JBL Go 3: Compact, Waterproof Speaker Review

A portable, affordable Bluetooth speaker that can be used anywhere—even underwater—is the JBL Go 3.

(Image: © Future)

Even though it doesn't completely circumvent the drawbacks of compact, inexpensive Bluetooth speakers, the JBL Go 3 is an amazing little device with excellent battery life, lots of bass, and complete waterproofing.


  • Very affordable
  • Portable and waterproof
  • Relatively long battery life
  • Six color options


  • Sound is warm but lacks detail

There aren't many smaller Bluetooth speakers than the JBL Go 3. With its featherweight 7.4 ounces and pocket-friendly design, the Go 3 highlights the "portable" aspect of portable speakers.

This method frequently spells difficulties for audio equipment because the battery will have naturally decreased and smaller drivers are rarely preferable to deep, broad ones. However, as our comprehensive review of the JBL Go 3 demonstrates, it's complete waterproofing, robust bass output, and unexpected lifespan make it a winner. Continue reading to see why this is among the finest inexpensive Bluetooth speakers overall as well as among the best waterproof speakers.

JBL Go 3: Specifications


$49 / £49 / AU$59


Red, blue, teal, grey, pink, black


3.4 x 2.7 x 1.6 inches


7.4 ounces



Battery life:

5 hours

JBL Go 3: Price & Availability Review

Update March 2024: The MSRP increased to $49 since writing this review, but the speaker can regularly be found on sale at the original price.

At $39 on retail, the JBL Go 3 is priced similarly to other inexpensive Bluetooth speakers, such as the Anker Soundcore 2 and the Tribit StormBox Micro. Among the stores where you may get it are Amazon, B&H, Walmart, and Target.

Additionally, you have a good selection of hues, including red, blue, teal, gray, pink, and black. While certain colors may not be available at every retailer, Amazon currently has all six colors in stock as of this writing.

JBL GO 3 Design Review

(Image credit: Future)

incredibly transportable Simple yet practical onboard controls Although the Go 2 was never unattractive, the Go 3's woven texture and rounded edges are significant upgrades. Also, the redesigned rope loop with rubber reinforcement makes it even more useful for mobile use.

With dimensions of 3.4 inches in width and just 1.6 inches in thickness, the Go 3 is indeed pocket-sized, but marginally larger than the Go 2. Although the Go 3 lacks the 360-degree sound of the UE Wonderboom 2, it is still a valuable Bluetooth speaker that is even more convenient to fit into a tiny backpack or satchel. Additionally, it is even smaller than the StormBox Micro.

Although a skip button would have been good, the essential features—volume up/down and a play/pause button combined—are there. The power and Bluetooth connecting buttons are located on the right side, whereas these are positioned atop the speaker.

JBL Go 3 Waterproofing Review

(Image credit: Future)

The Go 3 offers IP67 waterproofing, which is the same as that of high-end waterproof speakers like the UE Megaboom 3 and Sonos Roam, despite its modest cost. That indicates that it is completely protected against dust and dirt infiltration and can withstand being completely immersed in up to 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes.

It also functions. After fully submerging the Go 3 in my sink for some time, it came out fully functional. Furthermore, you won't even need to worry about it submerging completely if you drop it in a bathtub or a swimming pool because it floats to the top until it is pulled down. That ought should facilitate retrieval as well.

The Go 3 fulfills its ruggedization claims, however I would advise waiting for it to dry up before attempting to recharge because the USB-C charging connector is exposed.

JBL GO 3 Sound Quality Review

(Image credit: Future)

robust bass with a cozy tone

Greater frequencies are feasible but not ideal.

Can be loud, but low-to-mid level sounds best.

The Go 3's sound profile combines pleasant surprises with completely anticipated limits given its small size. Let's start with the latter: distortion appears long before the level reaches its maximum, and the speaker does not sound very detailed, even if it may be loud enough to cover a sizable room.

If you're looking for a small waterproof speaker, the Wonderboom 2 is still your best option because it's more sharper and clearer. However, that costs over twice as much as the Go 3. Can a small budget be used to achieve pleasurable sound from a JBL speaker?

In actuality, yes. The classic bassline in Gorillaz's "Feel Good Inc." retained all of its sleaziness, and Audioslave's riff-heavy song "Cochise" rocked along wonderfully due to the outstanding firmness and presence of the low-end for such a little speaker.

In fact, the sound profile of the Go 3 has an overall warmth to it that you don't often get in small speakers. This can work wonders for bringing solo instruments—such as the opening guitar of Krewella's "Surrender the Throne"—to life. It also sounds wonderful on vintage records that have that characteristic "old vinyl" sound.

But once more, don't have high expectations. Higher-pitched components may appear somewhat subdued unless they are deliberately emphasized in the mix, and vocals are audible but lack the piercing quality of more costly speakers.

JBL GO 3 Battery Life Review

(Image credit: Future)

Officially, up to five hours

might continue in testing for a lot longer

Battery life estimates from manufacturers are often not reliable since they don't hold up well under normal usage circumstances. On the other hand, using the Go 3, I was able to get far more use out of a single charge than the stated five hours.

Ten hours isn't fantastic either, of course, but compared to five, it's sufficient for a day at the park. Just keep in mind that you won't be able to extend it as much if you turn up the volume.

JBL Go 3 Connectivity Review

(Image credit: Future)

Bluetooth 5.1 exhibits dependability.

Not a stereo pairing or PartyBoost

Since the Go 3 lacks an aux connector, it can only connect over Bluetooth 5.1. It linked with my Windows PC and Android phone rather fast, and even when I placed some walls between the source device and the speaker, the connection didn't go out.

One device may connect at a time due to the lack of multipoint functionality, and unlike the Charge 5, you are unable to use several Go 3s to form a stereo pair or PartyBoost network. That's a little frustrating, but to really benefit from the Go 3, you have to use it outside. It's not the type of speaker you would bind to a desktop or multiroom arrangement.

JBL Go 3 Review: Final Thoughts

Although there will always be trade-offs when it comes to the tiniest speakers, the JBL Go 3 finally strikes a bargain that benefits you. Even its somewhat poor features of sound quality and battery life are still fairly impressive for $39. Its robustness and portability are hard to better, especially without paying a lot more money.

If you can afford it, the Wonderboom 2 is a better option, but the Go 3 can withstand an unintentional plunge into the pool just as well as the $49 StormBox Micro.

Post a Comment

Respectful, on-topic comments only; no spam or hate speech.

Previous Post Next Post