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JBL updated many products last year, and we examined most of them. We’ve seen the Flip 4, the Charge 3 and now we’re taking a look at the younger brother: the JBL Clip 2 (Check on Amazon.com). This is the updated version of the Clip+, a bestseller in the category. The Clip 2 has a new design, new materials and is also slightly more expensive. So is it worth buying it? In short, yes.
- JBL Clip 2
- USB cable for charging
Design and build quality
Although the shape and size are vaguely similar to the previous clip, the similarities stop right here. The plastic case and protective grid have been replaced with new materials. Now the grid has the same fabric lining that we also find on the Flip 4 (Check on Amazon.com), and thus it’s able to enjoy an IPX7 waterproof certification.
Read more: JBL Flip 4 Review
Now you can submerge it in water up to 1 meter (3.28ft) for up to 30 minutes. At least you know it will survive a dunk in the pool. The housing is made of smooth rubber plastic, with five small notches for each of the buttons. On the left side you will find the volume up and down buttons, as well as a call button. The right side houses the power and Bluetooth pairing button that you will need to use only during the initial pairing.
Hidden under a small flap is the microUSB port for charging. A 3.5mm audio cable coils round the speaker. But the most useful part is the new carabiner. It is no longer a small plastic clip. Now it is a real carabiner that in my opinion makes this speaker perfect for hikers. It’s made of metal and it turns out it is really solid.
Even though this speaker has a built-in 3.5mm audio cable, it was never necessary to use it during testing. The stability of the Bluetooth is excellent: the reach falls just sort of 10 meters (33ft) away from the source device (smartphone etc…) which is OK.
It also instantly connects every time I turn it on. After pairing it for the first time, I never had to worry about it.
Expectations, when talking about such a small Bluetooth speaker, must be well calibrated, but the JBL Clip 2 continues to amaze. We performed most of our tests wirelessly, using the built-in cable only once just to make sure it worked.
Lows are present, but are not deep, they have more of a medium/low shade. Instead we find a huge boost in the mid range, giving the voice a clear prominence compared to the other elements of the song. This makes it perfect if you are on a hike and want to easily listen to the lyrics of your favorite songs, without focusing too much on the details. The highs are particularly low, which probably depends on the fact that the Clip 2 has only one full-range driver.
Battery life is probably the most important upgrade in my opinion. Most speakers of this size have a battery life of 5 to 6 hours in average, but JBL says that the new Clip 2 lasts for up to 8 hours.
It is not something to write home about, but it is a big upgrade compared to the 5 hours of the previous version. In our tests, the Clip 2 managed indeed to last for 8 hours, but at maximum volume (and you need that max volume) you will get roughly 6 hours out of it.
Overall, the JBL Clip 2 (Check on Amazon.com) is a good product. Although it is not an exceptional speaker, it works wonders. It’s powerful enough to be taken on a hike or somewhere outdoors.
If you were thinking of buying the old Clip+, take this instead. It’s really worth it.