By Gabby Bloch
Hey Google. What’s the meaning of life? And where are my pants? Alexa, move over because JBL has come to town, and it’s brought Google Assistant and Chromecast. The Link 10 is 150 bucks, which I think is pretty reasonable for what you get. Let’s explore the features and sound quality in this JBL Link 10 Smart Speaker Review.
IN the BOX – JBL Link 10 Smart Speaker Review
JBL Link 10
DESIGN and FEATURES – JBL Link 10 Smart Speaker Review
Ok, so here’s what you get in a nutshell: built into the Link 10 is Google Assistant and Chromecast. (Chromecast is a digital streaming device that allows you to stream media, like Netflix, Hulu and Spotify to a TV or speaker). Wirelessly connect your mobile device to the Link 10, and you’ll be able to play music, plan your day and manage tasks. Chat with Google, and ask it to add an event to your calendar or an item to your shopping list. If you download the Google Home App, you’ll also be able to use compatible home automation devices, such as lights and thermostats. The other cool thing about the Link 10 is that you can pepper Chromecast compatible speakers and TV’s around the house and have them all playing in sync. Finally, the Link 10 is waterproof, so if you like to shower with your speaker, feel free. This is a no judgement zone.
I tried out most of these functions and it worked pretty seamlessly. You use your Wifi to log into your speaker and add the speaker to the network. Give it a name if you want to differentiate it from other Chromecast enabled devices around the house. That’s pretty much it, besides the Google Home app. The only negative thing I can find about the Link 10 is that the battery life only lasts five hours, and it takes four hours to charge. If you need more battery life, you should go for the Link 20.
As for looks, it might not be the sexiest JBL wireless speaker out there, but it’s better looking than Alexa. It’s not too heavy, and I’m able to hold it in my little hand.
SOUND – JBL Link 10 Smart Speaker Review
The Link 10 has a pretty good max volume level, but if you’re planning to use it for huge parties, you might want to invest in the bigger, Link 20. Or at least get a couple of Link 10’s. JBL usually has a great bass booming sound. But while the bass on the Link 10 is more powerful than ol’ Alexa (I’m so mean to her), it’s not and as thumping as I expected, especially if you put the speaker lower to the ground. So, I would suggest placing it somewhere at hip or shoulder level. It’s also not the most detailed sound I’ve heard, but it’s decent enough to please your non-audiophile guests and family members.
SUMMARY – JBL Link 10 Smart Speaker Review
The Link 10 is good value for money. It’s easy to use and packed with features and functions. The sound quality is nice too. Go for it. And for those paranoid souls out there, know that the Link 10 is always listening…
SPECIFICATIONS – JBL Link 10 Smart Speaker Review
Transducer: 2 x 45mm
Output power: 2 x 8W
Frequency response: 65Hz–20kHz
Signal-to-noise ratio: >80dB
Wireless network: 802.11b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz)
Bluetooth version: 4.2
Supported audio formats: HE-AAC, LC-AAC, MP3, Vorbis, WAV (LPCM), FLAC, Opus
Dimensions (Dia x H)86mm x 169mm
Battery type: Lithium-ion Polymer (3.7V, 4000mAh)
Battery charge time: 4 hours @5V 1A
Music play time: up to 5 hours (varies by volume level and content)