Expert review of the JBL Flip 4
Flip 5: the successor to the Flip 4
The JBL Flip 4 is no longer available. Fortunately, JBL has released a new version on the market: the JBL Flip 5. The 2 speakers are similar, but the Flip 5 has had an upgrade. The sound is fuller and the Bluetooth connection has also been improved. The speaker now also charges fully within 2.5 hours instead of 3.5 hours.
The compact Flip 4 has a comfortable grip and feels sturdy, but not heavy. This is because the casing consists of durable mesh and sturdy rubber. On the sides of the speaker are passive radiators that produce a deep bass. I wonder how the bass sounds and if the bass tones won't dominate. Another convenient thing: there's a carrying strap attached to the casing that I use to attach the speaker to a bag. In the box, there's a USB charging cable and a quick start guide.
The passive radiators make sure the bass sounds extra firm. This means that, despite its compact size, the speaker provides a deep sound reproduction. I put on a dance song, a rock song, and a hiphop song and in each song, the bass can be clearly heard in the mix. The vocals and effects aren't drowned out, but stay clear and intelligible.
The battery life
The JBL Flip 4 has a 12-hour battery life. That's longer than average, because for most speakers in this price range, the battery life is 8 hours or shorter. The battery status is indicated by 5 built-in lights. This allows me to see exactly when it's time to charge the battery.
With a width of 17.5 centimetres, the Flip 4 is compact. JBL says the speaker is IPX7-certified. This means it's completely waterproof. No water can get into the USB or AUX inputs, since they're protected by a rubber lid. I put the speaker to the test and hold it under the faucet. This didn't affect the sound. The included carrying strap is a nice extra. I use it to attach the speaker to my bag, so I can listen to music while walking to the beach.
I don't think it's convenient to have to grab my phone every time to control the music. That's why I'm a fan of the big buttons I use to adjust the volume, pause the music or answer an incoming phone call. The JBL Connect+ function is a useful addition. If you download the Connect app on your smartphone or tablet, you'll be able to connect an unlimited number of JBL speakers to each other, creating a powerful audio system.