JBL Go 2 vs JBL Go 3 - Which Portable Speaker Reigns Supreme
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JBL Go 2 vs JBL Go 3 – Which Portable Speaker Reigns Supreme?

JBL Go 2 vs JBL Go 3: How Do These Bluetooth Speakers Compare?

JBL Go 2 vs JBL Go 3, the two compact, portable Bluetooth speakers that deliver surprisingly good sound quality despite their small size. With rugged, waterproof designs and affordable price tags under $50, they make great options for listening to music on the go.

But how exactly do these two JBL speakers stack up against each other? Read on as we compare the JBL Go 2 and Go 3 head-to-head.

Key Takeaways

  • The JBL Go 3 has better sound quality with enhanced bass, clearer mids, and less harsh highs compared to the Go 2
  • The Go 3 also has a slightly longer battery life at 5 hours vs 4.5 hours for the Go 2
  • While the Go 2 is IPX7 waterproof, the Go 3 ups the protection with an IP67 rating, making it waterproof and dustproof
  • The Go 3 has upgraded Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity vs the older 4.1 version on the Go 2
  • Both speakers have integrated microphone and speakerphone functions for taking calls
  • The Go 3 costs slightly more than the Go 2 but offers noticeable audio improvements

The JBL Go series has been a popular lineup of ultra-portable Bluetooth speakers for several years now. The JBL Go 2, released in 2018, has proven to be a compact yet mighty little speaker that punches above its weight class when it comes to audio performance.

In 2021, JBL released the next iteration with the Go 3, upgrading the speaker in several key areas while keeping the convenient pocket-friendly form factor.

But should you opt for the tried and true Go 2, or is it worth spending a bit more for the newer Go 3 model? Let’s break down how these portable speakers compare.

Design and Build Quality

In terms of design, both the Go 2 and Go 3 feature a rectangular shape to fit nicely in bags or backpacks. The Go 2 measures 3.4 x 2.8 x 1.3 inches and weighs 0.39 lbs, while the Go 3 is very slightly bigger at 3.7 x 2.2 x 1.4 inches but weighs the same.

The overall look has been refreshed with the Go 3, now sporting a two-tone colour scheme and ridged sides for enhanced grip. It ditches the older micro USB charging port for a more modern USB-C connection.

One advantage of the Go 3 is its elevated IP67 rating, meaning it is dust tight in addition to being waterproof. It can handle immersion in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes. The IPX7-rated Go 2 is also waterproof but not dustproof.

Both models have exposed passive radiators on one side to help amplify bass. These make the speakers prone to vibrating when played at higher volumes, especially the Go 3. A flat, stable surface is ideal.

JBL Go 2 vs JBL Go 3 – Audio Test Max Volume


In the wireless connectivity department, the Go 3 pulls ahead with Bluetooth 5.1 compared to the dated Bluetooth 4.1 support on the Go 2. Bluetooth 5.1 offers faster pairing times along with extended range and improved streaming capacity with compatible devices.

The Go 3’s battery is rated to deliver up to 5 hours of playtime at moderate volume levels. While impressive for such a compact speaker, that’s only a bit better than the Go 2’s 4.5 hours per charge.

One handy feature shared by both models is the ability to access Siri or Google Assistant voice commands using the play/pause button. This allows you to cue up music hands-free.

As for wired connectivity, the Go 2 and Go three each have an integrated aux port for plugging into non-Bluetooth devices via 3.5mm audio cable.

Sound Quality

This is where we see the Go 3 pull ahead of its predecessor more noticeably. While the Go 2 sounds very good for its diminutive size, the Go 3 delivers improved audio across the board.

The newer model simply outputs a richer, fuller sound than the Go 2. Testing showed the Go 3 to have better bass extension, reaching down to 100Hz vs 180Hz for the Go 2. Strong bass is vital for portable speakers meant to provide energizing sound on the go.

Midrange frequencies are clearer and more pronounced on the Go 3 as well. Highs remain crisp but have less harsh sibilance compared to the Go 2 at higher volumes.

In terms of maximum loudness, the Go 3 can again outperform the previous version by a couple of decibels. Overall, the sound profile seems more balanced across the frequency spectrum.

