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The JBL Pulse 3 is finally here. Announced back at CES 2017, a lot of people have been waiting for this thing to drop… well at least I have. Especially since I was so impressed when i Reviewed the Flip 4 a few weeks ago. So is the JBL Pulse 3 bluetooth speaker worth the money, or is it any over priced Lava Lamp? Lets Find out, don't forget to like comment and subscribe. And I'm going to have a whole bunch of versus videos coming out so subscribe so you know when I upload those. I'm also going to have a sound test at the end of the video so stick around for that
As the name implies The JBL Pulse 3 is the third version of JBL’s Pulse line up. A Bluetooth speaker with built in LED’s that flash to the beat of your music. The JBL Pulse 3 went through a drastic redesign that I personally really like. You can get it in 2 colors, black or white and personally I prefer the black version cause I feel it gives the illusion of the light show just floating in mid air. But the white version wont be available until September. This speaker currently retails for $199.95, if you want to pick this speaker up I’ll have links in the description below and I’ll keep them updated so you can get the best deal possible.
Like i said earlier, the JBL Pulse 3 has a very different design from its predecessors the Pulse 2 and OG Pulse. The JBL Pulse 2 and OG Pulse were just basically a bigger Flip 3 that just so happened to have LED’s underneath. The new Pulse 3 still has that familiar cylindrical design and has passive bass radiators on the top and bottom and soft touch end caps that we’ve come to expect from JBL. But it now has an acrylic top that makes up 75% of the speaker and houses the LED’s. The lower portion of the speaker now has that tight weaved mesh that also houses the drivers. On the back of the device you’ll find the power button, and volume buttons. underneath the power button there are a few LED’s that act as a battery gauge. The triangle serves as a multi purpose button so you can control your music but you cant go back a track, you can activate siri by pressing and holding the triangle button, and you can answer or end calls. theres also a button so you can control the Light show, you can turn it off or cycle through different light patterns, and JBL’s Connect Plus button so you can pair up to 100 JBL connect plus enabled devices which sucks cause i wanted to pair 101 JBL speakers together. and under the rubber grommet you'll find a micro USB port for charging and an Auxiliary jack. Seems like JBL doesn't have the courage to remove the Aux jack from their devices like Apple did. Is that joke played out? i don't know, tell me in the comments below. But with all jokes aside i appreciate the Aux jack, so JBL keep doing what you're doing.
Concerning specs, the JBL Pulse 3 is using bluetooth 4.2 and can connect to 2 devices simultaneously. Wireless range on the Pulse 3 is pretty good as well, it has no problem keeping a clear connection through multiple walls and its good for around 70 feet with direct line of sight and noting in the way between the speaker and your phone. And during my testing I didn't experience any choppiness. Just like the JBL Flip 4 the Pulse 3 is now IPX7 certified. Which means its water proof. You can splash it, submerge it in water down to 3 feet and it'll be fine. While the JBL Pulse 2 was only splash proof. And unlike the JBL Flip 4, the Pulse 3 Floats which makes getting it out of the water a lot easier. I do want to point out that when i first saw pictures of the Pulse 3 online I thought the top portion was going to be fragile cause I assumed it was made out of glass. But its actually a really hard plastic and I've dropped it few times accidentally and its had no problems. Over all this speaker is durable and you can take it with you almost any where, but keep in mind the plastic top will get scratched if you're too rough on it.
When it comes to the JBL Pulse 3 vs the JBL Pulse 2, I really like how they updated and streamlined the design it genuinely looks better. And the light feature looks much more fluid on the Pulse 3 than on the Pulse 2. The Pulse 3 is now significantly bigger than the Pulse 2 and its even a little bigger than the Charge 3. The JBL Pulse 3 no longer has the color matching sensor like the Pulse 2. But it still has the same color matching feature. you just have to go into the JBL app and you can copy the color of anything you'd like with your phone’s camera. Its fun to play with but this isn't a feature I really used a lot with my pulse 2. One of the biggest issues i had with the pulse 2 is that it was always hard to know which button you were pressing on the back unless you were actually looking them cause all of the buttons are flush and in a straight line. The JBL Pulse 3’s buttons are also flush but its new layout makes it much easier to know which button you're pressing just by touch. But I still wish the Pulse 3 had textured buttons like the Flip 4.
