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"Elevate Your Sound Experience"

JBL Authentics 500 Review

Discover the JBL Authentics 500, a stylish speaker that brings your music to life with deep bass, clear highs, and versatile connectivity. Perfect for audiophiles and smart home enthusiasts!

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JBL Authentics 500
JBL Authentics 500
JBL Authentics 500
JBL Authentics 500
JBL Authentics 500
JBL Authentics 500
JBL Authentics 500
JBL Authentics 500
JBL Authentics 500
JBL Authentics 500
JBL Authentics 500
JBL Authentics 500
JBL Authentics 500
JBL Authentics 500
JBL Authentics 500
JBL Authentics 500
JBL Authentics 500
JBL Authentics 500
JBL Authentics 500
JBL Authentics 500
JBL Authentics 500
JBL Authentics 500
JBL Authentics 500
JBL Authentics 500
JBL Authentics 500
JBL Authentics 500
JBL Authentics 500
JBL Authentics 500

Introduction

Hey there! If you're on the hunt for a new mobile speaker, you're in the right place. Today, we're looking at something pretty exciting—a speaker that's designed to bring your music to life. JBL has been a big name in audio for years, and they've just dropped the Authentics 500. But does it live up to the hype? Let's dive in and find out.

At first glance, this speaker promises a lot. It's packed with features that aim to elevate your listening experience, whether you're at home or on the go. We're going to break down everything from its design and build quality to its sound performance and battery life, so you can decide if it's the right fit for you.

So grab your favorite drink, sit back, and let's take a closer look at what the JBL Authentics 500 has to offer. Spoiler alert: there's a lot to love, but we'll also highlight any downsides you might want to consider. Ready? Let's get into it!

If you like this review, you might also like our review on the JBL Authentics 200 or JBL Authentics 300 or JBL Tune 510BT.

Design and Build Quality

Let’s talk about the design and build quality of this beast. First off, the aesthetics are pretty slick. The speaker has a retro look combined with modern touches that make it stand out. If you're into that whole vintage vibe with a modern twist, you'll love this. However, the retro design might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Some might find it a bit too old-school.

The materials used feel premium. The combination of metal and fabric gives it a solid, durable feel. You won’t have to worry about it falling apart after a few bumps and knocks. It’s clear that they put some thought into making something that looks and feels high-end.

Now, onto the size and weight. It’s not exactly a featherweight. If you’re planning on moving it around a lot, you might find it a bit cumbersome. At the same time, its heft adds to the feeling of sturdiness. It stays put where you place it, which is a plus.

The controls are neatly laid out on the top, making them easy to access. You won’t need to fumble around to change the volume or skip a track. The buttons have a nice tactile feel, giving you that satisfying click. However, if you’re someone who prefers touch controls, you might miss that sleek, touch-sensitive interface that some other speakers offer.

Overall, the design and build quality are pretty impressive. It’s stylish yet robust, but keep in mind that its vintage style and weight might not appeal to everyone. If you’re after a mobile speaker that looks great and can withstand some rough handling, this one’s worth a look.

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Sound Performance

Let's talk about why you really want this speaker—the sound performance. The JBL Authentics 500 really knows how to throw a party. This thing packs a punch! With a combination of deep bass, crisp highs, and balanced mids, it offers a full-spectrum audio experience. The bass is especially impressive; it's like having your own personal subwoofer. You can feel it in your bones, but it doesn't drown out the other frequencies.

Wondering how it handles different music genres? Trust me, it's versatile. Whether you're into rock, hip-hop, or classical, the sound quality remains consistently excellent. Vocals are clear and instruments are distinct, which makes it feel like you're sitting in the front row of a live concert. The speaker's ability to produce spatial audio is another highlight. It’s perfect for movies and games, providing an immersive soundscape.

That said, at higher volumes, there can be a slight distortion. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it’s something to consider if you like to crank up the volume to the max. Also, while the bass is generally solid, it can overshadow the mids in bass-heavy tracks.

Overall, if you're an audiophile or just someone who loves enjoying high-quality sound, this speaker won't disappoint. It turns your living room into a mini concert hall, and that's hard to beat.

JBL Authentics 500

Connectivity and Compatibility

The JBL Authentics 500 shines in the connectivity and compatibility department. This speaker is packed with options that make linking up your gadgets a breeze. First and foremost, it includes both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities. That means you can stream your tunes wirelessly whether you’re at home or on the go. Plus, the Bluetooth connection is rock-solid, with minimal lag and impressive range.

