price. In my opinion (I stress the word opinion) the Bose sounded too bass heavy for me, somewhat muddy, and somewhat unnatural in the way that I like my music to sound. If a bass heavy bluetooth speaker is what you are looking for then the Bose is the way to go, but I felt the bass overpowered the vocals as opposed to complemented them. It seemed that the fact the Bose Soundlink II could produce a lot of bass was more important than the way it blended into and accentuated the music.

I continued to search for a JBL Charge in store near me and was excited to see that Best Buy just began carrying it. I went to the store and gave it a listen. It sounded pretty good but I'm not one to crank up the volume in store so I purchased it and figured I would compare it to the Soundlink II at my home. I was willing to live with the bass heavy Soundlink II if the maximum volume was noticeably louder than the JBL Charge. I turned both of the speakers up to full volume in my home and began listening to the Charge. Wow, it was louder than I expected, but it couldn't be as loud as the Bose Soundlink II, could it? I switched over to the Bose and although the Bose may have been louder, it wasn't by a substantial amount.

My initial reaction to the JBL Charge was that the vocals were much more natural sounding to my ears (once again, an opinion). Sure, the bass isn't as deep, but that doesn't bother me as much as having too much bass. I continued to switch back and forth between the Bose Soundlink II and JBL Charge to try and pick apart what I did/didn't like about each. I would notice that when I would switch from the Soundlink II to the Charge I would be somewhat disappointed that the bass wasn't somewhat stronger on the Charge, but after listening to the Charge for a short time I didn't notice anymore. I would then switch from the Charge to the Soundlink II and would be disappointed that the voices were somewhat muffled and overpowered by the bass of the speaker. Again, after listening to the Soundlink II for a short time the bass became a normal part of the listening experience for me.

Having said that, I personally prefer the sound of the JBL Charge. I think the best way for me to validate this is that when I initially turn on the JBL Charge (going from silence to music) the music sounds natural to my ears. The vocals sound clear and as I expect. Yes, the bass is not nearly as powerful as the Bose, but I don't want it that powerful. I would much rather have more natural sounding vocals than bass. In addition, the JBL is much more portable and I have much less fear of taking it outside or traveling with it. It seems less likely to get damaged and I am more likely to use it in a variety of circumstances (during home remodeling projects, camping, parties, at a park, internet, and so on). I also appreciate the longer battery life, the ability to charge the speaker via USB or plug, and the ability to charge other devices via USB by plugging them into the speaker.

When I initially turn on the Soundlink II I always catch myself thinking that it doesn't sound quite right. The vocals sound a little muffled and unnatural. Granted, I eventually get used to the sound and enjoy it, but when push comes to shove I prefer the JBL Charge. If I spend $300 on one product and always feel that something isn't quite right while I spend $150 on another with no issues the decision becomes a no brainer for me. I feel the $150 price point is much more in line with value where the $300 may lead to a feeling of dissatisfaction especially when the sound quality doesn't measure up to the dollar amount (once again this is an...you guessed it...opinion!!!).

Some people may not feel that the Soundlink II and the JBL Charge are an apples to apples comparison, but these were the two speakers I was debating between and this is the review I wanted when researching bluetooth speakers. I am not an audiophile by any means, but I have a preference to how my music sounds as well as a desire to get the most for my money. When I placed the speakers side by side and before I did my initial sound test I was expecting to return the Charge. I thought that as much as the Soundlink II's vocals sounded muddy to me before it was going to go up against the inferior and half price JBL Charge and bury it. I thought I would have an epiphany, a moment of clarity, where I would say to myself "oh, that's why the Bose costs $300" and I would repackage the JBL for a return visit to Best Buy. This didn't happen and I couldn't be happier. I will instead pack up the Bose Soundlink II, return it to the store, and come out $150 ahead.

The one area I have noticed a very slight issue with the Charge is that on rare occasions the sound seems to fade in and out ever so slightly. This doesn't happen very often at all and when it does I question if I am actually hearing it or imagining it. It isn't enough to negatively influence my review of the JBL Charge as I would still take it over the Bose Soundlink II.

