Rated 5 out of
You have to get one!My first impression upon taking the Link 500 out of the box was how large it is - it is bigger than it looks in pictures and is fairly hefty. That was a good sign for me! I placed the speaker on a table behind one of the den chairs - so it is essentially out of sight (a wife requirement). Setting it up from there was easy. I plugged it in, downloaded the Google Home app*, followed the app's instructions, and that was it. It only took 2 or 3 minutes. (*Actually, I had already downloaded the Google Home app for use with a Chromecast Audio I had purchased previously.)
Being an audio guy, the first thing I wanted to do was play some music. I was very happy to find that the Link 500 has Spotify built-in, especially since that is my streaming service of choice! I started out easy by asking Google to play “some Diana Krall” while I was cooking dinner. No problems there. I then followed that command by asking it to play a specific song – Midnight Rider – off of the Gregg Allman album Laid Back. The Link 500 handled that and similar request easily.
The sound is very, very nice. I had previously experienced this kind sound in my den with some of my small to midsized bookshelf speakers (including JBL's). The Link 500 replaced those speakers and went on to fill my large living room (400 sq ft) with excellent sound without taking up near as much space. The music playing filled the den with clear sound at even low volumes without being overbearing. The bass was smooth and the highs were crisp and clear without distortion.
I had previously relied on a ZAGG Origin Portable Bluetooth Speaker to stream music in the den and its smaller version in the master bathroom. Those speakers are not voice activated however and they do not offer a mobile interface. Listening to the Link 500 and the larger ZAGG for ten minutes, I realized that I was more at ease with the sound produced by the Link 500. Even the most over-the-top songs (think Brass Monkey by the Beastie Boys) were enjoyable even at high volume.
The Link 500 is the first voice activated speaker I’ve used. The only thing that comes close was Siri on my iPhone. I thought that speaking to the speaker would be difficult as, in my limited experience, voice activated products leave a lot to be desired. That was not a problem with the Link 500. After its initial voice training, it recognized my “Hey Google” commands every time – whether shouted over the railing upstairs to almost whispering it in the same room. I was impressed! Other than my requests to play specific pieces of music, I typically used the built-in Google Assistant to make requests about the weather and to set timers. I did put it through its paces by requesting such things as: the temperature of the dark side of Mercury, the distance to a certain address in a distant city and even the meaning of the initials JBL – which it answered perfectly – James Bullough Lansing!
To sum up, I find that the JBL Link 500 is a good-looking speaker and is very simple to operate. It also has excellent built in capabilities and when it is playing music it is really impressive. In other words, you have to get one!
Date published: 2018-05-17
Rated 5 out of
Link 500 - Superior sound, sufficient Google HomeThe JBL Link 500 combines JBL's exceptional sound engineering with Google's home management tools. At first glance, this thing is huge! See the pictures. It is 14 1/2" x 7 5/8" x 6 1/8" and weighs almost 8 pounds. The Link 500 produces full bodied sound with the high fidelity that is expected of JBL. The only fault of the Link is Google Home.
Google Home functions well, but it takes some getting used to. There are plenty of commands to use, but there is not a book included listing them. So, you have to do your own homework to figure out how to make the most of your Link 500 with Google Home. The voice recognition is good, but you have to speak loudly and clearly to get its attention.
Overall, since Google Home could be updated to have better commands and interaction, and the sound quality is excellent, I highly recommend the JBL Link 500.
Date published: 2018-05-02
Rated 5 out of
Great SoundThis speaker has amazing sound quality. It sounds great and even when you turn the speaker full blast, the sound quality is still great. It gets pretty loud and works for parties or just chilling by yourself. The Google assistant is a great feature as well. It is very convenient and a nice additional feature. One of my friends has a Bose SoundTouch 30 wireless speaker and this speaker sounds just as good, plus it has a Google assistant.
Date published: 2018-04-30
Rated 5 out of
Wow! Great sound and ease of use.I really enjoy the sound quality and convenience of the JBL 500. Although slightly larger than anticipated, it is worth the extra space. Already have recommended to several friends and relatives.
Date published: 2018-04-29
Rated 5 out of
LOVE THE DESIGN & PORTABILITYTHANK U JBL FOR ADDING GOOGLE ASSISTANT TO THIS GREAT SPEAKER, NOT 2 MENTION BLUETOOTH COMPATIBLE ALL IN ONE, NOW I DON'T HAVE 2 OPEN MY LAPTOP OR USE DATA ON MY CELL 2 SEARCH FOR MUSIC OR ANYTHING ELSE ON THE INTERNET...ALL U HAVE 2 DO IS ASK & U DEFINITELY, MOST DEFINITELY SHALL RECEIVE!!! MUST MENTION THE PACKAGING! LOVE 2 BE ABLE 2 OPEN THE BOX & SEE HOW JBL MAKES SURE THAT THEIR PRODUCTS ARE ALWAYZ THE BEST FROM THE INSIDE OUT!!!...HANDS DOWN BEST SOUND, AMAZING DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY ALL ROLLED INTO 1...DOESN'T GET BETTER THAN JBL BABY!!! OTHERS TRY 2 DUPLICATE BUT THERE'S NO COMPARISON WHEN IT COMES TO JBL'S CRAFT....CANT WAIT 2 SEE WHAT JBL WILL DEBUT NEXT...WAITING WITH SUCH ANTICPATION...THANKS JBL FOR BEING TOP NOTCH IN THE WORLD OF SOUND !!!