That means the metal grille has been wrapped in fabric. Despite remaining a small speaker, it is nearly 1cm thicker, 30g heavier, and has a more rounded feel. It now has a chord loop on the left side of the branding, which is a useful addition despite the fact that it cannot stretch or detach. Underneath that is the USB-C charging port, which now has an IP67 rating for dust and water ingress without the need for a cover. Three nicely tactile play/pause and volume controls run across the top curve of the unit, and on the right panel are a circular power button, a Bluetooth pairing button, and an LED light. The Go 2’s LED light shone out from the grille to indicate that it was turned on, but that is no longer present. The unit’s bottom panel and underside have also received new rubber reinforcement panels, allowing it to be placed flat or stand in portrait or landscape mode. The Go 3 lacks the 3.5mm port for wired listening and the microphone for speakerphone duties found on the Go 2, but we don’t miss them in such a small and portable design. The finish on the Go 3’s new fabric jacket is our only real complaint. It’s a common solution in many low-cost Bluetooth options, but where it meets the rounded edges of our sample’s rubber panels, it has frayed slightly in several places. It still feels rugged and durable, but given the previous iteration’s strength – and JBL’s rich heritage of rock-solid designs – it’s a little disappointing. The Go 3 has Bluetooth 5.1 rather than 4.1, as well as a maximum power output of 4.2W, up from 3W in the Go 2. The battery life, on the other hand, has remained unchanged. It takes 2.5 hours to fully charge, and a single charge only provides five hours of playtime. This was a complaint when we reviewed the previous model, and it’s a shame JBL didn’t manage to eke out a little more endurance in this update. Because there is still no app support, daisy-chaining PartyBoost speakers with other JBL speakers is not possible, nor can you pair two Go 3s in either mono or stereo mode. At this price, such features may seem unreasonable, but the affordable Tribit Stormbox Micro can create a mono or stereo pair, and that five-star model also includes a mic and eight hours of playback on a full charge.

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