Audio Showdown: JBL Go 2 vs Go 3 – A Detailed Comparison

When looking for a portable Bluetooth speaker, JBL always comes up as one of the top options. The JBL Go 2 and JBL Go 3 are among the most popular choices in their lineup. These compact, water-resistant models have more similarities than differences, but it’s essential to understand their features to make the right choice for your needs.

Before diving into the comparison, it’s worth mentioning that both the Go 2 and Go 3 are designed with portability, performance, and durability in mind. However, some improvements have been made to the Go 3, making it a newer and possibly more attractive option. But does that mean it’s the best choice for everyone?

In this article, I’ll be discussing the differences between the JBL Go 2 vs Go 3, exploring their features, build quality, sound performance, battery life, and more. By the end, you’ll have a clear idea of which option is best for you, whether you’re on the go or just need a compact speaker for your home.

Comparing Design and Build: JBL Go 2 vs Go 3

When it comes to the JBL Go 2 and Go 3, I’ve noticed some key differences in their design and build. These differences not only affect the overall appearance of these portable speakers but also play a role in their durability and functionality.

JBL Go 2 vs Go 3: Comparing Design and Build

First, the JBL Go 2 has a rectangular design with rounded edges, while the Go 3 opts for a more square-shaped appearance. The dimensions for these two speakers are:

JBL Go 22.8 in3.38 in1.24 in
JBL Go 32.7 in3.4 in1.56 in

As you can see, the differences are subtle, but they give each speaker its distinct style.

In terms of build quality, the Go 2 features a durable rubberized coating that extends the speaker’s longevity. On the other hand, the Go 3 improves on this by adopting a more rugged, waterproof fabric-covered design.

It’s worth mentioning that both speakers have an Integrated strap hook, allowing you to attach them to your bag or clothes. However, the Go 3 takes it a step further with a built-in loop and a more robust strap.

Another essential aspect to consider is the water resistance of these speakers. The JBL Go 2 has an IPX7 rating, meaning it’s able to withstand being submerged in water up to 1 meter for 30 minutes. The Go 3 also has an IP67 rating. This gives it the same water resistance as the Go 2 but with the added benefit of being dustproof.

In terms of controls, both speakers provide similar functionality, with play/pause, volume, and pairing buttons located on their top panels. However, the Go 3 sports a more modern design with embossed, raised buttons that are easier to locate by touch compared to the Go 2’s printed buttons.

Some additional characteristics to consider when comparing the design and build of these speakers are:

  • Weight: The JBL Go 3 weighs slightly more than the Go 2, at 1.87 lb compared to the 1.25 lb Go 2.
  • Color options: Both speakers are available in various colors to suit your personal style; the Go 2 has eight options, while the Go 3 offers five colors.

From my experience, the design and build quality of the JBL Go 2 and Go 3 demonstrate significant improvements with each new generation. Neither speaker disappoints, but it’s clear that the Go 3 offers a more modern and rugged design, with better water and dust resistance.

Also Read: Vandersteen 2Ci vs 2Ce: Comparing Speakers in Detail

Analyzing Audio Performance: JBL Go 2 vs Go 3

When taking a closer look at the JBL Go 2 and Go 3, it’s important to scrutinize their audio performance. As a blogger, I’ve had hands-on experience with both devices, so let me guide you through various factors that contribute to their sound quality.

JBL Go 2 vs Go 3: Analyzing Audio Performance

The JBL Go 2 provides a solid audio experience for its size, and here are some of its aspects that stand out:

  • It has a 40mm driver size, with a frequency response ranging from 180Hz to 20kHz.
  • The total output power is 3.1W, which contributes to its ability to generate a sound loud enough for small spaces.
  • JBL Go 2 has a signal-to-noise ratio of ≥80dB, providing a reasonably clear listening experience.

On the other hand, the JBL Go 3 comes with some improvements in the audio department, and these are the main differences I noticed:

  • The driver size remains the same at 40mm, but the frequency response has been expanded to 110Hz – 20kHz. This means that the Go 3 can deliver a better bass response when compared to the Go 2.
  • The output power has increased to 4.2W, resulting in louder sound output and making it suitable for bigger spaces.
  • The signal-to-noise ratio has been improved to ≥85dB, offering a less noisy listening experience.

