JBL is a speaker manufacturer that is especially known for its Bluetooth speakers. However, headphones, speakers for the home and gaming headsets are also part of the range. Recently, the popular speaker manufacturer has also entered the field of smart speakers. We had the opportunity to test the “JBL Link Portable”. We will find out today what the speaker can do and whether it is worth buying.
Scope of delivery, price and variants
Included with the JBL Link Portable are: A charging cable (USB-C), a quick-start guide, a charging station for wireless charging and the smart speaker. Unfortunately, you will not find a power plug.
JBL offers the smart speaker in many different colors, such as brown, black, gray or blue. There are also two exclusive colors, Straw (golden yellow) and green, which are only available online. The JBL Link Portable is offered on the Internet for about 150 €.
The speaker weighs 735 grams and is covered with a black fabric (in our case). We are already familiar with this material from Google speakers, such as the Google Home Mini.
On the front of the speaker is a small JBL logo. Underneath this logo, a small LED lights up when there is a Wi-Fi connection. Otherwise, there are four LEDs in the upper area of the front. These visualize the volume and Google Assistant.
The top of the speaker is softly rubberized and in the center is the Google Assistant button, which is also the play/pause button. To the right and left of it are the buttons for adjusting the volume. Two small holes are also found on the upper side, where the microphones are installed.
The underside is also rubberized and has a hole in the center where the contacts for wireless charging are installed.
There is a small rubber element on the back. On this rubber element is the “on-off button”, the “microphone button”, which is responsible for deactivating the microphone, and the “Bluetooth button”, which can be used to turn Bluetooth on and off.
A USB port and a battery status bar are also found on the rubber element.
What’s in the JBL Link Portable?
There is a lot of technology behind the shell of the 17 cm tall speaker. The JBL Link Portable is a smart speaker, which is why it has a Wi-Fi module. This is essential for the integrated Google Assistant, which enables music control via voice. A Chromecast is also installed for multi-room music playback.
The Chromecast streams the music in HD audio quality (24 bit / 96 K) for optimal music enjoyment. But Apple users have also been thought of, which is why Apple AirPlay 2 is also on board.
A Bluetooth module is installed so that the music box can also be used outside of the four walls.
Besides the many functions, the smart speaker is also equipped with a 360-degree function, which means the music is played in all directions. The 4,800 mAh battery provides 8 hours of music enjoyment and can be fully recharged in 2.5 hours at 5 V, 3 A with the included charging station.
The charging station of the JBL Link Portable
Easy wireless charging is possible thanks to the two small contacts on the charging station. All that needs to be done: Place the speaker on it. The speaker always sits perfectly in the tray thanks to the small indentation and is always charged without problems.
The top of the charging station is made of a sturdy-looking plastic. The underside is slightly rubberized, which prevents slipping.
There is also a hole with a small channel on the bottom to connect the charging cable to the USB-C port.
All technical data at a glance
|Waterproof||Yes (IPX7 water protection)|
|Battery life||Up to 8 hours|
|Chromecast (Multiroom)||Yes ( in HD quality)|
|Apple Airplay 2||Yes|
|WLAN||802.11b/g/n/ac (2,4/5 GHz)|
The sound of the JBL Link Portable
As you would expect from JBL devices, the sound is on a very high level. Thanks to the 360° sound, a good sound is ensured from every position in the room. We find the trebles and mids to be very balanced, which creates a pleasant sound experience. Especially with bass-heavy songs, the JBL Link Portable shows its full potential.
Even at maximum volume, the music is reproduced without sound distortions or the like. Overall, we would rate the sound as balanced and pleasant. Nevertheless, it should be noted that the sound is always a matter of taste.
How to set up the JBL Link Portable?
If the JBL Link Portable is only to be used as a Bluetooth box, no setup is necessary. You just have to turn on the speaker, activate Bluetooth and connect it to the device.
However, the speaker is actually too good for “only” the Bluetooth function.
The setup to the “smart” speaker is quite simple. First, you have to turn on the JBL Link Portable. Now you have to download the corresponding app. Unlike normal JBL speakers, this smart speaker is not connected with the JBL Connect app, but with the Google Home app. This is not only available for Android, but also for Apple.
If you already use the Google Home app, you can simply add the speaker under “Add device”.
However, if you download the app first, you have to follow the small app guide until the app is functional. Then, you also have to add the JBL Link Portable under “Add device”.
After you have added the speaker, you can control it in the Google Home overview. You can also stream music directly via Spotify or Apple Music on the speaker.
JBL Link Portable im Alltag
In the course of our test, we learned to love the speaker. It has never been easier to take music comfortably into any room. No matter if you have it on the charging station or take it to the bathroom, for example, the smart speaker has enough “boom” to play music well in both small and large rooms. The internet connection was always constant and there were never any interruptions. The Google Assistant responds well, but not as well as the one in the Google speakers. This is probably due to the fact that Google’s speakers are equipped with several microphones.
We especially like the fact that the smart speaker is water-resistant, which allows carefree carrying.
Since the speaker is also suitable for taking along, we also used it outdoors. The connection via Bluetooth works without any problems. We can confirm the battery life of 8 hours.
Charging the JBL Link Portable via the charging station always worked flawlessly in our test. The multi-room function also did not cause any problems and worked flawlessly.
There are almost no negative aspects to this smart speaker. Some might consider the price of about 150 € too high. However, we think that 150 € is a very fair price, especially in view of the wide range of functions. We noticed the high functionality in a particularly positive way. All in all, we can say that the JBL Link Portable is an all-rounder and actually meets every requirement. In our opinion, the purchase is definitely worth it.[yadore-offers keyword=”JBL Link Portable)” market=”de” limit=1]
JBL Link Portable
Der JBL Link Portable ist eine der besten Umsetzungen von Google Assistent Smart Speakern.
- Google Assistent
- Google Home Integration
- Apple AirPlay 2