Amazon unleashed Alexa by letting third-party speaker makers use the virtual assistant in their models, and it was only a matter of time before Google gave the Google Assistant the same freedom.
And that the amplifier JBL Link 20 is one of these headphones, it comes at a very reasonable price and is distinguished by something that Google cannot provide any amplifier, which is the battery.
The JBL Link 20 is now a few years old since its release which makes it unfortunately more difficult to find than it used to be, but you can get it at Verizon for $ 130.
You can also use Musician’s Friend, although this lists JBL Link 20 at $ 230.
- IPX7 build
- Good battery life
- Great Microphones
- Chromecast built-in and Bluetooth 4.2
- Low response
- Charges via micro-USB
- Battery life
- There are no high-quality Bluetooth codecs
JBL Link 20 Durable design that withstands the elements
The JBL Link 20 speaker comes with a cylindrical design of 8.3 x 3.7 inch, it is a JBL portable speaker design file, it is a little larger than the Charge 3.
But it has a taller and thinner design than Google Home, comes in black only, and is wrap in durable mesh fabric and cover in black plastic on the ends.
It has a handful of controls, which is convenient given that Google Assistant can help with most of the functions.
At the top are the play / pause and volume buttons, as well as a Bluetooth pairing button.
There is also a physical button to activate the Google Assistant, along with two microphones. And when the Google Assistant is activated, it will illuminate four LEDs on the front pulse to show you are listening.
On the front bottom, the Wi-Fi indicator will appear when the speaker is connected to a network.
On the back, you’ll find the power button, battery life indicator and microphone mute button, and near the bottom, there is a microUSB port for power and battery charging under the cover, which helps make it waterproof.
The JBL Link 20 speaker has an IPX7 rating, which means that it can be submerge in water for up to 30 minutes without causing any damage, it is the best smartly design Bluetooth speaker that can withstand the elements.
Google Assistant works extremely responsive and accurate with the JBL Link 20, we asked them to change songs, set alarms, as well as perform a bunch of other seamless navigation functions provided by the software company.
Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant in the JBL Link 20 provide similar functions, but unfortunately the integration of artificial intelligence and portability faces its own problems, as without wi-fi, you will not be able to use the Google Assistant, and the speakers sell themselves on capacity. To work outside of home.
The Link 20 is generally all-in-one, better than combining an internet-connected smartphone with a high-performance Bluetooth speaker, where you can ask Google, Alexa, or Siri to play your music on your smartphone.
But there is a downside which is that you are unlikely to get HD support this way, as it supports 24-bit / 96kHz broadcasting in addition to the multi-room support expected through Chromecast.
Performance: Provides balanced sound and pure bass
As for the performance of the JBL Link 20 speaker, when playing music, this speakerphone provides treble, bass, and well-balanced tones.
It has a different audio file than Google Home, which has a very bass note. The JBL Link 20 also matches the sound quality of similarly priced Bluetooth speakers, for example it matches the $ 200 UE Boom.
And upon listening to ‘Take What You Want,’ the bass shook, Post Malone’s vocals chock full and the distort guitars had fine detail.
And while playing Dhani Harrison’s All About Waiting, JBL Link produced 20 richer audio than UE Boom. The song had more bass when played on Google Home, but I preferred the overall tone balance over the Link 20.
The JBL Link 20 also handles acoustic music well, for example the trumpets on Cannonball Adderley’s “Autumn Leaves” were sharp, and the bass sounded warm.
JBL Link 20 can get a lot of sound to fill most rooms, as I measured it at a maximum of 90 dB, and it reached that volume without distorting the sound.
it also comes with a simple setup through the Google Home app, as the app guides you through the process of adding the speaker to your devices and connecting it to your Wi-Fi network.
You can also connect to the speaker via Bluetooth, which is very useful if you want to listen to music services that the Google Assistant does not support.
Also, through the app, you can also add the Link 20 to other Google Home speakers on your network to enable multi-room listening.
Great Battery Life
As for the battery life of the JBL Link 20 speaker, it is really amazing, as it saves
You get about 10 hours of continuous play, but at a constant output of 75 dB, we were able to get 9 hours of playback during our tests.
This is not great considering the size of the headphone, but considering the price value, and you can spend an entire day until you get to the house and be able to connect it again.
But another problem that I discovered during my tests is that there is a surprisingly long period of time before turning on the JBL Link 20 until you can actually use it.
There is also a long pause between the power and volume button lighting that lets you know that it is ready to connect, and on three different attempts, I got an average startup time of 29 seconds, and although it is not a big problem, it is definitely annoying.
The JBL Link 20 loudspeaker makes a strong case for owning a single speaker that can do everything. It has great advantages, for example that microphones do a strong job at picking up sounds, even if the function will differ depending on how you use them.
It also has a seamless Wi-Fi audio setup that works anywhere in the house, in addition to the IPX7 design that makes it safe to use the pool or even during the shower.
Also, the JBL Link 20 has a strong battery life of 8 hours, which is amazing, especially when you look at the price tag.
However, the JBL Link 20 speaker has some negative points, for example the bass response is depressing and there is a lack of codec support means that the sound quality will suffer more when connected via Bluetooth.