Jbl Flip 4 Bluetooth – If you’re looking for a sub-$100 speaker to take to the beach or pool, the Flip 4 is a great option.
The JBL Flip series is one of the most popular Bluetooth speaker lines for several reasons. Most importantly, each Flip speaker can be purchased for less than $100. The JBL Flip 4 is already outdated, but that doesn’t mean it’s outdated. So how does it look right now compared to newer competition? In short: not bad.
Jbl Flip 4 Bluetooth
Editor’s note: This JBL Flip 4 review was updated on January 10, 2021 to add context to the audio quality section and add a content menu.
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In the box you get a speaker, a bright orange charging cable, and instructions and warranty information. Pretty standard from the company and I wasn’t expecting any fancy carry bag at this price point anyway.
At first glance, the Flip 4 doesn’t really make much of a difference from the previous Flip 3, and that’s because, aside from a few minor design changes, like turning the phone button into a more appropriate triangle for pausing or playing, there really isn’t much to it. such a big difference between them. The Flip 4 still features the iconic cylindrical shape with visible passive bass radiators at each end to match the rest of the JBL lineup. However, there is one key difference that makes it a worthy upgrade over the outgoing model – waterproofing.
The fabric wrapped around the speaker may look very similar to the previous model, but is now completely waterproof. More specifically, it’s IPX7 water-resistant, which, along with being submerged for 30 minutes in water up to one meter deep, also means it’s protected from dust, dirt, and sand. So there were no problems with delivery to the beach.
I could throw it in sand and water and then just wipe it off, throw it in my bag and keep moving. It probably doesn’t matter much to you if you have a Flip 3 and have never dropped it in water (or even kept it near water, for that matter), but it’s good to know that if you drop it in a pool or at sea, you don’t need to replace the speaker.
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Editor’s note: Sarah tested the IPX7 rating of the JBL Flip 4 by submerging it in a pool for about 10 seconds and it was found to be broken. The speaker was still making sound, but the sound was overshadowed by a loud crackle. JBL Customer Service stated that the one-year warranty has expired and defective products out of warranty cannot be replaced free of charge. Given that JBL is a company whose main asset is waterproofing, this is disappointing.
The JBL Flip 3 is small enough to fit easily into a bag, making it a great carry option.
Speaking of which, this speaker still doesn’t float like the UE Wonderboom we reviewed, so if you accidentally drop it in a pool, it will sink to the bottom. And if you’re in the ocean, just kiss him goodbye. But other than that, the rest of the dynamics haven’t changed much. You still get four playback control buttons along the side of the speaker, as well as a power button and JBL Connect+ along the spine.
Here you’ll also find five indicator lights showing how much battery is left, as well as a small flap to keep water out of the micro USB charging port and the 3.5mm port hidden underneath. It also has a drawstring so you can hang it on a hook or tie it to your bag if you like. While I prefer the flex cord you’ll find on something like the UE Roll, the cord is fine here.
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Let’s go back to that JBL Connect+ plus button for a second, because that’s one of my biggest complaints about this speaker. If you remember, the Flip 3 also had a JBL Connect button, but it’s Connect+ and the extra plus sign makes a huge difference. While the old one could only connect two JBL speakers together, this new Connect+ button can connect up to 100. Pretty good until you realize you can’t connect any previous speakers that don’t have Connect+.
So, if you have another speaker and were hoping to connect the Flip 4 to it, you’re out of luck. It’s a real bummer because the Flip series isn’t so expensive that it’s unimaginable that someone buys it every time a new one comes out and now they can’t even put them together.
Okay, the bullshit is over. Other than that, I didn’t have any problems connecting this speaker. The signal remained strong no matter where I was in the house, which practically means about 50 feet with a few walls in the way. If you’re outdoors, I’m sure you can push it a little more as well, as I walked over 50 feet when I took it to the beach, but to be honest, I didn’t have a tape measure to get an accurate distance. The playback controls also work very well, and the buttons are nice and clicky, so you don’t have to wonder if you actually pressed them or not.
You can adjust the volume with the plus and minus buttons, pause/play music or access your phone’s personal assistant with the play button, skip to the next song by double-clicking the triangular play button, and easily enter Bluetooth pairing mode with special button . It all works great, I have no complaints.
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JBL claims a battery life of around 12 hours, but in our initial testing we got exactly 4 hours at maximum volume. Yes, big difference. But the reason is that I feel that most people who use a waterproof Bluetooth speaker will use it outdoors, where it is likely to be at maximum volume. So here’s how I tested it.
But when I turn the volume down to 50-75%, it easily reaches 12 hours. So there are some things to keep in mind if you think you are going to go out somewhere like the beach. You won’t have a problem for a few hours, but if you’re planning a day trip or a day at the pool, you might want to avoid the high power or the speaker won’t last.
The Flip 4 doesn’t have a lot of booming sound, but it’s still good for its size and price.
If you wanted the Flip 4 to be a huge improvement in sound quality over the previous model, I’m sorry to disappoint you. The sound of the Flip 4 is very similar to the previous model. Now, this is by no means a blow to the Flip 4 because I liked the sound of the Flip 3. As far as I can tell, there are only a few subtle differences here, one of which is the height.
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On the Flip 3, I did find some audio distortion when the speaker was at maximum, but that’s not a problem with this newer model. Sliding fingers that used to sound a bit harsh in Iron & Wine’s Cinder And Smoke are now more controlled. You can still enjoy it without disturbing your ears, which is a plus.
For such a compact speaker, the JBL Flip 4 sounds nice and loud, and the sound is consumer-friendly.
Mids are almost unchanged, vocals still sound loud and clear. The background tools are pushed out of the page a bit, but not enough to cause problems. The guitar and percussion on Jason Mraz’s Life is Wonderful perfectly support the vocals throughout the track.
Another minor change has been made to the low frequencies: the bass has become slightly more powerful compared to the previous model. It still doesn’t recreate the “sub-bass” of your favorite songs, but it doesn’t seem like it does a poor job of playing it at a slightly higher frequency. Swinging bass Mr. Kid Cudi’s Rager is consistent throughout the background of the song, not picking out any middle ground.
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One of the biggest new features of the Flip 4 compared to its predecessor was the addition of an IPX7 waterproof design. The JBL Flip 3 was only splash-proof, but that might not matter much to you if you don’t know the differences between the two. We have a full explanation so you can read all about it to become an expert, but we also made this table so you can understand it. Basically, water resistance comes down to the last digit in the series. As you can see from the chart, the IPX7 design means that the product has been tested for 30 minutes of immersion in water to a depth of 1 meter.
The JBL Flip 4 has a 3.5mm input if you want to plug it in.
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