When using these speakers, I found that the JBL Go 3 showed notable improvements in the lower frequency range, providing a more enjoyable bass experience.

It’s also more powerful, which means you’ll achieve a louder sound without sacrificing quality. The increased signal-to-noise ratio on the Go 3 makes your listening experience even clearer.

Another important factor to consider is sound dispersion, and I can say that both JBL Go 2 and JBL Go 3 offer directional sound output. However, it’s worth mentioning that the Go 3 has a more focused dispersion pattern, which in turn creates better overall sound clarity.

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Battery Life Showdown: JBL Go 2 vs Go 3

When it comes to battery life, both the JBL Go 2 and Go 3 boast impressive performance. However, there are some noticeable differences worth exploring. Let me share my experience with both speakers and how their battery life stacks up against each other.

JBL Go 2 offers a solid battery life of 5 hours on a single charge. I’ve found this generally holds up in real-life use, ensuring I can enjoy my favorite tunes for extended periods without any interruptions. The Go 2 is equipped with a 730mAh lithium-ion battery, which is a good size considering its compact design.

Some features of the JBL Go 2’s battery life include:

  • 5 hours of playtime on a single charge
  • 730mAh lithium-ion battery
  • Requires approximately 2.5 hours for a full charge

On the other hand, the JBL Go 3 takes things up a notch with a battery life of 5 hours and 30 minutes on just one charge. It’s a slight improvement in terms of battery performance, but this extra half-hour could make a difference when you’re out and about. The Go 3 sports a 750mAh lithium-ion battery – a minor upgrade compared to its predecessor.

Key features of the JBL Go 3’s battery life are:

  • 5 hours and 30 minutes of playtime on a single charge
  • 750mAh lithium-ion battery
  • Takes around 2.5 hours to charge fully
SpeakerBattery LifeBattery CapacityCharging Time
JBL Go 25 hours730mAh2.5 hours
JBL Go 35 hours and 30 minutes750mAh2.5 hours

In terms of battery life, both the JBL Go 2 and Go 3 deliver reliable and consistent performance. While the Go 3 offers a slight advantage with an extra 30 minutes of playtime, I’ve found the Go 2 is still capable of providing an enjoyable listening experience for extended periods.

Considering they both require around 2.5 hours to charge fully, either option is a suitable choice for portable Bluetooth speakers. Ultimately, your decision could come down to other factors, such as design, sound quality, or price point. No matter which one you choose, you can expect a dependable, portable speaker with solid battery performance.

Also Read: Polk S50 vs S55 vs S60 – The Ultimate Comparison

Connectivity Differences

When it comes to JBL Go 2 and Go 3, there are some notable differences in connectivity features that users should be aware of. I’ve personally experienced these differences, and I’m confident that my insights will help you decide which speaker is the better choice for your needs.

One of the main differences between JBL Go 2 and Go 3 is the Bluetooth version. JBL Go 2 uses Bluetooth 4.1, while JBL Go 3 is equipped with Bluetooth 5.1. This disparity in Bluetooth versions has several implications:

  • Range: Bluetooth 5.1 offers a greater range, which means that you can connect your device to the JBL Go 3 from a farther distance compared to the JBL Go 2.
  • Connection Stability: With Bluetooth 5.1 in the Go 3, you’ll experience a more stable connection and fewer audio dropouts.
  • Power Consumption: The Go 3’s Bluetooth 5.1 is designed to be more energy-efficient, which should translate to longer battery life between charges.
SpecificationJBL Go 2JBL Go 3
Bluetooth Version4.15.1
Approx. Range33 feet (10 meters)100 feet (30 meters)

Another connectivity aspect to consider is the wired connection. The JBL Go 2 has a built-in 3.5mm audio input, which allows you to connect your device using an auxiliary cable. This can be especially useful when working with devices that don’t support Bluetooth or when you want to save battery life. Unfortunately, the JBL Go 3 does not feature a 3.5mm input, which means that you’ll only be able to rely on Bluetooth to connect with this speaker.

