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JBL - LINK 20 Smart Portable Bluetooth Speaker with Google Assistant - Black-Front_Standard

Customer rating

Rating 4.3 out of 5 stars with 284 reviews

87%
would recommend to a friend

Expert rating

Rating 4.1 out of 5 stars with 7 reviews

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Customer ratings & reviews

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  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Awesome sound with built-in smarts

    Posted
    TechnicallyWell
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member
    • Top 1000 ContributorTop 1000 Contributor

    Sound Quality The JBL Link 20 features two 10W drivers and can get loud enough to fill a large room with music without distortion. As is typical with many JBL products, the sound quality is very good with crisp mids and highs and adequate bass, although I was expecting a stronger bass response from a speaker this size. That's not to say the bass is bad: the lows are enhanced nicely and do not muddy the sound. But it won't give you a strong "thud" like the bass-enhancement feature of the Sony SRS-XB30. Unfortunately, there does not appear to be any type of EQ setting or bass enhancement feature for the speaker. Design The JBL Link 20 sits tall (8.3 x 3.7-inch) and can easily be carried from room to room, although holding it is a little awkward due to the wide size. A fabric mesh surrounds the speaker. The power and mute buttons are located on the back of the speaker while the Google Assistant and volume controls are located on the top as well as two microphones. Four white LEDs on the front of the speaker indicate when Google Assistant is listening. Near the bottom of the front, 3 white LEDs in the shape of the classic WiFi symbol show you the signal strength (and seem to flash if it temporarily loses connection). There are also 5 white LEDs located on the back of the speaker, directly above the power button, to show you how much power is remaining. Features The most notable feature of this speaker is that it is powered by Google Assistant. The Google Home app guides you through the setup process of connecting it to your WiFi, giving the speaker a name, learning your voice and connecting it to your speakers. The Google Home app also installs JBL's software updates to the speaker, which is nice as you do not need to download a specific JBL app to manage the speaker. The Google Assistant does an excellent job of hearing my "Hey Google" command from across the room, even if it is already playing music. You can ask Google to play music from supported services such as Google's own music service, Pandora and Spotify. Unfortunately, Slacker Radio (one of my favorite streaming music services) is not directly supported by Google Assistant, so I can not activate Slacker Radio by voice. However, the JBL Link 20 acts as a Chromecast Audio receiver, so if I have the Slacker Radio app open on my phone, I can cast the music to the speaker without needing to pair via Bluetooth. Slacker Radio will continue to play on the Link 20 via WiFi, even if I kill the Slacker Radio app on my phone. The JBL Link 20 can also be linked to other Google Home speakers for multi-room sound. Google Assistant can also do things like check your Google Calendar, play the news and control smarthome devices. However, the JBL Link 20 cannot make phone calls at this time like the Google Home speaker. Battery Life and Portability The built-in 6000mAh battery gives you up to 10 hours of sound and portability, allowing you to carry it around the house or even out in the yard, if your WiFi extends that far. For times when you're away from home, you can pair the speaker via Bluetooth to your phone to play music. However, without a WiFi internet connection, the Google Assistant will not operate. It can not "tether" off your phone's mobile internet connection via Bluetooth (but it could if you set up your phone as a mobile hotspot and used another phone to configure the JBL Link 20 to connect to that hotspot... a somewhat convoluted process). The battery can be recharged in about 4.5 hours using the included 2 amp Micro USB charger. Summary The JBL Link 20 is an excellent speaker based on sound quality alone, but the built-in Google Assistant feature makes it even more of an excellent value. It lasts up to 10 hours on a single charge and can play music directly from Pandora, Spotify and Google Play Music via WiFi by using voice commands.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Decent Sound and Google Assistant Integration

