Review: JBL Flip 4 – A serious value at $99
If you’re considering a new Bluetooth speaker and don’t want to throw your money away at a subpar speaker, the JBL Flip 4 is a worthy buy.
I've been holding on to this JBL Flip 4 speaker for quite some time now, longer than what I'm typically used to when reviewing a new product. The ethical answer here is that I've been rigorously testing it in different conditions and whatnot, but the truth is, I've been using it like it was one of my own speakers.
With it being summer, the best way to test this speaker was using in real world experiences. Like taking it to the beach and using it at cookouts. All of which I did. In each instance, the JBL Flip 4 rocked it. Truthfully, I couldn't expect anything less when it comes JBL. I've been a huge fan of their speakers ever since the early days. The company is consistent, and the JBL Flip 4 is a prime example.
Alright, so what makes this speaker so special? For starters, it's waterproof. Not a lot of speakers out there with this sound quality offer that. Sure, they may be splash proof, but with the JBL Flip 4, you can completely submerge it in water and have it come out completely unscathed. With all the latest waterproofing technology that's out there, this still blows my mind.
The JBL Flip 4's sound is something that should be noted. For a mid size Bluetooth speaker, this thing cranks. Like, not obnoxiously loud, but loud enough that the sound travels without losing any quality. And it's not all treble either. The speaker is equipped with what JBL calls a "Bass Radiator," but I guess that's just another fancy word for a subwoofer. I may be wrong, but that's my best guess. I'm not an audiophile or anything, but I can tell you this thing sounds amazing for its size. I was able to use the speaker at both the beach and during a cookout and at no point did I feel like it wasn't handling it.
What I really personally like about the JBL Flip 4 is how durable it is. I can take this thing anywhere without worrying about dropping it or getting it scuffed up. I know this thing can take a beating. I've tried this with other Bluetooth speakers and after a couple of months of wear and tear, they eventually crap the bed. For me, durability is something I consider when purchasing one of these speakers. Having had this speaker for a couple of months now, I know it's something that will last me years down the line.
The speaker has a lot of other cool functionalities as well. For instance, JBL Connect+, which allows other people to connect their JBL speakers to yours. So instead of one speaker doing all the work, you can link up to 100 other speakers to it, which is pretty sick. Other features include speakerphone capabilities and voice integration with Siri or Google Now. Not bad for Bluetooth speaker, right?
The JBL Flip 4 is no doubt a premium speaker, which means you'll have to pay a premium price. But here's the kicker, it's not that expensive when you think about it. Retail price for this speaker sits right around the $99 mark. Sure, it sounds expensive at first, but when you factor in the JBL name and sound, the price is actually a bargain. Now, I'm not saying you can't find something comparable at a lower price, but again, it probably won't last as long as the JBL. For me, that's the deciding factor.
Overall, if you're in the market for a quality Bluetooth speaker in the $100 range, the JBL Flip 4 should be on top of your list.