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It’s hard to beat JBL when talking about Bluetooth speakers aimed at portability. The company’s Flip and Charge series consistently deliver sound quality in compact and robust designs, with each model that enhances the previous one. Let’s analyze in this review the new JBL Flip 4 (Check on Amazon.com), the descendant of the already excellent Flip 3 (Check on Amazon.com).
- JBL Flip 4
- A USB cable for charging
Design and build quality
The design of the JBL Flip 4 is very simple. It looks like a slightly shorter version of the UE Boom 2 (Check on Amazon.com), its canvas and shape make it a product that fits in any context.
It lacks originality which is more than compensated with its practicality. The durable fabric material lets the sound flow while keeping dirt and debris out, and the rubber edges allow it to be conveniently stowed in your bag or “mistreated” without fear of damage. And then it’s also waterproof and has an IPX7 certification.
The buttons for playback, volume, and Bluetooth pairing are very large and easily accessible on any occasion.
Also on the body, there is a handy battery indicator, with five small LEDs that give a quick read on autonomy. There is also another physical button, which synchronizes multiple JBL Flip 4s together.
A small compartment houses the micro-USB and a 3.5mm port. Finally, there is a loop made of rope inserted at the top of the speaker, perfect for hanging the speaker anywhere.
A design that makes it truly portable is only useful if the speaker offers an adequate sound output. Fortunately, the JBL Flip 4 stands out as one of the best in this price range.
It is not the most complete speaker, but given its size and price, the sound quality is quite pleasant. The bass is relatively powerful and well balanced and there is no unwanted distortion when the volume is turned very high. The medium-range is absent, however. The vocals are not lost between the various frequency ranges but are not that much incisive.
In the end, it is not as complete as the Bose Soundlink Mini II (Check on Amazon.com) or the UE Megaboom (Check on Amazon.com). However, for such a compact and robust speaker it is more than adequate.
It can also be paired to two devices at the same time thanks to Bluetooth Multipoint. You can also use it as a speakerphone since it is equipped with a built-in microphone.
Due to its ultra-portable design, battery life is critical. Fortunately, the JBL Flip 4 has a solid autonomy: with its 3,000mAh battery, it is able to pump music for as many as 12 hours. A couple of hours less than the UE Boom 2.
The JBL Flip 4 (Check on Amazon.com) is a good Bluetooth speaker. Its compact yet durable design makes it a perfect travel companion and the sound performance is more than decent. There are other good alternatives on the market, such as the aforementioned UE Boom 2 (Check on Amazon.com), but this Flip 4 measures up very well.
Read more: UE Boom 2 Review