In closing, Bose makes a very good speaker and many people probably prefer the sound quality of the Bose over JBL, but I don't. I know I can get an equalizer for my phone and adjust the settings to possibly make the speaker sound better to me but that doesn't appeal to me. If I can spend $150 on the Charge and get a speaker that sounds more natural to me and comes very close in maximum volume output I don't feel the need to spend an additional $150 for the Soundlink II that I am going to have to play with an equalizer to get it to where I want soundwise. All in all, I feel the JBL Charge is a much better value as a bluetooth speaker and serves it's purpose exceptionally well.
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601 of 647 people found the following review helpful
on April 8, 2013
Ok let me try to keep this as simple as possible. I have both the Flip and the Charge. I also have a Jawbone Jambox as well as other bluetooth speakers. First off the Jambox has it's place. It does a superb job as a speakerphone especially with all of the features it offers. The audio quality is good but it cannot begin to compare with the clarity and volume of the JBL's. Enough about the Jambox, this is a comparison of the Flip and the Charge. First of all JBL did with the Charge what they should have done with the Flip. So here's what you get for the extra $50 bucks. Better bass response, way better battery life, a micro USB/USB charging port and the ability to charge your devices. You lose the speakerphone with the Charge. The worst thing JBL did with the Flip was the flipping charger. USB charging is essential with these small speakers. The second worst thing was the poor battery life. You get around 3.5 to 4 hours if you jam. The 5 hour rating is at lower volumes. Sound quality comparison. Volume is about equal in both speakers. They both put out incredible sound for the size. The volume of either will smoke any other small speaker and go head to head with most bigger speakers. You can rock the house down with either one of them and the clarity of both is outstanding. As I said before, the bass on the Charge is richer but the comparison made me appreciate the sound quality of the Flip which has a decent bass response, especially for the size. The Charge is a little larger and has the bass port which is the reason for the improved bass response. Naturally the overall sound of the Charge is richer and warmer due to the increased bass response but the Flip holds its own. The highs sound cleaner on the Flip when you compare the two but this is possibly because the bass response is not as good. If you like treble you will like the Flip better. The two advantages of the Flip are price and speakerphone. The advantages of the Charge are bass response (which is not dramatic by the way, but is significant), the battery life, the type of charging system and the ability to charge devices. I have to say once again that hearing the Charge made me appreciate the Flip that much more. They are both phenomenal speakers, especially for the money. Typical JBL sound quality. I give both five stars.
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545 of 605 people found the following review helpful
on April 12, 2013
I was really excited about the positive changes JBL made to its new BT Speaker, nicknamed Charge, as much as I was curious about what exactly has been implemented sonic performance wise in comparison to the Flip. I had a chance spending two hours with both units and listening to them side by side. I have to say what I found is quite interesting: the Charge is definitely not just the Flip with a face alteration and weaknesses enhancements; for better or for worse, it feels to me almost like a completely different product.

First, Above all, the sound:

Granted, they sounded similar, but noticeably different even the first time I turned them on; I felt they almost had a distinctive sound signature when I listened more!

It seems JBL has adjusted the built-in DSP: tuned down the highs a few notches and boosted up the lower end; hence, my overall impression about the Charge was that it was more neutral sounding, with just a tiny bit more bass palpable. So did it sound better than the Flip? Hardly!

David Carnoy from CNET commented in his timely review that the Charge sounded a bit better than the Flip, but didn't bother to elaborate. I would say it's probably a matter of personal preference. To me, with the volume set at 80% and below, the Charge sounded subdued and the added bass was almost negligible in most samples I played, ranging from hip-hop, jazz, ambient, chamber music, country, hard rock to pure vocal. On the other hand, the Flip was significantly brighter, crisp with a sound stage more open. the Charge by no means sounded bad or flat, just quite uncharacteristic, losing the wow factor associated with the Flip. Also, the Flip presented more details - I felt this might have something to do with the reduced highs.

JBL redesigned the grille and covered nearly 75% of the speaker with rubber like plastic; hence, the driver opening is much more confined. I would imagine this could lead to the sound image appearing to be smaller. The speaker did sound a tad stifled.

If all above is just a personal taste, there is one BIG concrete difference: I was playing Suzanne Vega's bass heavy Caramel. Almost 2 minutes in, I noticed there was no vocal coming out of the Charge, then I realized somehow, one of the channels wasn't present or almost muted. Switching to the Flip, I heard both channels loud and clear. I'm not quite sure what's causing this. I noticed the same issue when I was testing the Logitech UE Boombox the other day.

