JBL Nokia PowerUp speaker: Unboxing and first impressions

The JBL Nokia PowerUp speaker, much like the Lumia 920, is hard to find these days with supplies running low from many retailers. In fact, cyan and white versions of the pricey accessory are quite rare with black being a lot easier to purchase.

Ours just showed up today so we figured we would give you a quick unboxing and our initial thoughts on the experience. The JBL Nokia PowerUP packs two 10W  2.5” full range drivers, Qi wireless charging, NFC for instant pairing and of course Bluetooth 2.1 streaming all for $250-299, depending on where you go.

So far, we’re quite impressed with the little blaster. Volume is good and the sound is very rich—not too much bass, not too much treble. We do sometimes hear a subtle but high pitch noise in the background, which we believe is tied to the Bluetooth pairing. You won't notice it during the main bars of your tune, just at the beginning when there is no music. It's not a deal killer and we chalk it up to Bluetooth streaming but it can be a tad annoying for audio purists (then again, if you're an true audio purist, wireless streaming is not much of an option, is it?).

If you live in a small apartment or for those in dorm rooms, the PowerUp is a killer accessory (albeit a pricey one). It's also good for those looking to have a mini-stereo perhaps in their work space. It won't replace a full on sound system but for what it is, it works.

NFC pairing works without a hitch and is certainly very convenient (you can also pair by pushing the Bluetooth button in front in case you don’t have NFC). Wireless charging is a nice plus although we prefer to use our wireless charge pad so the phone stays near us.  It’s a hefty little speaker but not oddly so—feels just right and the quality, as you’d expect is top notch.

For those wondering and as we demonstrate in the video you can stream more than just music to the PowerUp. In fact, everything but phone calls seems to be a go—YouTube videos, playing games, etc. all can stream through the speaker just fine and it’s a neat option to have available.

We’ll have more on the JBL PowerUp next week but for now, if you have any questions ask away and we’ll try to answer them.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.