After the release of the Clip 3 in the summer of 2018, JBL has already presented its successor: the Clip 4. This new version has a completely new design, like the included carabiner and more power. And all at an affordable price.
Design and build
JBL has completely redesigned its Clip speaker, because the fourth edition is completely different from the 3.
It’s still as compact as ever, but left out its round shape and is now oval, more like a padlock due to the addition of the new handle. This carabiner shaped handle allows you, as you might have guessed, to secure the speaker to items like a backpack, bicycle, etc.
The Clip 4 is made of high quality aluminum and silicone materials, and its surface is covered with a mesh that is very pleasant to the touch.
Beyond its bright and bold colors (there are plenty of options to choose from), JBL has included a huge logo on the front, in addition to the volume and activation buttons. On the back we have silicone bands for better grip and so that it does not slip, just like the JBL Charge 5.
At the bottom, we have a USB-C port, instead of a microUSB like the Clip 3, to recharge after its battery has been exhausted for 10 hours. On the carabiner, there is a discreet LED which confirms that the speaker is on, as well as its charge.
Note that the Clip 4 is a bit heavy (240g instead of 230g), but also more robust. It offers IP67 resistance to dust and water, so it will survive if submerged in water.
The American company not only updated the external appearance of its Clip speaker, but also gave it more sound power. This is somewhat surprising considering its compact size and extreme portability.
Regarding Clip 3, JBL incorporated a 40mm 5W driver. We heard the sound from many videos and the vocals were incredibly clear and reproduced with precision.
Oh, and we can’t forget that the pairing was completed in no time at all whether the device is using Bluetooth 5.1 or not.
Regarding its functionality, we are disappointed that you cannot go back to the previous song. You can only pause and resume, and skip to the next song. This is a difficult decision to understand, since you can go back to the previous song by pressing three times.
Being a cheap bluetooth speaker, there is no microphone for making calls or accessing your mobile’s digital assistant.
But more importantly, we wish JBL kept the input port jack the Clip 3 to use it without Bluetooth, as well as the Clip 4 was compatible with a mobile application. In any case, these are trifles.
The 3,885mAh battery, according to JBL, can last 10 hours of playback, but if you’re using a high volume, that number can be logically reduced.
You can charge it with the USB-C cable that came in the box, and it will take 3 hours to go from 0% to 100%. The LED turns red when you charge the Clip 4. It would have been more useful to have a real battery level indicator.
The JBL Clip 4 is priced at $ 59.99 on the manufacturer’s website, something quite affordable considering the quality of the product. You can also buy it from stores like Amazon, Fnac, MediaMarkt and PcComponentes.
Its closest rival is the Tribit Stormbox Micro, which is practically the same price, but can be connected to a second Stormbox Micro for stereo audio effect.
For more options, feel free to check out our selection of the best inexpensive Bluetooth speakers.
JBL’s daring bet with the Clip 4 has worked.
The brand has combined performance and design and has created a practical and solid speaker that can be carried anywhere by hanging the carabiner on your belt, backpack or bike, if you wish.
Our big complaints are the lack of port jack and a microphone, as well as not being able to go back to the previous song (although the first one is easier to forgive).
Original article published in Tech Advisor FR.
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