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JBL Charge Essential 2 Portable Speaker Review

There are not many devices that can meet the needs of both indoor and outdoor environments, and that also meet the design preferences of young user groups. My attention ultimately fell on the JBL Charge E Essential 2 wireless Bluetooth speaker. Now, let’s take a closer look at this product together.

When choosing a speaker product, sound quality is the highest priority. JBL, as a high-fidelity, trendy audio brand in the audio field, not only uses high-quality materials in unit configuration, but its sound characteristics have always been popular with young people.

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After many years of developing, JBL’s iconic portable Bluetooth speaker has already been recognized by many players. In fact, whether it’s the colorful and portable GO series, the flashy and visually appealing Pulse series, or the even more energetic Xtreme, each corresponding model has many fans.

On this basis, the previously popular JBL CHARGE ESSENTIAL Bluetooth speaker has also undergone a complete upgrade, but this time it has become even stronger.

Design

The JBL CHARGE ESSENTIAL 2 inherits the design essence of the JBL CHARGE series of speakers, but with slight changes in the details, resulting in a noticeable improvement in the overall texture and functionality/durability of the machine.

The upgraded JBL CHARGE ESSENTIAL 2 Bluetooth speaker basically retains the design style of the previous generation in terms of appearance, with the body still presented in a lightweight form, weighing about 0.93kg and with a small volume, making it easier to place in a bag and carry with you.

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First of all, the outer layer of the body is made of light blue, high-density fabric, paired with a metal texture JBL brand logo on the front, making this speaker look younger. The fabric is still wrapped in a sturdy, durable high-strength body, and the hard rubber material extended on both sides can provide good defense and cushioning when falling or bumping.

The JBL CHARGE ESSENTIAL 2 also has an IPX7 level of waterproofing, so it can be rinsed with water directly if it gets dirty when going to a stream or camping in the rain.

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Whether it’s a party where a drink is spilled or an outdoor outing in the rain, it won’t affect the speaker, and you can enjoy music more freely while easily handling multiple scenarios.

In order to meet the waterproofing needs of the body, the buttons and interfaces of the JBL CHARGE ESSENTIAL 2 have been waterproofed. This is from HiFiReport.com.

For example, the five buttons on the body are made of rubber and protrude from the fabric surface, and the interface position on the back is also sealed with rubber material. There is also a circle of waterproof pad inside for double protection to ensure that water does not seep in through the joints.

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The top physical button area is clearly marked, with a concave and convex touch that is more convenient for blind operation, and its distribution is also in line with our daily operational logic.

From left to right, they are Bluetooth on, volume down, power, volume up, and start/pause. The power button is designed with a backlight mode, which can be easily identified in dark environments such as dance floors or parties.

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In addition, to address users’ concerns about power consumption, the built-in 7500mAh JBL CHARGE ESSENTIAL 2 Bluetooth speaker also supports a battery life of up to 20 hours, and the newly added TYPE-C interface on the back of the speaker also expands the possibilities of the JBL CHARGE ESSENTIAL 2 Bluetooth speaker.

Considering the current pain point of electronic products not leaving the body, the JBL CHARGE ESSENTIAL 2 Bluetooth speaker also has a reverse charging (power bank) function, with a maximum output power of 10W, which can provide long-lasting battery life for devices such as phones, tablets, and even Apple Watch in daily use, perfectly solving power anxiety.

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The JBL CHARGE ESSENTIAL 2 has a large contact area base at the bottom, which can achieve very stable placement. The embedded LED inside the base will also prompt the remaining battery power when the device is turned on, so that it can be charged in a timely manner.

As an upgraded version of the JBL CHARGE ESSENTIAL Bluetooth speaker, the JBL CHARGE ESSENTIAL 2 Bluetooth speaker showcases its sincerity in the details. It has upgraded Bluetooth to 5.1, not only significantly improving the connection speed, but also excelling in stability.

