Category Archives: ElevatoR(eview)

ElevatoR(eview): JBL Charge 3 Speaker

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Tech reviews for the average consumer in under two minutes!

The JBL Charge 3 falls into the category of mid-tier consumer Bluetooth speakers.  There are cheaper options for certain (JBL Clip 2 comes to mind) and there are much more expensive options (I’m looking at you Sonos and the upcoming Apple HomePOD).  JBL makes quality speakers that focus on solid all-around sound without killing your pocketbook.  This speaker is about 8 inches in height, and has great sound even at high Charge 3 backvolumes.  I chose this speaker because it is wide range Bluetooth (100 feet without walls), waterproof (you can dunk this sucker), and it works with the Amazon Echo series of speakers (I pair this one with a Echo DOT).  The sounds quality between this speaker and it’s younger brother the JBL Flip 4 was basically the same, at least to my ear (I’m no audiophile though).  I chose the Charge 3 mainly because of it’s larger battery (20 hours) and it’s ability to charge devices on the go (it has a built in USB to charge your phone/tablet).

The only downside I’ve found with this speaker is pairing.  I was able to pair 2 different phones (as advertised), but not consistently.  Perhaps it was a fluke, but something to consider.  Also pairing to my Amazon Echo DOT has been challenging, as it keeps losing the connection.  As a bluetooth speaker, this thing rules.  As a “smartspeaker” jerry-rigged with a DOT, there’s work to be done to make that experience smooth.

ElevatoR(eview) Verdict:Charge 3 Grass

Design: Cup Half Full

Ease of Use (Bluetooth Speaker): Cup Half Full

Ease of Use (with Echo DOT): Cup Half Empty

Sound Quality: Cup Half Full

Cost: Cup Half Full

Overall: Cup Half Full

Long-form reviews to consider, when you have more time:

CNET Review

Tom’s Guide Reivew

Sound Guys Reivew

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ElevatoR(eview): JBL Clip 2

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JBL Clip 2 ElevatoR(eview)

There are lots of cheap bluetooth speakers on the market, so finding a decent one is challenging.  This speaker is from a reputable device maker (JBL).  The speaker is completely waterproof (I dunked it without issue).  Pairing is simple (you can even “daisy-chain” two speakers together for stereo sound).  The speaker comes with a 3.5mm cable hard-wired into the bottom (and stored by wrapping around the side), so you can pug your phone in directly (saving battery life on your phone).  There is an integrated microphone so you can use it for phone calls as well. Battery life is good (8 hours of playback).  The clip is incredibly handy.  And the price is affordable without being “cheap” ($50-$60).

I looked at several other models, and the audio quality certainly didn’t stand up to it’s more expensive cousins, but it was good enough for using in the garage or the shower.  This is a nice choice for your consideration.

ElevatoR(eview) Verdict:jbl-underwater

Design: Cup Half Full

Ease of Use: Cup Half Full

Sound Quality: Cup Half Empty

Cost: Cup Half Full

Overall: Cup Half Full

Long-form reviews to consider, when you have more time:

Tom’s Guide Review

CNET Review

Android Police Review

ElevatoR(eviews): Coming Soon

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“What is an ElevatoR(eview)?”, you must be asking.  As we move into the middle of the third year of this blog, I’m trying to find new ways to write simple, concise reviews.  I think my primary model of “First Impressions, Full Reviews, and Where it Stands Reviews” is good for giving a bunch of info in a quick manner, but I wanted something even quicker for the casual consumer.  I wanted something you could read in an Elevator Ride.  So we’ll give this a shot, and see how it goes.  The odd “HaikuReview” might appear from time to time, but those are more poetry than informative, I feel.  Hopefully this new model will strike a good balance between informative and speedy.

New reviews coming soon…