Picture of the JBL Go 2 Bluetooth speaker, connected via its AUX input to an iPod Touch portable media player.

JBL Go 2 Review of this Portable Bluetooth Mini Speaker

In this piece, we offer our JBL Go 2 portable Bluetooth speaker review, features list, and specs. We cover this metal grill speaker’s performance, usability, and accessories. The JBL Go 2nd Gen sounds quite clear and loud for its size. One gotcha  though.  Not much really deep bass from this speaker. Yet it has more bass than you’d expect from such a small speaker. The mid range and high sounds come through, crispy and crystal clear.

JBL Go 2 Mini Bluetooth Speaker Review, Specs, Features

Other than that, this Go2 Bluetooth speaker is a good buy, used or new.  You can get it on eBay for under forty US dollars occasionally.

Given the heavy popularity of the JBL Go 2, we thought we’d put down its high and low features below that we found while testing. You’ll likely agree that for the low cost, the JBL Go 2 portable speaker is a great value water resistant  Bluetooth speaker. Get one as a first speaker, for clear sound at a cheap price.

Picture of the Blue colored JBL Go 2 Bluetooth speaker, front view.
Blue colored Go 2 JBL Bluetooth speaker, front view. JBL Go portable speaker review.

JBL Go 2 Mini Bluetooth Speaker Advantages, Benefits, Pros, and Features

As we expect from JBL, this Bluetooth speaker offers way more benefits than cons. So first, let’s look at that good list of features.

The Go2 Fits Well in your Hand

The JBL Go 2 is small and light enough to carry around without extra effort. Plus, it’s handheld, and so, easy to tote from place to place.  Sit it anywhere.  It’s no-slide feet keep it from slipping off of tables.

Useful Accessories

With this Bluetooth speaker, you get the following: A USB charge cable, a quick start guide, a safety sheet, and a warranty card.

Anti Skid Feet

The JBL Go 2, when sat on a table with bottom side down, does not slide much, due to its no-skid feet.

Easy to Work Controls

This wireless speaker has five buttons. These include

  • Power.
  • Bluetooth.
  • Volume DOWN and UP.
  • Play-Pause. 

They put all of these buttons on the top of the JBL Go2 portable, as shown next.

Picture of the JBL Go 2 portable speaker. its buttons panel on the right side of this Bluetooth speaker.
JBL Go 2 portable speaker. its buttons panel on the right side of this Bluetooth speaker. JBL Go portable speaker features.

Multi Function Light

There’s a small lamp on the front grill of the JBL Go models. This tells the speaker status.  It shows the following by its color and flash patterns.

  • Power is ON or OFF.
  • The paired or unpaired state of the speaker.
  • Battery charging done / not done.
  • Blinks red when battery is almost dead.

When the Go 2 is OFF, the light is dark, as shown next, pointed at by the green arrow.

Picture of the JBL Go 2 speaker, fully charged, powered OFF, but is still connected to charger power. The status lamp is not glowing at all, and is highlighted.
JBL Go 2 speaker, fully charged, powered OFF, but is still connected to charger power. The status lamp is not glowing at all, and is highlighted. JBL Go portable speaker review.

When powered on but not paired with any source Bluetooth device, the light slowly flashes white, on and off, as shown next.  It blinks white rapidly when the Go2 is in Bluetooth discovery mode.  Finally, when you successfully pair with the JBL Go 2, this lamp glows solid white.

Picture of the Go 2 JBL speaker, front view, powered ON with the charger connected. The Go 2 is showing fully charged, with its steady or blinking white lamp highlighted. It's fully charged in either case.
Go 2 JBL speaker, front view, powered ON with the charger connected. The Go 2 is showing fully charged, with its steady or blinking white lamp highlighted. It’s fully charged in either case.

While recharging the Go 2 from USB power, and while the battery has not yet reached full charge, this light glows solid red.  See this in the next picture. Then upon full charge, the lamp returns to whatever pattern it was showing before to recharging began.

Picture of the JBL Go 2 Bluetooth speaker front view, highlighting the red status light, meaning that the speaker is charging.
JBL Go 2 Bluetooth speaker front view, highlighting the red status light, meaning that the speaker is charging. JBL Go portable speaker benefits.

Built in Rechargeable Battery

The JBL Go 2 battery fully charges in under three hours. Further, with medium volume settings, the battery lasts around five hours per full recharge. Plus, you can indeed play the speaker during charging, although this may lengthen the time to full charge a bit. 

