Let’s first discuss the packaging and contents in our JBL Pulse 4 review. The speaker comes in your standard-looking JBL box, which we all know is sturdy and tough.
The front features an image of the speaker itself, while JBL is written on the upper-left corner. On the opposite side, you’ll find Pulse 4 written in a length-wise manner.
Inside, you’ll find the speaker set protectively with a good amount of padding. You won’t have to worry about it getting scratched or damaged when being delivered to you.
Other than the Pulse 4, you’ll also find a JBL-branded type-C cable, a quick start guide, and the safety sheet. JBL also included a warranty card, which is something we appreciate.
JBL Pulse 4 Review – Design and Functionality
The design of the Pulse 4 received the biggest change from the earlier generation. So, let’s talk about that in our JBL Pulse 4 review, along with its functions.
The Pulse 3 from last time sported a pill-like form where its tweeters were concealed behind a cloth ring. It was located along the speaker’s base. For the Pulse 4, it doesn’t feature that cloth ring and instead, extends its light show across the whole speaker.
The Pulse 4 comes with a rounded, cylindrical form that measures adequately. It’s heavier than your standard portable speakers, but it isn’t alarmingly heavy to worry about.
You can choose between the white or black models, but the highlight of the speaker is its interior LED panel. It nicely wraps around the speaker’s mid-area, which is eye-catching and beautiful.
Audio is projected from a single 20-Watt driver, and it goes through the top grille. Its lower panel houses the passive radiator and is raised slightly off the surface the Pulse 4 is set on.
The entire build of the speaker features an impressive IPX-7 rating, so it can submerge in water until a metre. With that, you can have the speaker outside by the pool during parties and the like.
For its controls, the JBL Pulse 4 comes with a variety of controls. These are arranged along the speaker’s top ring.
These controls include the power buttons, Bluetooth pairing, the volume rocker, and the play/pause button.
We love that all of its buttons are tactile and durable, making them extremely satisfying to press down. What’s great is that we didn’t have any issues with miss-presses, and that’s a big plus for us.
You’ll find a button for controlling the LED lights, as well as a Party Boost button. The latter allows you to link the Pulse 4 with other Pulse 4 speakers to form a multi-room system. Or you can link it to create a great stereo pair.
Surprisingly, it can go up to 100 speakers in total.
The USB-C port is close to the base, and it’s utilised for charging. JBL included a cable for it, which is something we highly appreciate.
The bottom portion of the Pulse 4 features a subwoofer. It’s the portion of the speaker that handles the production of bass.
It does an excellent job and is partially due to the speaker being slightly elevated because of its ridges. To put it simply, the Pulse 4 is well-engineered.
They’re thick enough to give it a sturdy feel; plus, it has the perfect length to avoid bass blocking. It also creates a great echo chamber for enhanced audio.
Key Features of the JBL Pulse 4
Now, we’re going to focus on the key features of the speaker in our JBL Pulse 4 review.
LEDs to Light Your Music-LIstening Moments
The Pulse 4 is built with amazing LEDs. It lights up beautifully with its perfect 360-degree, high-definition LED light show.
Follow the Beat Wherever You Go
The speaker delivers JBL’s signature sounds in all directions. The JBL Pulse 4 lets you follow the beat in all directions, thanks to the 360-degree speaker array.
Up to 12 Hours of Music for Your Enjoyment
If you’re ready to get your groove on, the Pulse 4 can surely deliver. Get up to twelve hours of party time on just a single charge, and enjoy your favourite tunes for hours.
Sounds you Can See
Start your party with JBL’s signature sound combined with its gorgeous LED light show in 360-degrees.
Since it’s rated IPX-7, it sports a waterproof design that looks great in every angle. Plus, you can keep the music flowing for as long as 12 hours after a single charge.
Just tap the JBL Connect application to shift the sound-responsive colours and patterns. Then, you can link with other JBL PartyBoost-compatible speakers for a livelier and more epic party.
Our JBL Pulse 4 review will now discuss the different specifications of the JBL Pulse 4.
The speaker measures 9.6 x 8.6 x 20.7cm and weighs a total of 2.78g. It’s pretty light, and it also comes with the IPX-7 rating.
It comes with a battery with a total capacity of 7,260 mAh. For a complete charge, you’ll need to wait for a total of 3.5 hours for the Pulse 4. With that, your total music playtime lasts up to 12 hours.
Bluetooth version/codec that it utilises is 4.2 A2DP, v1.3 | AVRCP v1.6. For its output power, the Pulse 4 uses 20 Watts.
Hands on with the JBL Pulse 4
We’re getting hands on with the speaker, but before that, our JBL Pulse 4 review will discuss the Connect App.
The Connect application lets you manage the LED lights, as well as switch the Pulse 4 to PartyBoost mode. You can also use the app to set the speaker to Stereo mode that syncs with other Pulse 4 speakers. Doing so will create left/right speakers, which sounds amazing.
However, do note that there is no EQ in the application, and that, in our opinion, is a missed opportunity.
For mono speakers, the audio quality of the Pulse 3 is solid. Overall, its sound quality is excellent since it offers a balanced profile. Compared to other similar speakers, it doesn’t greatly emphasise the bass, which is good.
Despite that, there’s still a lot of good bass to fill a small room. But if you want more energy for playing your tunes loudly while outdoors, it’s better to go for larger speakers.
For its size, you’ll get a great amount of bass from the Pulse 4. Also, it gets extremely loud and perfect for parties.
When we increased the volume, the bass response dropped since the small woofer couldn’t keep up with the volume level.
When it comes to its LED lights, the light show is eye-catching and appealing to look at. Its colours are extremely vibrant, and they pop out when you start playing music as it pulses to the beat.
But even when the music isn’t playing, the speaker works as a great lamp on its own. We occasionally found ourselves staring at it for longer than necessary since it’s an extremely gorgeous sight.
If you shake the speaker, it switches the colour palettes. Plus it syncs the lights with other Pulse 4 speakers that are close. When you press the Light button, it shifts between different patterns that are cool.
For the battery, it’s rated for a total of 12 hours playtime even with the light show enabled. It’s basically the same rating as the Pulse 3 speaker.
Just note that your results vary with the speaker’s volume levels, as well as the use of the LED lights.
What we love about it is that you have the option to disable the LED light show whenever you want. Doing so will allow you to have more audio playtime with the speakers.
And since the speaker comes with a whopping 7,260 mAh battery, you’ll definitely have long hours of playtime. So, don’t forget to charge your Pulse 4 speakers before your guests arrive.
But overall, the speaker performed excellently and it produced outstanding audio as well. Everything was clear, crisp, and pleasant to the ears. There was powerful bass that wasn’t overwhelming or lacking.
The LED light show was a party on its own, and it looked dazzling in every aspect. Plus, the speaker having an IPX-7 rating makes it all the better.
Great build, excellent sounds, and perfect LED lights. Overall, the Pulse 4 was perfect, so we’d definitely recommend this speaker from JBL.
JBL Pulse 4 Review Summary
JBL’s Pulse 4 is an excellent portable party speaker that offers aesthetics, high-quality audio, and great design refinements. It’s an impressive upgrade from its predecessor.
While it can get really loud, it still sounds great in higher volumes. Its performance exceeds that of its competitors, making it one of the best speakers on the market today.
Additionally, the built-in light-show effect also looks great and adds to the entertainment. With that, we can say that it’s truly designed for party use, and it serves its purpose well.
To sum up our JBL Pulse 4 review, we highly recommend this speaker. If you want to get your hands on this, it’s available for online purchase from the official website.