JBL has added yet another fabulous addition to their Bluetooth speaker lineup. The JBL Flip 3 is, as you’d imagine, the third iteration of a terrific (and award winning) speaker. Flip 3 is a tough little splashproof speaker with big sound and reasonable price tag. It features a 10 hour battery, unique Bluetooth features, enhanced bass, and a vibrant finish.
The JBL Flip 3 is about the size of a drinking glass. It’s not a miniature speaker, but it’s the perfect blend of portability, sound quality, and oomph. It weighs just one and a half pounds. The Flip is cylindrical with a slightly angled top and bottom. It’s meant to stand up, but it can also lay down. On the top and bottom are passive woofers that are inset. Almost the entire speaker is covered in a very durable speaker grill. The fabric grill is so tough you can run the speaker under a faucet of running water. Outside of water, it should be able to withstand a pretty good beating. There’s a strip running up and down the speaker without the grill. This is where the ports, status lights, and some controls are located. There’s also a hook to attach the included carrying strap. There’s a few extra controls alongside this strip.
There are 5 LEDs for indicating battery, charge, and pairing status. In addition to the on/off button, there are buttons for volume, Bluetooth pairing, JBL Connect, and a phone button that’s basically the universal button for controlling music, voice control, and phone calls.
Under a rubberized flap, Flip 3 houses a micro USB port for charging and an auxiliary input for plugging music straight into it. Bluetooth is not required and Flip 3 can play music from basically any music playing device. Pairing bluetooth is just as easy as pairing any other Bluetooth device. You can pair up to three Bluetooth devices and take turns streaming music. With JBL Connect you can pair other JBL Connect speakers to amplify the listening experience. There’s also a built-in speakerphone with microphone so you can make and take phone calls really clearly. Speakerphone is fantastic; callers sound very loud and clear and it sounds equally as good on their end.
The form factor is great, the durability is awesome, but what really has us sold on Flip 3 is the audio quality. This speaker will really surprise you, especially for its size. It gets really loud and boomy, while maintaining a very clean and clear audio signature. The music and audio sounds has a really natural tone to it. The bass is perfectly in balance with the rest of the audio. JBL’s bass radiators play a large role in this. It cranks out bass you can feel, which is pretty impressive. The mids and highs are really clear and crisp too. It’s not until you exceed 90% volume that the mids start to distort a bit. There’s not a genre that doesn’t sound great. The speaker also does a great job of dispersing the audio; it doesn’t sound directional. It can easily fill a large room with audio. It’s perfect for powering a small to medium get-together. You’d probably want something a little bigger for a large party.