Over the last few years we have shown you all a number of portable Bluetooth speaker units. There was the BRAVEN 600 and 625s. There was the JLabs Crasher and the Supertooth Disco 2. We have shown you various other products from announcements and the CES show floor. Most all of them had a few things in common. The speaker sizes are fairly similar, they are all fairly small and they are all made to be charged up toted around. That doesn’t make them any less awesome to have in your arsenal when out and about and on vacation. However, if you want to pump up the volume in a more noisy environment, you have always had to default to your home stereo system. While many of you probably have wicked set ups, it isn’t as always as convenient as streaming things from your phone. JLabs has a pretty darn great solution for that and one that won’t break the account to do it either.

JLab Audio The Bouncer Speaker Review (3) The Bouncer Bluetooth Speaker
Meet JLabs Audio ‘The Bouncer’. As the name might suggest, this Bluetooth speaker isn’t to be toyed with. When the package first arrived, I thought they had sent a case of headphones, it was seriously HUGE. Once I cracked into the package I pulled out this monster of a product I couldn’t believe my eyes. The images on their website just didn’t do its size any justice. I looked at the hardware specs, but for some reason its size didn’t register with me. Maybe they will register with you a little better.

P.S. Yes the A&W can is supposed to be there. Gives you a size comparison to a standard 12 oz can of soda, or beer.

The Bouncer

FEATURING 

  • Two 12 Watt Super Drivers & Dual Rear Bass Ports
  • Requires AC Power
  • Full Size powered USB Port to charge mobile devices
  • BT2.1 30ft Range
  • Aux Connection for non-BT devices
  • Dimensions 30″ x 13″ x 10″
  • Mic for phone calls
  • Remote Control

Yes, that is 30 inches x 13 inches x 10 inches. Still not sure how that didn’t register in my mind.

The Bouncer Bluetooth Speaker
See, it is rather larger. Beyond its size you can see that this isn’t your typical Bluetooth speaker built to take in your backpack. It is designed for tossing on a counter or shelf and rocking out at will.

Design

The Bouncer comes in two color choices, the black and grey combo that you see in the images and a white with grey grill combo. The front grill feels like it is made from aluminum while the rest of the speaker is made of a hard plastic. The bottom of the speaker has four round protruding rubberized feet to lift it off the surface and to also protect your tablets, shelves or counter tops. On the front right you have physical volume controls and on the far left you have your Power/Mode button and your answer/hangup button. On the rear you find your dual bass ports. along with your power supply plug-in, AUX cable in port and a standard USB out for charging your device. Of course you can charge your phone and not be listening to tune, but you can do both from one location.

The Bouncer Bluetooth Speaker The Bouncer Bluetooth Speaker
The Bouncer Bluetooth Speaker The Bouncer Bluetooth Speaker
Functionality

The Bouncer lets you do a few things quite easily. Obviously it is designed for streaming music from your phone, tablet or other Bluetooth enabled device through a much larger speaker system. As you already know it will charge various devices that charge from a USB cable. With the AUX In port you can plug-in other device such as MP3 players or Laptops that might not have a Bluetooth function. JLabs took it one step further and also included a mic so that you can use it as a rather larger speakerphone. This is actually pretty cool really. Especially if you frequently have calls that require others in the room to be able to hear them. Where JLab’s took it up a level is the included remote control.

The remote features all the buttons you would need to run the speaker at a line-of-sight distance without having to walk to it or grabbing your device. This is particularly useful if you have your device plugged into The Bouncer charging. You can turn the speaker on and off, mute the audio, raise and lower the volume, change tracks, play and pause tracks. I tested it all using a Samsung Galaxy S III and all the controls functioned with the stock player and various other music apps. Sadly, the remote failed to control Google Music though. Volume controls worked, but changing tracks failed.  Seems to work with music on your device through players only. At the bottom of the remote you can toggle between Bluetooth, AUX and even answering or hanging up a call.

The Bouncer Bluetooth Speaker The Bouncer Bluetooth Speaker
Sound Quality

When one thinks of a Bluetooth speaker they often think of low volume, distorted bass and some time a bit tingy. While many of the speakers we have review in the past sound plenty better than they ever used to, if you like music and like it loud, then you will be very pleasant to hear that the Bouncer delivers. With its dual-rear bass ports, two 12 watt speakers and super drivers, it is fully capable of pumping out the tunes. It very easily fills my garage, the drive way and irritated my neighbor. He isn’t a very nice guy anyways so it made me smile when he came over and told me to “Turn that crap down!” Not like Metallica wasn’t flourishing in his day. The sound is great to say the least. I keep things pretty simple when I listen to music. I turn the bass levels up slightly to hear it but to not over power the rest of the music. I did find a few songs that were overly bass driven did cause the speakers to crackle a little. Lowering the bass slightly or just turning it down a little solved the issue.