Another great feature is its multi-room audio support. If you have multiple JBL speakers, they can all sync up for a seamless audio experience throughout your entire house. Also, it supports major streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music. Got an old-school device? No worries. There’s a 3.5mm aux input that lets you connect pretty much any audio source with a headphone jack.

On the compatibility side, it’s nice to see that this speaker works well with both Android and iOS devices. You can even control it with voice assistants like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, which is super convenient for hands-free operation.

However, it's worth noting that there's no option for NFC pairing, which could have made the initial setup a bit quicker. Also, while the speaker does support a wide range of devices and services, the initial setup can be somewhat time-consuming due to the multiple connectivity options available.

In summary, the JBL Authentics 500 offers versatile and reliable connections that cater to a variety of needs, making it easy to integrate into your existing tech ecosystem.

JBL Authentics 500

Features and Functionality

Let's dig into the features and functionality of this mobile speaker. First off, you get some serious smart home integration. This baby supports both Alexa and Google Assistant. Yup, you heard that right—dual voice assistant support. Whether you’re team Alexa or Google, this speaker's got you covered. Wanna play a song or control your smart lights? Just ask away, and it’ll do the trick.

Multi-room audio is another highlight here. Imagine having the same chill vibes following you from the living room to the kitchen. Sounds like a dream, right? With the JBL Authentics 500, you can link multiple speakers together for seamless audio across your home. Now, you won't miss a beat—literally.

Let’s talk about the equalizer settings. This speaker comes with custom EQ adjustments. If you’re a bass head or prefer those high trebles, you can tweak the sound to match your taste. It’s like having a mini DJ booth right at your fingertips.

On the downside, the app that comes with it can be a bit glitchy at times. Some users have reported issues with lag or connection drops, which can be a bummer when you’re trying to set up your perfect soundstage. But hey, software updates can fix that.

Another handy feature is the auto-calibration. The speaker can adjust its audio output based on the room’s acoustics. Basically, it listens to your space and optimizes the sound, making sure you get the best listening experience without any fuss.

For those who love to party, the party mode is a cool addition. You can connect multiple devices to the speaker simultaneously, so everyone gets a chance to play DJ. No more fighting over the aux cord!

Overall, the features on this speaker are pretty robust. While the app could use some improvement, the smart integrations, customizable sound, and multi-room capabilities make it a strong contender in the mobile speaker market.

Battery Life

One of the standout features of this speaker is its battery life. You're looking at around 8 hours of playtime on a single charge, which is pretty solid for a speaker of this caliber. It means you can keep your tunes going strong for an entire day out or an evening party without worrying about finding an outlet. But let's be real here. If you're cranking up the volume to max, that battery life will drop a bit. So, if you're planning an all-day event and love it loud, you might want to have a charger handy. Charging time is fairly reasonable too. It takes about 3-4 hours to get from zero to fully charged. It's not the fastest charge time out there, but it's not painfully slow either. One small gripe is that there's no quick charge option. Some other speakers give you a couple of hours of playtime with a quick 15-minute charge, but that's not the case here. So, plan ahead! Overall, the battery life is pretty decent and should meet most needs, but heavy users might need to think about charging logistics.

JBL Authentics 500

What's in the Box

When you crack open the box of the JBL Authentics 500, you'll find a neatly arranged package that gets you set up and jamming in no time. Here's a quick rundown of what's inside:

  • JBL Authentics 500 Speaker: The main star, of course. It comes protected with foam padding to make sure it arrives in perfect condition.
  • Power Cable: A sturdy power cable that lets you plug in and start using it immediately. It's a decent length, so you have some flexibility in where you place the speaker.
  • Quick Start Guide: A handy booklet to get you familiar with the basics fast. It's easy to follow with clear instructions and helpful illustrations.
  • Warranty Card: Your safety net against any unexpected issues. Make sure to hang onto this just in case.

One thing that might catch you off guard is the absence of a remote control. While not a dealbreaker, some might find it inconvenient, especially if you're used to having one for quick adjustments. Additionally, there are no auxiliary cables included, so if you plan to use a wired connection, you'll need to provide your own. Overall, the package is straightforward and gets you started right away without any fuss. Just a few things to keep in mind: keep the warranty card safe and be prepared with any extra cables you might need.

User Experience

Alright, let's chat about the user experience with this thing. Setting up the JBL Authentics 500 is a breeze. You unbox it, plug it in, and it's basically ready to roll. There's no rocket science involved, which is a huge plus for those who aren't tech-savvy.

