Today, we will focus on one speaker in our JBL Pulse 5 Review. The Pulse 5 is the latest offering from JBL and is among their growing line of portable Bluetooth speakers. It offers attention-catching LED lights and is the successor to the Pulse 4.
As the newest addition to the lineup, the speaker packs some weight compared to its predecessor. Moreover, it is bigger and has optimised connectivity, currently integrating Bluetooth 5.3. JBL also claims the Pulse 5 improves sound quality and ruggedness.
Other upgrades to the product are present; however, these are costly. Although it costs about $50 more than its predecessor, it still packs the necessities and aesthetics you love.
Continue reading our JBL Pulse 5 Review to see whether the upgrades are worth its price. But before anything, let us check its packaging and contents.
The speaker ships in your typical-looking JBL package featuring an orange and white theme. In addition, the front and sides of the box feature an image of the speaker, its name, and the company branding. You will also find some of its features displayed for your reference.
Inside the package are the following items:
The JBL Pulse 5
A Quick Start Guide
One JBL-branded Type-C Cable
JBL Pulse 5 Review – Design and Functionality
We were curious about the available colours for the speaker. But upon writing this JBL Pulse 5 Review, we learned it only comes in black. Despite the single colour, you will focus on its light show, making it fit almost any room aesthetic.
The integrated RGBs also make the speaker stand out, and these are present along its cylindrical frame. You can also find these through the glass-like plastic exterior. Of course, you can also customise these in the app to use the preferred patterns and colours.
Additionally, the speaker has excellent build quality, feels solid, and is premium-looking. Its integrated strap is thick, so it will not rip or break easily.
JBL Pulse 5 Controls
The physical controls on its rear have specific functions. These include Bluetooth pairing, lighting control, and the PartyBoost feature. The latter helps link with other JBL speakers.
You can charge using a USB-C port and watch the battery levels via an LED strip. Unfortunately, there are no auxiliary jacks/external input ports. So, the only way to connect is through a Bluetooth connection.
You can use a dedicated button at the back of the speaker to access light effects. It cycles through preset options, but you can download the JBL Portable Control app for the light display.
Learning about its design and functions is essential, but you must also know its features. These are what we will discuss next in our JBL Pulse 5 Review.
Key Features of the JBL Pulse 5
Stunning 360-degree Light Show
The 360-degree lights of the Pulse 5 can brighten your nights as it syncs to the beat of the music. You can also customise the light show on the broadened transparent body of the speaker via the JBL Portable app.
Deep Bass, Bold Sound
With the Pulse 5, you can enjoy the JBL Original Pro Sound in all directions. It has an up-firing driver separate tweeter with a passive radiator at the bottom. As a result, the audio has a deep bass that enhances the impact and boldness of your music.
IP67 Waterproof and Dustproof
The Pulse 5 is safe and protected whether you take it to the park or the pool. The speaker has an IP67 dustproof and waterproof rating that guarantees protection from damage caused by water and dust.
12-hour Playback Time
A single full charge of the Pulse 5 offers up to 12 hours of battery life. You can enjoy your music accompanied by a stunning light show all day.
Wireless Bluetooth Streaming
You can connect up to two smartphones or tablets to the Pulse 5.
Intensify the Fun with PartyBoost
PartyBoost is an exclusive feature that enables pairing two or linking multiple PartyBoost-compatible speakers to achieve stereo sound.
Continue reading our JBL Pulse 5 Review to learn more about the product specs and dimensions.
Transducers: 64mm woofer and 16mm tweeter
Output power: 10W RMS for the tweeter and 30W RMS for the woofer
Power input: 5V / 3A
Signal-to-noise ratio: over 80 dB
Frequency response: 58 Hz to 20 kHz
Battery type: Li-ion polymer
Charge time: less than 4 hours
Music playback time: up to 12 hours
Connection type: USB-C charging cable
Cable length: 1.2m
Bluetooth Version: 5.3
2.4GHz SRD Frequency Range: 2407 MHz to 2475 MHz
Bluetooth Transmitter Power: less than 10dBm
Bluetooth Transmitter Frequency Range: 2.4 GHz to 2.4835 GHz
JBL Pulse 5 Dimensions
Dimensions: 107 x 214 x 131mm (W x H x D)
Weight: 1.47 kg
Hands-on with the JBL Pulse 5
After using the speaker for a week, we will share our experience with it in this JBL Pulse 5 Review. We put it through tests and played a variety of music genres to hear the quality of audio it offers. But before we discuss its performance, we will look into the JBL Portable App.
