The JBL Charge Is Like A Jambox That Can Recharge Your iPhone [CES 2013]


CES 2013 bug LAS VEGAS, CES 2013 – I love my Jambox, but I’m always perplexed why I can’t charge my iPhone using it. After all, it’s essentially a big battery brick with a speaker attached… why can’t I siphon some juice off the top?

The answer is that, in reality, the Jambox has a pretty tiny battery. It’s good for powering a speaker, but it would die pretty quick if you tried to juice an iPhone or (heaven!) an iPad with it. The JBL Charge, though, remedies that problem: it’s a great sounding Jambox-style speaker with a massive battery inside.

Available in a cute array of multiple colors, the JBL Charge looked like a fantastic Bluetooh speaker when we checked it out at the official JBL/Harman Kardon booth in Central Hall here at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

First, let’s talk about the built-in battery. The capacity on this battery is pretty good, around 6,000mAh, which is technically enough juice your iPhone 5 up about four times, or your iPad mini up twice. That’s pretty respectable, and if you don’t plug a device into the built-in USB port, it’ll get about 12 hours of audio playback from a single charge.

As far as size and shape, it’s about the same size as a Jambox, but barrel-shaped instead of rectangular. It’s hard to tell how anything sounds on that chaotic, cacophonic CES showfloor, but it should sound pretty good, featyuring two 1-5/8-inch full range drivers and two five watt amplifiers.

We’ve got a pretty good relationship with the guys at JBL, so we’re hoping to get a review unit to put through their paces the moment the JBL Charge hits the street later this quarter for the low price of just $149. We’ll let you know how it sounds then.

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About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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