JBL Micro 2 Rechargeable Portable Speaker Review

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Your iPhone’s speaker stinks, and so does your iPad’s; even the iPad mini’s stereo speakers, a first for an iOS device, are crappy. And your Android devices? They don’t really do much better. Yes, for a quick YouTube video or conversation the speaker on your mobile device is certainly adequate but it’s not going to win any audiophile prizes.

And while you could keep a larger speaker such as the JawBone in your gear bag, that takes up space and adds weight. That’s where this diminutive speaker from JBL comes in.

The JBL Micro 2 is small, light, and can pretty much go anywhere you want. Then, when you want to listen to music, you simply plug it into the 3.5 mm headphone jack, turn it on and let it do its thing. And while this small speaker won’t win any :speaker of the year” awards it certainly is a huge step up from your hand-held device and it certainly comes in at a nice price.

Let’s take a quick look.

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From JBL:

The JBL Micro II is the first ultra-portable speaker featuring a Li-ion rechargeable battery and a built-in bass port. With a 1-5/8-inch (40-millimeter), this speaker delivers full-range JBL® sound with exceptional bass – even though it’s small enough to fit easily in backpacks or clip onto clothes. It connects to any mobile device or MP3 player with a built-in audio cable, and you can even daisy-chain it with other JBL Micro II speakers for a powerful sonic experience. The JBL Micro II offers performance, portability and pricing that the competition can’t touch.

Built-in bass port: The JBL Micro II portable speaker is small but muscular. Its built-in bass port generates powerful low-frequency sound that’s superior to the bass output of comparable portable products.

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The speaker is rather simple in its design; the speaker grill sits on top., and there is a sturdy loop on one side that when combined with a carabiner lets you hang the speaker for convenience.

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The microUSB port on one side is for charging. A USB to microUSB cable is included, and a carry bag is too.

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The power and volume control sit on the side opposite the recharging port. Honestly this speaker is simple to use. That’s part of its attraction.


Built-in bass port

5-hour, rechargeable Li-ion battery

Portable design

Smartcable design

LED indicator

Daisy-chain capability

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A nice feature of the speaker is that the 3.5 mm cable for connecting it to your mobile device – it doesn’t have Bluetooth – is permanently affixed to the speaker.

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It wraps around the speaker and stows away in a slightly depressed area surrounding the speaker. That means you’ll never have the speaker with you but then have to say “Oops, I don’t have the 3.5 mm patch cable to connect it”.

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Am I super excited about the speaker? Not really. After all, something this small can only do so much. But it does offer bigger and richer sound than I expected, and it certainly blows the doors off the speaker in any phone or tablet I have tried. At such a low price point — it is just $39 — it is a truly convenient way to up your audio game a bit if you use your iPhone or tablet for music. It certainly is something that, for example, I could see Elana keeping in her gym bag and using while she works out or training clients.

Your smartphone’s speaker stinks; with the JBL Micro 2 it doesn’t have to.

And did I mention it is just $39? Check it out here on the product page.

MSRP: $39.00

What I Like: Small and light; 3.5mm cable is permanently attached and stows away in the speaker itself; Gets louder and sounds better than I would have expected; Runs for 5 hours on a charge; Under $40

What Needs Improvement: Nothing. It delivers what it promises and then some. At this price you can easily keep one in a gym bag and one in a gadget bag too.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.