Jbl Charge 4 Charging – If you want to future proof yourself and get the new JBL Connect+, this is definitely the way to go. Otherwise, there’s not much difference between it and the Charge 3 before it (although USB-C charging is certainly nice).
If you’re in the market for a Bluetooth speaker, one brand comes up more often than others. JBL has options at basically every price point, but for the price, its 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 initial release?
Jbl Charge 4 Charging
At first glance, the Charge 4 doesn’t look much different from the previous Charge 3. But if you look a little closer, you’ll notice some minor differences in build and size. The Charge 4 is slightly larger by about a centimeter each way, but it’s also heavier at 165 grams (7.05 ounces). While this isn’t obviously huge, it’s not great news if you rely on the speaker’s portability. If you walk, an ounce in the morning is a pound in the evening. That said, it shouldn’t really make a practical difference to day-to-day activities. You should be able to throw this in a backpack 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. Apart from that, the Charge 4 still retains most of the features that made the Charge 3 so great.
Yes, the tough waterproof fabric comes back with IPX7 certification, which allows you to submerge in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes. If you drop it in water, it floats a bit, so you don’t have to worry about losing it if it falls off the boat or deck. Like most new JBL speakers in the last few years it has the characteristic exposed dual passive radiators at both ends.
Editor’s Note: Sarah tested the JBL Flip 4’s IPX7 rating by submerging it in a pool for about 10 seconds, and it cracked. The speaker still produced sound, but the sound was covered by a loud hiss. JBL customer support said that the one year warranty has lapsed and defective products out of warranty cannot be replaced free of charge. Considering that JBL is a company whose biggest selling point is their water resistance, this was disappointing.
At the top, you’ll find the playback buttons, which are slightly above the fabric, along with the power and Bluetooth buttons. At the bottom is a small built-in stand with five small LED lights that let you know how much battery life is left when you tap a switch, and there’s a rubber flap on the back that keeps all the ports protected from water. Make sure it’s closed if you’re wearing it to the beach or lounging by the pool.
Jbl Charge 4 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker
The Charge 4 has illuminated power and Bluetooth pairing buttons above the playback buttons.
Connecting to the speaker might not be as easy as your AirPods, but it’s still pretty easy. As soon as you turn it on, you need to press the Bluetooth button next to the power button to enter the pairing mode. From there, find the device in your Bluetooth settings to connect to.
If you still can’t tell, the JBL Charge 4 isn’t too different from the previous model. It repeats after repetition, but connectivity is where things start to break down. The Charge 4 has all your bases covered with a strong connection up to about 30 feet, just like most Bluetooth speakers. The playback controls work great and the buttons are nice and clicky, although I wish the buttons were made of white plastic or that they all lit up like the power button, because it’s hard to see who’s who 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’ll be in trouble. Personally, I never want a microphone on my speaker and my phone disconnects every time I get a call, so this is a positive for me, but I can see how this could be a turn off for some. .
On paper, you’ll notice that the JBL Charge 4 has Bluetooth 4.2 instead of the older 4.1, which is nice, but the real differences are related to JBL Connect. If you’ve never owned JBL speakers, JBL Connect is a feature that allows you to sync multiple speakers together to play the same song. It’s not really on par with the Sonos system, but if you’re throwing a party, it can definitely do the job. JBL Connect+ is a better version of the older JBL Connect and allows you to connect up to 100 JBL speakers together instead of one or two. This would be a great party trick if you have a mansion.
Jbl Flip 5 Vs Jbl Charge 4 Review
Unfortunately, if you bought an older speaker with a regular JBL Connect (like the Charge 3), it’s not compatible with this new Plus version. So if you and a few friends are getting together on 100 of these and throwing a “Project X” style party, you’ll love this feature. For the average person, I doubt it matters much.
If you’re having trouble connecting to your Charge 4, it might be a good idea to reset it and start from scratch. To do this just follow these steps:
There are little LED lights on the stand that let you know how much juice is left.
Although the JBL Charge 4 has a much larger capacity battery than the Charge 3, both are advertised as having 20 hours of continuous playback. During our testing, we managed to get the Charge 4 to pump out 13 hours and 46 minutes of live music. It wasn’t the 20 hours they promised, but still not bad. However, if you decide to charge your device via the USB-A output on the back, it will be successful. You also get 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 want to charge your new Android phone or iPad Pro with 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 better than the Charge 3, but it seems to be the same to my ears. JBL went with a single driver over dual drivers this time around, but aside from a few minor complaints, I don’t think many people buying these speakers will notice. Like the previous model, the new JBL Charge 4 has a strong low profile 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 areas – mainly due to the fact that bass loses power over distance faster than highs. If you’re using the Charge 4 in a barn, patio or garage: the sound will reduce some of the bass and give you a little more enjoyment.
The sound signature and quality of the JBL Charge 4 is almost identical to the JBL Charge 3.
Bass notes throughout Nathaniel Ratliff and The Night Sweats’ Tearing at the Seams were clear and easy to follow along, but the speaker suffers from a lack of mid-range clarity. The vocals were still visible, but they seemed to take a backseat to some of the song’s instrumentation.
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This was especially true in the song Lost on You from the LP, where the vocals seemed to be competing with the strings and background melody throughout the chorus. If you’re a high-end lover, you don’t need to worry as nothing sounds harsh and I didn’t hear any distortion at high volumes. Overall, it looks like JBL has focused on tuning the speakers closer to the Charge 3, and it’s impressive how close they’ve come considering going down to just one driver. But if you liked how the last Charge 3 sounded, you’ll like this one too.
Otherwise, you’re better off going for the JBL Charge 5, with its newer technology, better battery life and better IP67 rating. For those interested, read our in-depth JBL Charge 5 review
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