Tested product: JBL Link Music
Award: SEK 1,290 at Elgiganten
JBL is even better known for its very successful portable speakers, and possibly theirs party speakers, than for small table speakers like Link Music. Their range of smart speakers has shrunk from four to just include this desktop model as well as the Port Portable portable models.
Rating 3 out of 5
JBL Link Music is a nice little smart speaker with placement-friendly omnidirectional sound. Nicely enough, you can both send audio to it via Chromecast and Apple Airplay. However, it has no special features and the sound quality suffers from the fact that it only has one speaker element.
- Supports Apple Airplay 2
- Many color choices
- Radiant sound
- No setting options
- Cannot be connected in stereo pairs
- There are better sounding speakers in the price range
Design and construction
JBL has also now embraced the prevailing fabric trend and thus abandoned its previous ambitions with more durable speakers. It can come in the safe colors black or gray, gloomy blue, yellow or green. Or for those who have not renovated the recreation room since the 70s, brown. With a rubberized top and bottom, it still feels durable and stands firmly on the surface.
At the top you will find, as expected, the volume buttons, as well as a multifunction button to pause sound and alarm or manually activate the Google Assistant. On the back there is a button for Bluetooth pairing and one for deactivating the microphone if you do not want the speaker to listen. Behind the fabric are colored lights that tell if the speaker is listening to you, working or silent.
Features and user experience
As with most Google speakers, installation is no more difficult than launching the Google Assistant app. It finds speakers that are not installed. Then you just need to choose the name of the speaker, tell which room can stand and choose the wireless network to use.
Once installed, it appears as a speaker to send sound to both from Android mobiles via Chromecast, and from Iphone with Airplay. Unfortunately, the JBL Music app has not been updated for a long time and therefore does not support Link Music.
Performance and sound quality
The single speaker element is facing down to spread the sound 360 degrees. This does not really matter where you place the speaker, but it may very well be in the middle of the room. You can not connect two pieces for stereo sound, but it is also less interesting with omnidirectional speakers.
The sound is typical of JBL with a warm, closest flattering sound profile. The disadvantage of having only one element is of course that it becomes difficult to include the entire register. It is therefore the middle register that is highlighted at the expense of bass and treble, which is good for singing but less good for orchestral music.
Product: JBL Link Music
Tested: March 2021
Connections: Bluetooth 4.2, wifi 802.11 ac
Element: 2, 5 inches
Output power: 20 watts
Voice control: Google Assistant
Services: Chromecast, Apple Airplay 2
Size: 11 x 13 centimeters
Weight: 0.7 kg
Recommended price for testing: 1,300 kronor.
Award: SEK 1,290 at Elgiganten