Ease of Use

If you can plug-in product to a wall, hit the power button and sync your phone to a Bluetooth device, you are all set. I paired it with a number of devices around my house and friends phones when they came by to look at things. Never had an issue pairing up or staying paired. The rest of the speaker is pretty self explanatory and simple to use.

What we liked

The Bouncer looks great and is quite the conversation starter. They know it is a speaker, but they have never seen anything like it before. Having the ability to control the speaker from your device, since you can do all operations on your phone, on the front of the speaker or via a remote, makes it easy to control in any situation. Personally the remote is probably my favorite aspect since I can charge my phone across the room, still rock out and answer a call without having to go to my device all the time. It might seem a bit large, but it doesn’t weigh a lot. I already have plans to take this speaker camping and plugging it into the car through an inverter and putting it on the roof of the car. I know the kids and in-laws will love it. Since it sports Bluetooth, that also means we can use it as the audio source for watching movies too. The inline AUX jack gives you more options to expand the use of the speaker. I plugged my daughter MP3 in and then connected the USB charger and put the device on loop for all tracks. Simply walk into the room and hit the power button on the speaker and tunes were still playing for days.

What could be worked on

There is always something on any device we get that we think could be a little different. We know you guys will find something and we do our best to do the same thing. The speaker phone function of it is nice, but still lacks in quality. At medium volume, which should be good for most, the other party is less likely to hear themselves. When speaking with people they could hear me just fine. I spoke in normal tones from 3 to 5 feet away and they could hear me. They knew they were on speaker phone of course, that won’t ever change. The fact that when people on the other end spoke up for whatever reason, they would get an echo of themselves talking. That is rather annoying. While I like the idea of being about to use this and other BT speakers as speakerphones, I think they could all just drop it and still have a great product that might cost a few pennies less.

Overall

For those looking for a great sounding speaker that can be controlled in a variety of ways, is a conversation starter, looks great and won’t break the bank, The Bounce is a good choice.  It sounds nice, but don’t expect it to be a Bose sound system. I would say these are ideal for people high school and college people. I know my buddy wants to get one to put in his garage while he works on cars so he can music and only have to clean the remote off instead of his screen. Another one my friends is waiting on taxes to pick one up for his classroom so he can play music for the class and use audio files on his device for teaching. It has a lot of potential uses beyond just rocking out all the time.

So I mentioned the whole breaking the bank factor a few times, but haven’t told you the price. That is really the best part of the Bouncer. While many of the other Bluetooth speakers are portable, offer built-in batteries and charge your phone, they can sometimes cost a grip. Like the BRAVEN 625s, great little speaker, but $169 is a sometimes more than people want to shell out. The Bouncer retails at $129.95. For everything it can do, its size and sound quality, it is a bargain. You can order it directly from JLabAudio’s Website, or through Amazon. Which ever you prefer.  The price is the same in both locations. You will find the Amazon links below to make your buying experience a little simpler.

Rating

  • Sound – 4/5
  • Call Quality – 3/5
  • Ease of Use – 4.5/5
  • Looks – 4/5
  • Options – 4.25/5
  • Price – 4.5/5

 

  • Greg.

    This price means they’re coming out w/a new one

  • Tom

    3 days ago, I ordered the JLab Bouncer, as I found it on Woot.com for $79.95 plus 4.95 shipping! After reading all the positive reviews about the reliability, functionality, & audio quality of the Bouncer, I was just waiting for the chance to get it for a GREAT Price, & I did!

    I don’t really need a portable Bluetooth Speaker, as I am on permanent disability and can’t drive. I just want something I could put in my bedroom and be able to use it, via Bluetooth, with my iPod mini I just purchased. This looks like the “perfect” solution! I am sure, even if I don’t crank it, it will sound great, plus I can answer calls over it, which is just an added option I wasn’t even looking for!

    These are selling fast, so I would hurry over to Woot.com, if interested?

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  • Krod Mandoon

    How can your dimensions be so far off? The JLab website says the dimensions are 13″ x 5.5″ x 4.5″. That is one really big can of pop.

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