Second, the design

It seems JBL had picked up a few ideas from Philips Shoqbox 7200: I feel that the Charge is redesigned to gear more towards outdoor activities while the Flip bears somewhat more elegant and professional looking. Also, personally, the Flip looks way cooler than the Charge when they are placed vertically.

Third, bright spots about the Charge:

1. Much longer battery life - we are looking at 5 hours (Flip) vs. 10-12 hours (Charge). The play time is simply doubled on a single charge with the Charge.

2. Better charging design: JBL got rid of the bulky AC charger and finally adopted a universal USB charging method on par with other portable BT speakers.

3. A USB output allowing you to charge your phone while playing, hence the nickname

Another change worthy mentioning is that there is no speakerphone function on the Charge speakers.

Fourth, the price

The Charge is currently positioned $50 above Flips

Summary: is the Charge worth the $50 jump or a possible upgrade?

The Charge may very well make an overall better package deal than the Flip, with its improvements on charging and the battery life; however, I feel JBL's fine tuning in the sound department leaves it hard to recommend to people like me who put the sound quality on top of their priority list. Even considering the element of added bass, the Flip simply still sounds better and more exciting to listen to in my opinion. Besides, the Charge looks bulky and unattractive - it almost resembles a poorly designed thermos. Flip, on the other hand, with its minimum use of plastic, looks elegant and classy.

Then again, it would all come down to personal preferences in terms of sound, as well as what you want the most out of your portable speaker. To me though, the Flip is still the clear winner of this round.
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158 of 175 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2013
It's a "hack." But a legit hack! But hold on (or jump ahead) ... I will get to that "how to" toward the bottom of this review.

First off, I love the JBL Charge, and in many ways I feel it is the best OVERALL sound and size/weight (in it's price range) of all the portable/rechargeable Bluetooth speakers I have tried. Also, something you should know about me, I worked as a professional sound tech doing live (and studio) mixes for over 20 years. Yeah, you do not know me from a hole in the ground, but I have a great ear and the "creds" to go with it. But ultimately, it is your ear that will tell you what you like, not mine. I can only be another reference in your arsenal of reviews.

And BTW, let me interject to everyone a piece of advice. If you want ANY portable Bluetooth speaker to sound better with little to no investment, use an EQ app! Android, iPhone, etc ... they all have some type of EQ app in there app stores, some of which are free. Choose at least a 5 band, but preferably a 10 band EQ is much better. You will squeeze out a little to a lot more than you imagined from the speaker you already have and you will be pleasantly surprised!

I have tried (plus listened to a few others not mentioned here) ...

1) the Jambox (nice for a "tiny" device, but not worth the price, should be about $75 instead of $125),
2) the Big Jambox (sounded good, but somewhat heavy in weight and hollow sounding, and twice the price of the JBL Charge),
3) Beats by Dre Pill (tinny and no low end worth speaking of and why is this getting good reviews?),
4) JBL Flip (again, mostly mid to highs with little bottom, except JBL got it right this time with the Charge!),
5) Logitech UE Mobile Boombox (just OK for its size),
6) Divoom Bluetune (inexpensive and you get what you pay for, buy the HMDX Audio HX-P230GY JAM Classic Bluetooth Wireless Speaker (Blackberry) for $35 instead, unless you need something really small),
7) UE Boom (nice but other issues [for me] read below),
8) HMDX Jam Plus (also read more below),
9) SoundFreaq SFQ-04 SoundKick (not bad, but too little volume [except a little better when plugged into 120 AC] and bass is just OK, airy sound which was nice for certain things).

For me, it finally came down to the JBL Charge and the UE Boom.
My main issue with the UE Boom was trying to get them to pair up properly! Tech Support could not solve a particular problem I was having. Therefore, I am returning them.
When comparing the sound, I found the UE Boom to have a tad more bass, but seemed to have a "hole" in the sound that gave it a somewhat artificial hollow sound, whereas the JBL Charge, sounded fuller and more natural (especially in the mids to upper mids) and was much more "present." The Boom sounded more "recessed" or a little more behind a veil. Don't get me wrong, the Boom was nice but, I liked the Charge overall better.

What did I settle on? The JBL Charge.

BUT, what I REALLY wanted was TWO speakers (like the Boom) with separate left & right sound. And yes, the UE Booms could do that (when they stayed consistent!). So what was a boy to do!?!

