JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth speaker gets improved sound, full waterproofing

At first glance, JBL’s Flip 4 portable Bluetooth speaker looks very similar to its 2016 one Flip 3. But the look can be deceiving: it’s actually a slightly larger speaker, weighing 1.14lbs (517g) – 0.14lbs more than its predecessor – and it’s covered in stronger fabric with a texture. more dense. As part of that exterior design change, the Flip 4 receives a few changes on the inside, including new drivers and a supposedly larger battery that offers 12 hours of battery life instead of the Flip 3’s 10 hours. The speaker is now also fully waterproof. rather than just splash-proof.

Like the Flip 3, the Flip 4 can be placed vertically or laid horizontally – hence its Flip moniker – and comes with a detachable lanyard that allows you to hang the speaker from a shower head, branch outside, or a noose on your backpack. Available in six colors, it costs $ 100 or £ 120. Official availability in Australia is not yet known, but the price in the US converts to around AU $ 140.

The JBL 4 is completely waterproof and its fabric cover has a denser texture.

Sarah Tew / CNET

So how much better is the Flip 4 and how does it compare to the competition from wireless Bluetooth mini speakers at this price point?

The short answer to the first question is that it’s actually a significant upgrade over the Flip 3. Not only does it sound a little louder, it sounds better, with better bass response and slightly better clarity.

I compared this speaker to the similarly priced Ultimate Ears Wonderboom and the most expensive UE Boom 2. The Wonderboom is shorter and stockier and offers more bass; it comes as a bigger speaker than the Flip 4. However, with some tracks the Flip 4 sounded more natural, particularly in the mid range, and I preferred its sound when listening to some songs.

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