The Go 3’s superior sonics can be attributed to subtle design tweaks like its larger 47mm driver (vs 40mm on the Go 2). Dual passive radiators aid the improved low end, taking advantage of the speaker’s tendency to vibrate.

Comparison of JBL Go 3 and JBL Go 2 Features

JBL Go 3 vs JBL Go 2 Features
JBL Go 2 vs JBL Go 3: How Do These Bluetooth Speakers Compare?
FeatureJBL Go 3JBL Go 2
Bass ExtensionReaches down to 100HzReaches down to 180Hz
Bass QualityProduces deeper bass tonesLess deep bass tones
Midrange Frequency ClarityClearer and more pronouncedLess clear and pronounced
High Frequencies at High VolumeCrisp, less harsh or sharpSharper, potentially harsher
Maximum LoudnessOutperforms Go 2 by a couple of decibelsLower maximum loudness compared to Go 3
Driver SizeLarger 47mm driver40mm driver
Bass Enhancement TechnologyUtilizes dual passive radiatorsLacks dual passive radiators

In summary, the JBL Go 3 has superior audio quality across the board – better bass, mids, highs, and loudness. The sound is richer, fuller and more balanced compared to the Go 2 which, while still good, falls short of its successor.


The newer JBL Go 3 builds upon the winning ultra-portable formula of the Go 2, retaining its pocketable form factor while upgrading the IP rating, battery life, Bluetooth connectivity, and most importantly the audio performance.

While the Go 2 is still a very capable little speaker, the Go 3 does justify its slightly higher price with noticeably better sound quality. Its enhanced bass and louder volume make the music more engaging.

So, if you don’t need the absolute cheapest option, the JBL Go 3 makes a compelling case as one of the best sub-$50 Bluetooth speakers money can buy. It represents a worthwhile step up over its already great predecessor.

Just keep in mind that the JBL Go 3’s audio quality and maximum volume will still fall short of larger speakers like the Flip series or Charge models. But when prioritizing convenience and portability above all else, the Go 3 hits a sweet spot for casual listening on the go.

Final Recommendation

For shoppers seeking an ultra-portable Bluetooth speaker that can deliver surprisingly good sound quality for its size and price point, the JBL Go 3 stands out as a top choice. It improves upon the already solid performance of the previous Go 2 iteration across the board, justifying its small price premium.

We give the edge to the JBL Go 3 for its even more compact and durable design, upgraded IP67 water/dust resistance, better battery efficiency, clearer audio output and deeper bass response. While the venerable Go 2 is still a good option, the Go 3 offers an even better listening experience in an equally convenient package.

JBL Go 2 vs Go 3

1. What are the main differences between JBL Go 2 and Go 3?

When comparing JBL Go 2 and JBL Go 3, there are several differences to note. The most noticeable changes include the redesigned look, improved sound quality, and the addition of the Go 3’s IP67 waterproof and dustproof rating, which allows it to be submerged in water for a period of time, unlike the Go 2’s IPX7 rating.

2. Which one has better sound quality, JBL Go 2 or Go 3?

JBL Go 3 offers an enhanced sound experience compared to the Go 2. The newer version provides better audio quality, sound vibrations, and bass response, allowing it to produce deep bass tones with a lower frequency range.

3. How do JBL Go 2 and Go 3 differ in terms of features?

While JBL Go 2 retains its reputation as a portable Bluetooth speaker with good sound output and connectivity, the Go 3 adds in improved build quality, a waterproof rating, IP67 rating, and the ability to serve as a speakerphone, making it a versatile upgrade.

4. Can you use a JBL Go 2 or Go 3 as a portable Bluetooth speaker?

Both JBL Go 2 and JBL Go 3 offer portability and can be used as a portable Bluetooth speaker, making them convenient for on-the-go music and audio streaming experiences.

5. How does the battery life of JBL Go 2 compare to Go 3?

Both versions provide similar battery life, with the JBL Go 2 offering a few hours of playback and the Go 3 keeping up with comparable usage time, ensuring extended playback for your music and other audio needs.

6. Is the JBL Go 3 more durable than the Go 2?

JBL claims that the JBL Go 3 is more durable than the Go 2. The Go 3 features a new, rugged and waterproof design, making it more resilient to outdoor activities and water exposure.

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