So now the "hack." You will need ...
1) TWO JBL Charge Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speakers (Grey).
2) TWO Azeca BTT005 Stereo Bluetooth Transmitters. (use some Velcro to attach the 2 transmitters into a small bundle)
3) ONE C2G / Cables to Go 40645 3.5mm Stereo Male To 2X RCA Female Adapter and TWO 3.5mm Mono Female / RCA Male Adaptors.
OR
4) use this setup instead of #3 ... ONE HOSA Stereo 3.5 mm Phone Male - Two Mono 1-Tip and 1-Ring 3.5MM Female - 6-Inch if you need more flexibilty in cord and less number of parts.

Next, plug the 2 RCA adapters into the split adapter (or the Hosa splitter in it's place) which plugs into your headphone jack. Then plug each transmitter into the RCA adapters (or the Hosa's female mini-pins). Just pair each Charge separately to each transmitter and since the headphone jacks I referred to make it so you can split the source to mono right and left, you have TRUE and SEPARATE stereo speakers from the 2 Charges receiving audio from ANY sound source!

Here is the link to photos of this setup ...
http://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-media/product-gallery/B00BNIO4H8/ref=cm_ciu_pdp_images_dav

Yes, when all is said and done, it will cost you approximately $190 per speaker or $380 total) a little less than 2 UE Booms! BUT, I do NOT need an app to activate them every time I want to pair them, like I NEED to do with the UE Boom! That means, I can use ANY (legacy) device (without Bluetooth) that has a stereo headphone jack. My old trusty (and great sounding) Zune HD or my old Creative ZEN are now useable with my new "stereo" Charge setup, and since there are no apps made for my mp3 players, it is a perfect solution (for me and maybe for you)!! And if you LOVE the sound of the Charge, wait till you hear two of them in true stereo! You will now have the ultimate double whammy with your Charge(s)!

BTW, the HMDX Jam Plus Portable Speaker (Purple) (the "PLUS" means true separate stereo receiver/speakers, but you need two) were nice for the money (around $100 for a pair here on Amazon). They are TRUE L&R stereo. They are nice for airy sounding music, choir, acoustic guitar, and the like. Not much on the low end (but acceptable), but they make up for it with the price. They are loud enough to fill a small room. I am keeping these little guys as I have a certain fondness for their "nitch" sound and price range! I can't wait for HDMX to have a higher price (more bass and longer [than 4 hours] battery life) and more advanced unit. If they are developing something, they would be a company worth giving a look into for their future products.

AND remember, don't forget that EQ app!

Best EQ apps IMHO are ...
1. PowerAmp for Android (free and paid versions)
2. Equalizer FX (1st choice) or jetAudio Basic (2nd choice) for Kindle Fire (free and paid versions)
3. Equalizer By Audioforge Labs Inc. for Apple products (2.99)

Nuff said.

PS. I will try to do a "how to" video if I get the time. No promises.
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
I received my JBL Charge speaker on early July 2013. I have been testing it with different kinds of music. From Portuguese fado, to Beethoven cello sonatas, opera, piano music, to Elvis, to tango music. Let me say I am an amateur music composer, and a fan of classical music, and I simply love this speaker.

I have not found any negative aspect of this stereo speaker.

The positive aspects:
1. Very well balanced sound. I haven't heard a bias either towards the treble register, nor to the bass, nor to the middle.
2. Very crisp sound. There is no muffling of the sound.
3. I am very surprised that this little thing has a sound that favorably compares to the sound of top quality big boxes.
4. With a charge of about 3 1/2 hours you can play it unplugged for 12 hours.
5. The JBL Charge has a volume switch on top. It is very handy when you have to answer your phone.
6. In addition to the Bluetooth connection this speaker has a 3.5 mm socket to plug in your iPod or any device.
7. On the left side it has a small flip door that opens the USB port which you can use to give some charge to your iPod or iPhone, etc

I have found that the sound of this top-quality speaker improves if you place it on top of a table. If you are the kind of person who loves booming bass, place it near the corner of the room or in the corner of a shelf.

One caveat. If you turn the source volume very high, the internal amplifier starts clipping, which is absolutely normal.

