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Customer Ratings & Reviews

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

Customer rating

Rating 4.3 out of 5 stars with 283 reviews

87%
would recommend to a friend

Expert rating

Rating 4.1 out of 5 stars with 7 reviews

Pros

Cons

Customer ratings & reviews

Page 1, showing1-8 of 8 Reviews mentioning:
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Bluetooth speaker

    Posted
    Psilocybe187
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    Such a great compact Bluetooth speaker. With this little bad boy I can bump music into the night. Highly recommend this awesome piece of equipment.

    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's, 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: 5 out of 5 stars

    Best sound and quality!

    Posted
    Shawnap2
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    Love this speaker. Great sound, small enough but big enough. love the 360 sound no matter what way it faces I can here it. Love that it has google assistant and not Alexa. Google home speakers are great but their sound for music is horrible. This speaker takes care of that and I even bought the smaller version for my bedroom.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

    Good speaker, terrible app

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

    The speaker itself is probably pretty good, but the Google Home app that controls it sucks. Contrary to the instructions, you can't make calls with it. There are no controls to adjust the speakers sound--like bass & treble. The app doesn't have a way to easily change WIFI networks. And once you disconnect from one, it's almost impossible to connect to another. The Google Assistant also cannot play music from your personal library on Google Play Music. It only plays Google play stations. And as usual, Google tech support NEVER responds to emails.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • 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 isn't 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: 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: 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's 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 doesn't 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

    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