    Posted
    nhtechie
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I'm a bluetooth / Smart Speaker aficionado; my friends call me an audiophile, but I'm not sure about that. I do know highs and lows so I know what I like and have exposure to other Smart Speakers. I own the Amazon Tap (and dot), Google Home (and mini) and the UE MEGABLAST, along with miscelaneous waterproof Bluetooth speakers. From a Smart Speaker perspective, I like it - mainly because I feel that the Google Assistant is superior to Alexa. From an audio perspective, this speaker isn't as clear as I feel that it should be. There isn't a JBL App to tune the treble or bass (I've tried 3) and there isn't an equalizer in the Home App (like with Google Home), so it is what it is. Initial setup had issues connecting to WiFi, which resolved itself when left alone for 5-10 minutes (seems as if it rebooted a few times). After a self-sleep, I've had issues with it connecting to WiFi as well and it took a few extra manual power off/power on attempts for it to chime that it was ready. I'm giving this a 3 because 3.5 isn't an option and here's the run-down as to why: Not as audibly clear as other speakers (to me, it's a deal breaker) Power Saver while on battery is a full shutdown. This causes a longer boot-up + sometimes there's a WiFi connectivity delay. Google Assistant doesn't know how much battery is left - so you have to look at the lights WiFi LED is always illuminated (wasting battery?) Pressing the button and asking a question won't utilize voice pattern match (duh), so it won't know who you are (schedule, etc) Had some Google Play streams stop playing The button at the top isn't a little screen for animations, which I thought it was looking at it on the website (FYI) Doesn't disconnect devices streaming via Bluetooth when interacting with Google Assistant Works well as a Cast device and Cast Groups Waterproof Decent sensitivity to "Hey / OK Google" Controls are consistent with the Google branded devices (read: IFTTT, HUE, Logitech) Like the other Google speakers, the lights are orange when Mic is muted If you like the Google Assistant and are a fan of the JBL brand, the price tag is a bit high - so you may want to look at the smaller version to save a few bucks (but read the review of my fellow Tech Insiders first) as well.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Fantastic!

    Posted
    Katie
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    First and foremost, if you are looking for a bluetooth speaker that is just that, a bluetooth speaker, keep looking, there are plenty of great options on the market, especially in this price range or above. But if you are are looking for a speaker that is a step in the direction of a Smart or voice assistant device, this is definitely the one. When it comes to the sound quality, its near top notch. Comparing it to my bose speaker that is nearly the same size, and also round, the difference in very small between the two. Depending on what you are listening to, the difference is sometimes not even noticeable at all. I would say the JBL is only a hair behind in bass boost and an overall clear sound. Another thing I noticed is it is not completely an even sound all the way around, if you stay in one spot and spin it in front of you, there are three or four spots where it sounds slightly muffled. The overall build quality of this speaker is impressive, I would not recommend it as it would probably be cringeworthy, but it seems like it could definitely handle an accidental drop or two. I have also used it under humid conditions in the bathroom while showering and it does not even phase it. Also a plus is this really is a nice looking speaker. There are some speakers out there that are not all that great or sleek looking, but this one is honestly very nice looking. Also seems to be made out of nice materials, materials that will not scratch or break easily, and the fabric over the speaker area is solid too! Another plus is the fact that JBL made this speaker able to charge thru a micro usb plug, the most common charge plug out there these days, I LOVE that it does not come with its own special power adapter that adds to wire clutter, I can simply plug it into my phone charger when needed. *Note, its does come with a charger; a power block for the wall outlet and a usb cable, however any other one you have for other micro usb devices do the job. When it comes to the voice prompts and smart features, once you get it all set up with your device and such, it is great! I never thought I needed to speak to my devices or needed a “smart” device for home other than a smart tv, but I was wrong. Not only can you ask all sorts of questions to google and get an intelligent response nearly every time, but you can also control what is playing. If your hands are busy or messy, if you are in the shower, if you are in the pool and the speaker is several feet away, you can easily say hey google, next song, or volume up, or switch to spotify or pandora. Functions like that are far more impressive and useful to me than being able to ask what the weather is like or asking for google to tell you jokes. Also worth noting is how long the batteries charge seems to last, playing at a medium to high volume level I get nearly ten hours of solid playback before it starts asking for more juice. Only two minor complaints I have on this speaker, first one being the start up time. It takes a good 15-20 seconds before it starts making noises like it is on and either working on connecting to your phone or is connected. I understand it may take longer due to it having to also connect to wifi. Just worth mentioning. Biggest complaint overall though, is how often this speaker stops music playback for absolutely no reason. As I have typed out this review, it has now done it five times. The battery is fine, had 4/5 dots of power but I plugged it into the charger anyway, did not make a difference. The wifi in our house is excellent so that is not the issue. My phone is literally only six inches from the speaker, so it is not a distance thing. And I am playing music through google play that is on my phones memory card, so I am not trying to stream anything thru a music app. I connect my phone to my bose speaker for hours and hours at a time and the same pause never happens so it is not my phone. I do not understand why it keeps doing it but it takes quite a few times of hitting play on both the speaker and the phone to get the music to resume. Not major when both devices are right here in front of me on my desk, but come summer time when I use this out by the pool, I sure hope a software update comes out by then to fix this annoying bug. Overall, a very nice speaker and well worth the price.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    The only portable speaker with Google Assistant

