Jbl Bluetooth Speaker With Usb Port – If you want to future proof it and get the new JBL Connect+, then this is the way to go for sure. Otherwise, there is not much difference between it and Charge 3 before it (although USB-C charging is certainly nice).
If you are looking for a Bluetooth speaker, one brand tends to come up more often than others. JBL has options at almost every price point, but for the price, their best speakers have always been the Charge series. The JBL Charge 4 speaker is a few years old now, but you can still find it at various retailers. How well has it held up since its initial release?
Jbl Bluetooth Speaker With Usb Port
At first glance, the Charge 4 doesn’t seem to be any different from the old Charge 3. But if you look a little closer, you start to notice some slight differences in construction and size. The Charge 4 is slightly larger by about a centimeter anyway, but it’s also heavier at 165 grams (7.05 ounces). While that’s obviously not a big deal, it’s not good news if you’re counting on speaker portability. If you are walking, an ounce in the morning is a pound in the evening. That said, it shouldn’t make a practical difference in day-to-day activities. You should be able to throw this in a bag with no problem.
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JBL has also upgraded the battery from 6000mAh on the Charge 3 to around 7500mAh on the Charge 4. Aside from that, the Charge 4 retains most of the features that made the Charge 3 so great.
Yes, the waterproof material returns along with the IPX7 certification, which allows you to submerge in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes. It also floats a bit if you drop it in the water so you don’t have to worry about losing it if you fall off a boat or bridge. They also have dual passive radiators exposed at each end, like most new JBL speakers in recent years.
Editor’s Note: Sara tested the IPX7 rating of a JBL Flip 4 submerged in a pool for about 10 seconds, and it was broken. The speaker was still producing sound, but the sound was surrounded by a loud crackling sound. JBL customer care stated that one year of warranty has passed and defective products under warranty cannot be replaced free of charge. Considering that JBL is a company whose big selling point is its waterproofing, this was disappointing.
At the top, you get playback buttons that are slightly raised above the material, along with a power button and Bluetooth. The bottom is a small integrated stand with five LED lights that tell you how much battery life is left when you press the power button, and at the back is a rubber flap that keeps all the ports protected from water. Of course, you’ll want to make sure it’s closed if you want to take it to the beach or go to the pool.
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The Charge 4 has the playback buttons on top, along with illuminated Bluetooth power and pairing buttons.
Connecting to the speaker may not be as simple as AirPods, but it’s still pretty easy. As soon as you turn it on, all you have to do is press the Bluetooth button next to the power button to enter pairing mode. From there, simply find the device in the Bluetooth settings to connect.
If you can’t tell yet, the JBL Charge 4 isn’t too different from the previous model. It’s iteration after iteration, but connectivity is where things start to fail. The Charge 4 has all the bases covered with a strong connection of up to about 30 feet, like most Bluetooth speakers. The playback controls work well and the buttons are nice and clicky, although I wish the buttons were made of white plastic or were all lit up like the home button because it’s hard to see which is which when it’s dark. The Charge 4 also doesn’t have a built-in microphone, so if you tend to use your speakerphone for phone calls, you might be annoyed. Personally, I never want a microphone on my speaker and I always end up disconnecting my phone every time I have a phone call, so that’s really a positive for me, but I can see how this could be a problem for some . .
On paper, you will notice that the JBL Charge 4 has Bluetooth 4.2 instead of the old 4.1, which is nice, but the real differences have to do with JBL Connect. If you’ve never owned a JBL speaker, JBL Connect is the feature that lets you sync multiple speakers together to play the same song. It’s not quite the equivalent of a Sonos system, but if you’re hosting a party, it could certainly get the job done. JBL Connect+ is an improved version of the old JBL Connect and allows you to connect up to 100 JBL speakers together instead of one or two. If you have a mansion, this would be a great party trick.
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Unfortunately, if you bought an older speaker with regular JBL Connect (like Charge 3), it is not compatible with this new plus version. So if you and a few friends are going to splurge on 100 of these and throw a ‘Project X’ style party, this might be a feature that might interest you. For the average person, I doubt it matters much.
If you’re having trouble connecting to your Charge 4, then it might be a good idea to reset it and start from scratch. To do this, just follow these steps:
There are tiny LED lights on the stand that let you know how much juice you have left.
Although the JBL Charge 4 has a much larger battery capacity than the Charge 3, both are still advertised as having the same 20 hours of continuous playback. During our test, we managed to get the Charge 4 to play music for 13 hours and 46 minutes straight. It wasn’t quite the 20 hours they promised, but it’s still not bad. However, this will be a success if you decide to also charge your devices via the rear USB-A output. You will also find a 3.5mm input and a USB Type-C input on the back, but Type-C can only be used for charging. So if you have a Type-C to Type-C cable and you’re hoping to charge your new Android phone or iPad Pro through that port, you’re out of luck. You should use the USB-A port for everything related to charging.
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This was the part where I was most surprised because I expected the sound quality to be an improvement over the Charge 3, but it seems to be very similar to my ears. JBL went with a single driver over dual drivers this time, but aside from a few minor complaints, I don’t think many people buying this speaker will notice. Like the previous model, the new JBL Charge 4 has a strong low-end for its size, which is undoubtedly helped by those passive radiators.
Like the older Charge 3, this model will sound better in larger rooms and open spaces — especially since bass tends to lose power over distance faster than higher sounds. If you use the Charge 4 in a barn, garden or garage: the sound will drop a bit of bass emphasis and it will sound a bit more pleasant for you.
The sound signature and quality of the JBL Charge 4 is almost identical to the JBL Charge 3.
Low notes throughout Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats’ Tearing at the Seams were distinct and easy to follow together, but the speaker suffers from the same lack of clarity in the mids as the last model. The vocals were still visible, but they sounded like they took a backseat to some of the song’s instrumentation.
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This was especially true on the LP’s Lost on You, where the vocals sounded like they were competing with the strings and backing vocals throughout the chorus. If you are a high-end lover, you don’t have to worry because nothing sounds harsh, and I didn’t hear any distortion at high volumes. Overall, it seems that JBL has only focused on tuning the speaker to sound as close to the Charge 3 as possible, and it’s impressive how close they’ve come considering the move to a single driver. But if you liked how the last Charge 3 sounded, you will also like this one.
Otherwise, it’s better to go with JBL Charge 5, with newer technology, better battery life and a better IP67 rating. For those interested, read JBL Charge 5 in depth
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