Tech Review: JBL Link 300: Big, loud and likeable

The JBL Link 300 is the high end and rather portly older sibling in JBL’s range of Google Assistant enabled speakers. But unlike most elder siblings, it carries itself with all the brashness of the youngest child. It noisy, full of personality and is, on the whole, a very likeable sort.

The Link 300 is bulky for both its product range and its price range. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s huge, but its certainly large when placed against some of its contemporaries. Those looking to place it on a desk or tabletop will find it monopolises quite a bit of room to itself. The reason for this is that the entire device houses a built-in, rear-facing subwoofer.

The sub is just one facet of the device’s oval-shaped design, a wider and more elliptical take on the Link 100 and 200 variants we’ve reviewed previously. The Link 300 takes advantage of its larger size by packing itself full of solid audio materials. The result is a thumper of a device, able to pump out a level of sound quality that you might not expect from device that retails for $350 AUD.

The device’s Google Assistant functionality is as strong as the version in the Link 100 and 200, making it one of the better devices at recognising the twangy, amorphous Australian accent I’ve encountered. I did notice it misheard its activation phrase a few times, latching onto something in conversation that might have rhymed with “Hey Google.” For the most part though, it was quite good at waiting to be called upon.

There’s a plethora of features that go beyond the voice activation. Wifi and Bluetooth connectivity are a standard, the device is also Chromecast ready and, if you have multiple speakers, can be used as part of a multi-room sound set up controlled by the Google Home app. In fact, if the Google Home app has functionality for it, its likely the JBL Link 300 can accommodate.

All told, this is a solid smart speaker that offers surprising value for money. At $350, it outclasses a great many of its competitors and stacks up well against offerings from much bigger, revered audio makers. Well worth checking out if you’re in the market for a smart speaker with big sound.

Score: 8.5 out of 10
Highlights: Great sound; Wide functionality; Priced well
Lowlights: A touch on the bulky side for my taste
Manufacturer: JBL Harman
Price: $349.99 AUD
Available: Now

Review conducted using a loaned retail unit provided by the publisher. You can find out more about the JBL Link 300 at the official site.


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David Smith

David Smith is the former games and technology editor at The AU Review. He has previously written for PC World Australia. You can find him on Twitter at @RhunWords.