There are a large number of wireless speakers available to buy, but many require special pairing or streaming options, in addition to a complicated set up. Because of Google’s Cast platform, though, wireless speakers are created easy, and JBL’s Playlist speaker is one of the better for an inexpensive cost.
The JBL Playlist launched in 2017 with one key feature – built-in support for Chromecast audio. Where many speakers available to buy either play music from a line-in or higher Bluetooth, the Playlist can pull audio tracks directly over wi-fi, all when you have full control from a smartphone.
Exactly like casting media to a Chromecast enabled TV, you can send media right to the Playlist when you’re linked to the same wireless network. There are a huge selection of services that may cast audio, including big names like Spotify, Google Play Music, Pocket Casts, and more.
Along with casting from your own phone or tablet, you may also send sound to the speaker by using a Google Home or Assistant-powered speaker, even setting the Playlist as a default audio tracks source for all those devices. There’s also Bluetooth built-in, but Casting may be the superior option since it avoids notification interruptions while playing audio.
The very best use case for the Playlist for me, is multi-room music playback. Using the Google Home app, you can create an organization with every Chromecast-enabled sound devices in your house. This consists of Chromecast built-in speakers just like the Playlist, and Google Home/Assistant speakers and choose TV sound systems.
The Playlist is a wonderful addition to this type of setup as it permits the same great Chromecast audio tracks functionality. But, without the always-listening assistant, that may become overkill when it’s literally everywhere.
But it all boils down to 1 thing – how does it sound? Thankfully, the Playlist is a superb speaker over the board. JBL never does not impress in the audio tracks department, which product is no exception. It has well-balanced music with excellent bass and clear audio tracks quality. Both 15W speakers can handle putting out some powerful volume aswell.
As for the look of the speaker, it’s subtle, however in a great way. The Playlist is a home speaker, therefore you don’t necessarily want to buy to stick out. The blue color my review unit found its way to is nice, but I’d personally prefer black or white color variants. Regardless, the look is fantastic, and the size is great for virtually any setup. The controls mounted up top are also simple. With volume, play/pause, Bluetooth, and power buttons.
For $149, the JBL Playlist is an excellent product. Its flaws are essentially non-existent considering the sort of product it really is, but there are a few improvements that might be welcome. I’d wish to see more colors, or simply an interchangeable faceplate to let users decide what color the speaker ought to be at any moment. It’d also be nice if the energy port was a far more universal standard like USB-C, to provide these devices more portability and overall flexibility in the home.
Having said that, I don’t think you’ll regret picking right up the Playlist if you’re interested. It’s well-worth every penny, nevertheless, you have to consider is if you’d favour a speaker with