JBL's tubular Bluetooth speakers light up your party

JBL's Clip, Flip 2 and Charge 2 light up your barbecue or house party -- literally, in the case of the Pulse.

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Crank Debbie Boone's "You Light Up My Life" on the JBL Pulse, and perhaps you'll have an out-of-body experience. CNET

Totally tubular! JBL wants to light up your picnic, barbecue or house party with a bunch of new colourful Bluetooth speakers.

JBL is a brand of portable and affordable speakers, built by audio company Harman. It's revealed the clip-on Clip and sequels to the colourful soda-can-style Flip and Charge, as well as the quirky Pulse that doubles as a disco light.

The JBL Clip does what it says on the tin: it has a carabiner-style clip on the top to attach it to your bag or clothes, or hang it on someone you don't like and pipe "Africa" by Toto at them until they go mad.

The Flip 2 is the follow-up to the soda can-style Flip. The Charge 2 includes dual passive radiators that move to give you fatter sound, with the added fun element that it's bass you can see. Both the Flip and Pulse will charge your phone over USB when they're pumpin' out your tunes.

And the Pulse also looks like a soda can -- except it lights up, with LEDs dancing to the music.

One clever feature about the speakers is that they can pair more than one smartphone or tablet at a time by Bluetooth. That means if there's a few of you using the speakers, you don't have to keep pairing every time someone else has a turn at DJing: you just start playing your tune on your phone's app and it's piped from the speakers.

All the speakers are going on sale in Europe and the US before the end of the year. Full details are yet to come, but the JBL Charge 2 costs $150 in the US.

The new speakers were introduced at IFA 2014, the annual technology trade show in Berlin where manufacturers gather to show off their wares. Harman also revealed Harmon Kardon Omni, a multiroom music-streaming system to rival Sonos, Yurbuds sports headphones, and the business-minded Esquire Mini Bluetooth speaker that also does conference calls.

 

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