    Posted
    giper54
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    If you are heavily into the Google ecosystem and you need a solid sounding, portable Bluetooth speaker, this is an excellent speaker for you. This is also the only speaker that has Google Assistant that can also run on a battery which finally makes for a portable Google Assistant speaker. I like the design. It is thinner and taller than the Google Home and is covered in a tough, black mesh fabric with plastic ends. The top of the speaker comes with minimal controls where you can play/pause, lower and raise the volume, a Bluetooth pairing button and a physical button to activate Google Assistant. You can also activate Google Assistant with your voice and the two microphones in the speaker worked well. I like how you know when Google Assistant activates because the four LEDs on the front pulse to let you know it is listening for your voice. Also on the front bottom, there is a Wi-Fi indicator that shows you when the speaker is connected to a Wi-Fi network. Google Assistant worked great as well as my Google Home. It set timers, told me my calendar events, answered questions, sang to me, etc. It also delivered multiroom sound when grouped with my Google Home speaker through the Google Home app. The only thing it can't do is make phones calls like the Google Home can. The speaker is rated at IPX67 which means it can be submerged in a foot and a half for 30 minutes. I used it in the shower and it was fine. So it seems like it would be a great speaker for the pool, a boat or any water area. I really liked the sound, it has a better sound than my Google Home and I was able to play my music from my iphone through the JBL speaker without any problem. Sound was well balanced, treble, bass or midtones didn't drowned out the other. The bass thumps, vocals sound full and I like how the electric guitars had good detail. I measured max volume at 90 decibels and full sound didn't distort the music. You will need the download the Google Home app to set up the speaker. It is easy and the app does a nice job of walking you through the set up. It lets you add the speaker to devices and connects you to your home Wi-Fi network. Connecting the speaker to a Bluetooth device like an iphone was very easy and a great feature since I can now play my Apple Music through the speaker. Also through the Google Home App I could also add the Link 20 to other Google Home speakers for multiroom listening. I really liked this function because now I can send an alert through the house to get my kids attention. Battery life is good at about 10 hours. The battery makes this the only device that does not need to be plugged in to use Google Assistant. The only downfall is that you do need to be connected to Wi-Fi to use the Google Assistant and since the Google Assistant is always listening, battery life will continue to drain unless you turn it off. Besides not being able to make phone calls with the Link 20, the Link 20 really outperforms the Google Home in everyway. It has better sound, you do not have to be plugged in and it is much more rugged. If sound matters to you and you want to have Google Assistant this is the speaker for you. Pros Powered by Google Assistant Good over all sound, well balanced Portable and rugged- Only portable Google Assistant speaker Cons Can't make phone calls

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Nicely packaged Internet-based Assistance

    Posted
    TECHBEENGOOD
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member
    • Top 50 ContributorTop 50 Contributor

