JBL GO 2 Review: Mini But Mighty Bluetooth Speaker
Dynamite comes in small packages. And my JBL GO 2 review will tell you it's one of those mini, dynamite Bluetooth speakers you’ve been trying to find.
You’re active, and you need something you can just clip, turn on your favorite audio, and go.
You wake up energized, you grab your phone and turn on your favorite exercise playlist. You’re ready for your best workout ever.
The shallow, tinny-sounding speaker of your phone leaves you feeling, well, less than motivated.
What can you do?
You grab a JBL GO 2, clip it onto your clothes, and prepare to reenact a scene from Rocky.
The music is full-bodied, loud, and inspiring with the JBL GO 2.
This mini Bluetooth speaker packs a mighty punch.
Convinced you want to buy a JBL GO 2? Check it out on Amazon.
If not, read on.
OUR TOP PICK
Tiny but Delivers On Sound
JBL GO 2 is the ultimate portable mini Bluetooth speaker.
For its tiny size, it has a great sound. Be careful, though; it’s easy to lose only weighing 6.5 ounces and about the size of a sticky note.
Tiny Treasure Needs A Case
You’ll want to purchase the optional carrying case from Amazon so you can protect your little treasure.
Its small size makes it susceptible to drops, bangs, and crushes. One reviewer even ran over it with a car. It still worked, in any case.
That’s the downfall of a mini Bluetooth speaker. JBL GO 2 isn’t as small as some others like the Bose Soundlink Micro.
That one is about the size of a golf ball. But GO 2 is mini. And it’s a much better speaker too. That’s why it made my top ten list.
Nonetheless, GO 2 doesn’t come with a clip or a case. So you’ll want to consider investing in these options.
For what it lacks in the portability, it more than makes up for in color choices.
So Many Colors, How Do You Choose?
JBL Go 2 comes in twelve different color options. GO 2 is truly a fun little gadget and is perfect for all your favorite exercise activities.
Its price is excellent, so you could conceivably pick up a few to go with a variety of workout ensembles. If you’re into that kind of thing, you’ll love these color choices.
It’s not just fashionable. It has an incredible sound, too.
Ultimate Sidekick for Those Extracurricular Activities
It pumps out just enough sound to give you pleasurable listening experiences.
I love gardening, and this speaker fits perfectly in my utility bag.
The size makes it great for travel and works wonderfully as an added speaker for your phone. But don’t let the size fool you.
It packs a powerful punch on sound. So let’s get into some details so you can see if JBL GO 2 is right for you.
What Else Do You Need To Know?
In this review, I give you all you need to know about the sound quality, volume, portability, range, and waterproof rating.
I’ll tell you what comes in the box and who the ideal owner is.
I’ve also reviewed GO 2’s brother, JBL Clip 3. So you can decide if you want to spend a little extra to get a few more features.
Don’t be too quick to judge, however. You may not need to spend those extra dollars.
JBL Clip 3 has better sound and double the battery life. You may also like the carabiner clip. JBL GO 2 doesn’t offer this as part of its design.
However, Clip 3 is more substantial in size. GO 2 overcomes the portability factor by offering some unique options.
I like them both, but they are in entirely different classes when it comes to sound quality and loudness.
But let’s dive into what I like, don’t like, and some vital information about the JBL GO 2 first.
Oops, You Jumped in the Pool With GO 2
It’s okay if you forget you have this tiny Bluetooth speaker in your pocket. Jumping in the pool won’t hurt it. GO 2 has an IPX7 waterproof rating. It passed the submersible water test with flying colors.
If you’re on a big run and drop your JBL GO 2 in a puddle, you don’t have to panic.
JBL makes a rugged little speaker for your active lifestyle. There is a protective plug on the side of the unit to cover connection ports.
Before you set out on that big run or play by the pool, make sure you plug those ports. If you drop it in water, your speaker stays protected.
For an in-depth description of IP ratings, click here to check out my Comprehensive Guide.
The IPX7 rating is fantastic for this little speaker, but how about the battery life?
Battery Life Won’t Get You Through the Day
JBL probably should have considered using the same battery in GO 2 as Clip 3. It would have produced double the battery life.
The internal battery of GO 2 is a mAh 730 Lithium. It takes about 2.5 hours to charge. You get about 5 hours of playtime. You can get 6 hours if you set your volume at around 60%.
Understandably, you won’t get much volume out of a speaker this size at this price. So 60% volume might be a challenge depending on the setting.
It’ll struggle a little if it has to compete with substantial background noise.
There is a nice feature that conserves battery life. GO 2 shuts off automatically when it sits idle for an extended time.
If you forget to shut it off or leave it plugged in after charging, it shuts down automatically to conserve energy.
For its intended use, loudness is decent. If you prepare, the charge outlasts most normal activities.
But will it be loud enough for you?
Packs a Punch for Its Size
The 3 Watt speaker with a 40mm driver does the job for a mini Bluetooth speaker.
Of course, it’s not going to be as loud as an Anker Soundcore 2 or even it’s brother JBL Clip 3, but for the convenience of the pack and go concept, you can’t beat it.
But the sound quality is pretty spectacular. And since the treble highs and lows are so bright and crisp, you won’t miss out on the balance and depth you’re looking for in a mini speaker.
GO 2 has a fantastic little speakerphone you can use to enhance your calls, which sound crisp and clear. JBL constructed this mini speaker with built-in noise-canceling and echo-controlling technology.
Working from home has never been easier. You won’t miss a word on that conference call with GO 2’s crisp, clean, and loud sound.
