Price (RRP): $49.95
How can you ask a sexagenarian to review a $49.95 pink, purple, red or green, flashing lights, kids speaker? That is precisely what the JBL JR POP is, and kids will love it – me, I tolerate it.
The JBL JR POP is niche marketing to the extreme. As if Flip, Link, Pulse, Charge, PartyBox, Go and Clip are not enough? I think there are over 20 different JBL BT speaker models and umpteen different colours making JBL the largest by far maker of Bluetooth Speakers.
Review: JBL JR POP
Look I am going to make this a mini review because it’s a mini speaker.
It is a 3W mono speaker with rather lovely rotating colours. It is comfortable to 70dB (75% volume) and reaches 80dB (100%) with fairly noticeable distortion. Still, it’s perfect for what a 1.5-inch transducer (speaker) can produce. Always said you should give kids noisy toys!
JBL claims frequency response is 190Hz to 20kHz. Our tests saw mids creep in and peak at around 200Hz and then peak again at 2.1kHz before treble drops off a cliff. Technically this is a mid-centric signature good for clear voice and those awful popcorn songs. Perfect for junior!
It is a 3.7V/600mAh battery that charges from a standard USB-A 5V/.5A port in about 2 hours. It can handle 5V/2A, but it does not appreciably shorten the charge time.
For that, you get five hours play time at 50% and three hours at 75%.
It’s fun – built-in multicolour light themes, a belt/backpack strap, personal stickers and importantly IPX7 waterproof.
As it was a review unit, we tried a few dunk and drop tests (well throw tests across the room) and it will stand up to juniors machinations.
My kids are 36 and 34, so it has been a long time since I bought speakers for them. Yet, I recall in the dim distant past all they wanted were Walkman’s with speakers for portable music.
Well, now the Walkman equivalent is a smartphone with a Spotify Family account and of course a speaker.
The JBL JR POP does a creditable job – IPX7, decent output, belt clip and right price etc., but I can’t help but feel kids would outgrow it sooner rather than later – still at $49.95 who cares.
I would probably be inclined to spend $30 more on the JBL Clip 3 which has up, a range of fashion colours, up to 10 hours battery, better 120Hz-20kHz sound and may satisfy a kids growing audiophile needs.
Still for what it is – a personal speaker with pretty lights for younger kids it’s more than fit for purpose. I begrudgingly grinch it a 4-out-of-5 because it is a kid’s speaker – perhaps on that basis, it is a 5-out-of-5!