JBL Micro Wireless Bluetooth Speaker: Good Enough

When I picked up the JBL Micro Wireless speaker about two years ago, I wasn’t looking for audiophile level sound reproduction. I wasn’t looking for a speaker loud enough to compete with a jet engine. I was looking for something that could conveniently replace my mediocre phone speakers any time, any place, all for a low cost. The JBL Micro Wireless does that, and has a couple of pleasant surprises up its sleeve.

Sound Signature

It’s ok. Will you have your mind blown? No. Will you be pleasantly surprised for $35? Yes.

Highs are present, a little blown out, and not too detailed. However, this is not a problem when causally listening, and does not detract too heavily from the overall experience.

Mids are mediocre. They sound recessed, and are often muddled. Clarity is hard to come by in most songs.

Bass was the pleasant surprise I mentioned earlier. When the speaker is directly facing you, there is a noticeable amount of bass, and is accurate enough for casual listening. This helps provide a level of depth to the Micro Wireless that I did not expect.

Sound Projection was exactly as one would expect from a flat-laying speaker. When it is not pointed directly at you, almost all of the mids and bass are cut off, leaving only the upper frequencies audible. This is not too bad, but can be annoying if are into a song and accidentally move out of the speaker’s “field of accuracy”. It is also worth noting that at higher volumes, there is a noticeable thinning in the sound, and some distortion. While this won’t be noticeable in a loud room, in can be annoying if you just need the volume boost when you are far away.

Battery Life

Battery life was very good for such a compact speaker. It lasted just under five hours during my tests, coming in at 4 hours and 48 minutes of continual Bluetooth playback. Charging is rather quick, with it only needing about an hour to finish charging from 0% battery.

Connectivity

Connectivity with the Micro Wireless is also pretty good. Bluetooth connectivity works as intended, and cuts off at around 30 feet, unobstructed.

There is also a 3.5mm jack out, allowing you to turn any set of speakers into Bluetooth speakers. This works by using the Micro Wireless as a receiver, and passing the signal via 3.5mm jack to whatever other sound system you want. You can also daisy-chain several Micro Wireless’ this way.

There is also a 3.5mm jack in, if you would rather connect to the Micro Wireless over analog.

Durability

The Micro Wireless is pretty durable. Built from a sturdy plastic shell, you need not worry about kinetic damage. The speaker grill is make of a hard metal, which I presume to be aluminum. It is perforated with small holes that water and other particulates will be able to fall through. I would not recommend taking this to the beach. After about a year of use, there is no visible paint wear or discoloration, aside from the power button legend wearing away slightly. The volume control seems to have some form of water resistance to it, as I have been messing with it a lot while my hands were wet. Since there is no official documentation about its water resistance, I could just be very lucky. As such, I do not recommend handling this while your hands are wet.

Portability

This speaker is stupid portable. It is light, sort of thin, and fits in my jean pockets! If I want to take the Micro Wireless to an event, but need to ride my bike there, this speaker is perfect. There is also a felt carrying pouch if you are uncomfortable transporting the it without any protection.

Conclusion

If you want a cheap, wireless, portable audio solution, with a good amount of volume to it, the Micro Wireless can provide. If you want a speaker to listen to at the beach, or a similar setting, you may wish look elsewhere.

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