84

conclusion:We like it

84

Portable wireless speakers are a dime a dozen these days, usually offering unimpressive sound in an even more unimpressive design. JBL looks to break away the pack with the Pulse, offering built-in LEDs that stage a light show timed to your favorite tunes.

The Pulse's lighting comes equipped with presets, providing a ready-to-go visual equalizer for your music that CNET finds "fairly mesmerizing." Even the actual build of the speaker is attractive, with ChipChick calling the design "ingenious" and "very portable," making it easier to bring to a friend's house or good for a night party on the beach. Though sound quality generally suffers on speakers of this size, PC Mag says it still offers "impressive volume" with "good general sound quality."

While all that flash isn't cheap -- the Pulse costs $199 -- it's worth noting that the similarly-sized UE Boom is offered for the same price with none of the same dazzle.

Buy It:

$199.95

90-Day Price History

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high
$199
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$169

Critic reviews

8.1
5 reviews
  • Audio quality
    8.0
  • Design and form factor
    8.3
  • Durability
    6.0
  • Portability
    8.4

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User reviews

9.3
3 reviews
8.0
CNET Nov 21, 2013

It may not sound as quite good as some $200 competitors, but the JBL Pulse's integrated light show adds a flashy new dimension to the listening experience that makes it a worthy contender in a crowded market.

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8.0
PC Mag Jan 23, 2014

Still, the JBL Pulse is the ultimate small-sized party speaker thanks to its unique light show. It's mesmerizing enough to make us accept its $200 price tag despite falling short of class-leading sound quality.

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9.0
ChipChick Jan 1, 2014

The JBL Pulse will mesmerize you as it fills the room with its booming sound and bright colors. This is hands down the most fun we have had in a long time with a Bluetooth speaker.

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8.0
TechRadar Mar 18, 2014

It's gimmicky but the JBL Pulse brings the auditory goods. You might save some cash if you choose a less flashy speaker, though.

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7.0
GadgetMac Nov 15, 2013

JBL's Pule isn't the best portable Bluetooth speaker we have tested at around $200, but it most definitely is the most fun and one of the more unique ones yet.

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