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JBL’s Pulse 2 wireless speaker is a chameleon in a Coke can

JBL has unveiled the Pulse 2 wireless speaker at IFA 2015 and it literally looks as good as it sounds. 

Like it’s predecessor, the Pulse 2 prominently features a bright wraparound panel of colour LEDs that light up and dance to the music and it looks like a giant, psychedelic soda can. 

This feature has been improved to the tune of 35 LEDs; the Pulse 2 rocks 100 lights compared to the 64 of the original. Not only does this allow for finer animations, the Pulse 2 has another trick up it’s sleeve – a tiny digital camera on the back. This rear-mounted sensor unlocks the Pulse 2’s greatest party trick; the ability to blend in with its surroundings. 

JBL's Pulse 2 wireless speaker has turned up at IFA 2015.

Related: The best wireless Bluetooth speakers for your phone and tabletJBL’s owners Harman calls this feature ‘Prism’ and it’s pretty much a physical equivalent of the Photoshop dropper tool.

If you want the LEDs of the Pulse 2 to match your fancy chartreuse three-piece leather sofa or your vermilion flock wallpaper, point the camera at your desired colour, tap the front-facing button and the sensor will spring into life, transmitting that colour information to the LEDs. 

The lights of the Pulse 2 will otherwise flash in time to the music and it’ll even react to the sounds of people singing along. That is, if your ‘singing’ is loud enough for the internal mic to pick it up. You can stream songs from up to three phones via WiFi and the battery gives you up to 10 hours of juice. 

Lights on the Pulse 2 flash in time with the music

Michael Mauser, president of Harman International’s lifestyle audio division, said: “JBL Pulse 2 is the second generation of one of our best-selling portable products, and it will change the way people listen to music. 

“The flicker of vibrant lights in perfect sync with the music adds a new, mesmerising dimension to the listening experience, and now we’re bringing the ability to personalize the lightshow that people absolutely love.” 

The JBL Connect iOS and Android apps also lets you trigger light shows and ambient moods from your phone in a manner similar to the Hue apps for Philip’s smart light bulbs. 

The JBL Connect iOS and Android apps let you trigger light shows and ambient moods...

We asked Mauser if there were plans to launch an IFTTT (If This Then That) channel that would potentially let owners pair their Philips Hue bulbs with the Pulse 2. While there’s no plans for a channel yet, it wasn’t ruled out. 

Another neat feature of the Pulse 2 is that it can also act as a wireless loudspeaker for your phone. Echo cancelling and noise reduction tech promises that calls will come through clear as a bell, although if the signal is weak in your area, there’s nothing it can really do about that. 

The Pulse 2 goes on sale in the UK later this month for £169.99 and will be available directly from JBL. 


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