Ease of Use

The controls on the speaker are intuitive. You get physical buttons for volume, play/pause, and Bluetooth pairing right on the top. No need to fumble around in an app just to change the volume. Speaking of apps, the companion app is straightforward and not overloaded with unnecessary features—it just makes sense.

Voice Assistants

An awesome add-on is the built-in support for both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. You can choose your favorite without any fuss. Just say the keyword, and boom, you're controlling your smart home devices or asking for the weather. However, sometimes it does take a second or two for the voice command to register, which can be a tad annoying.

Portability

Now, this speaker isn’t exactly featherweight. It’s more of a stationary setup. So if you’re looking for something to toss in your bag and move around a lot, this might not be your best bet. But if you’re setting it up in your living room or home office, you’ll love the consistent sound quality it offers.

Display and Feedback

The small LED indicators are a thoughtful touch. They let you know the status of the speaker without being overly intrusive. However, if you’re using it in a bright room, they can be a bit hard to see. It’s a minor gripe but worth mentioning.

Hands-Free Calling

One more thing worth noting is the hands-free calling feature. The built-in microphone does a decent job, so you can take calls without sounding like you’re in a wind tunnel. Not a mind-blowing feature, but definitely handy for an impromptu call. To sum it up, using this speaker is a pretty pleasant experience. There's a lot to love, especially if you're into having voice assistants and a simple setup. Just remember, it’s not the most portable option out there, and sometimes the voice recognition can be a bit sluggish.

JBL Authentics 500

Price and Value

Let's talk about the price and value of this mobile speaker. The JBL Authentics 500 falls into the higher-end category, and it shows in its performance and features. But is it worth the price tag?

First off, you get what you pay for. The speaker delivers exceptional sound quality, and its build is rock-solid. This isn't just another random Bluetooth speaker; it's clear that a lot of thought went into its design and functionality. But, of course, all this goodness comes at a cost.

On the flip side, the price might be a bit steep for some people. If you're just looking for a basic speaker to play tunes at a picnic, there are cheaper options out there. However, if you're after top-notch audio quality and a robust set of features, then the investment could be justified.

Also, consider the long-term value. The JBL Authentics 500 is built to last. Its durable construction and advanced features mean you won't be rushing to replace it anytime soon. In that sense, it might save you money over time compared to cheaper models that need frequent replacement.

So, is it worth it? That really depends on what you value in a mobile speaker. If you prioritize sound performance, build quality, and extra features, this speaker offers great value for money. But if you're on a tight budget, you might want to explore other options.

Video by: JBL

Conclusion

The JBL Authentics 500 is a solid choice for anyone craving superior sound in a portable package. Its design is sleek and modern, fitting seamlessly into any decor while staying durable enough for on-the-go use. The sound quality is where it shines brightest, delivering rich bass, clear mids, and crisp highs that can fill a room. But let's keep it real—it's not perfect. The lack of a built-in battery means you'll need to stay near a power source, which might be a deal-breaker for some. Also, while it offers a variety of connectivity options, it may still fall short for those who demand the absolute latest in wireless technology. For those willing to shell out a bit more cash, its price reflects its premium build and sound quality. If you value high-fidelity audio and don't mind some of its limitations, this speaker could be a great fit for you.

Overall, the JBL Authentics 500 stands out in the crowded market of mobile speakers. It offers a blend of style, sound, and functionality that is hard to beat. So, if you're looking for an audio experience that won't disappoint, this might just be it.


Pros & cons

Pros

  • Exceptional sound quality
  • Premium build materials
  • Multi-room audio support
  • Customizable EQ settings
  • Dual voice assistant support

Cons

  • Heavy and not very portable
  • Slight distortion at high volumes
  • No NFC pairing option
  • Glitchy companion app

Technical specifications

```html
Brand JBL
Model Authentics 500
Type Wireless Speaker
Audio Output 270W RMS
Frequency Response 45Hz - 20kHz
Drivers 3 x 1" Tweeters, 3 x 2.75" Midrange Drivers, 1 x 6.5" Woofer
Connectivity Bluetooth 5.3, Wi-Fi, Ethernet
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP 1.3, AVRCP 1.6
Wi-Fi Standards 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax (2.4GHz/5GHz)
Inputs 1 x Aux-In (3.5mm), 1 x Optical-In
Voice Assistant Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant
Multi-Room Support Yes
Dimensions (W x H x D) 370mm x 210mm x 157mm
Weight 5.9 kg
Power Supply 100-240V AC, 50/60Hz
Color Black
Material Premium Fabric, Metal, Plastic
Control Touch Control, Mobile App
App Support JBL One App
Warranty 1 Year
```