One of my absolute favorite personal speakers, with a killer sound signature and durable, compact package.
Hey everyone, Jimmy with JimsReviewRoom. I’ve seen your comments asking me to review the Flip 4 all over my previous reviews and I appreciate it! You definitely got my attention on this one. The Flip series makes a return, and although it looks nearly the same, nearly everything has been improved. I personally paid for this at the retail price of $100, and as always, I’ll place my Amazon Affiliate links above, click on my links and they’ll give you the most updated prices in real time. You never know when these things might go on sale.
The Flip 4 is ever-so-slightly bigger and ever-so-slightly heavier. Despite the increase, the Flip 4 is still a very portable, very compact for most people’s needs. The nylon fabric makes a return, offering a very rugged experience, and with this years model, it’s not just splash proof, but JBL finally caught up with the competition and it is now fully submersible in water. With the Flip 4’s IPX7 rating, it can go underwater up to 1 meter, or 3.3 feet for those on the imperial system and for up to 30 minutes. As a side note, the speaker does not float, which is quite a letdown. UE and Fugoo speakers actually float if it ever drops off the boat into the pool.
Looking at the buttons, there’s Bluetooth pairing on the far left, volume up and down, and to the far right is pause and play. If you use the app to change it, you can have this same button call up Siri or Google Assistant. Besides those options, you can answer phone calls with that little triangle, and with my testing, it sounded quite bad. Standing just 2 feet from the speaker, my voice was audible with slight raspiness, and the other end can tell I’m on a speakerphone. At 4 feet away, speaking naturally, my voice sounded very raspy, there was an echo similar to speaking in a bathroom, and I sounded so much further away that it was somewhat annoying for the person on the other end.
JBL CONNECT PLUS
Finishing up the buttons, there’s power up top with 5 white LEDS to indicate battery life. My battery tests will come shortly here, so hang on tight. There is a JBL Connect PLUS button, and I want to emphasize the Plus in the name. With last years speakers, they also had JBL Connect, but you were only able to pair those speakers with one other JBL Connect speaker. With the Plus version, you’re now not limited to two, but you can connect 100 or more speakers at the same time, and all of them would play in sync – perfect for those trying to fill up a room. The only problem though, and seriously bummed as I know many of you already own a JBL Charge 3, or the JBL Xtreme, the PLUS versions don’t even pair with last year’s models. The Flip 4 cannot pair with any other speaker unless it’s another Flip 4, or until JBL releases new models later this year and into the future, then you can mix-and-match and sync two speakers or more together.
BATTERY LIFE AND BLUETOOTH SIGNAL
Moving on, under the sealed flap, there’s an auxiliary port for physical connections, and right next to that is the Micro-USB port for charging the device. With my testing at 50% volume, the same volume level on every one of my speaker tests, at a full 14 hours, I still had 50% battery life remaining – that’s phenomenal. I ran this a second time at maximum volume, and the speaker lasted exactly 4 hours of use. The speaker does slightly warm up at higher volumes, but I didn’t notice anything hazardous about it.
Last but not least, signal strength on the speaker – and being frank – Bluetooth technology is nearly perfect these days. I walked through the entire house, upstairs, and had the signal go through several walls, and the Flip 4 never cut out or skipped.
So, to the moment you’ve been waiting for, the sound test. Keep in mind, the Flip 4 does fall into the small speaker category. It’s not meant for big rooms, but this little thing can for sure fill up small bedrooms and dorm rooms, and at full volume, it can fill a medium sized room quite well. Large open rooms, surprisingly it doesn’t sound tiny and is still enjoyable for personal listening. At 50 to 60% volume, which is comfortable listening, it’s full of bass that’s not distorted or raspy, it’s a very punchy character that I loved. When you turn it up to max volume, bass levels stayed the same, but the mid-range and highs are now further emphasized.
The mid-range is clear, very distinguishable, especially at high volumes, the mid-range of vocals and instruments are pushed forward. Despite being forward, the small speaker still lacks detail or resolution, but for the small size and price, it’s expected. Touching base on the high frequencies, snare drums and cymbal crashes are two of the main instruments you would find here, they’re not raspy or tinny at comfortable listening, but at maximum volume, you do lose resolution or details at the top.
The high frequencies slightly jumble a bit. For the average consumer, you most likely won’t notice this. For the average consumers that are more articulate, they might be able to tell, but for the one hundred dollar price range, this speaker’s overall performance still is phenomenal. As for sound stage, like most speakers out there, there’s hardly any audio separation, unless you go JBL Connect Plus route.
The only downfall or gripe I have is the lack of support for existing JBL speaker owners, not being able to pair with the new Flip 4. Maybe a firmware update could come down the road – maybe not, we’ll see. For those looking for a rugged Bluetooth speaker, the Flip 4 is rugged, but keep in mind, it doesn’t float. If you drop this into the lake and you’re unable to see where it fell, it’s basically gone forever. On the other hand, how loud this thing gets, the amount of bass this offers, and indeed, for future speakers with JBL Connect Plus, the Flip 4 is still a great speaker to buy. The audio performance alone sounds better than most other small Bluetooth speakers on the market, in my opinion.
So, that’s it for this review. As always, follow me on my social media. I’m Jimmy with JimsReviewRoom, and I’m here to help you make a purchase decision. You guys take care, I’ll see you on the next one.
[table id=2 hide_columns=”all” show_columns=a,b,d,g,p” /] Stats from manufacturer. If incorrect, please contact us.