Micro USB Charge Port

How to charge JBL Go model speakers? This Go has a micro USB recharge port, as pictured next, pointed at by the green arrow.

Picture of the JBL Go 2 Bluetooth speaker, right side view, showing its port door held open with finger.
JBL Go 2 Bluetooth speaker, right side view, showing its port door held open with finger.

Connect this BT speaker with a USB charger (not included) with the included USB cable. We recommend using a 2.0 amp or greater USB AC adapter, although a 0.6 amp or 1.0 amp charger works well also, although charging may go a bit slower.

Then, plug the adapter into AC power, and let charge for about three too three and a half hours.

JBL Go 2 Charging Cable Included

The Go2 comes with a micro USB charging cable, although many cables from other vendors work well too.  We picture this accessory cable next.

Picture of the JBL Cireless speaker packaging, showing the included USB charge cable in bag.
The JBL wireless speaker packaging, showing the included USB charge cable in bag.

Built in Speakerphone

When paired with a smart phone, you can answer calls with buttons on the JBL Go 2. The call sound is quite clear too, due to the built in noise trimming circuits and decent microphone.

Mono Sound

You get 3 watts of audio power.

Supports Many Bluetooth Sources

Pairs with most streaming mobile devices, paired one at a time.

Rigid Metal Grill Resists Dents and Scratches

The perforated sound grill that covers the speaker protects the unit from scaring mishaps.

Comes in Twelve Awesome Colors

You can buy the JBL Go 2 portable speaker in many colors,   We bought the blue, as shown in the pictures throughout this post.

JBL Go 2 Portable Mini BT Speaker Disadvantages, Cons, Problems, Drawbacks, and Limitations

No Bass Ports, Bass Drivers, or Bass Radiators

Due to the small JBL Go2 size, as well as the wish to keep it light for max portability, we find no large bass drivers or tuned ports.  Thus, JBL waived enhanced bass response to get increased ease of carrying.

Now with that said, this speaker still has an astonishingly full sound for its size. It’s great for audio book listening, old time radio, and other medium fidelity programming.  Music sounds okay as well, as long as you don’t miss your deep bass from bigger speakers.

No JBL Connect+ App Support

The JBL Connect Plus app does not recognize the Go speaker currently.

No Speaker Grouping and Syncing

Further, you cannot include the Go2 in a BT speaker group.  It has no JBL Connect+ button. So, this speaker cannot receive the same audio as speakers in a group do.  It does not sync with group speakers.

No Detailed Battery Status Meter

The JBL Go 2 offers no way to tell how much “juice” is left in the built in rechargeable battery.  While the lamp beneath the clip tells you when the battery is done charging, it gives no battery charge level reading.

No Firmware Updates

Currently we find no way to update JBL Go 2 firmware.  No Connect app support.  This may not be a bad thing however, because the Go2 never crashes.  It offers very solid Bluetooth performance.  So there’s really no need for any firmware updating.

JBL Go 2 Portable BT Speaker Specs

Dimensions: 7.12 x 8.6 x 3.16 cm or 2.8 x 3.38 x 1.24 inches.
Weight: 0.18 kg or 0.41 Lbs.
Case Design: IPX7 Waterproof.
Battery charge time: 2.5 hours @ 5V, 0.6A.
Battery capacity: 730 MaH.
The Bluetooth Version: 4.1.
The Bluetooth Frequency Range: 2.402 – 2.480 Ghz.
Music playing time: Up to 5 hours (varies by volume level and audio content).
Output power: 3 watts RMS.
Auto power off.

Our Review Rating for the JBL Go 2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker

We find the JBL Go 2 Bluetooth speaker a good buy This is a solid wireless speaker, filling the role of a SMALL wireless speaker quite well. It never jitters or cuts out, except when the battery goes dead or you move it too far from the source. Plus, it plays well even when nearby radio interference appears.

We like the square shape, color options, and serious planning for smallness that went into this JBL product. Its acoustic design makes it a medium fidelity speaker in spite of its small driver size. So we rate the Go2 at 94 out of 100.  It does what it’s supposed to.

Where to Buy the JBL Go 2

We bought ours at Walmart for $30. But Find it for sale also on Amazon, and the JBL site among other places. Prices ranges from around $30  to $40 (for a higher-priced brand new one) currently.

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References for JBL Go 2 Review

  1. JBL Go Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker Official Product Page, on JBL.com

Revision History

  • 2020-04-22: Added more tags.
  • 2019-03-24: Fixed typos and added tags. Updated key phrase targeting.
  • 2019-02-28: First published.