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JBL illuminates IFA 2015 with a Bluetooth speaker for every task

While most of us stateside slept soundly in our beds, JBL unleashed a flurry of new audio goodies today at IFA 2015 in Berlin. Apart from several new headphone models, the bounty included some upgrades to JBL’s wireless speaker collection, as well as some interesting new ways to get your audio fix, including the portable audio system for your car, the Trip, as well as a new “ultra compact” sound bar system to soup up your TV audio called the Boost TV.

JBL Boost TV ($200)

Carved into a tube of sound that looks eerily similar to JBL Bluetooth speakers like The Flip, and The Charge, the Boost TV is a different kind of sound bar, designed to more easily lead double life between your music and your TV sound. Apart from regular Bluetooth, the system boasts JBL Connect, which allows users to link up multiple JBL-Connect speakers to expand sound throughout the house over Bluetooth. The system also connects to up to three devices at a time.

For TV sound the 15-inch mini tube promises “knockout sound quality” with deep bass thanks to dual ports at the sides. The system also boasts virtual surround sound via DSP, along with decoding for Dolby Digital HD to get the most out of your Blu-ray collection.

Hardwire connection is handled via a single Optical digital input, for a simple (if limited) way to plug and play from your TV, as well as a 3.5mm analog input. Like most traditional sound bars, the Boost TV can learn basic functions from your TV remote for control. Inside the tube are just two 50mm drivers driven by 30 watts of power, with a claimed frequency response of 60Hz-20kHz. In other words, don’t count on this device to give you the full punch of traditional sound bars, but it should offer better performance than the average flat screen.

The Boost TV will see its global release in October.


JBL Trip ($100)

Designed as a hybrid system of sorts for your vehicle, the JBL Trip is an interesting little audio addition for older vehicles that don’t offer built-in features like Bluetooth connection or built-in microphones for taking calls. The speaker, described as a “portable communication and entertainment system” does just that, mounting inside your vehicle to allow for easy hands free calling, playback tunes from your phone, and give a better voice to smartphone-based navigation.

The speaker is designed to simply clip on to your car’s visor with a magnetic mounting system, and is equipped with noise-cancellation, as well as Google Speech and Siri command identification. The rechargeable battery on board offers a claimed 20 hours of talk time, and 800 hours of standby. And, as JBL points out, it has an advantage over pre-installed systems in that drivers can bring the speaker along to continue the call after the wheels have stopped. The Trip is slated for release in the U.K. in September, though there’s no word ye about a U.S. release.


JBL Pulse 2 ($200)

Finally, JBL showed off an update to the company’s colorful Pulse Bluetooth speaker, known for its blooming lights, and solid audio performance. The new Pulse 2 offers plenty of attractive features, including a splash-proof exterior, a solid 10 hours of claimed battery runtime, along with support for JBL Connect, allowing users to link up multiple speakers via Bluetooth to “amplify the experience.”

The lightshow that rides along with the Pulse 2 can also be customized via the JBL Connect app, allowing users to tailor the lights to move along with the music, or simply beam colorful, ambient light. Other features include a noise-cancelling microphone on board, as well as JBL’s Prism color sensor lens, which allows users to point the speaker at any color to match with the lights inside the tubular frame.

The Pulse 2 hits the global marketplace sometime this month.


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