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The Extremely Useful and Portable JBL Clip 4
- JBL Pro Sound delivers surprisingly rich audio and punchy bass from Clip 4’s compact size.
- JBL Clip 4’s ultra-portable design goes great with the latest styles, and its colorful fabrics and expressive details make it look as great as it sounds.
- With the JBL Clip 4’s redesigned carabiner that’s integrated into the speaker itself for extra protection, you can clip it on and go explore the world.
- Wirelessly stream music from your phone, tablet, or any other Bluetooth-enabled device.
- The JBL Clip 4 is IP67 waterproof and dustproof, so you can bring your speaker anywhere.
- Power source type: Battery Powered
- Included components: JBL Clip 4, Type C USB Cable, Quick Start Guide, Warranty Card, Safety Sheet
Few companies are capable of drawing intrigue around a carabiner, but JBL has built quite a fanbase for its Clip series of Bluetooth speakers. The JBL Clip 4 seeks to rectify the Clip 3’s shortcomings with a more robust integrated carabiner, improved durability rating, and louder output. However, while JBL added some neat features to the Clip 4, it also took away the headphone jack, leaving users with no way to enjoy lossless playback.
What’s it like to use the JBL Clip 4?
JBL wants you to bring this playful Bluetooth speaker anywhere, or at least have the option to do so. The IP67 build protects it from dust and water, while the integrated carabiner makes attaching it to the outside of your bag a cinch. A familiar fabric wrap covers the front and rear sections of the speaker, so you can easily grip it under any condition. Much like the JBL Xtreme 3, rubberized ribs line the backside and prevent it from sliding about when you lay it flat on a table. The company’s logo occupies the bulk of the front panel and its only purpose is to inform passersby that you purchased a JBL speaker.
Five buttons live on the speaker, three on the front and two on the left side. The button trio controls playback and volume (though you can’t go back a track), while the side buttons are for pairing and powering the speaker on/off. While JBL’s aesthetic may not appeal to all, its button layout and definition are great: it’s easy to find and differentiate between controls without looking at the speaker.
The Clip 4 houses a completely accessible USB-C input whereas, with the Clip 3, you have to pull back a flap to reveal the micro USB and auxiliary inputs. JBL also redesigned the carabiner. The previous generation was prone to breaking along the hinge, but this time around, JBL embedded the most tenuous parts of the clip into the casing. It takes no effort to operate the clip with one hand, which is great for biking around the city.
Does the JBL Clip 4 stay connected?
The JBL Clip 4 uses Bluetooth 5.1 and has a 10-meter range, which is typical for any Bluetooth speaker. According to JBL support, the range can extend to 15 meters if you’re in an open environment. While Bluetooth 5.1 reads like a great feature, its main benefit is power efficiency, hence the extended playtime of the Clip 4 compared to the Clip 3.
In typical JBL fashion, the Clip 4 supports just the SBC Bluetooth codec and this time around it lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack. Some may frown at these specs but isn’t a crushing blow. The Clip 4 is an adventure speaker, not an audiophile’s companion. There is a significant audio-visual lag though, so expect spoiled punchlines and a delay when streaming your favorite comedy special.
You can’t connect the Clip 4 to more than one device at a time, unlike other Bluetooth speakers. When it comes time to switch source devices, you have to press the Bluetooth button on the side and dive into the designated device’s Bluetooth menu to make a new connection.
The JBL Clip 4 may be simple, but it’s powerful and portable. It ticks every box for someone who wants a rugged speaker that can keep up with their demanding adventures.
While some may be averse to the Clip 4 and its feature-light package, others will embrace it. This modest, utilitarian speaker isn’t meant to be the center of attention, instead of serving as a situation enhancer. Whether you’re on your bike or gathered around the bonfire, the fourth-generation JBL Clip is the perfect partner. If you want something with more modern comforts like a microphone, smart assistant access, and general software support, you’ll need to stretch that budget a bit more.