JBL’s new range of portable speakers seems to have two things in mind… how does it sound, and goes it look good? For £49 on the JBL website, you could have an amazing little portable speaker, called the JBL Clip4, which stands at 8.6 x 13.5 x 4.6 centimetres and weighs just 0.2kg. It has a built-in carabiner clip so you can attach it to your backpack or even the inside of a tent. And with Bluetooth 5.1, you can stream music directly from a phone or tablet.
The JBL Clip4 looks pretty funky, with its purple and orange highlights around the metal trim. The three large buttons on the front for Play/Pause, Skip Track and Volume are also in neon orange, and the giant JBL logo is purple. On what I would call the back are two more buttons for power and Bluetooth and a neon orange rubber base. It doesn’t stand up either, and when not hanging from something via the clip, it’s more akin to sitting on its back. The clip part of the JBL Clip4 feels tough, and to test I dropped it a couple of times to see if it would dent and nothing. It’s a solid speaker. Everywhere else that isn’t rubber or metal is covered in a mesh type material, which helps with the IP67 water and dust proofing. If purple and orange isn’t your thing, then the JBL Clip4 comes in a whole array of styles to suit your fashion needs.
Don’t let the JBL Clip4’s small size fool you though. This little speaker sounds absolutely fantastic for its size. For this review, I stuck to Spotify, as that’s really what most people are going to be using, unless you’re some top-grade audiophile, but since Spotify is usually the streaming platform of choice, let’s stick with that. I was surprised at just how much bass was produced from the Clip4, and actually how well controlled it was compared to other frequencies. Of course, it’s not going to blow you away with earth-shattering rumbles, but to have kick drums and bass lines shine through in a speaker this size is refreshing. Not to mention as well that vocals also cut through music and the mids didn’t muddy in any way. There was however a problem with distortion, as you hit higher volumes, but that was really only noticeable when bass-heavy sections of music kicked in, or there was a punchy kick drum most notably in Hip Hop.
Most of the music produced is going to come from what I would consider the front… where the big JBL logo is. Most of the bass comes from the rear, which helps somewhat depending on placement. I found the bass was more noticeable in music when the speaker was laid down on its orange rubber stand. If it was clipped to something, like the centre of a tent, for example, bass tones were lost, but not completely missing. Having something to fire against like a tabletop worked best. Its max output sits at 5watts with a frequency response rate of 100Hz – 20kHz. There’s a 10-hour battery life and it takes around three hours to charge using a USB Type-C. A plug isn’t included, so using a PC or laptop is fine.
The BL Clip4 is a perfect partner for your next holiday… to the beach or while camping. The audio produced in my opinion is absolutely superb. It looks funky sure, but as I said, there are loads of styles to choose from and the carabiner clip built-in is surprisingly useful. It’s an absolute steal in all honesty, and if you’re thinking about going on holiday now that COVID is pretty much gone and travel has resumed around the world, make sure this is in your luggage, or better yet… attached to your backpack so you can bring the party wherever you go.