    JBL - LINK 20 Smart Portable Bluetooth Speaker with the Google Assistant. . . . Ooh Ooh . . . this one will work nicely for music and news in my master bath. Ooh . . . maybe it’ll be best alongside my spa for entertainment? . . . Or . . . is this the perfect kitchen assistant? It’s waterproof, so my options are pretty broad. Google Assistant has been freed at last from the strictly Google speaker offering. Woo-Hoo. Look. I like Google At Home. I just was limited where I used it. For me its best features were its wealth of information at the sound of my voice and its ability to play music on demand. And therein lies the problem. I wanted a better music player in a rugged waterproof case, and the JBL LINK20 matches my listening and aesthetic tastes better. The JBL Link is pretty much the same footprint as Google Home, but black, with a rugged mesh grill. It has all the same tricks, but one. . . phone interactivity. (Not sure if or when it might be added.) It adds a trick of its own . . battery power to allow this to be portable (at least as far as your wireless can reach) for upwards to 10 hours. I found setup to be really easy. I already had the Google Home App, and it downloads in seconds anyway. The Google Home App offers to add devices after a search of your network. JBL Link was quickly found, connected and ready for work or play within seconds. It just doesn’t get easier. Voice control was easy and reliable from a good distance and through background noise. My Pandora was playing music while I looked for the more complete instructions. Actually, still looking . . . what’s up JBL? I seem to recall I complained about virtually unreadable instructions on another JBL product. Well, the music could play very loud and remain nicely balanced. When you’re using this JBL Link while in the shower or spa, you’ll appreciate how it responds to vocal commands. Otherwise, you can use the volume controls on the top of the speaker — but make sure it’s unplugged (battery, remember?). I was excited to discover that Logitech (Harmony Smart Control Hub) has enabled interactivity via Google Home, so I’m about to explore that feature. As you might predict from the name, LINKING is a specialty. If one JBL Link isn’t enough you can create a multi-room system via Chromecast and the Google Home App. Or, use the built-in Bluetooth to stream from your phone or tablet. It’s all straightforward and flexible. This is a nice implementation of the Google Home control system. It adds some of the best Internet based assistance, decent sound, a growing selection of partners with which to interact, and, now, portability. I can recommend the JBL Link.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Promising. Convenient. Audio quality quirks.

    Posted
    0000
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    First, audio quality compared to UE Boom 2 is definitely better. More presence. Vocals are full. Bass, what little there is, is much less constrained. The unit feels solid and quality. Power and charging over micro-USB is a great feature, especially for those who want to take it outside or around the house, yard, camping, RV, etc. Audio when using Google Home speaker groups makes the experience more than 2x better than having 1... with better stereo separation, better audio presence, and better bass (which is to be expected with twice the air movement and twice the amplifier power). Basically more than the sum of it's parts. 2 audio quality issues bring drop 2 stars. One is a slight buzzing from 1 of the 2 purchased with various music. Sounds like something within the unit. The second is random popping noises when playing music which sounds somewhat like the pops heard when playing vinyl/records. Definitely annoying. Compared to Bose Soundlink Color 2, at lower volumes, the Link 20 have a more constrained sounding bottom end, whereas the Bose seem to have more 'deep' bass. At higher volume levels, the Bose quickly compress the low-end response and the JBL Link 20 sound much more complete. Compared to Sony XB20, again, like Bose above, The Sony's sound more airy with less constrained bottom end/lows and crisper highs, but the mids and presence of the JBL Link 20 are better at all volume levels. Compared to Harmon Kardon Onyx Sturdio 4... well, there's no comparison, the Onyx Studio 4 walk all over pretty much battery powered bluetooth speaker out there with extended bass response, relatively less compression and bass drop off at higher volumes, good highs, good mids. And when using as a stereo pair besides being a pain to actually get stereo pairing working, and the chopping off of the beginning of each song, the sound is in a class of their own... Another thing noticed is that the Link 20, though cylindrical shaped, are not exactly omni directional. When looking at the JBL placard from the front, the sound comes from two distinct drivers hidden behind the cloth grill. There's a left speaker and a right speaker and they provide somewhat of a narrow stereo effect... but that also means that the sound is clearer to the left and right of the device rather than from the back or front, at the expense of no stereo imaging at all.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Brand response

      JBL Support

      Thank you for your review, our sincerest apology for the inconvenience. Your feedback will be communicated to the proper department to improve our current and future product line. We would like to work with you directly, please submit a case request at www.jbl.com/support-contact.html and the Customer Service team will be more than happy to further assist you. JBL

