As it does every year, JBL has unveiled a full slate of products for CES 2022, including new true-wireless earbuds, Bluetooth speakers, and gaming headphones. I haven’t played with any of them yet, but many, like the Boombox 3 and Pulse 5 portable speakers and the Reflect Aero and Live Pro 2 earbuds, are upgrades to earlier products. Many of these speakers and headphones won’t be available for several months, but here’s a quick preview of what you can expect from Harman’s subsidiary, JBL, which is now owned by Samsung.
JBL says its third-gen Boombox speaker delivers “deeper bass, sharper clarity and more powerful sound” than its predecessors, thanks to a new three-way speaker system that includes a powerful racetrack-sized subwoofer, Includes two mid-range drivers and two tweeters.
Battery life is rated at 24 hours at moderate volume levels and there’s a USB-out port that allows you to charge devices like your phone. Equipped with Bluetooth 5.3, it is waterproof and dustproof with an IP67 rating. For stereo sound you can pair it with another Boombox 3 and pair it with other party Boost-enabled JBL speakers.
The Boombox 3 will be available in the summer of 2022 for $500 in Black and Squad colors.
JBL Pulse 5
Compared to its Pulse series predecessors, JBL says the Pulse 5″ is engineered with a large passive radiator and acoustic volume for deep bass, plus a woofer mid-low frequency sound and an addition for authentic and pure sound. The tweeter is focused on delivering.” Additionally, JBL has brightened the speaker’s integrated light show. (The Pulse series speakers are known for their integrated LEDs that sync with your music and can be customized).
Equipped with Bluetooth 5.3, the speaker is waterproof and dustproof with an IP67 rating. You can pair it with another Pulse 5 and pair it with other party Boost-enabled JBL speakers for stereo sound. Battery life is rated at 12 hours at moderate volume levels.
The Pulse 5 will be available in Summer 2022 for $250.
JBL Partybox Encore
JBL is doing two versions of the Partybox Encore speaker, a new smaller speaker in the Partybox line. The Encore version costs $400 and includes two wireless microphones (it will initially be sold exclusively at Sam’s Club) while the Encore omits the microphone and costs $300.
Both versions have a 100-watt output power rating with 6 hours of battery life at moderate volume levels. There is also JBL’s PartyBox Light Show which syncs with your music and is splashproof with IPX4 rating.
JBL’s new Wind 3 ($80) and Wind 3S ($70) are waterproof speakers designed for bikes and scooters. Both are Bluetooth-enabled and there’s also a microSD card slot for playing audio files. The Wind 3 is also equipped with an FM radio and LED display panel.
These are essentially the JBL AirPods Pro 2 competitors. Coming to their specifications, they have good battery life (10 hours) and they have six microphones that allow for good voice calling performance.
The Reflect Aero is the latest addition to JBL’s fitness-oriented line of earbuds. They have sports fins to keep the buds locked and also feature active noise cancellation and six-microphone technology for voice calls. They are completely waterproof and offer up to 8 hours of battery life at moderate volume levels.