One nice detail: if your tablet or IPad is turned off, the JBL Charge will turn itself off in about 25- 30 minutes. This is a nice feature. You can interrupt the music to attend a phone call or to prepare yourself a snack and the JBL Charge will not shut off. However if you want to sleep you can leave it on and forget about it.

One of the great pleasures of owning a JBL Charge is that I can bring it with me in a trip, or inside my house to the kitchen, to my living room or to my bedroom, were I use it the most. All you need to make this speaker work is a computer or iPad (tablet) with Bluetooth connection. I particularly enjoy listening via the TuneIn app ( android or for iPad) to 24x 7 radio stations from all over the world some of which have CD quality broadcast.

I was so impressed by this speaker, that I am purchasing a 2nd JBL Charge for my young nieces, as a Birthday present. Since one of them owns a tablet and the other a Mac, with Bluetooth connections, this speaker turns to be an excellent sound system for them.

This is a great gift for you or for others. Enjoy it!
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2013
If you're like me, you've read all the reviews and are trying & hoping your choice of a portable bluetooth speaker will provide you the quality sound & performance you want from your iPhone, tablet, or other devices. My good friend has the Jambox and it sounds pretty good. I decided to order the JABRA SOULMATE, The OONTZ ANGLE, and the JBL CHARGE so I could do a side by side comparison. (The first order or Oontz Angles & Soulmate never arrived) So I cancelled the Oontz and received another JABRA SOULMATE & now the JBL CHARGE for a side by side comparison.
The JBL CHARGE wins hands down! That's not to say the JABRA Soulmate didn't sound good, but the JBL CHARGE sounded superior in every way.
The CHARGE Is louder, cleaner sounding, superior bass, and equally compact & easy to carry. I'm still on Day 1 of testing, but it has a tremendous battery life of more than 10+ hours and the large internal battery allows you to charge your phones or tablets both easily and quick. A very functional option. Granted it doesn't have a speakerphone built in, but is that really a feature you will use? IMO, the speaker phones in most cell phones & tablets are superior to those used in these speakers. My friends all asked to be taken off the JABRA speaker phone due to its "not as clear sounding performance."
Bottom line is this: There is no portable bluetooth speaker that will match the sound of a quality 5.1 surround sound home theater setup. Physics and technology won't allow it. If you want a Bluetooth Speaker that you can crank up to 80-85% with no distortion, and will fill up a bedroom or garage, or patio area with nice, clean, loud, & clear sounding music or sound for watching TV shows, then this is your best bet. The JBL CHARGE is also extremely well made and comes with with a decent neoprene carrying case that has just enough room for your extra connections and charger cable. In the Sub $150.00 price range, it is the clear winner.
I will do a follow up review, and provide you a update in a week or so. If you have any questions, I'm happy to try and answer them for you. In meantime, I will be returning the JABRA Soulmate and definitely staying with my JBL CHARGE!!! If you're on the fence as to what to buy? Take the jump, you'll love the landing.
July 10th Quick Update: I've spent best part of 2 days tweaking & testing the JBL CHARGE vs JABRA SOULMATE and just want to share some findings that may help.
1. Make sure you are starting your comparisons of ANY Bluetooth speakers with the volume on your phone and a given speaker set equally in loudness at the lower volume settings. By this I mean you can control volume via speaker control volume or your ipad/iPhone. These two need to be as closely matched as possible.
2. The Charge allows for the highest decibel volume. So it appears to sound play the loudest of the two.
3. I mentioned the Soulmate does good, in fact, in the mid volume range, it may have just a "little" bit better overall sound when considering low, midrange, and highs.
4. The CHARGES ability to to charge your devices should they run low is by far a better option IMHO than the speaker phone option on Soulmate.
5. Keep in mind, the settings on your cell or tablets equalizer or volume and music playback settings can also have a noticeable positive influence on either speaker. Not to mention the aftermarket equalizer apps available.

Because I enjoy testing out the different audio settings to achieve the best sound these types of speakers can produce, I may very well do a detailed audio comparison to measure the overall sound performance using identical metrics, room size, and speaker placement. I may yet keep both speakers... Haven't yet made thar decision. I can say that both these speakers are good and IMO sound better than the Jambox I also hooked up when my friend came by. My reviews are normally not this detailed, but if it helps any of you, then that's a positive. I'll do one final update in a couple of weeks. Peace out for now.