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Awesome JBL Link 20

    Posted
    Mistabritt
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    Just received my JBL Link 20 yesterday and have been putting it through it's paces. Upon opening the case, there it was in all its beautiful glory the JBL Link 20. Which actually was a little taller than I expected it to be. Accompanying the Link 20 was a micro USB cable and charging block and instructional manuals/guides that usually accompany most products. The build quality on this voice activated speaker is strong and very durable. On the top of the speaker is a Bluetooth button, -/+ volume controls, pause/play button, and in the center is the Google Assistant button, which when pressed allows you to ask questions and communicate with the Google Assistant (as long as the mute button is not activated on the back of the speaker). At the bottom of the speaker on the front is a illuminated WiFi signal that ensure you're connected to the internet. On the back side of the device is the power button at the top and mute button which sits right below it. The mute button can be used to turn off the Google Assistant from listening, which in turn will probably save some battery life (which is rated to be somewhere around 10 hours). Down at the bottom of the speaker on the back is the micro USB port where you would connect the included cable to charge it. After downloading the Google Home app which is required to setup up the Link 20, it guides you through the setup process to get you up and running in as little as 10 minutes, if that. After completing the setup process, it was off to the races with this baby (not literally, but you could if you wanted too). I began testing the sound quality of the Link 20 with my other mobile devices, through Bluetooth. Although I wish the Link 20 had a little more bass, the clarity and crispness of the sound was no disappoint. My favorite part about this speaker aside from its portability is the Google Assistant. We had loads of fun asking questions. This thing is really smart and entertaining. Although this speaker is primarily for streaming music (which is does very well), it does work on other video devices like streaming set-top boxes. However, there is a noticeable lag, in audio/video lip sync when people are talking. Even though its mainly for streaming music, I hope that a possible firmware fix would fix the noticeable lag when connected to video devices. Other than that we have really enjoyed using our new voice activated speaker and would recommend this to anyone.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Good for sound, bad for Smart function

    Posted
    TrueReviews20
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    JBL has been making great portable bluetooth speakers for a while and were one of the first to dominate the market. This speaker itself has really sound, but I'm very disappointed with the Google Assistant integration. It's very poorly integrated, takes forever to get going, and depends heavily on the app. To compare, Amazon's Alexa device basically has no dependence on an app after you set it up, aside from detailed customization and adding skills. Of course, that's more for the powered devices not for portable, but it is my understanding the portable speaker functions similarly. If you are looking for a portable bluetooth speaker, JBL is definitely a great brand to go for. However, I would suggest a model without the Google assistant function. Pros: Sound Loudness Design Accessories JBL includes a wall charger and cable which is nice since many high-end speakers only come with the cable. They are colored bright orange which does not match the sleek black look of the speaker. The speaker itself is heavy and feels like it's quality. The sound is superb. I was pleased with the balance of sound but the bass could be much. I felt it was either muddy or not packing enough punch at times. Although overall the sound quality is excellent and can fill a patio or medium size backyard. Perfect for small gatherings. Battery life has been good, I keep it plugged in when I'm outside. Cons: Google Assistant Setup Connections Overall, Google Assistant is still behind Amazon's Alexa system. The gap is closing but the capabilities are still not fully matched. When it works, the response is quick and accurate. Setting up the speaker was a breeze but its requires a google account and the app on your phone. The big problem is that it has to connect to the app on your phone to work, it cannot work based on WiFi alone. This is a huge disappointed. The speaker turns on by itself after inactivity. When you turn it back on it has to reconnect to WiFi and your phone, which takes quite some time and doesn't always work. They really limited the capability of this speaker with these problems. It gets stuck trying to boot up and I cannot even connect via bluetooth to stream music to it. Very disappointing. There is no AUX in and no USB port to charge your phone or other device. Both are commonly found on other devices.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Awesome speaker with voice command

    Posted
    SimpleLiving
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member
    • Top 500 ContributorTop 500 Contributor

