Which bluetooth speaker should you buy

Which bluetooth speaker should you buy

If you like speakers with brilliant lights and colors, you obviously must have heard of the JBL Pulse 4. This successor to the popular Pulse 3 produces brilliant colors, making it an ideal party speaker. Not only is the color mixing entertaining, they are also super hypnotic. Yes, no kidding. Another JBL speaker that is very popular is the Charge 4. This one is known to deliver powerful sound and is also known to pack a compact form factor.


JBL Pulse 4 vs JBL Charge 4 Bluetooth comparison

For starters, these two speakers have a lot of common features. For example, they are waterproof with an IPX7 degree of protection. This makes them suitable both indoors and outdoors. Second, they have a small build and can be transported anywhere without problems.

Hence, this brings us to a vital question: which bluetooth speaker should you buy and why?

Well, that’s what we’re going to find in this article today by comparing the JBL Pulse 4 with the JBL Charge 4 and see which one is better of the two. But first,

Specifications that matter

PropertyJBL Pulse 4JBL Charge 4
PropertyJBL Pulse 4JBL Charge 4
Dimensions3.78 x 3.78 x 8.15 inches3.7 x 3.7 x 8.6 inches
Weight2.78 lbs3.31 pounds
Battery life12 hours20 hours
BluetoothBluetooth 4.2Bluetooth 4.2
Usb-cYesYes
MicrophoneNoNo
AUX inputNoYes

Design

Let’s start with the design of the older Charge 4. The Charge 4 carries the cylindrical look characteristic of most JBL portable speakers. Looks are pretty straightforward, with the passive radiators around the edges and the midsection bundling together rugged construction.

The buttons are located at the top of the device. The good news is that all buttons are tactile and respond well to touch and pressure. Interestingly, Charge 4 doesn’t have a Back button.

JBL Pulse 4 vs JBL Charge 4 6 Bluetooth comparison

JBL Pulse 4 vs JBL Charge 4 6 Bluetooth comparison

However, for wireless speakers, Charge 4 is a bit heavy and weighs almost 3.31 pounds. While carrying it around for a short time isn’t a big deal, it can be problematic to carry it around on your hiking or camping adventures. In short, the weight compromises the portability of the product.

On the upside, it 4 has an IPX7 protection rating and it can stay submerged in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes. So even if the speaker accidentally falls into the water, you will have plenty of time to save it.

JBL Pulse 4 vs JBL Charge 4 Bluetooth comparison 3

JBL Pulse 4 vs JBL Charge 4 Bluetooth comparison 3

The Pulse 4 also has a cylindrical construction and stands approximately 8.5 inches high. This one stands upright, unlike Charge 4’s horizontal setting. As you might expect, all the knobs are on top, and signature passive radiators flank the top and bottom of the speaker.

Obviously, there’s less speaker grille in this one, and the hero is the LED panel on the front. Unlike the previous generation, the LED panel is substantial and covers a large part of the enclosure. All you have to do is turn on the speaker and watch the light and color dance.

JBL Pulse 4 vs JBL Charge 4 2 Bluetooth comparison

JBL Pulse 4 vs JBL Charge 4 2 Bluetooth comparison

Surely enough, the buttons are responsive and have tactile feedback. Like its counterpart above, this one is also a waterproof speaker and is rated IPX7.

Surprisingly, JBL has removed the AUX input as well as the microphone to assist with hands-free calls. Instead, you have an option called PartyBoost which allows you to increase the speaker volume by allowing you to connect to other compatible speakers. Cool, right?

JBL Pulse 4 vs JBL Charge 4 Bluetooth comparison 5

JBL Pulse 4 vs JBL Charge 4 Bluetooth comparison 5

Note that the Pulse 4 does not have a rubber flap over the USB-C charging port at the bottom of the speaker. If it gets submerged or accidentally falls into the water, you’ll have to wait for the water to dry before charging it, and well, that can be disappointing sometimes.

Battery and connectivity

The name says it all – the JBL Charge 4 is meant to recharge. Yes, apart from providing huge backup power, you can also use the Charge 4 to charge your gadgets like phones and headphones well on the go.

It’s powered by a massive 7,500mAh battery (bigger than most flagships, if you ask me). When it comes to music, it can play continuously for about 20 hours before it needs a recharge. The best part is that it takes roughly 4.5 hours to recharge. Plus, the USB-C charging port means you can also use your phone’s USB-C charging cable to get the job done.

JBL Pulse 4 vs JBL Charge 4 Which bluetooth speaker should you buy 1

JBL Pulse 4 vs JBL Charge 4 Which bluetooth speaker should you buy 1

Being an older generation, the JBL Charge 4 doesn’t have PartyBoost. Instead, it comes with a feature called JBL Connect +. You can wirelessly connect other compatible JBL speakers (maximum 100) to increase volume levels through this. When it comes to outdoor use or party scenarios, this is more than a welcome feature.

Surely enough, the Pulse 4 has a shorter runtime. On a full charge, it has a playtime of around 12 hours and is backed by a massive 7,260mAh battery. The charging time is almost similar to Charge 4, and it takes about 4 hours for the battery to be recharged.

Note that the LED panel and volume level will play an important role in the battery life of the Pulse 4. Fortunately, there is an option to turn off the light show, if you want to extend the battery life. .

Sound performance

Well, to be fair, gadgets like extra wattage and LED lights won’t add up to long if the speaker in question doesn’t deliver solid performance. Fortunately, in this sector, the Pulse 4 and Charge 4 do not disappoint.

The JBL Charge 4 packs a 30W driver and delivers solid, balanced sound. The bass is on point, and you get a wider soundstage. The vocals sound clear and even though it’s a song with a bass, you’ll be able to distinguish the vocals well.

In contrast, the Pulse 4 packs a 20W driver. Even though it has a little less muscle power, it still manages to deliver a powerful and balanced sound. The good news is that the bass is beautifully balanced despite being a party speaker.

JBL Pulse 4 vs JBL Charge 4 Which bluetooth speaker should you buy 2

JBL Pulse 4 vs JBL Charge 4 Which bluetooth speaker should you buy 2

The volume is adequate, although the bass does not seem to respond when the volume is turned up, which is not a problem with the Charge 4.

Besides the sound performance, the highlight of this speaker is its LED panel, which produces beautiful swirling colors of different colors and hues, gives a hypnotic ambience and livens up the scene around. The best part is that these lights sync with the song.

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Light against load

Well, when it comes to choosing a speaker between JBL Pulse 4 and JBL Charge 4, there is a difference between night and day. Both speakers are on the heavy side and thus undermine the portability factor.

If you’re looking for a party speaker that you want to use primarily indoors, the Pulse 4 is for you. The volume is just right inside, just like the bass. And the LED light panel is just the right addition for that.

However, if you want to take it outside, the volume can be a little lower.

On the other hand, the JBL Charge 4 is louder and delivers a clear voice. And the powerful bass should be reason enough to buy this product. Plus, you also get longer battery life and the power of a portable power bank.

Then:

Looking to buy a pair of headphones this vacation? Check out the article below to find the comparison between the Sony WF-SP800N and the Jabra Elite 75t to see which one is right for you.

Last updated on Nov 16, 2020

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