FINAL UPDATE - AUGUST 9, 2013. I'll keep this simple. The CHARGE & Soulmate are extremely good bluetooth speakers. If you must have a speakerphone, the Soulmate is only option. As I said earlier, no BT Speaker connected to cell phone or tablet will ever produce home theater sound. I think some people expect something close to that. The CHARGE plays loud & clear and is truly amazing for its size when used in any room from 15' x 24' ( my man cave size) on down to any smaller area. It's easy to carry, quick to charge, super easy to connect, and easy to operate. For the money, it is currently the best sounding bluetooth speaker on the market IMO. I've tested side by side with Jambox regular size, Soulmate, Logitech, and several others. It is the winner with the added benefit of a built in - large battery for long playing time....12+ hours at 1/3 volume and can charge any of your other devices in a pinch. Nice perk. Finally, I know a lot of people make this mistake so hopefully this will help you. When setting the volume, make sure to first set your cell phone or tablet at a low volume setting. Then make sure to increase the volume on the charge to its highest level--you'll hear it beep. Then when you adjust you volume higher on your cell or tablet, the JBL CHARGE will continue to increase its volume even louder until you max out your volume on your cell/ tablet. If you haven't tried this, please do so as it makes a huge difference. You'll be happy with this speaker and will have clear, loud, beautiful sounding music from a small compact speaker. If you have any questions, as always, I will try and help you answer them. I am returning my Soulmate in favor of the CHARGE.
IT'S THE CLEAR WINNER!!!!
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91 of 112 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2013
If you are looking for the best PORTABLE Bluetooth speaker on the market for the money this one is it!!! I had been looking for the perfect PORTABLE Bluetooth speaker and NONE of them was exactly what I was looking for until JBL just released the CHARGE.

It's about the size of a Tall Boy Beer Can and if properly placed can put as much sound as a full sized stereo speaker and sound just as good. THERE IS A DEFINITE WOW FACTOR. And your first reaction will be how can something this size sound this good & this loud?? This is one of those items you don't think you need until you have and you find it quickly becomes something you're using every day and you wonder how you got along without it. It will become your sidekick around the house & yard and on outings.

This will be your companion at the beach, camping, boating, hiking, in the garage, barn, in the bathroom while taking a shower, etc. By the way the sound in garages & the bathrooms in an enclosed bookshelf, etc. is even more impressive due to the acoustics.

PROS: 12 Hour Run Time on Full Charge (which is excellent)/Recharges fairly quickly

SOUND - Excellent. More clear distortion free volume than you'll ever need. Sounds better than any other comparably sized & priced PORTABLE speaker. Forget the Jawbone Jambox and all the the rest, the JBL Charge beats them all for sound & price.

BUILT IN USB CHARGING PORT: Chances are your cell phone will run out of juice before this does, so JBL has that covered with a USB charging port.

Water/Weather Resistant: With a lot of models you might be reluctant to let them be exposed to sand, sun or water. This is a very high quality plastic coated unit, that you probably aren't going to freak out over if it a light rain suddenly kicks in.

CONS: (Very Minor)

1. No Pause, Mute, Forward & Back only volume control on/off/pairing. It does lose a few brownie points for this. The Jambox has it why JBL decided to skip it I have no idea. Not a big deal, but some people will use it as a shower "radio" and forward & reverse buttons are a plus when you can't otherwise use your smartphone or tablet. JBL hope you're reading this for your next CHARGE model.

2. As this is a new model JBL should have probably made it NFC capable, but it's not a big deal for most people................YET. JBL I hope you are reading this for your next CHARGE model.

3. The ham radio guy in me wishes they had also included an a Small LED Clock display and an HD AM/FM/NOAAA/NOAA Alert weather radio. As it would have made an excellent device for short term blackouts. These days it wouldn't add much size or weight. But that is just wishful thinking. If JBL included this on their next CHARGE model it would be an even bigger hit.

FYI - The sound that comes out over Bluetooth is EXACTLY what the origin device is putting out. So if your desktop or laptop has a high quality soundcard and DFX or other sound enhancing programs, it will sound better than just streaming from your smart phone or tablet which also still sounds fine.

BOTTOM LINE JUST BUY THIS SPEAKER IF YOU DON'T ALREADY OWN A PORTABLE BLUETOOTH RECHARGABLE SPEAKER!!! HELL BUY IT EVEN IF YOU DO.

