Every speaker JBL releases is even better than the last. The latest JBL Flip 4 is an incredible portable speaker that’s fully waterproof and sounds amazing as a party pleaser, shower buddy, our indoor chill-time speaker. The Flip 4 has an impressive 12 hour battery and features noise-cancelling speakerphone, built-in buttons, JBL Connect+, and dual passive radiators so you can see the bass you can feel.
The JBL Flip 4 is not much bigger than a can of soda; it’s almost the same width and few inches taller. It’s wrapped in a durable waterproof fabric available in a variety of bright colors. This fabric runs all the way around the speaker with exception to the side bumpers and a strip for buttons. JBL calls it lifestyle material, as it’s durable enough to withstand most any lifestyle. On either side of the cylindrical speaker are passive bass radiators that pulsate while the speaker plays. There’s a series of buttons included on the speaker. They allow you to skip tracks, adjust volume, manage phone calls, access your phone’s voice activation, set up Bluetooth pairing, and use JBL Connect+. There’s a dedicated button for power and for Bluetooth so there’s no annoying long presses involved. There’s a rubberized flap that seals in the micro-USB port and auxiliary input. Finally, there’s a lanyard loop attached for making Flip 4 as portable as possible.
The Flip 4 uses a standard Micro-USB cable for charging. JBL always includes an really nice orange rubberized cable for charging it. The battery lasts for an impressive 12 hours, which is a lot considering it’s smaller size. There’s a five-light LED indicator for battery power that’s really handy. Depending on use, it could easily last you a couple weeks with moderate use around the house.
With an IPX-7 waterproof rating, Flip 4 can survive most any dip, drunk, or drop into the water. It can be submerged in water and will function just fine. It won’t play music (or won’t play well) in the water, so if it does go for a swim it may need a minute to blow all the water out before sounding great again.
The dedicated Bluetooth button makes pairing easier than ever, which is important for a party speaker. There’s nothing complicated about pairing and the whole process shouldn’t take more than 30 seconds. The speaker can actually be paired to two devices at a time. There’s a standard aux input in case you want to crank tunes using a cable instead of Bluetooth. The JBL Connect+ allows you to pair any JBL speaker with the Connect+ feature, it doesn’t need to be a Flip. You can apparently link more than 100 speakers.
For it’s size, the Flip 4 sounds awesome! It gets plenty loud and cranks a lot of boomy bass that doesn’t overwhelm the music. It’s loud enough to power a small party, even outside. It’s impressive considering it’s basically small enough to fit in a large pocket. It takes up a small footprint, so it’s easy to plop down, or hang, just about anywhere. There’s a lot of detail in the music, and only at loud volumes will you notice any distortion or graininess. It’s really well balanced with a lot of bass, great mids and highs. If you’re not looking for extreme high fidelity audio (and don’t want to spend a lot more money) then you’ll be extremely pleased with how nice the Flip 4 sounds with almost every genre.
Read on for the verdict…
Pricing in at just $89.95 from Amazon.com, we’d highly recommend the JBL Flip 4. It’s very portable, very loud, sounds great, has a long battery with easy micro-USB charging, good controls, has noise-cancelling speakerphone, and it’s waterproof. What else could you want?! Oh yeah, and it comes in fun colors! The JBL Flip 4 is currently available in black, blue, gray, red, teal (pictured), white, and camouflage.
The Good: Sounds great, Portable, Durable, 12 Hour Battery Life, Colors, Micro-USB Charging, IPX7 waterproof, JBL Connect+
The Bad: Distorts at higher volumes, Can’t charge other devices using Flip’s built in battery like JBL Charge