JBL Pulse 4 vs Charge 4 (2020): What Are The Differences?

JBL is well-known for producing excellent wireless portable speakers and we’ll take a deeper look at the differences between Pulse 4 and Charge 4. It’s a bit overwhelming and difficult to choose the best portable wireless speaker, especially if the speakers are from the same brand. Apart from the design, you’ll also need to consider charging time, battery life, and value.

The Pulse 4 and Charge 4 can fill a mid-sized room with superb pounding bass, however, they differ when it comes to design and specific features. We’ll go into detail on the other specifications and features of the JBL Pulse 4 vs Charge 4 to put you in a better buying position.

Pulse 4 vs Charge 4 Comparison Chart

ModelPulse 4Charge 4
JBL Pulse 4 - Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker with Light Show - BlackJBL Charge 4 - Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker - Black
PriceCheck Price on AmazonCheck Price on Amazon
Dimensions3.78” x 3.78” x 8.158.66” x 3.74” x 3.66”
Weight2.78 pounds2.1 pounds
Drivers and InterfaceSupport: A2DP V1.3, AVRCP V1.6

Transducer: 2.25 inch

Frequency response: 70Hz – 20kHz

Signal-to-noise ratio: >80dB

Support: A2DP V1.3, AVRCP V1.6

Transducer: 50 x 90mm

Frequency response: 60Hz–20kHz

Signal-to-noise ratio: >80dB

ConnectivityBluetooth version: 4.2Bluetooth version: 4.2
Weatherproof RatingIPX7IPX7
Output Power20 W30 W
Smart AssistantNoNo
SpeakerphoneNoNo
Battery Life 12 Hours20 Hours
ColorsBlack and WhiteAvailable in 12 colors

Design

The JBL Pulse 4 features a giant screen display that is similar to a lava lamp and it produces a wide variety of colors when music is played.

JBL Pulse 4 vs Charge 4
Unlike the Pulse 4 (left), the Charge 4 (right) does not feature an LED display but is encased in a cylindrical rubber housing.

The main difference is that the Pulse 4 creates a more entertaining atmosphere with its high-resolution, 360-degree LED lightshow. In fact, the sound-responsive colors can set your mood while listening to music. The JBL Pulse 4 usually comes in black or white and the JBL Charge 4 is available in a variety of colors.

Both the Pulse 4 and Charge 4 is nearly the same size. The Pulse 4 is used upright and has a dimension of 3.78” x 3.78” x 8.15” and the charge 4 measures 8.66” x 3.74” x 3.66”. The Charge 4 weighs 2.1 pounds and the Pulse 4 weighs surprisingly heavier at 2.78 pounds.

Both the Charge 4 and Pulse 4 do not have an integrated speakerphone as well as a voice assistant which could be a downside for some. However, neither model has an integrated speakerphone and voice assistant. If you require these integrations, the Charge 3 and Pulse 3 offer them.

The button controls of the Pulse 4 are located on the upper cap. The power button and the Bluetooth switch are grouped together on one side and you can find the PartyBoost and lightshow buttons on the other side of the upper cap.

You can use the PartyBoost button to sync your Pulse 4 speaker to other JBL speakers. The lightshow button allows you to change the light display. The play button and volume controls are also located on the upper cap to allow the user to easily control the unit.

On the lower part of the Pulse 4 is the JBL logo and on the other side is the USB-C charging port with a battery life indicator.

When it comes to the JBL Charge 4, you’ll find the button controls on top of the speaker such as the power button, volume controls, media control, and Bluetooth pairing button. The Connect+ feature is also located on the top part of the speaker for easier access. The Charge 4 supports USB-A and USB-C and has a 3.5mm aux output which is not present on the Pulse 4.

Sound Quality

The Pulse 4 and Charge 4 both provide excellent sound quality. However, the Pulse 4’s bass response gets distorted at a higher volume.

JBL Pulse 4 vs Charge 4 Sound Quality
Further testing reveals that the Charge 4 (right) can still provide a clear, deep, pounding bass response at higher volumes without getting distorted than the Pulse 4 (left).

The JBL Charge 4 is a directional speaker. This means you’ll experience better sound quality when you’re sitting in front of the speaker, sound quality fades when you are behind the speaker. Placement is a key factor for a better sound experience. Unlike the JBL Charge 4, the JBL Pulse 4 provides a 360-degree audio experience and as a result, the sound quality from any angle is the same. The JBL Pulse 4 cannot be paired with the JBL Charge 4 speakers that pair using the Connect+feature.

Features

The JBL Pulse 4 and JBL Charge 4 do not have a speakerphone and voice assistant.

JBL Pulse 4 vs Charge 4 Features
The JBL Pulse 4 (left) has the JBL logo on top of the cap and the JBL Charge 4 (right) has the logo on the left side of the speaker.

Both speakers have an IPX7 waterproof design. You can take these speakers with you to the beach or pool without worrying about accidental spills and rainy weather. Amazingly, the speakers can be submerged in water for a maximum of 30 minutes!

The JBL Charge 4 and Pulse 4 both support Bluetooth Version 4.2 which provides better and more secure wireless connections as compared to older versions.

In terms of the frequency range, the JBL Charge 4 has a wider frequency response of 60Hz up to 20kHz, while the Pulse 4 has a frequency response of 70Hz up to 20kHz.

In terms of compatible apps, you can download the JBL Connect App for the Pulse 4 and JBL Connect+ for the JBL Charge 4 providing you with full control over the settings of your portable speakers.

For instance, you can control and customize the lightshow from the JBL Pulse 4 directly from the app. On the other hand, you can also connect a total of 100 enabled Connect+ enabled speakers with the Charge 4.

Power

The JBL Charge 4 offers longer battery life as compared to the JBL Pulse 4.

The JBL Pulse 4 (left) and Charge 4 (right) are both compatible with USB-C charging cables.

The JBL Charge 4 has a music playtime of 20 hours and varies on the volume level as well as the audio content. In fact, the JBL Pulse 4 only has 12 hours of music playtime and it also depends on the brightness of the display, audio content, and the volume level.

When it comes to lasting power, the JBL Charge 4 is a clear winner. It can provide you with longer music playtime and not having to worry about the battery draining fast. Both JBL Charge 4 and the Pulse 4 use Lithium-ion polymer batteries. However, the Charge 4 needs a maximum of 4 hours for a complete charge and the Pulse 4 has a faster charging time of 3.5 hours.

Only a USB-C cable is included with the speakers and you’ll have to purchase a separate wall-to-USB charger for your JBL speakers.

Verdict

The JBL Charge 4 has superior sound quality over the JBL Pulse 4. 

Undeniably, JBL manufactures excellent portable Bluetooth speakers. If you want to have a more entertaining and ambient colorful atmosphere, then the JBL Pulse 4 would be a great choice. The Pulse 4 gets distorted at high volumes and has a short runtime of 12 hours. However, if you want a more superb audio experience and longer playback time, then the JBL Charge 4 is the best choice and the best value for your money.

Last update on 2020-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Don Adiwang