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JBL Go 2 review: A mini Bluetooth speaker that offers maximum portability

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The Good The JBL Go 2 is a very small wireless speaker that fits in a pocket and sounds decent enough for its tiny size. Its design and sound have improved from the original and it's now fully waterproof. Plus, it has speakerphone capabilities.

The Bad It doesn't have all that much bass and its battery life isn't great at 5 hours.

The Bottom Line While it won't rock the house, the JBL Go 2 is an appealing little Bluetooth speaker.

7.0 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 7
  • Sound 6
  • Value 7

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JBL sells a wide range of wireless Bluetooth speakers and its Go line, now on the second generation Go 2, is the smallest and least expensive of the bunch.

Truth be told, the original JBL Go speaker looked and felt a little like a toy speaker, weighing in at a mere 130 grams. This new version, which comes in many color options and costs $40, has been bulked up a bit -- it weighs 184g -- and has its corners rounded off. It's also fully waterproof, with an IPX7 rating. That means it can be fully submersed in 3 feet of water (1 meter) for up to 30 minutes).

The original Go (left) compared to the new Go2 (right). 

Sarah Tew/CNET

While the speaker is a little heavier, it's very similar in size to the original and is designed for maximum portability. It takes up little room in a backpack, laptop bag or purse, and will even fit in a lot of pockets. Overall, it feels more substantial and more like a real speaker than child's plaything. 

Battery life, like the original, is rated at 5 hours at moderate volume levels (that's not great) and the power rating on this speaker, for what it's worth, is 3 watts. It also performs reasonably well as a speakerphone (there's a built-in microphone).

On top of the speaker you'll find volume controls, a pause/play button and a dedicated Bluetooth button for pairing the speaker to your phone or another Bluetooth-enabled device. A 3.5mm audio input and the Micro-USB charging port (it takes 2.5 hours to charge the speaker) are tucked underneath a gasket on the right side.

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