Even if it’s more of a refinement than a revolution, JBL’s Flip 4 still feels like the most compelling wireless speaker the brand have delivered yet when it comes to party-ready wireless speakers. It’s got the tech. It’s got the looks. Most importantly, it’s got the right price.
When it comes to sound, it’s hard to imagine a portable wireless speaker that matches your expectations as well as the Flip 4 does. The Flip 4 sounds unequivocally really good. A 360-design and dual external passive radiators combine to lend the speaker really project sound in a way that really delivers on the promise of the product.
It’s quick and easy to setup over Bluetooth and even easier to sync up with additional Flip 4 units via Connect+, requiring only a single button press to network the speakers together. Earlier this year, JBL even went so far as to take out a world record to demonstrate the extent of this feature, synchronizing over 100 Flip 4 units together.
As well as being cheaper, listening experiences sounded louder, clearer and “bass-ier” than a lot of wireless speakers I’ve previously spent time with.
Size-wise, the Flip 4 is a little bigger than the Flip 3. Although it’s got an undeniable sense of heft to it it’d be unfair to call it bulky. It’s light enough that you’ll want to bring it with you but heavy enough that you’re unlikely to forget about it when it comes time to leave.
The mesh fabric that wraps itself around is a little more taut than what’s come before but you’re not likely to notice this too much unless you’ve spent a ton of time with the Flip 3. After all, the form-factor aspect of the JBL Flip 4 is more of a refinement than anything else.
The far more noticeable difference between the JBL Flip 4 and what’s come before is the jump to waterproofing. It’s a solid improvement where the Flip 3 was only splash-proof – and one that might just be able to give JBL the push it needs to finally overtake rival UE within the Australian market. The Flip 4 is IPX7 rated, which means that it comes certified to survive being submerged in depths of approximately three meters for up to half an hour.
The Flip 4 carries similarly impressive specs when it comes to battery life. Where the Flip 3 had ten hours of use to a single charge, it’s got 12. Obviously, this will vary a little depending on your volume settings but it definitely ends up in a place that’s on-par, if not a little better, than a lot of the competition out there.
It’s also arrives ready to integrate with both Google Assistant, Siri and Amazon’s Alexa. Though the latter isn’t available in Australia at present, it’s still a nice inclusion that’ll likely become more valuable over time and as voice companion tech becomes more mainstream.
If you’ve ever bought into the growing category of party-friendly ultra-portable wireless Bluetooth speakers, the Flip 4 will hold up as JBL’s best and brightest effort yet. On all fronts, there are tangible improvements and taken as a whole, it’s a solid package.
If you want more battery life or bass, there are other options in the company’s stable for you. However, if you want the best mix of good sound, design, durability and price, the JBL Flip 4 is well worth tuning yourself towards.
The JBL Flip 4 is available through JB Hi-Fi and other Australian retailers for an RRP of $149.