    This is an awesome speaker that comes with Google Assistant. It is easy to set up with a smartphone or tablet. Simply download the Google Home app and then follow instructions. I did not encounter any issue during the setup. Included in the setup is an offer for a free trial of Google Play Music and YouTube Red. Once Google Assistant is set up with JBL speaker, the assistant is activated by saying “Hey Google” or “Ok Google”. The device’s microphone does work as expected, detecting your command even when playing loud music or speaking to it from long distance range. My son spoke “Ok Google” from the second floor of my house and the speaker was able to detect it. I had no Bluetooth connection issues, it did work great. The weight and compact size of this speaker truly make this very portable. The sound produced by this very small device is very nice with great bass. I have not tested the device’s waterproof feature but I prefer not to risk it. It’s good to have portable devices be waterproof, many devices are damage because of water/drink splash accidents. If you ever need to press the buttons on the speaker they are very easy to find and are backlit. To end, this is an awesome speaker because it is truly portable, has great sound and it comes with Google Assistant.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Very cool device

    Posted
    niteryder
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    I’ve been playing with this speaker and Google Assistant for 2 days now, so far I am really liking it. Set up is quick and easy, just download the Google Home app, follow the instructions and you are good to go. I was able to get this to communicate with my smart thermostat and my Roomba and it has worked flawlessly with them both. I love being able to say “Hey Google” Set the thermostat to 70 degrees, and bam in just a few seconds my heater is on. So cool. I’m hoping to get more connected devices to work with this speaker sometime in the near future. I’ve had just a few issues communicating with Google Assistant, this only happens when something is playing and the volume is too high. I’ll have to yell loud orvaske 2-3 times before I can get a response. But this to me is not an issue and not something that I would hold against the device. The one issue I did have that caused me to take off 2 stars, is I cannot set up Google Payment. Every time I try I get a message, “An unexpected error has occurred, please try again later.” I’ve tried to find information on this error and have had no luck. I have Google Play and other Google Services that use my card with no issues, but Google home just won’t work. This for me is enough to not consider this as my permanent assistant. If this can’t be remedied. I will try another assistant as my permanent assistant. If you don’t need a way to pay from the device, I’d recommend this speaker without question. If being able to pay from this device is important, I’d look elsewhere. If I am able to find a fix for this issue I will certainly revisit my review and adjust accordingly.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

    Sounds good but serious quality control issues

    Posted
    woktrr1919
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I wanted to like this speaker; I really did. I own a Google home mini & love it. I tried the normal-sized Google Home since I wanted a second Google Assistant device with better sound quality, and, while that device worked brilliantly, the sound quality was a bit too muddy for me. The JBL seemed perfect as it retained most of the same features, and was portable as well. The sound quality of the Link 20 is brilliant as would be expected from JBL, but, after exchanging one Link 20 due to the random popping noise that others have described, only to find a completely different electrical problem with this second one, I just can't recommend it as there seems to be a legitimate issue with the way these things are designed/engineered. As stated before, the first speaker sounded great, but had constant popping during music playback, and the second speaker makes a very noticeable high pitched ringing sound whenever plugged in & charging. It's not really noticeable when actual music is playing, but any time it's not playing and the device is plugged in, the constant ringing is just too annoying to deal with. Again, I really wanted to like this device, but unfortunately, they're junk. They need some engineering fixes to take place.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Brand response

      JBL Support

      Thank you for your review, our sincerest apology for the inconvenience. Your feedback will be communicated to the proper department to improve our current and future product line. We would like to work with you directly, please submit a case request at www.jbl.com/support-contact.html and the Customer Service team will be more than happy to further assist you. JBL

  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

    From Bad to Worse

    Posted
    BadgerRed79
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I bought this speaker a little more than a year ago, and I can say unequivocally that it's the worst tech-based purchase I've ever made. And I bought a Zune (look it up, kids). I was generally OK with the speaker at first. Good sound (a little heavy on the bass), plenty loud, microphones picked up my voice well. But it turns out fragmentation isn't just a problem for Android phones. The updates consistently lagged WAY behind my other Google Home speakers, delaying basic features for weeks if not months. Even now, the speaker is three versions behind. And that wasn't even the worst of it. A couple months ago, the speaker started popping and clicking whenever I'd play ... well, anything. Podcasts, music, videos all were constantly accompanied by the unwelcome noise. It doesn't matter whether I'm casting to the device or connecting via Bluetooth, and the problem has only gotten worse over time. Even with the product being $100 cheaper than when I bought it, I cannot emphasize enough that this is not worth the money. Get a proper Google Home, slap a Loft battery base on it, and you'll be much, much better off in the long run.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Brand response

      JBL Support

      Thank you for your review, our sincerest apology for the inconvenience. Your feedback will be communicated to the proper department to improve our current and future product line. We would like to work with you directly, please submit a case request at www.jbl.com/support-contact.html and the Customer Service team will be more than happy to further assist you. JBL

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Waterproof, Google, Bluetooth, AND Great Sound!