Battery life has also been improved on the Pulse 3 from the Pulse 2. The JBL Pulse 2 was usually only good for around eight or nine hours of play back with the light featured turned on. Not bad from the advertised 10 hours JBL claimed. The JBL Pulse 3 on the other hand has an advertised battery life of 12 hours but in my testing i got around 13 hours of play back time with the light feature turned on. And if you play music on the JBL pulse 3 with the light feature turned off you should be able to get around 15 hours of playback time. And you can charge the Pulse 3 via a micro USB cable and wall adapter JBL has included.
The Sound quality has also been vastly improved on the Pulse 3 from the Pulse 2. The JBL Pulse 2 only shoots out music in one direction. The JBL Pulse 3 is now a 360 degree speaker, and it sounds really good. For starters this thing has a lot of bass and the sound stage is much widerthan the Pulse 2. The mid and highs are very crisp, I haven't noticed any tinning in the highs and theres very little distortion or raspiness when the volume is set all the way up. In general this is a really good sounding speaker. The Pulse 3 has no problem filling a bed room and it covers a good area if listening to it out doors. But for the best sound I would put the Pulse 3 in a corner.
Like i mentioned earlier the JBL Pulse 3 now also has JBL Connect Plus. Aside from being able to pair up to 100 JBL Speakers together you can also pair two JBL Pulse 3 speakers together and have them play music in stereo mode and even have the light shows sync up. Having JBL Connect Plus means you'll be able to pair other JBL connect plus enabled devices like the Flip 4 and future JBL speakers together and have them play music from the same device simultaneously. Its good if you want to fill a larger area with music. But as of right now you cant pair the Pulse 3 or Flip 4 to older speakers using JBL Connect, I’ve heard about an update thats supposed to come out but i haven't been able to pair my Pulse 3 to my Pulse 2 or Charge 3. If I'm doing it wrong please comment down below.
JBL’s mobile app for their speakers is among the best. Set up is easy and you can do things like manage settings, check your battery status, and manage multiple speakers if you have them paired together. You don't really have to use it that often. But JBL’s app is a little different for the Pulse 3 and Pulse 2. JBL’s connect app also allows you to play with the light feature of your Pulse 3. For starters you can adjust the brightness and obviously the brightness of the light feature will play a roll in the speaker’s battery life. You can also cycle through the different light settings. They all flash to the beat of your music but they each do so a little differently. Theres wave, Jet, explosion, equalizer, Rave, Rainbow, fire, and you can even make you're own. And you can change the color of each setting either through color matching with your camera or you can use the color wheel. And if you flip the Pulse 3 upside-down the light feature will orient it self. Personally my favorite light setting is either Jet or explosion, but comment below and tell me which light setting you like best.
The microphone on the JBL Pulse 3 is also decent. you can take a phone call and talk normally if you're within a 5 or 7 foot radius of the device.
Over all the wait was worth it for the JBL Pulse 3. If you're considering upgrading from the Pulse 2 to JBL Pulse 3 I think you should. Aside from now being a 360 degree speaker the Pulse 3 sounds much better over all. It sounds clearer, theres very little distortion and theres a whole lot more bass. The battery life has also been improved and its now IPX 7 certified. And not to mention the light show looks way better. But like i said earlier i do wish it had raised buttons so its easier to know what you're pressing. And I wish there was a USB out so i could charge my phone if i had to. But in general, I think you'll be really happy if you decide to pick up the JBL Pulse 3 regardless.
And for you listening enjoyment here is a sound test for the JBL Pulse 3. I’ll be going through some different gernreas and switching between light features. Obviously you're not going to get the whole listening experience of the JBL Pulse 3 through your speakers but i hope this helps.