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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 282 reviews

87%
would recommend to a friend

Expert rating

Rating 4.1 out of 5 stars with 7 reviews

Pros

Cons

Customer ratings & reviews

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Page 1, showing1-20 of 21 Reviews
  • 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 3 out of 5 stars

    Missing Google Assistant Features

    Posted
    jdearm
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase

    I am learning this device does not support the Google Assistant "broadcast" feature when the direction is from a Google Home or Google Mini to the JBL Speaker device. I am disappointed that this version of the Google Assistant functionality is not 100%, but rather lacking in some areas. I was not expecting this. My daughter is also complaining that the mic pickup for commands does not seem to be as good as the mini in the bedroom also which is disappointing.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Sound is great, but wifi drops very often

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

    I have sonos, google chromecast and minis, and this one. I bought it thinking about the time when we are outside and I want to be able to open the door without getting to the door or for grouping it with other google and having multiroom music. When it works, is great, but I've found that even if I have good wifi, it drops the connection very often.

    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: 3 out of 5 stars

    Sound quality good but bluetooth issue

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

    one of the best sound quality I have ever had from such a small speaker but it has some connection problem with the bluetooth and sync issue with the Google home app.

    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 are stil having problems with your product, please submit a case request and so we can assist you at www.jbl.com/support-contact.html . JBL

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Great Sound / Some Issues

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

    Great Sound, but the music stream stops constantly. Not sure what the issue is there. Also having a good amount of trouble with the Google home link, especially since adding a second account.

    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: 3 out of 5 stars

    Ok speaker

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

    This speaker is okay it was a gift.. It was working good then all of a sudden it just stop working and wont come back on.. Its did that twice

    No, I would not 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 still need assistance with your product, please submit a case request and so we can assist you at www.jbl.com/support-contact.html . JBL

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Great speaker, bad Google assistant

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

    Loved the waterproof speaker, but would not be able to get it to recognize my "OK Google" request, when it plays music at higher volumes (at least, when compared to my Google home device).

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Overall decent little speaker

    Posted
    Tomcat69
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    ZZ set up sound quality is okay the has a hum kind of sound do it. I'm not real happy with butiì.i 6 who can't beat it

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Too heavy!!

    Posted
    Wcaiche23
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    At first I thought well JBL came out with a great feature but honestly too much money for google voice.

    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: 3 out of 5 stars

    Could be better.

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

    Its a nice speaker, voice commands but only when connected to same wifi as connected device

    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 and so we can assist you at www.jbl.com/support-contact.html . JBL

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Not too pleased.

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

    It’s a real hassle to get the Bluetooth to connect and the battery life isn’t all that good.

    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: 3 out of 5 stars

    Great multi use speaker

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

    It is basically Google voice but as a speaker sound quality is not the best in my opinion but it is still good.

    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: 3 out of 5 stars

    Nice but no bass

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

    The Google voice is nice but the overall sound is not the greatest. The speaker is loud but there is minimal bass.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Ok sound, paid to much

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

    It sounds nice, but I over paid for it. The google assistant feature is helpful.

    I would 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: 3 out of 5 stars

    Voice recognition needs to improve

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

    Voice recognition needs to improve. I returned this unit for another Bluetooth speaker

    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