    Posted
    ShawnInKB
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    Best of all worlds - This speaker sounds great, runs on battery for Google Home anywhere you have internet, it is also a Bluetooth speaker, AND is waterproof!!! Hey Google, why aren't you answering me? You say to yourself whenever you aren't in earshot of your plugged in Google homes. Now take Google home with you everywhere! You still want to know things pool side, at the beach, in your garage, backyard, grilling on your deck, the shower, etc. right? Overall love this speaker. It sounds great with big sound in a little package, it is just as easy to setup and use as a Google Home or a Bluetooth speaker. Google will work as long as it has internet (your home Wi-Fi, hotspot on your phone, etc.) and in the rare case you don't have internet or if you really want to just here your music instead of only internet music - just stream to it like any Bluetooth speaker (long pet peeve of mine with Google Home now solved!). OH, AND DID I MENTION IT IS WATERPROOF!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Good speaker with great sound!

    Posted
    Honestreviewer151987
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    Still not really comfortable with "ok google" after using "alexa". As is typical with many JBL products, the sound quality is very good with crisp mids and highs and adequate bass, although I was expecting a stronger bass response from a speaker this size. It connects to Google Play music which is awesome. I have all my collections stored in google play music which not many devices are compatible with so far. This is also the only speaker that has Google Assistant that can also run on a battery which finally makes for a portable Google Assistant speaker. I like the design. It is thinner and taller than the Google Home and is covered in a tough, black mesh fabric with plastic ends. The top of the speaker comes with minimal controls where you can play/pause, lower and raise the volume, a Bluetooth pairing button and a physical button to activate Google Assistant. You can also activate Google Assistant with your voice and the two microphones in the speaker worked well. I asked it questions from weather forecasts to old sports questions, and Google would have the answer right away. You can adjust the volume and play music through apps by voice request. Setup is quite easy with the Google Home app. It connects with Pandora and few other apps which are quite common. Overall, a very good speaker for the price point.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Had to send back defective unit

    Posted
    SteveB
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    Sound is pretty good. Setup was easy, connected to Wi-Fi with no problem connected to Google with no problem. It did a lengthy software update and after that it would only completely reboot every other attempt. Did a factory reset and I thought it was better but then started acting up again. Sometimes it would boot up fine, other times it would hang (waited several hours once to be sure I was giving it enough time to finish booting up). Emailed JBL and they gave me a return label and RA number pretty much right away so I figure they've had this problem before. Waiting for the replacement unit (they just received my returned unit yesterday). I hope the replacement unit is better! I like it otherwise, when it works I think the microphone is more responsive than my regular Google Home unit and the sound is much better. It completely shuts off when idle if running on battery. I think I wouldn't have noticed the issue if I didn't have to keep turning it back on to get it going. Not sure how to answer the question of if I'd recommend to a friend. I'll say yes, because I do like it, but just know it's a qualified yes, not wholehearted!

    I would recommend this to a friend

    • Brand response

      JBL Support

      Thank you for your review, Your feedback will be communicated to the proper department to improve our current and future product line. If you encounter problems with your product, please submit a case request at www.jbl.com/support-contact.html and the Customer Service team will be more than happy to further assist you. JBL