JBL Portable App
The software for configuring the Pulse 5 is the JBL Portable app, which is available for iOS and Android. Its interface is colourful, user-friendly, and has all the essential features and additional settings that are also reliable.
The primary screen shows an image of the Pulse 5 with a battery life indicator and the lighting options below. Further down, you will find the customisable three-band equaliser with adjustable bass, mids, and treble. The EQ is simple but works for tweaking the audio and improving output.
Aside from the EQ, the JBL Portable app has an Ambient Sound section for playing five sound loops. These include waves, crackling fire, crickets, birds, and a creek. You can also set a duration for how long the loop will play.
Lighting Effects and Configuration
As we mentioned, the Pulse 5 has a button at the back for cycling through various lighting preset options. However, you must download the JBL Portable app for full-light display support.
Once synchronised, the app lets you independently switch the primary lights surrounding the speaker body on/off. You can also control the lights at the bottom.
Extensive customisation options are available for adjusting the colour palette according to your preferences and mood. You can even modify the style and frequency of the lighting effects to synchronise the rhythm of your music.
Aside from audio and lighting settings, the JBL Portable app lets you access the latest firmware updates.
The PartyBoost tab is where you link other PartyBoost-compatible speakers. You can pair up to a hundred units to make your party music more fun.
JBL Pulse 5 Connectivity
We also checked its connectivity for our JBL Pulse 5 Review. During our tests, it let us conveniently stream audio via mobile devices to the speaker. It also has an excellent range, ensuring that we stay connected even when our Smartphones are not nearby.
We paired it simultaneously with two devices to make switching between varying audio sources more convenient. In addition, the company upgraded to a Bluetooth 5.3 chip for faster connections, low power consumption, and stable transmission. It also offers optimised audio quality, which we experienced and enjoyed.
When connecting it to our iPhone, it linked effortlessly, which we appreciate.
Previously, JBL marketed the JBL Original Pro Sound audio effect integrated into older products. And, of course, the Pulse 5 is no exception. This technology makes audio rich and powerful.
The independent low-frequency of the speaker makes low-range sounds, like bass, stronger. When playing popular songs, it delivers a relaxed sound while retaining the tension and momentum of the low-frequency range. With the addition of the high-frequency unit, the Pulse 5 offers bright and transparent highs.
We tested the speaker with the equaliser at default settings, giving us a neutral profile. Surprisingly, this mono speaker is loud and has impactful bass with enough rumble. It also has a superior soundstage that is wide and open-sounding due to its 360-degree design.
The Pulse 5 is loud enough for an average-sized living room but not for spacious areas and open spaces. Fortunately, the PartyBoost technology seamlessly connects with other compatible speakers to enhance the audio. Also, the Pulse 5 does not compromise its quality, even with multiple units connected.
JBL Pulse 5 Review Summary
The Pulse 5 is a highly versatile speaker with high-quality audio and an eye-catching light show. It delivers the JBL Original Pro Sound with deep, thumping bass for a more enjoyable listening experience. Plus, it has an eye-catching light show to increase the fun.
We used this speaker for our JBL Pulse 5 Review and were surprised by its quality and performance. It has protection against dust and water, upgraded speaker units, and outstanding audio. Plus, its Bluetooth 5.3 connection makes streaming more convenient on any device.
Another impressive feature of the Pulse 5 is its PartyBoost technology, which allows blasting music by linking multiple compatible speakers.
Overall, this speaker is another top-notch product from the Pulse series of JBL. It is an excellent choice for a Bluetooth speaker with flair and high-quality audio.