Sunday, March 12, 2023

JBL Pulse 5 Bluetooth Waterproof Portable Speaker Review

I’m such a music lover. I am always listening to music everywhere I go. In the car, or outdoors, like camping. To have your music outdoors, you need a portable speaker. JBL makes some of the best wireless Bluetooth speakers. Up for review is their Pulse 5. MSRP is $249.00.


Features and specs:

General Specifications

Output power (W): 30 W RMS for Woofer, 10 W RMS for Tweeter


Audio Specifications

Dynamic frequency response range (Hz): 58 Hz - 20 kHz (axial, -6 dB )



Dimensions (in): 4.2 x 8.5 x 5.2

Dimensions (cm): 10.7 x 21.6 x 13.2

Weight (kgs): 1.5

Weight (lbs): 3.2


Control and Connection Specifications

Bluetooth profiles: A2DP 1.3, AVRCP 1.6

Bluetooth frequency: 2407 MHz - 2475 MHz

Bluetooth transmitted modulation: GFSK, π/4 DQPSK, 8DPSK

Bluetooth transmitter power: < 10 dBm (EIRP)

Bluetooth version: 5.3



Maximum music playing time (hrs): 12

Charging time (hrs): 4



JBL PartyBoost: Yes

Charging cable: Yes

Lightshow: Yes

Waterproof: Yes

Wireless: Yes

Rechargable battery: Yes

Bluetooth: Yes


The JBL Pulse 5 came in a great looking color printed box with photos and specs of the speaker. Opening the box revealed a well-protected speaker, held in place with a custom molded box and wrapped in a cloth bag. Materials used in the construction was mostly plastic with some rubber and metal. Quality of materials used, as well as the fit and finish, was excellent. It is a very well-made speaker. Also included was the charging cable, and owner’s manual.


I loved the design of the JBL Pulse 5. The tweeter speaker is on the top, giving 360 degrees of sound. On the bottom is an active woofer for extended bass response. And the woofer has quite the beefy surround, for a lot of excursion! The feet are a soft rubber to help isolate it from what it is sitting on. There is a metal grill on top to protect the tweeter. All of the controls, charger port, and LED battery indicator are on the back. And the outer plastic is clear, so you can see the light display. The built-in grip is also very handy for carrying it!


The JBL Pulse 5 has some great features as well. The lights are really cool. You can set it so it does a light show to the music. The light show even goes thru the woofer at the bottom.  So as you listen to the speaker not only do you see the light show from the sides, it also reflects off of the surface it is sitting on thanks to the light coming from around the woofer! At full charge it’ll give 12 hours of play time. And there’s no concern for having it outdoors in the rain or snow, or next to the pool, thanks to its IP67 waterproof and dustproof rating. It even has Party Boost. That means you can connect multiple pulses together, to have them all play together, for large groups or parties. There’s a JBL app that you can download to your smartphone to control it and adjust its settings.   Now let’s see how it sounds.

Nat King Cole – L-O-V-E; Piano was very natural, strings were pleasantly smooth with the bow going across the strings. Drums had good resolution of the sticks striking against the side of the snare. Trumpet was also silky smooth with great dynamics. And Nat King Cole’s vocals had great resolution of the texture of the timbre.

Earth, Wind & Fire – September: Percussion was crisp and clean with great dynamics. Trumpet was smooth as honey with great harmonics and dynamics. Vocals also had very good resolution of the timbre as well.

Katy Perry – Dark Horse: Vocals had very good resolution of the timbre. Not only were the bass beats dynamic, the sustained bass beats played deeper than expected, and also played with much better authority and output than expected for its passive radiator.


I was pleasantly unsurprised by the sound of the JBL Pulse 5.  It was traditional JBL sound that is so enjoyable.  The highs were crisp and clean, with smooth mids and bass that was more plentiful than expected.  It’s a small wireless speaker, yet thanks to the beefy woofer, it dips down for deeper extension and provides much more output than it otherwise could.  It’s a good thing the woofer has such a beefy surround, because it really dances.  It actually did put out a decent amount of bass!  And the top tweeter speaker provided a good amount of resolution, and was able to provide details in detailed tracks with multiple instruments.


The JBL Pulse 5 proved to be a great wireless Bluetooth speaker. It is a very well-made speaker to provide years of use. The light display is a lot of fun. And I love the peace of mind knowing it’s waterproof. Just be careful as the clear outer plastic and be scratched. And with the great sound that you get, the JBL Pulse 5 is also fairly priced. Based on its design, features, quality and performance, the JBL Pulse 5 has earned our Highly Recommended Award. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at