For the last few weeks I’ve been using the Flip 4 Bluetooth Speaker by JBL, which features a waterproof design, great sound quality, and solid battery life.
The Flip 4 sits in JBL’s lineup of portable Bluetooth speakers as larger than the Clip 2 and smaller than the Charge 3. Keep reading after the jump for our full review of this $99 full-featured speaker.
I’ve been using one of JBL’s older Bluetooth speakers, the Charge 2 for a while, so I was excited to give a shot to the Flip 4.
Materials & Build
The Flip 4 comes in a choice of six colors: black, blue, grey, red, teal, and white. The speaker uses JBL’s “Lifestyle Material” (which seems like a durable nylon fabric mixed with tough rubber), which it says “allows your speaker to outlast all of your adventures.” While I haven’t used the Flip 4 enough to comment on its long term durability, the build quality feels very solid and durable.
In the box you’ll find the Flip 4 speaker, a USB A to micro-USB charging cable, and documentation.
Speaking of durability, the Flip 4 sports an IPX7 rating, so it can handle submersion in water up to 3 feet (1m) for up to 30 minutes, making it especially great for use at the pool or beach. JBL notes to rinse off the speaker with fresh water, then dry it off if you happen to take it for a dip in salt water or a chlorine pool. A small waterproof rubber door provides access to the micro-USB port for charging and a 3.5mm aux input.
The play/pause, volume, and Bluetooth buttons are seamlessly integrated into the fabric of the speaker, while the power and JBL Connect+ buttons along with the battery status LEDs are found on the rear.
Dimensions and Battery Life
The Flip 4 weighs in at just over 1 pound (515 grams) with dimensions of 2.68 x 6.89 x 2.76-inches (68 x 175 x 70 mm). It’s about the size of a pop can with 2-inches of extra height. It doesn’t take up much room in a backpack, messenger bag, or purse, especially for how much sound it puts out (more on sound quality in a moment).
It packs a 3000mAh lithium-ion battery that provides about 12 hours of playtime and takes roughly 3 hours to charge from empty. In my use I’ve gotten just over 13 hours of usage at about 60% volume.
JBL offers a one-year warranty as well as a 30-day money back guarantee on the Flip 4.
The Flip 4 uses two 40mm drivers and two external passive radiators. I was expecting sound quality to be a notch below its larger (older) brother, the Charge 2, but I was surprised to hear the Flip 4 bring noticeably crisper audio and a more robust low end.
I found listening to music to be best at around 60-70% volume, as distortion became more of an issue past that point. I’d say the Flip 4 does a solid job of filing one room with qualtiy audio. It’s handy to use outside since it’s so portable, however it can become drowned out depending on your environment.
JBL offers its Connect app as a means for adjusting some preferences and also choose to use the play button to control playback or activate Siri (or other voice assistants).
I didn’t get to test out the Connect+ feature, but you can pair the Flip 4 with many of JBL’s other Bluetooth speakers. You can also pair two Bluetooth devices to this speaker at a time, so multiple users can DJ the party.
The Flip 4 is a great portable Bluetooth speaker. If portability, price, and sound quality are at the top of your list, the Flip 4 is worth checking out.
However, if you don’t mind spending a few more bucks for a slightly larger speaker, JBL’s Charge 3 offers 20 hours of battery life and adds a USB port to charge your smartphone or other device for $119-$129.
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