Finally, it’s essential to discuss the smartphone app compatibility with these speakers. JBL has a dedicated app called JBL Portable, which is designed to enhance your listening experience with added customization options and speaker management.

  • JBL Go 2: The app is not compatible with the JBL Go 2. Consequently, you won’t be able to use it to control the speaker or switch between settings.
  • JBL Go 3: JBL Portable is compatible with the JBL Go 3, so you’ll enjoy more control over your listening experience with this model.

Portability and Durability: JBL Go 2 vs Go 3

When comparing the JBL Go 2 and Go 3, it’s essential to examine the portability and durability of each speaker. I’ve personally had the opportunity to use both of these devices and will share my insights.

JBL Go 2 is both compact and lightweight, making it an excellent choice for those constantly on the move. It measures 71.2 x 86 x 31.6 mm and weighs a mere 184g. The speaker’s shell is made of resilient rubber, offering protection from minor bumps and wear.

Additionally, the Go 2 is IPX7-rated, meaning it can withstand being submerged in water up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.

On the other hand, the JBL Go 3 has made significant improvements in terms of portability and durability over its predecessor. It boasts an even more compact design at 75.3 x 88.3 x 39.5 mm but with a slightly increased weight of 209g.

It also features an integrated dura flex fabric loop for easy attachment to bags or bike handles. Furthermore, the Go 3 improves upon the water resistance with an IP67 rating, making it dustproof and capable of being submerged in water up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.

In my experience, both speakers are easy to transport and sturdy enough to handle everyday use. However, it’s worth noting that the Go 3’s fabric loop adds an extra convenience factor when it comes to portability. Plus, its advanced IP67 rating ensures that it stands up against dust and water better than the Go 2.

Exploring Additional Features

When comparing the JBL Go 2 and Go 3, it’s important to take a closer look at the additional features that each speaker has to offer. In this section, I’ll discuss some unique features and enhancements that set these speakers apart.

One feature that sets the Go 3 apart from its predecessor is its IP67 waterproof and dustproof rating. This means the speaker can be submerged in up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes without any adverse effects.

In contrast, the Go 2 has an IPX7 rating, which means it’s only protected against water submersion but not dust. This added protection makes the Go 3 more versatile for outdoor activities.

  • Go 2: IPX7 (waterproof)
  • Go 3: IP67 (waterproof and dustproof)

Lastly, Bluetooth connectivity has been upgraded in the Go 3. While both speakers use Bluetooth 4.1, the Go 3 supports newer codecs, including the Low Energy (LE) audio format. This results in a more stable connection and higher audio quality over Bluetooth.

Also Read: Polk Legend L600 vs L800: A Detailed Review

Price Points and Value: JBL Go 2 vs Go 3

When it comes to the JBL Go 2 and Go 3, their price points significantly impact their value. I’ve personally used both devices, and I can attest that each model caters to different budgets and preferences.

For those curious about their respective costs, here’s a markdown table illustrating the average prices for the two portable speakers:

ModelAverage Price
JBL Go 2$29.95
JBL Go 3$49.95

As you can see, there’s a noticeable price difference between the two models. But does the higher price tag of the Go 3 justify its value? Let’s break it down:

  • JBL Go 2: Priced at $29.95 on average, the Go 2 provides excellent sound quality for its price range. It’s a budget-friendly speaker that’s perfect for those who want a reliable and portable device without breaking the bank.
    • Affordability: The Go 2’s competitive price makes it an attractive option for those on a tight budget.
    • Decent performance: Although it may not have the same power as some higher-priced models, the JBL Go 2 still delivers satisfying audio quality.
  • JBL Go 3: With an average price of $49.95, the Go 3 is slightly more expensive than its predecessor. However, it offers significant improvements in design, durability, and sound quality.
    • Upgraded design: The Go 3 features a bold and modern appearance with a more durable, fabric-covered enclosure compared to the Go 2.
    • Enhanced audio performance: The Go 3 provides better bass and overall sound quality when compared to the Go 2, making it suitable for those who prioritize audio quality.
    • Water and dust resistance: The Go 3 comes with a higher IP67 rating, protecting it from both dust and water, while the Go 2 has an IPX7 rating, only guarding it against water.