YOUR FRIENDS WILL BE NOTICEABLY IMPRESSED & WANT ONE FOR THEMSELVES!!!

YOU WON'T REGRET THIS PURCHASE!!!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on October 7, 2013
I am writing this review with a comparison to a competitor of the charge, the UE Boom Portable, retailing at 50 dollars more. I bought both at a local Best Buy and did a detailed comparison. I was looking for something that sounded very good with long battery life. I went into the comparison thinking that the Boom Portable would win based on expert reviews saying the Boom is the best portable speaker on the market for sound and features. I played both side by side auditioning several different types of songs.

My finding was that the Boom Portable does have a fairly open sound..., but with less dynamic open range, especially in the lower end. I didn't think the UE Boom sounded 3d, big or multi dimensional like some expert reviewers said. The UE Boom did bring out details in the music, but to me in a shrill almost piercing manner.

The JBL charge on the other hand sounded very rich and full, with the same amount of openess to me. I was amazed at how well and rich voices sound from such a small speaker. My children came into the kitchen looking around for a larger music player. They grinned when I said the sound was coming from the "little speaker".

I don't know if some of the review sights are paid off to give biased reviews or what. I just know the JBL sounded much fuller and rich sounding with an openess and detail that is very pleasant to my ears, not shrill like the UE Boom portable. That doesn't surprise me since Logitech specializes in computer speakers and such while JBL, aka Harman Kardon specializes in full range speakers and has for years.

The JBL Charge played just as loud as the UE Boom portable also. The UE would distort quicker than the JBL at higher volumes. I was not impressed with the UE Boom. Probably because it was hyped up so much on the internet and I felt let down.

The JBL Charge is staying and the UE Boom Portable is going back to Best Buy, comparison wasn't even close, JBL won hands down in my most important feature sound quality. The battery has lasted all day so far with it showing it still having at least half its juice left.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2014
I would have given this product 5 stars except for the unbelievably awful customer support we got from JBL. The product arrived with a defective power supply. That stuff happens. However, it took 7 phone calls to JBL and the problem is still not resolved. Twice they sent the wrong power supply. The supply they sent the first time would have worked, but it was an international supply that did not come with the connector to the outlet. The next call was to describe this problem, and they said I was wrong and must have thrown away the connector, so they sent me another power supply with no connector. The next call was handled by someone who really sounded like they knew what was going on. He had a connector sent, but it was for yet a different power supply and did not fit the first two supplies they sent. The next call took almost an hour on the phone, but JBL said they would swap out the entire unit and would send us a prepaid shipping label. It's been a month, and we've received nothing. This was a simple problem, I was treated like the dumbest person in the world, and they have yet to be able to make us whole.

Would you like to do business with a company that treats their customers like this? I'm pretty sure that's the last money JBL will get from us.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2013
It's a "hack." But a legit hack! But hold on (or jump ahead) ... I will get to that "how to" toward the bottom of this review.

First off, I love the JBL Charge, and in many ways I feel it is the best OVERALL sound and size/weight (in it's price range) of all the portable/rechargeable Bluetooth speakers I have tried. Also, something you should know about me, I worked as a professional sound tech doing live (and studio) mixes for over 20 years. Yeah, you do not know me from a hole in the ground, but I have a great ear and the "creds" to go with it. But ultimately, it is your ear that will tell you what you like, not mine. I can only be another reference in your arsenal of reviews.

And BTW, let me interject to everyone a piece of advice. If you want ANY portable Bluetooth speaker to sound better with little to no investment, use an EQ app! Android, iPhone, etc ... they all have some type of EQ app in there app stores, some of which are free. Choose at least a 5 band, but preferably a 10 band EQ is much better. You will squeeze out a little to a lot more than you imagined from the speaker you already have and you will be pleasantly surprised!

I have tried (plus listened to a few others not mentioned here) ...

