JBL Flip 4 Review – Is It Really Worth The Hype?

Music is an essential part of our wellbeing and mental health. Any innovation to make our listening experience better is a welcome idea. For 60 years, JBL has been churning out technology and innovation that continues to revolutionize sound reproduction. The JBL brand is identified with naturally articulate and precise sounds you hear in clubs, lounges, and live music venues. The company that professionals rely on has brought you sizes that fit in your home, car and whatever sound needs you may have. For JBL, all sound matter.

The JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth speaker series makes a return for the better. For a 100 USD, you too can be a proud owner of the Flip 4. It is very portable and compact for most people’s needs. You can take it with you on a road trip and it will fit perfectly in your backpack. The Flip 4 is one of the best wireless speakers available under 100 dollars.

Features of the JBL Flip 4:

Compact Package

The Flip 4 comes in a rectangular box. In it is a cylindrical speaker, much like a thermos flask. The charging cord is arranged neatly in a smaller box beside the speaker. In it, you’ll also find an instruction manual. There are a variety of colors to choose from. These colors include white, black, red, blue, camouflage among others.

Physical features 

The Flip 4 is heavier and bigger than earlier versions in the series. The cylindrical-shaped speaker is 6.88 x 2.62in and weighs 1.2 lbs. The nylon fabric cover makes a return offering a rugged experience. The Bluetooth speaker’s exterior is contoured and can be carried in one hand.

The speaker can stand or sit on the side with rubber armour. There is no visible metal on the speaker but the rubber armour can take up the wear and tear much more gracefully than metal. There are control buttons on the other side of the grille. There is Bluetooth pairing on the front left, the volume up and down buttons in the middle and the pause/play button on the far right. On the rubber side is the battery button and five white LED lights to show battery levels. There are no track control buttons and you have to double-tap the play button to get to the next track.

There is a bungee cord on the side which looks like a ‘shoelace’. You can hold the speaker with a finger, swing it from the rope and remove it whenever you want. There is an app you can download to control the speaker. The play button gives you the power to use the speaker on your phone.

Durable battery life 

The JBL Flip 4 has a 3000mAh rechargeable Li-ion battery that can last up to 12 hours. It has a Bluetooth 4.0 wireless connection that doesn’t sap battery life. The compact speaker charges via Micro USB port.

High-quality Sound 

This little thing can sure fill up a bedroom or a dorm room and at full volume can fill a medium-sized room. Amazingly it does not sound tiny in a large room either. There is a JBL connect plus button which allows you to connect the speaker to another JBL speaker, therefore, increasing the sound output. Unlike the JBL connect that pairs with a maximum of 2 speakers, the JBL connect plus can pair with over 100 speakers.

At 50 % which is a comfortable listening volume, it is full of Bass that is not distorted or raspy. When you turn it into the largest volumes bass level stays the same but the mid-range and HIs are further emphasized. The mid-range is clear and very distinguishable even at high volumes. When the volume is high, the mid-range and vocal instruments are pushed forward, while the Bass remains the same. At a high frequency, the snare drum and cymbal crash become distinctively clear. At a high volume, however, you lose resolution and details but this is not surprising for speakers of this size.

Multiple usages 

You can use the Bluetooth speaker to listen to music, make a phone call or play music files from your phone or computer using an aux input cord. This cord is not included in the package. This means you don’t have to acquire multiple devices ultimately saving you money and keeping you sane.

Waterproof Exterior 

JBL has caught up with the competition and produced a speaker that is not just splash proof but also submersible in water. The covering material on all active drivers and the hefty rubber hood marked Flip 4 supplies water-resistant qualities. The marked rubber hood keeps the Micro USB Charging Port and the 3.5mm aux input port dry. With the IPX7 rating, it can go into water that is 1 meter or 3.3 feet deep. It can stay underwater for about 30 mins. This comes in handy as you can use the speaker in the bathroom or by the poolside. You can also take it with you to the beach.

JBL Flip 4 Overview:

Pros Of JBL Flip 4:

  • The price is practically a steal. Coming at about a 100USD, this speaker is cheaper than what most competitors offer. It also produces a loud and crisp sound that you can only get from more expensive pieces.
  • The speaker is waterproof. Unlike previous pieces in the Flip series, the Flip 4 is waterproof. This comes in handy when in use by the pool or beach. It can last for 30 minutes underwater and the sound production continues.
  • You can connect 2 smartphones or tablets to the portable speaker wirelessly. You can mix and match sounds when you connect these smartphones and turn your playtime into a DJ mix.
  • You can get audio separation with the JBL Connect. You can start a party by connecting your speaker via Connect Plus to your friends’ speakers. This will increase the overall sound production and you get audio separation. You can also activate and talk to Google Now and Siri from the portable speaker.
  • The app is intuitive. When you connect it to 2 different colored speakers, the App identifies each speaker by color and allows you to set one to left or right.
  • It has a speakerphone option. This is a very useful feature as your phone can go off at any time. When you are using the Bluetooth speaker, you can answer your phone call and immediately get back to jamming.
  • The Bluetooth connection is so strong that you can still get a signal at 50 meters outside. This will come in handy when you don’t want your phone to get wet. You can keep your phone in a dry safe area and connect to the speaker. However when indoors it is average.

Cons Of JBL Flip 4:

  • The speaker does not float. This is a major let down because if your speaker drops off a boat or into a pool that is most likely deeper than one meter, it will be the end of it. Similarly, if you can’t see it you won’t be able to retrieve it. If the speaker was to float it would be easily retrievable.
  • The phone call option of this speaker is not at par with the other great features of this piece. When you are right beside the speaker it sounds alright. However, standing at 2 feet you can hear your voice but it is raspy. On the other end, it would be clear that you are on speakerphone. At 4 feet away, it gets very raspy and echos like when you are speaking in a bathroom. It is also more inaudible to the person on the other end.
  • It lacks support for existing JBL owners. The JBL connect plus works with only JBL Flip 4 speakers. It doesn’t pair with other speakers in the series, even last year’s model. We can only hope that future models will be compatible.
  • Although JBL claims the battery can last 12 hours, this is not at the loudest volume. At maximum output, the Flip 4 lasts about 4 hours. So if you plan on visiting the beach, your speaker won’t last more than 4 hours at maximum output volume. At 50% volume, however, it can last longer than 12 hours and still have some power left.
  • The speaker lacks detail and resolution. But at the buying price, you should not expect a concert like speakers.
  • There are no dedicated buttons for track management and the audio is not 360 degrees of the grille.

Conclusion

Bear in mind that the Flip 4 is a small speaker which is not meant for big rooms. It is not the most refined Bluetooth speaker but the sound it produces will surprise you.  For the price, this is a good item to own.

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