In addition, the reborn high-frequency unit and race track speaker also make the JBL CHARGE ESSENTIAL 2 Bluetooth speaker sound better. In particular, the addition of two passive radiators can feel better dynamics at a swaying range and, after optimization, can also release stronger bass.

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Due to the small size of the body and reasonable body control, the placement of the JBL CHARGE ESSENTIAL 2 Bluetooth speaker is more casual than that of ordinary Bluetooth speakers, and with the large silicone pads on the bottom and the silicone on both sides of the speaker, it can almost use in any location you want to place it without worrying about falling down, including but not limited to the kitchen, poolside, and even outdoor wood racks.

Most importantly, such a design can also ensure that the speaker reduces resonance when standing, and in general, this is a very portable Bluetooth speaker that is suitable for placing on a table.

Sound Performance

This time, the JBL CHARGE ESSENTIAL 2 uses a new speaker system with a separate dome tweeter and a racing-style mid-low frequency and dual woofer enhancement unit that can achieve a rated output power of 40W.

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With the support of Harman Acoustics algorithms, the JBL CHARGE ESSENTIAL 2 can achieve more low-frequency volume output and less distortion, making the sound more excellent.

In terms of actual listening experience, the JBL CHARGE ESSENTIAL 2 maintains its excellent performance in the low frequency range, with a strong sense of volume and clear separation.

The low frequency unit can produce powerful impact when a small amount of water is poured on it. When playing some heavy metal rock music, the strong presence of the bass does not excessively dominate the mid or high frequency range.

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In terms of the midrange, the JBL CHARGE ESSENTIAL 2’s track-style mid-bass unit can deliver a more restrained and neutral style of vocal transmission. As a result, the midrange and bass will not be overly mixed, allowing for good sound separation and a very comfortable listening experience.

The newly added dome tweeters provide good hardware support for the high frequencies, providing space for the sound to develop upwards for popular music, metal music, and even some ACG songs. The overall sound resolution basic performance is still good, but there is no more expansion space due to volume constraints, which is a icing on the cake.

In terms of sound, the independent tweeter and racetrack-shaped speaker with 40W output power of the JBL CHARGE ESSENTIAL 2 can produce a very powerful sound. In addition, the more neutral tonal style of the JBL CHARGE ESSENTIAL 2 is more suitable for users who listen to a diverse range of music styles.

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This is especially evident when listening to popular European and American music such as NDA. In my opinion, the JBL CHARGE ESSENTIAL 2 Bluetooth speaker has a relatively balanced tuning approach, with full volume, solid low frequencies, well-positioned drum hits, and quick response.

This popular tuning approach is also very suitable for enjoying the energy and vitality brought by music at parties.

Interesting is that, due to the volume limitations, portable speakers often cannot fully cater to mid and high frequencies, but the JBL CHARGE ESSENTIAL 2 Bluetooth speaker has changed this stereotype for me. Because it “shines” in its performance of “Lost Without You”, the high frequency extension of the entire song is impressive, and its high frequency is not stimulating, which is quite excellent for a portable speaker.

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Conclusion

The JBL CHARGE ESSENTIAL 2 Bluetooth speaker is an impressive upgrade from its predecessor. With Bluetooth 5.1 technology, it boasts faster connection speeds and increased stability.

The redesigned high-frequency unit and track-style mid-low frequency speakers also make for a better listening experience. Additionally, the inclusion of two passive radiators allows for a more dynamic feel, and after optimization, the speaker is able to produce stronger bass.

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The small size of the speaker’s body, coupled with its reasonable body control, allows for more versatility in placement. The large silicone pads on the bottom and silicone material on the sides of the speaker allow it to stand or lie down in various locations, including the kitchen, bathroom, poolside, or even on an outdoor wooden rack, without the worry of slipping.

The design also helps to reduce resonance when the speaker is placed upright. Overall, the JBL CHARGE ESSENTIAL 2 is a highly portable and convenient Bluetooth speaker that is suitable for tabletop use.