1) the Jambox (nice for a "tiny" device, but not worth the price, should be about $75 instead of $125),
2) the Big Jambox (sounded good, but somewhat heavy in weight and hollow sounding, and twice the price of the JBL Charge),
3) Beats by Dre Pill (tinny and no low end worth speaking of and why is this getting good reviews?),
4) JBL Flip (again, mostly mid to highs with little bottom, except JBL got it right this time with the Charge!),
5) Logitech UE Mobile Boombox (just OK for its size),
6) Divoom Bluetune (inexpensive and you get what you pay for, buy the HMDX Audio HX-P230GY JAM Classic Bluetooth Wireless Speaker (Blackberry) for $35 instead, unless you need something really small),
7) UE Boom (nice but other issues [for me] read below),
8) HMDX Jam Plus (also read more below),
9) SoundFreaq SFQ-04 SoundKick (not bad, but too little volume [except a little better when plugged into 120 AC] and bass is just OK, airy sound which was nice for certain things).

For me, it finally came down to the JBL Charge and the UE Boom.
My main issue with the UE Boom was trying to get them to pair up properly! Tech Support could not solve a particular problem I was having. Therefore, I am returning them.
When comparing the sound, I found the UE Boom to have a tad more bass, but seemed to have a "hole" in the sound that gave it a somewhat artificial hollow sound, whereas the JBL Charge, sounded fuller and more natural (especially in the mids to upper mids) and was much more "present." The Boom sounded more "recessed" or a little more behind a veil. Don't get me wrong, the Boom was nice but, I liked the Charge overall better.

What did I settle on? The JBL Charge.

BUT, what I REALLY wanted was TWO speakers (like the Boom) with separate left & right sound. And yes, the UE Booms could do that (when they stayed consistent!). So what was a boy to do!?!

So now the "hack." You will need ...
1) TWO JBL Charge Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speakers (Grey).
2) TWO Azeca BTT005 Stereo Bluetooth Transmitters. (use some Velcro to attach the 2 transmitters into a small bundle)
3) ONE C2G / Cables to Go 40645 3.5mm Stereo Male To 2X RCA Female Adapter and TWO 3.5mm Mono Female / RCA Male Adaptors.
OR
4) use this setup instead of #3 ... ONE HOSA Stereo 3.5 mm Phone Male - Two Mono 1-Tip and 1-Ring 3.5MM Female - 6-Inch if you need more flexibilty in cord and less number of parts.

Next, plug the 2 RCA adapters into the split adapter (or the Hosa splitter in it's place) which plugs into your headphone jack. Then plug each transmitter into the RCA adapters (or the Hosa's female mini-pins). Just pair each Charge separately to each transmitter and since the headphone jacks I referred to make it so you can split the source to mono right and left, you have TRUE and SEPARATE stereo speakers from the 2 Charges receiving audio from ANY sound source!

Here is the link to photos of this setup ...
http://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-media/product-gallery/B00BNIO4H8/ref=cm_ciu_pdp_images_dav

Yes, when all is said and done, it will cost you approximately $190 per speaker or $380 total) a little less than 2 UE Booms! BUT, I do NOT need an app to activate them every time I want to pair them, like I NEED to do with the UE Boom! That means, I can use ANY (legacy) device (without Bluetooth) that has a stereo headphone jack. My old trusty (and great sounding) Zune HD or my old Creative ZEN are now useable with my new "stereo" Charge setup, and since there are no apps made for my mp3 players, it is a perfect solution (for me and maybe for you)!! And if you LOVE the sound of the Charge, wait till you hear two of them in true stereo! You will now have the ultimate double whammy with your Charge(s)!

BTW, the HMDX Jam Plus Portable Speaker (Purple) (the "PLUS" means true separate stereo receiver/speakers, but you need two) were nice for the money (around $100 for a pair here on Amazon). They are TRUE L&R stereo. They are nice for airy sounding music, choir, acoustic guitar, and the like. Not much on the low end (but acceptable), but they make up for it with the price. They are loud enough to fill a small room. I am keeping these little guys as I have a certain fondness for their "nitch" sound and price range! I can't wait for HDMX to have a higher price (more bass and longer [than 4 hours] battery life) and more advanced unit. If they are developing something, they would be a company worth giving a look into for their future products.

AND remember, don't forget that EQ app!

Best EQ apps IMHO are ...
1. PowerAmp for Android (free and paid versions)
2. Equalizer FX (1st choice) or jetAudio Basic (2nd choice) for Kindle Fire (free and paid versions)
3. Equalizer By Audioforge Labs Inc. for Apple products (2.99)

Nuff said.

PS. I will try to do a "how to" video if I get the time. No promises.
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