The small size reduces some bass, but JBL added a pleasant surprise for that.
Bang For Your Buck On Bass
This tiny speaker produces an excellent sound for its size, and the bass radiators help GO 2 get the most out of its mini design.
For its intended use, JBL GO 2 won’t produce the deep bass and full-bodied sounds of a more prominent speaker like a Tribit Xsound Go or Aomais Sport II.
But those speakers don’t have the same mini portability either. And JBL cleverly designed a mini bass radiator to help GO 2 get the job done.
I’m guessing since you’re still reading this review, you’re looking for an affordable mini Bluetooth speaker to tow and go. JBL GO 2 won’t disappoint you.
Comparably sized speakers like the Bose SoundLink Micro on Amazon give you more bass, but the price difference is significant.
That’s why Bose didn’t make my top ten list in this post, The Best Bluetooth Speakers Under 50 in 2020.
GO 2 produces enough vibration and mid bass to feel like you’re getting the most out of your music.
Those motivating tunes, while you work out, won’t miss a little bass for all the other great portable features offered.
And the durability you’ll want for your active day is all there, too.
Mini, Mighty, Moxie Durability
If you’ve read my reviews, you know I can be a bit clumsy. Durability is an essential factor, and I like the sturdiness of this mini Bluetooth speaker.
Not only can GO 2 be submerged in water and keep playing, but it can also take a beating and keep on performing.
The protective mesh on the face is stiff and tightly woven to create an excellent protective barrier for your speaker.
The outer perimeter has a rubbery material around the device, providing a firmer grip and durable feel.
The sturdy design of JBL GO 2 ensures protection from drops and bangs during your active moments.
The range isn’t vast, but for what you’ll be doing with the GO 2, range most likely won’t be a factor.
Plenty of Range for Its Intended Use
While I prefer Bluetooth 4.2 over Bluetooth 4.1, for the intended use of a mini portable speaker, the range might not be much of a factor for you. And there is plenty of connectivity for this little mini.
You’ll get about 33 feet of range out of this mini Bluetooth speaker. You’ll likely have it close to you and your primary audio source. If that’s the case, you won’t find this range too limiting.
You’ll see anywhere from 15-50ft in most mini speakers. So 33ft is excellent for mini Bluetooth devices. If you’re just lounging by the pool or laying on the beach, you’ll have no issues with GO 2.
The best part of a mini speaker is that you can take it anywhere. If you’re a runner, this little gem keeps you motivated to finish every time.
Let’s take a look at what you’ll get with your speaker.
What Comes with Your JBL GO 2?
The packaging is simple but plenty protective. Inside, you’ll find a very sturdy built, square speaker that weighs significantly under a half-pound.
You’ll barely know it’s there, so be careful. You might want to consider bundling your purchase to get the protective carry case. Check it out here on Amazon.
The speaker fits comfortably in your hand and measures 2.8 x 3.38 x 1.24 inches. So small, you can fit it in a pocket, purse, or belly bag.
Check out the optional portable case down below. You can turn this little mini into a strong competitor for JBL Clip 3 with the carabiner clip, silicone case.
With the optional case, the carabiner can clip onto a belt or sports bra strap. That way, you don’t risk it falling out of a pocket.
The micro USB charging cable and user’s manual come in the box, too.
It has an auxiliary port, but you’ll need to pick up the AUX cable separately.
JBL GO 2 has a built-in 730 mAh rechargeable lithium battery, so you won’t need to worry about that.
Check out this great video for a quick demo:
There is an excellent silicone case with an attached carabiner clip to protect your investment available for a nominal price.
If you want to use the AUX port, you can purchase an optional auxiliary cable as well.
Operating Your New Bluetooth Speaker Is Easy
JBL put the control buttons on the top of the speaker. It’s easy to press each control to navigate your volume and play options. You can pause, play, and skip with the play control button.
One downfall is that you can’t jump back to the previously played song. You can’t move back and forth within a song, either.
You can use your GO 2 as a speakerphone to answer phone calls with the built-in in mic.
There is an auxiliary port for attaching an AUX cable, and playing devices you may have that are not Bluetooth compatible.
At about 60% volume, you should get around 6 hours of battery life. The full volume gets you between 3.5 to 5 hours of playtime.
Charging JBL GO 2 takes about 2.5 hours.
JBL Go 2 – What I Like
- Nice rubbery feel to the speaker that gives you incredible gripping ability.
- IPX7 tested and proven waterproof capability.
- Mini size doesn’t compromise the listening experience.
- Great buy for a mini Bluetooth speaker.
- 12 color options, even Champagne.
- Optional silicone carrying case for ultimate portability.
JBL Go 2 – What I Don’t Like
- The battery life only gives you 5 hours of playtime with a 60% volume.
- It doesn’t come with a clip to make it more portable. But you can get a case with a clip, so this wasn’t that big of an issue.
- The square design is pretty basic and boring. But the color options make up for this.
Who It’s Best For
You want a mini speaker that is easy to use and ultra-portable.
You want something you can pack for a hike, sunning at the beach or that intimate picnic with your loved one.
Your home workout needs some inspiration, and your best rock tunes are the answer. You need a mini Bluetooth speaker that can chill by your side while you work up a sweat.
You might even consider giving JBL GO 2 as a gift because now you know how great it is.
And now that you know the difference between the JBL Go 2 and JBL’s Clip 3, you can decide which one is best for you.
Compare JBL Clip 3 on Amazon here.
And, if you’re still undecided, check out my top 10 picks under $50 here.
You can be confident you’ll have all the information you need to find the Bluetooth speaker that’s right for you.