JBL PowerUp Wireless Charging Speaker for Nokia Lumia (review)

JBL PowerUp Wireless Charging Speaker for Nokia Lumia (review)

Summary: There are some great accessories from Nokia for the Lumia line and the JBL PowerUp speaker is the high end speaker that provides NFC and Qi wireless charging functionality.

TOPICS: Mobility, Nokia, Reviews

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  • JBL PowerUp Wireless Charging Speaker retail package

    I purchased my red Nokia Lumia 920 after figuring out that the optical image stabilization in video mode was enough to push me over the edge. In addition to having the top Windows Phone 8 device, Nokia is positioning themselves as the accessory vendor for Windows Phone and for the last week I have been using the JBL PowerUp Wireless Charging Speaker. It is a very good speaker accessory that also supports the wireless charging capability of the Lumia line. With NFC as well, it's a very simple process to get up and running with the JBL PowerUp speaker.

    I tested out several different speaker options in 2012, see my Audio Gift Guide, and am still pleased with my Nokia Play 360 speakers. The JBL PowerUp Wireless Charging Speaker (referred to as the JBL in rest of review) provides charging with the Qi standard so devices like the HTC Droid DNA charge up on top as well. I didn't expect the box to be as large as it was, but then again the speaker is fairly large at 115 x 280 x 145 mm and 1590 grams. You can purchase the speaker for $299.99 in black, cyan, and white and as you can see in the photos the black one was sent along for me to test out for a bit.

    Inside the package you will find the speaker and the A/C adapter to power it up. There is no carrying case since this is not a wireless, portable speaker and is designed to be placed on your desk. Like I said on a recent MoTR podcast, while many people think that NFC means mobile payments I personally think of using NFC for easy connectivity and sharing. I love that you can simply tap the Nokia Lumia 920 to the JBL and have the pairing connection all setup without any further steps required. The JBL uses Bluetooth 2.1 to connect to your Nokia Lumia after the NFC connection is made. You can also connect via Bluetooth without using NFC. While NFC is a nice addition to the JBL, the real advantage of purchasing this over other speakers is the Qi charging capability. It is great to set your Lumia 920 on top and listen to music while your device charges up.

  • Package contents

    There is a raised rubber circle around the Nokia logo on top in the center to help hold your device in place. As you place your Lumia on top of the JBL, the four corners around the Qi charging area light up in white to help you place your device properly. When the JBl is powered on you will also see that the volume up and down, back, forward, and play/pause buttons all light up on the top towards the front of the speaker. A blue light turns on around the Bluetooth indicator button on the front of the JBL when you have a connection established. You can press the Bluetooth button to help make Bluetooth connections when NFC is not used as well.

    On the back you will find the DC in port with the power button located to the left. A microUSB port is present for software updates when you connect to a PC and a 3.5mm headset jack so you can make wired connections to the speaker if you do not want to use Bluetooth. aptX is also supported so you get higher quality audio performance and I have to say the speaker sounded great with my Nokia Lumia 920. Audio became a bit distorted when I cranked the volume up all the way, but I would not use it at that volume level anyway so I wasn't concerned about that. Maximum output is stated at 94 dB.

    The JBL is a rather expensive accessory, available at AT&T for $299.99, and I would only recommend you consider it if you have a device that supports the Qi charging standard. While it is a solid speaker, I think it is priced too high to just use as a Bluetooth speaker. I like the Nokia Play 360 for Bluetooth NFC speakers since they give me the ability to more widely separate the two channels and enhance my listening experience. You can buy the JBL PowerUp Wireless Charging Speaker from Nokia, from your wireless carrier, other online vendors, and at retail electronics stores.

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Topics: Mobility, Nokia, Reviews

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  • Good rundown of the specs

    This is a good rundown of the specs and how it works, but where's the actual review of the unit? How does it sound? How's the bass? Seems like some nice hardware. Are there any downsides (besides the price... that's pretty hefty for speakers)?
  • Rhu Rho

    Now you will have the Apple gang all feverishly searching for an 'APP' that will be at least able to compete with this. Of course they won't be able to find one and from now on your name will be 'mud' with them.

    Welcome back from the Dark Side!
    • Apple owner who still bought these JBLs

      I have the iPhone 5 and I still bought these speakers simply because they were the best in that price range. I was able to get a pretty good deal on them from Verizon wireless so I didn't pay $299, but I probably would either way. Add in the wireless charging and NFC for windows owners and this speaker system is amazing. Bass is in the middle of the pack but these suckers can get very loud. JBL came out with a solid product. Much better then that jambox (although the JBLs have to stay plugged into a wall)
  • What happens if Line-In has a signal AND Bluetooth has a signal?

    Let's say I'm listening to the Jazz Romance Rhapsody channel using a 3.5mm male jack plugged into the Line-In connector on the JBL PowerUp and a Sonos CONNECT:AMP, and then my mobile phone which is already paired, gets into Bluetooth range playing Talking Heads "Life During Wartime".

    What sweet music will emerge from the JBL PowerUp?