JBL Go vs JBL Go 2 - How big is the difference?

  • Alt

The cheapest and smallest JBL speaker the JBL Go was released in 2015 and it became so popular that more than 10 million units have been sold since then.

We had to wait three years for the newer model but it is finally here.

The JBL Go 2 brings some new improvements, however, the big question is that will this be enough to retain the huge popularity of the former model?

Today, I will compare the two speakers to find this out and decide which one is the better deal.

In the last days, I intensively tested both models and summarized the differences in this full JBL Go vs JBL Go 2 comparison review.

Bluetooth range

Battery life

Water protection



Bottom line




Bluetooth range:

  • 60 feet

Battery life:

  • 70% volume: 6 hours 50 minutes
  • Maximum volume: 2 hours 30 minutes

Water protection:

  • No water protection


  • Ultra-portable
  • Good built quality
  • Long Bluetooth range


  • Weak bass, missing deeper lows
  • No water protection

Bottom line:

The JBL Go is still a great, basic speaker with a decent sound. If you don't need water protection then you can save the price difference and choose this one.



Go 2

Bluetooth range:

  • 70 feet

Battery life:

  • 70% volume: 6 hours 40 minutes
  • Maximum volume: 3 hours 30 minutes

Water protection:

  • IPX7 certification
  • It can be submerged into 1-meter-deep water for 30 minutes


  • Ultra-portable size
  • IPX7 water protection
  • Solid, premium design
  • Long Bluetooth range


  • Weak bass, missing deeper lows

Bottom line:

The main improvement of the Go 2 over the previous model is the water protection and the more stylish durable look. If you will use it frequently outdoor then it is a better choice than the Go.


At the date of this review (07.06.2018), the JBL Go is still available for $25, while you can buy the new JBL Go 2 for $40, so the price difference is quite significant.

Both come in several different colors, the Go is available in 8 different colors, while the Go 2 has 12 different color options.

They come in a small box with only a micro USB cable included.

The Design

The biggest change is related to the look of the speakers.

Both speakers have a similar size which is small enough to easily put into a pocket and carry around a whole day.


The design of the JBL Go is not the most interesting one, it has a minimalist, boxy design with sharp edges.

While the dimensions remained the same, the JBL Go 2 got a new fresh look, which looks more modern and premium than by the former model.

It got curved, smooth edges which look better and fit well into your hand.

Both have a soft, plastic body but while it is matte finished by the Go, it looks much more metallic by the Go 2.

You have the feeling that the speaker was made from a single piece of metal.

Especially because the painted JBL logo on the back is now carved into the body of the speaker.

On the top, the button layout remained exactly the same only the icon of the phone button was replaced with a play button icon by the Go 2 but its functionality remained the same.


There are no other differences between the buttons, by both models they are only carved markings with matching color so it can be hard to use them especially in low light conditions, except the volume control buttons, which are slightly raised from the plane of the speakers.

Music Control

In terms of music control, there is no change, both models have a limited music control capability, which means you can pause/play the music by pressing the ‘Play’ button and you can jump to the next song by double pressing it.

However, it is not possible to jump back to the previously played song or forward/backward in a song.

Both speakers have a built-in microphone so can be used as a speakerphone to answer phone calls.


Attachment Option

The JBL Go does not have any advanced attachment option like its bigger brother the JBL Clip 2 which has a built-in carabiner.

However, on its left side, it has a loop what you can use to attach a lanyard or carabiner to the speaker.

Unfortunately, this loop has been removed from the Go 2, so you do not have any option to attach the speaker to your bike or backpack which is definitely a step back compared to the previous model.


Water Protection

I think the biggest improvement of the Go 2 over the older model that it is now waterproof.

The Go does not have any water protection, so it cannot be used as a shower speaker and it is not even splash-proof, so you have to be careful when you use it on the beach.

In opposite, the Go 2 got an IPX7 water protection which means it is completely waterproof it can be submerged into 1-meter-deep water for 30 minutes.


I think it is an important feature if you want to use the device outside and makes the usage of the speaker much more versatile.

To ensure this water protection the ports of the Go 2 are covered by a waterproof flap.

The design of the flap is great, it is easy to open and close and it seals correctly.


Connectivity, Bluetooth range Alt

Both models have an audio jack input port, so they can be also connected via cable.

In my outdoor test, I measured 60 feet Bluetooth range by the Go and 70 feet by the Go 2.

So they range are really similar, which is a good range in this category, you will likely not have any connectivity problems with the speakers.

Battery Life

The Go 2 got a 730mAh lithium-ion battery which is slightly bigger than the 600mAh battery of the Go.

In my test, when I tested the speakers with various types of songs at 70% volume, I measured 6 hours 50 minutes by the Go and 6 hours 40 minutes by the Go 2.

Repeating the same test at maximum volume I got 2 hours 30 minutes by the Go and 3 hours 30 minutes by the Go 2.

So at maximum volume level, the Go 2 provided a better play time otherwise their battery life is pretty similar.

JBL Go vs JBL Go 2 Sound Test

JBL Go vs JBL Go 2 Sound Comparison Video

Under the hood, both speakers have a 40 mm transducer with 3W output power.

The only difference is that the Go has a bass port, while the Go 2 got a larger passive radiator.

Comparing the sound of the speakers there is no big difference in the sound quality.

The Go 2 has a slightly bigger sound with more pronounced bass but I expected a bigger effect of the new passive radiator.


Overall, there are two main differences between the speakers: the new look of the Go 2 and the IPX7 water protection.

I think the design of the Go 2 is definitely better, it feels more premium and a bit more durable as well.

The Go looks a bit outdated and basic compared to the new model.

The other difference, the water protection is a nice addition and with this, the Go 2 became a better outdoor speaker and it can be also used as a shower speaker.

However, the other attributes of the speakers are quite similar, such as the sound quality, so if you do not need the water protection then you better get the cheaper older model.

Click here to check the current price or to buy the JBL Go

Click here to check the current price or to buy the JBL Go 2

If you want to know more about the speakers click here for the full reviews:

JBL Go - The cheapest JBL

JBL Go 2 - The new version of the popular pocket-sized JBL is here


In this size category, you can buy the Anker SoundCore Mini 2 which is also completely waterproof, has a longer battery life and a 6W driver.

If you are looking for a very portable speaker and can pay some more bucks, then you can check the JBL Clip 3 which is the more advanced speaker of the JBL.

It has a handy built-in carabiner, a longer battery life, and an improved sound.

If you are not insisting on the pocket size, then for this price you can buy a bigger but more advanced speaker the Anker SoundCore 2.

It is only splash-proof but has a much longer battery life and a significantly better sound quality.

If you like what I am doing please support me by sharing this article on your favorite social media platform

Recommended products


Anker SoundCore 2

at Amazon


JBL Flip 4 

at Amazon


UE Wonderboom

at Amazon


Bose SoundLink Micro

at Amazon


JBL Charge 3

at Amazon


Liked this? Don't forget to follow me. Lots of interesting stuffs are coming!