The new JBL Link Music, Google Assistant speaker has just become my favourite OK Google speaker. It is loud, proud and has that beautiful JBL sound signature. Oh and its AirPlay2 compatible as well.
Frankly, I don’t know how JBL does it. The JBL Link Music has a maximum volume of 84dB (loud) with little distortion, a warm and sweet sound signature (nirvana) with good bass from 60Hz in a relatively compact, squat, classic 360° design.
And at $169.95 defies the logic that you can’t have good and cheap at the same time!
First, it is mains powered speaker so that probably accounts
for the price – no thousands of milliamps of expensive Lithium batteries required.
Second, being mains powered, it does not have to worry so much about conserving energy as using it for a decently powered 20W amplifier to drive the single mono speaker.
Third, it uses a 64mm down-firing transducer (speaker) and two passive bass radiators to transmit 360° sound.
Fourth, it is a Google Assistant, Chromecast and Apple AirPlay2 speaker with Wi-Fi AC dual-band and Bluetooth. Flexible.
And finally, it’s a nice size – 112 (round) x 134mm (high) x
730g covered in subtle charcoal woven fabric over a perforated metal case.
The old crop of 2018/19 Google Assistant speakers ranged from the shocking sounding Google Mini to the excellent LG WK7 and the JBL 300. This smaller speaker beats both for bass response and volume (84dB) – it is a later technology thing.
We use a sound signature test (you can read more about why that is important here) and this diminutive speaker aces it.
Deep Bass: 20-40Hz – none
Middle Bass: 40-100Hz – building (great)
High Bass: 100 to 200Hz –flat (that means good)
Low-mid: 200-400Hz – flat
Mid: 400-1000Hz – flat
High-mid: 1-2kHz – flat
Low-treble: 2-4kHz – flat
Treble:4-6kHz – flat
High Treble: 6-10kHz – a slight decline (to remove treble harshness)
Dog whistle: 10-20 – strong to 15kHz
OK Google – what does it do?
In case you have been living under a rock, Google Assistant speakers outsell Alexa three to one in Australia. It’s the basis of a smart home or just a very smart speaker. You can read more about Google Assistant here.
This has two far-field mics and the obligatory mute switch. They are sensitive enough at high volumes to still hear a command
It can play content via OK Google from Spotify, YouTube Music
and Apple Music.
GadgetGuy’s take – JBL Link Music has aced the small Google speaker niche
Yes, I know you can get cheap Google Assistant speakers but mark my words – none will sound as good. It usurps the previous king – the LG WK7 which is now $199 at JB Hi-Fi.