It’s crucial to consider your priorities and budget when choosing between the JBL Go 2 and Go 3. If you’re mainly focused on affordability, the Go 2 offers great value for its price tag. On the other hand, if you’re willing to spend a bit more for better design, audio quality, and added protection against the elements, the Go 3 is well worth the investment.

Pros and Cons of JBL Go 2

Diving into the JBL Go 2 speaker, I’ve experienced its features first-hand and compiled a list of its pros and cons. As someone who’s actually used the product, I can provide a balanced and impartial assessment.


  • Compact and portable design: With dimensions of 71.2 x 86.0 x 31.6mm, the JBL Go 2 fits easily in a pocket, purse or backpack, making it a great companion for any outing or trip.
  • IPX7 Waterproof rating: The JBL Go 2’s IPX7 rating offers solid protection against water immersion, allowing you to enjoy your tunes by the pool or at the beach without worrying about damaging the speaker.
  • Supports Bluetooth and wired connections: Whether you prefer connecting using Bluetooth or with the provided 3.5mm audio cable, the Go 2 has got you covered.
  • 5-hour battery life: While not the longest-lasting, it’s still sufficient for most casual uses and short trips.


  • Limited bass response: Due to its compact size, the JBL Go 2 can’t produce deep bass sounds like larger speakers. Bass-heavy tracks might not sound as powerful as they would on a bigger device.
  • Mono sound: The JBL Go 2 only has one speaker driver, resulting in mono sound instead of true stereo.
  • No speakerphone functionality: Unlike the newer Go 3 model, the JBL Go 2 doesn’t have a built-in microphone for hands-free calling.

Pros and Cons of JBL Go 3

When I first got my hands on the JBL Go 3, I immediately noticed quite a few upgrades compared to its predecessor, the JBL Go 2. So, let’s break down the pros and cons of this compact, portable speaker.


  • Enhanced Sound Quality: The JBL Go 3 delivers improved audio performance. Its bass frequencies are punchier, and high-end details are crisp and clear, offering a more enjoyable listening experience.
  • Fresh Design: The Go 3 sports an eye-catching new design with a fabric-covered body, contrasting colors, and an integrated loop for easy portability. The overall aesthetic sets it apart from other portable speakers on the market.
  • USB-C Charging Port: One of the most notable upgrades is the switch from a micro-USB to a USB-C charging port. This change provides a more efficient and faster charging experience.
  • IP67 Rating: The JBL Go 3 is rated IP67, which means it’s both dust-tight and water-resistant for up to 30 minutes in 1 meter of water. This makes it an excellent companion for outdoor adventures.


  • No Speakerphone Functionality: Unlike the JBL Go 2, the Go 3 does not offer a built-in microphone for speakerphone calls. This could be a drawback for those who find themselves using their speaker for phone calls often.
  • Battery Life: While the JBL Go 3 promises up to 5 hours of playtime on a single charge, it falls short compared to some competitors in the portable speaker market. There are comparable speakers that provide up to 10 hours of playtime.
  • No AUX Input or Multi-Speaker Pairing: The JBL Go 3 doesn’t provide an AUX input option for wired connections, and it lacks the feature to connect multiple speakers for a more immersive sound experience.

Final Thoughts

Deciding between the JBL Go 2 and Go 3 can be a challenging decision, especially since both speakers have their own unique selling points. After testing and comparing both speakers, it’s clear that the right choice largely depends on what you value most in a portable speaker.

At the end of the day, both the JBL Go 2 and Go 3 have inspiring features that cater to different preferences. It’s essential to consider these factors before making a decision, and hopefully, with my experience, I’ve made your choice a little bit easier. Happy listening!

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