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JBL GO 3 vs UE WONDERBOOM 2 (2022): Comparing Portable Bluetooth Speakers

The JBL GO 3 and the UE WONDERBOOM 2 share a lot of similarities, from their tiny size that makes them super portable to their high IP rating that make them virtually impervious to water damage. But a closer look shows there’s more than meets the eye.

For one thing, the GO 3 is easier on the budget and more modern in some ways, but despite its relatively older features, the WONDERBOOM 2 can still hold a candle to its newer counterparts. On that note, we compare these Bluetooth speakers to hopefully help you figure out which one is for you.

JBL GO 3 vs UE WONDERBOOM 2 Comparison Chart

ModelJBL GO 3UE WONDERBOOM 2
 JBL GO 3 vs UE WONDERBOOM 2JBL GO 3 vs UE WONDERBOOM 2
PriceCheck Price at JBL.comCheck Price at UltimateEars.com
Frequency Response110 Hz to 20 kHz75 Hz to 20 kHz
Multipoint ConnectionYes, up to 2 devicesYes, up to 2 devices
FloatableNoYes
Water ResistanceIP67IP67
Battery LifeUp to 5 hoursUp to 13 hours
Charging Time2.5 hours2.6 hours
USB PortUSB-Cmicro USB
Weight0.46 lbs0.92 lbs
Dimensions3.4″ x 2.7″ x 1.6″ (W x H x D)4.09″ x 3.75″ (height x diameter)
ColorsWhite, Green, Blue/Pink, Gray, Teal, Black/Orange, Blue, Red, Orange, Yellow, Black, PinkDeep Space Black, Crushed Ice Gray, Radical Red, Bermuda Blue, Concrete, Just Peach, Unicorn

Design and Build

The JBL GO 3 sports a USB-C port, while the UE WONDERBOOM 2 still uses micro USB.

JBL GO 3 vs UE WONDERBOOM 2 Design and Build
The UE WONDERBOOM 2 (in photo) in Deep Space Black, Radical Red and Bermuda Blue floating on water.

To start things off, the two have different form factors. The JBL GO 3 has more of a rectangular shape with rounded corners, while the UE WONDERBOOM 2 is more cylindrical. Both have handles that let you attach it to, say, a backpack or hooks.

Among the selling points of these Bluetooth speakers is their portability, and they really live up to it. To be exact, the GO 3 measures 3.4” x 2.7” x 1.6” in width, height and depth, respectively, and the WONDERBOOM 2 measures 4.09 inches in height and 3.75 in diameter. However, the former has a bit of an advantage here since it’s lighter at 0.46 lbs than the latter that weighs 0.92 lbs.

Seeing as both are made to be brought along pretty much anywhere, it isn’t surprising that they have an IP67 water and dust resistance. That means you can use them in the rain or in the pool, but in this regard, the WONDERBOOM 2 does the GO 3 one better since it’s the only one that can float.

When it comes to color options, you’re spoiled for choice with the GO 3: White, Green, Blue/Pink, Gray, Teal, Black/Orange, Blue, Red, Orange, Yellow, Black and Pink. Meanwhile, the WONDERBOOM 2 is available in Deep Space Black, Crushed Ice Gray, Radical Red, Bermuda Blue, Concrete, Just Peach and Unicorn.

Audio Quality

The UE WONDERBOOM 2 sounds better and louder than the JBL GO 3.

JBL GO 3 vs UE WONDERBOOM 2 Audio Quality
The JBL GO 3 (in photo) only has mono audio, so it isn’t that immersive.

Compared to its predecessor, the JBL GO 3’s watts of 4.2 is a noticeable upgrade, but despite the increase, it’s still lacking in power. The same can be said of the UE WONDERBOOM 2, but at the very least, it can get a bit louder.

All in all, their audio is nothing to write home about. Both have a balanced sound and reproduce vocals with clarity, but they’re weak in the bass department. The WONDERBOOM 2 can somewhat compensate for that with its Outdoor Boost that amplifies bass, but not to the point that it gets distorted. And it has a 360-degree design, meaning it has a better soundstage too. The GO 3 doesn’t have any feature to tweak its sound, and its mono audio isn’t as immersive in comparison, though it can be described as clean.

Besides music, these speakers are also decent for movies and TV shows—and podcasts, for that matter—because of how they can deliver clear dialogue, but again, their lack of bass means they aren’t suited for action-packed scenes. The GO 3 does have the edge here because of its lower latency on Android and iOS, so it’s better for watching videos in general.

Controls and Other Features

Neither the JBL GO 3 nor the UE WONDERBOOM 2 packs that many features.

JBL GO 3 vs UE WONDERBOOM 2 Controls and Other Features
A closer look at the controls on the JBL GO 3 (left) and UE WONDERBOOM 2 (right).

Unfortunately, a JBL GO 3 app is nonexistent, and there’s also no accompanying app for the UE WONDERBOOM 2. They also don’t have voice assistant support either. In other words, they’re not exactly the smartest speakers around, but they do have multipoint connectivity for up to two devices, so there’s that.

In terms of controls, there’s not much to say, except that they’re on the basic side. But it should be mentioned that the GO 3 doesn’t have a way to skip to the previous track, and to skip to the next track, you’ll have to press the Play button twice.

Lastly, they can’t be used wired since they don’t have a 3.5mm jack or anything else along those lines, and their USB ports are only for charging.

Battery Life

The UE WONDERBOOM 2 lasts longer than the JBL GO 3.

JBL GO 3 vs UE WONDERBOOM 2 Battery Life
The JBL GO 3 (in photo) is more up-to-date with its USB-C port.

On a single charge, the JBL GO 3’s battery life is rated for up to five hours. That pales in comparison with how long the UE WONDERBOOM 2 can last, as it’s good for up to 13 hours. 

Now the JBL GO 3’s USB port is a Type-C, which gives it a lot of points. On the other hand, the WONDERBOOM 2’s age shows with its micro USB port. But neither one stands out in charging time, as they’re pretty much on equal grounds: the GO 3 needs 2.5 hours, and the WONDERBOOM 2 2.6 hours.

Verdict

The JBL GO 3 isn’t just for the budget-oriented but also for those who simply want a speaker on-the-go, but the UE WONDERBOOM 2 outperforms it across the board, which shouldn’t be surprising since it’s a lot more expensive.

Both are excellent Bluetooth speakers in their own right, but if we had to declare which one is better, we’d say it’s the UE WONDERBOOM 2—technically speaking, that is. After all, it has a more extended bass and a higher max volume, not to mention that it has a longer battery life. On top of that, it has a better soundstage too, owing to its 360-degree design. However, the JBL GO 3 is much more affordable, and considering it isn’t lagging that far behind in performance, it’s the practical choice for most folks.

Long story short, the WONDERBOOM 2 is your best bet if money’s no object, but if you don’t mind a few of its shortcomings, then the GO 3 can go a long way without breaking the bank.

FAQs

📌 What are the JBL GO 3’s features?

The JBL GO 3 isn’t feature-packed. In fact, it’s practically bare bones, but what makes it a good pick is its IP67 water resistance, USB-C port, low latency, light weight and portability.

📌 Is the JBL GO 3 waterproof?

The JBL GO 3 has an IP67 water and dust resistance.

📌 Does the UE WONDERBOOM 2 float?

Yes, the UE WONDERBOOM 2 floats, so you can use it in the pool without worrying about it submerging and getting lost underwater.

📌 Can you use voice commands to control the JBL GO 3?

No, the JBL GO 3 doesn’t have voice assistant support.

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Vincent Lanaria

Senior Editor, researcher and writer passionate about running, cooking, and how technology mixes with the two.