JBL Horizon 2 review: A charming and functional addition to any room

JBL Horizon 2 review: A charming and functional addition to any room

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If you’re anything like me, you set your morning alarm on your phone and then you wake up scrambling to find it just to turn the alarm off. It’s something I’ve gotten used to but when we were asked to review the JBL Horizon 2, waking up became a bit more elegant.

The JBL Horizon 2 is a digital clock that also functions as a Bluetooth speaker and FM radio. It also has a built-in auto-dimming ambient light on the back. I found many things that I liked about this device but one of my favorites would have to be how it looks. With its other offerings, it became quite a useful thing to have around the house,

Design

The JBL Horizon 2 is made up of a lot of interesting parts. As a whole, it undoubtedly looks impressive and its neutral design and colors are great for matching any room decor. The large LCD display is more than sufficient to check the time with just one glance. It does have a mirror finish, though, that’s quite sensitive to smudges.

There are times that the display becomes hard to read when it’s faced with harsh light. It’s best to take this into consideration when looking for the best place for the device in your home.

One of my favorite design aspects of the Horizon 2 is the fabric covering. The texture is quite obvious which gives a great contrast to the smooth mirror finish of the LCD display. The fabric covering also covers the device’s speakers.

Apart from that, another design aspect I love about the Horizon 2 is its built-in ambient light. Peek at the device’s back and you’ll see a large white light with the JBL logo front and center. Despite being quite large, the light emitted is really soft and diffused which gives the room a warm glow. You can turn this light on or off by pushing the top knob down.

The light is also auto-dimming and is soft enough that it doesn’t sting your eyes when you turn it on in a very dark room. (Just don’t look directly at it like I did)

The big knob on top also acts as the snooze button and volume control. On the sides are two buttons in the shape of bells. As you may have guessed, these are to stop the alarms. The Horizon 2 allows two different alarms to be set.

There’s also a Bluetooth connection button, 3.5mm audio jack, frequency scanner, and 3 programmable buttons for your favorite radio stations. The Horizon 2 also comes with a radio antenna and two USB ports for charging.

Performance

The JBL Horizon 2 is equipped with two 1.5-inch full-range drivers which contribute to the fullness of its sound. At its max volume, it’s loud enough to fill a small bedroom or living room.

Quality-wise, you’re getting above average performance with clear mids and highs. I found myself wanting a little more bass every now and then but it was pretty forgivable for the most part.

Quality does drop when you get further away from the device. It’s definitely not the speakers you want to use when watching movies or live concerts, but it’s absolutely perfect to use for background music during dinner parties or while working, for example.

We didn’t get much use from the radio since we’re not radio-heavy listeners but as a Bluetooth speaker, we found no flaws in our time with it. As a room clock, it looks lovely and elegant and the screen is large and clear enough that a quick glance is all you need to see the time.

I do wish though that there was an option to set your own music as an alarm tone but you’re only options are the built-in tone or a radio station.

Creature Feature

In our reviews, The Modern Creatures aims to find special features in a device that makes it stand out — something that gives it an edge over its competitors. Its Creature Feature. And for the JBL Horizon 2, it would have to be its design and multi-functionality.

The JBL Horizon 2 is a beautiful clock and speaker hybrid that’s sure to draw attention. And for those who take in lots of video calls, it’s a nice little addition to your background, too, especially with that nice soft ambient light behind it. Being a digital alarm clock also gave it more function around the house both Kevin and I could benefit from its presence.

Final thoughts

While there may be speakers out there that are better in terms of sound quality, you’re probably going to get the JBL Horizon 2 if you’re looking for a speaker that unifies form and function. As I’ve said earlier, the Horizon 2 is a great addition to any room since its simple and neutral design will fit most decor.

With different connectivity options, you have the freedom to connect to different kinds of devices well. And for those who value radio as well, this speaker clock has got you covered.

The JBL Horizon 2 clock radio is available at JBL retail concept stores nationwide and on its official website. It’s priced at PhP 5,000 with a free JBL Focus 300 with every purchase.