Review: The JBL Flip, Easily The Best Portable, Battery Powered Speaker We’ve Tested
I’m a bit of a music nerd. I can’t get through my day with out music playing in one capacity or another. All throughout college I couldn’t study unless music was playing in the background. Maybe I have attention problems that require a small bit of distraction to concentrate, who knows. The problem is, it’s kind of hard to get music in some places these days unless you have headphones jammed in your ears all day long. The JBL Flip is a small battery-powered speaker that also has Bluetooth support, and a built in microphone that lets you make and take calls, but the best part is that it’s insanely portable and only costs $99.00.
The device, which is available in both black and white, keeps a fantastic charge and lasts quite a while with the power stored up in its built-in battery. I took it for a spin in my car on a 150KM trip to see my parents for a weekend visit. While I don’t recommend testing the device in your car (I had a passenger to push buttons, etc), I do recommend taking the speaker with you on road trips if you can fit it into your luggage. The speaker lasted the whole trip home, and through the entire weekend. While I wasn’t playing music the whole time I was away, the battery lasted a solid 5-6 hours on just one charge. When I finally got around to charging it once I got home, it took about 4 hours to fully charge up again.
I’ve had a lot of finicky speaker systems that are supposed to work with Bluetooth, but a lot of time time it’s a pain to set up, pain to keep the devices connected, and the functional distance between my speakers and my phone or iPad is small enough to make it a pain to use. The JBL Flip on the other hand provided a solid connection and let me move around the entire floor of my house without the audio quality degrading. If I had to guess, I’d say you could probably wander about 15 to 20 feet from the speakers and have your audio connection over bluetooth work just fine.
Real world uses? It’s a bit cold here in Canada to test the speaker out poolside, but I couldn’t help but think about how perfect this device would be by the pool, on the deck, or at the beach in the summer. It’s small enough to fit in a murse, purse, or day bag, and it has enough power to annoy everyone in your vicinity. If you’re the type that likes to blare the death metal to clear out some space at the beach before settling on some softer, jammier vibes, this is the perfect device for you.
The JBL Flip is great in a lot of situations, but what it’s not is a home stereo replacement. If you’re thinking about replacing that giant stereo with a sound bar, or dock of some kind, the Flip might not be the best solution for you. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great at what it does, but busting out the heavy drops during your next home rave isn’t exactly something in this speakers repertoire, nor should it be. The JBL Flip is the perfect speaker for on the go. It’s perfect for bringing music to places you can’t normally bring music without a giant hassle. The speaker has huge sound for its size, and the high and low notes sound fantastic.
If you’re in the market for a small, portable speaker that has a lot of depth, this $99.00 speaker from JBL is worth the price, hands down.
Actually, it would make a great stocking stuffer or holiday gift for that teen in your life. I wish I had one of these in my locker as a kid, those Sound Blaster speakers I had attached to my Discman sounded like garbage and required a ton of batteries just to get through the week.