JBL Charge 4 vs Bose Soundlink Color II, Which one is better?

JBL and Bose are the two most recurring brands when we talk about audio devices. Over the years they have brought to us the finest speakers and headphones. Right now there are two speakers in the market hogging all the attention: Charge 4 from JBL and Soundlink Color II from Bose. Today, we compare these two devices and find out which one is the better portable speaker.

Features JBL Charge 4 Bose Soundlink Color II
Sound Single driverDual passive radiator No stereo Loud and deep bass Dual driver single passive radiatorStereo presentMuffled and sub-par volume
Battery Life 20 hours claimed Charging time 5.5 hrs 8 hours claimed to charge time 3 hrs
Power bank Present Absent
Connectivity Bluetooth 4.2 3.5mm port No NFC support USB TYPE C for charging Bluetooth 4.2No 3.5mm port NFC supported Bluetooth pairing presentMicro USB for charging
Voice commands and prompts       NO YES, support for smart assistants present
Sleep Timer Yes No
Splash resistant Yes Yes
Water and dust resistant Yes (IPX7 certified) No
Colors available 10 4
Price $152 $129
  1. Sound
  • JBL Charge 4 is far ahead of BOSE Soundlink Color II in terms of sound quality and volume.
  • Charge 4 has a much deeper bass and produces an amazing sound that is superior to any other speakers in the market within the same price bracket.
  • The sound on Charge 4 starts cracking nearly after 80 percent of the volume while on Soundlink Color II, it breaks on much lower volumes.
  • Charge 4 is approximately twice as loud as Soundlink Color II and the listener will love Charge 4 over Soundlink Color II any day.
  • Though Soundlink Color II has an output of dual-channel 50 watts, it still falls short of 30 watts power of JBL Charge 4 because of the two side radiators that produce excellent and deep bass tones.
  • The only place where Bose Soundlink Color II stands above JBL Charge 4 is in terms of Stereo speakers. Due to the dual drivers, the sound quality is supposed to be more immersive in Bose Soundlink Color II. JBL comes with a single driver, so no stereo effects there.
  • The passive radiator bounces as the music play on Charge 4 giving that extra depth to the music. The sound on Soundlink Color is more or less flat and muffled.

Winner: JBL Charge 4 wins by a huge margin. Soundlink Color II produces better sound than some other devices in the market like UE Boom 3 but still falls behind JBL Charge 4.

  • Battery life
  • JBL Charge 4 has claimed an overambitious 20-hours of battery life but practical tests and user experiences put that number to be around 6.5 to 8.5 hours depending on the volume of the device. As the volume goes higher, the battery discharges faster.
  • JBL Charge 4 comes with a 7500 mAh built-in power bank that can be used to charge other devices like phones, smartwatch, and even tablets
  • Completely charge a JBL Charge 4 via the USB Type-Csmartwatches take you around 4 hours
  • Soundlink Color II claims a battery life of 8 hours and delivers on its claim. User reviews and testing show that it lasts between 8 to 9 hours at 60 percent of volume but the battery drains much quicker at higher volumes, giving only 4 hours at 85 percent volume.
  • Soundlink Color II can be fully charged in 3 hours via a micro-USB port. Bose missed on this one as Micro-USB is not the way to go on a speaker device that takes a while to charge.

Winner: JBL Charge 4. Why?

  • At lower volumes, JBL Charge 4 will give long hours of playback while still being louder than Bose Soundlink Color II. it will last thrice as long as Soundlink Color II
  • The charging technology on JBL Charge 4 is superior to that on Soundlink Color II (Type-C vs Micro-USB)
  • The inbuilt power bank is simply an amazing bonus on JBL Charge 4 Which can come really handy in some situations
  • Design
  • Design is really a subjective matter and my opinion might be different from yours. But I like the design of JBL Charge 4. Though nothing spectacular, it is better in looks than BOSE Soundlink Color II. The design of Soundlink Color II is simply pathetic.
  • Charge 4 is almost twice as heavy as Soundlink Color II, weighing 2.1 lbs.
  • If you are a sucker for design, I would suggest you go for Boom 3. It has a similar design to that of JBL Charge 4 but is aesthetically pleasing to the eyes.
  • Charge 4 comes in 10 different colors:
    •  Blue
    •  Black
    •  Grey
    • Pink
    • Teal
    •  Sand
    •  White
    • Red
    •  Forest Green (Camo)
    •   yellow
  • Bose Soundlink weighs 1.2 lbs and comes in 4 different colors:
    • Coral Red
    •  Polar White
    •  Soft Black
    • Aquatic Blue

The color scheme looks like a bad job and it’s nothing sort of premium.

  • Bose Soundlink is lighter and thinner than JBL Charge 4 which makes it more portable than Charge 4. But again, this is a very minor drawback as the weight of Charge 4 is hardly an issue.

Winner:  Both the devices are nothing special when it comes to design. But the JBL Charge 4 has an edge over Bose Soundlink Color II over the functional design aspects and the color options available.

  • Connectivity
  • JBL Charge 4 and Bose Soundlink Color II, both offer a 4.2 Bluetooth connectivity  
  • The range of Bluetooth coverage on JBL Charge 4 is greater than Bose Soundlink Color II. You can get an extra 5 feet of coverage with Charge 4.
  • Charge 4 offers an extra connectivity offer with a 3.5mm port for wired playback. But Bose has eliminated the feature while upgrading from Soundlink Color to Color II.

Winner: JBL Charge 4 for higher Bluetooth version and type-C charging

  • Durability and toughness
  • JBL Charge 4 is IPX7 certified whereas there is no such explicit certification for Bose Soundlink Color II.
  • Both the devices are Splash-proof but JBL Charge 4 is one step ahead with water-resistant and dust-resistant features. The speaker can be submerged in a meter of water for 30 minutes without inflicting damage. This simply adds to the robustness and durability of the device.
  • The silicon material of Bose Soundlink Color II makes it look cheap and fragile compared to the well-built plastic body of JBL Charge 4.
  • JBL Charge 4 comes with a detachable cable, unlike Bose Soundlink II. This allows the user to use alternative cables as well and when the cable is pulled by accident it will simply pop out instead of breaking down.

Winner: JBL Charge 4

  • App assistance (Software)
  • JBL produces some of the greatest portable wireless speakers in the market and Charge 4 is one of them. But they really struggle with the software for the device.
  • While they have promised to update and overhaul the firmware of their software JBL Connect+, it is still pending.
  • To pair two speakers, just press the Connect+ button on both speakers simultaneously. You can pair as many as 100 JBL speakers including other JBL wireless speakers of the same generation.
  • While the functionality works fine, the instructions are confusing and ambiguous.
  • Bose Soundlink Color II has an amazing app to go with the device.
  • The Party Mode on the Soundlink Color II allows you to pair several Soundlink Speakers easily. You can connect two active speakers and eight in total. All of this is possible through the Bose App.
  • Bose updates the firmware regularly and this makes their application straightforward while that of JBL is a clumsy one.

Winner: Bose Soundlink Color II

Final Verdict:

  • Apart from the software (device app), JBL Charge 4 leads all other departments over Bose Soundlink Color II. I mean simply listening to the sound quality will set them apart right away.
  • JBL Charge 4 will cost you $30 more, but the price is justified whereas the price tag of $129 makes Soundlink Color II expensive given its mediocre features
  • If you’re into smart assistants or NFC and cannot go without voice commands, then you can go for Soundlink Color II.
  • But if sound quality is the primary goal then JBL Charge 4 is your go-to portable speaker.

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