In a market where most portable Bluetooth speakers look the same, seeing the JBL Pulse 2 emerge from the pack is a refreshing look on how manufacturers are trying to stand out from the crowd. And you know what? It works. The JBL Pulse 2 speaker with its flashy light show is intuitive and I must say quite modern looking, now that RGB lighting on EVERYTHING seems to be a thing now.

Patterns can be controlled either one of two ways. There is a button on the actual unit which will cycle through the 12 preset buttons. Alongside that is a built-in camera. Just point the sensor at your favourite colour, press the camera button and voila. Your JBL speaker, whichever preset pattern it’s on will display it in your chosen colour, or variations of it. The second way is by using the JBL Connect app which is free to download from the Android Play store and the Apple Store alike. A quick connection with Bluetooth and you’re able to draw out your own patterns. Very customisable.

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From the app you can even link two JBL Pusle 2 speakers together to give you a more stereo sound for your music. This is a great idea if you’re in a small apartment as well as you can place two different speakers in different rooms and continue listening to your music when walking in between.

Inside the box you will find a charging cable, a 3.5mm auxilary cable as well as some easy to read instructions. Setup is as easy as anything, with pairing your mobile and speaker together instantaneous, as long as your Bluetooth setting on your phone is turned on. We didn’t need to look at the instructions. The JBL Connect app does a good job of giving you step-by-step guides on how to control the lighting and pairing of a second speaker.

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Now the JBL Pulse 2 is portable, and yes, it’s light enough to a carry around with you, but there is no carry case included which was a bit of a let down. The speaker looks beautiful and it would be a shame if it snagged on something while in my bag causing damage. It’s also heavy, which is a good thing as it means the quality of the magnets built into the individual speakers are of decent quality. However, it doesn’t make for light carrying so bear that in mind if you’re going to lug it to the beach for a day.

The JBL Pulse 2 is also splashproof, but not waterproof so even though you’ll be protected from a few rain drops, fully submerging this speaker in water, or even drowning it in a rainstorm will likely cause it to break.

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Audio quality for a portable Bluetooth speaker is absolutely stunning. Bass is there, treble is there and mids come through the two with clarity and detail. The subwoofers on either side of the JBL speaker aid in low-frequency production. I wasn’t sure if it was better to stand it up on one of the ends or lay it down on its side for the radiators to fire out music. This is definitely a personal preference thing I think, but either way, the speaker sounded fantastic.

You can check out our video review in the banner above which runs through some of the features of the JBL Pulse 2 Bluetooth speaker. But let it be known, this speaker retails at around £169.99 from many online retailers including JBL, which is a pretty decent price for the quality of speaker you will be getting. For more information on the JBL Pulse 2, then please visit the JBL official website.

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Stef Murphy