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Big Portable Sound

    Posted
    HappyPhantom
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    Pros: - Easy setup using the Google Home iOS or Android apps - Design is simple and unobtrusive - Sound quality is great (bass heavy if you like that) - 10 hour battery life is good for a speaker this size - Water resistant - Portable - this is the reason to buy this device. You can move your Google Assistant around the house, take it outside by the pool, and be able to control it all with your voice. - Can be added to Groups within the Google Home app (to play synced audio on multiple devices). Cons: - Cannot make phone calls like you can on the Google Home - Periodic drop outs or lost connection to Google Music (this might be specific to my setup, but thought I should note it as my other Google Home devices don’t have this problem) Other: I’m a little concerned that this isn’t a Google product. For example, will it receive updates for new features, or will new features potentially not be enabled (like phone calls) If you want a portable Google Assistant speaker, I would easily recommend this speaker. The sound is great and battery life is good. If portability isn’t important, I would get a Google Home instead.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    This Is Really Nice, BUT Be Careful

    Posted
    dharr18
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    This is a really nice smart speaker. Good, not great, sound. It will fill a room or let your neighbors know what is on your playlist with no issue. Controls are very straightforward. Configuration is the same as any other Google Home device. The waterproof warning, for those who skip the startup/quick start packet. Make sure you replace the cover to the USB port and the cover is snug. This is the sole entry point for water on the speaker. THIS IS NOT WATERPROOF WHILE CHARGING. Sorry for yelling. I just want to make sure that is seen. The size is about 2 to 2 1/2 times the size of the Google Home speaker. It is completely round/cylindrical and can roll off a table if knocked over. The best part of this, you can take it outside with no issues If you have WI-FI signal, you can use Google Assistant with no issue. Otherwise, pair it up as a good old Bluetooth speaker and use Google Assistant thru the phones connection. Battery life is advertised for 10 hours, I would have to say that is pretty accurate. Highly recommended if you are looking for a versatile smart speaker.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    JBL Speaker w/Google Assistant

    Posted
    BBReviewer
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    JBL rocks it! I have a couple “assistants”. One is the original and it is quite fun. I have another with a speaker and I had to have the JBL. All work with the assistant through the Google Home app. It’s very easy to use the app and the assistant is very useful. What’s the weather in LA? How is the traffic to the airport? Set a laundry timer, set an alarm for 6am, give me a recipe for pot roast. It goes on and on. The beauty of this JBL is that it is Bluetooth. Very easy to pair, I can now play my playlists as well as listening to Pandora. The sound from this speaker is amazing. Very clear even very loud. Great highs and lows. It is also portable so I can take it anywhere and it keeps its charge for a good long while. It is also very attractive in black. I’m not that fond of the bright orange cord and plug... so I’m using a black cord and that works for me! They’re fun, they’re useful and I have an assistant in every room... but this JBL is by far my favorite. It does everything I want it to do fantastically well. A perfect choice for a Google speaker!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Link 20 just ok!

    Posted
    Anoyed

    The link 20 is a good speaker with great sound. I find that when plugged in or on battery, the speaker turns off after a period off inactivity. have to get up and turn back on and wait about 1 minuet for it to connect. That defeats the purpose of having a google assistant speaker. when I am elsewhere in or outside of house sitting down, I want to be able to ask google assistant to do something like turn on lights or play a song. I can walk to light switch in same time as it takes to turn on link 20. Thats the charm off having a google home speaker, always listening for when you need it for something. understand it has portable battery, but should not turn off just to save battery. when plugged in it should always stay on. do not want to buy a google home for the always listening. ! speaker should do it all. do not want to have 2 speakers. Do not think many people will buy speaker when 3rd part companies have already started making battery basses for google home. I got it for battery and portability. will stick with a google home for now!

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great Sound on a smart speaker.

    Posted
    HomeGuru
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    Originally went to purchase Google Home and found that JBL offered the Google Assistant on their smart speaker. The same Google talk that was of interest but with JBL sound technology. The sound quality outperforms that of Google Home with efficient volume control to maintain the clarity at high levels (not maxed out). Enough to fill a modest size backyard. The speaker incorporates a rechargeable battery which allows complete mobility of powered music inside and outdoors within WIFI range up to 10 hours. The unit is also water proof (with power socket cover snapped in place) up to 30 minutes submerged. And is Bluetooth enabled to play music from another device. Everything you won't find on Google Home. Only con has been the delayed response with Google Assistant compared to the Google Home. A pause is noticed when asking Google a question and waiting for the response. Which is not a show stopper.

    I would recommend this to a friend