JBL Clip 4 review: our full review – Bluetooth speakers
JBL Clip 4, the second Bluetooth speaker in the portable range opened by JBL Go 3, stands out for its increased size, double autonomy and, above all, the presence of a carabiner that makes it easy to hang. Its size / power ratio is quite surprising: the JBL Clip 4 knows how to play hard… and it does it very well.
JBL clip 4Technical sheet
|Model||JBL clip 4|
|Number of speakers||
|Autonomy was declared||
This test was performed with the amplifier supplied by the manufacturer.
JBL clip 4Design
JBL Clip 4 is an oval puck-shaped speaker, equipped with a metal carabiner at the top, which extends around the entire circumference of the speaker and reinforces the frame. So this mini-speaker can be placed behind – it has an adhesive silicone base – suspended or suspended. The special feature of the carabiner is based on its finger, the color of which depends on the color of the Clip 4. JBL also offers a range of them (nine in total), from classic black to the most elegant yellow/green or blue. /not forgetting the pink, famous camo outfit. A bit of flair, the Clip 4 logo is embossed and attached to the carabiner.
The front of the speaker is covered with a wide mesh acoustic fabric and receives buttons for playback, volume control, as well as a large JBL logo. Here again, the buttons and logo are made of non-slip material, which makes them easy to use. It’s the front of the speaker, also covered in fabric, which houses the power button as well as the Bluetooth pairing button.
The JBL Clip 4 is equipped with an LED that blinks continuously as soon as you turn on the speaker and blinks during the Bluetooth pairing phase or when the battery is almost empty. Charging is via the USB-C port, for which JBL provides a cable.
The speaker is obviously very robust: it supports a one-meter drop without difficulty and stabilizes quickly thanks to the many adhesive surfaces. Finally, it is dust and water resistant (IP67) and is therefore not afraid of being submerged in water. That’s why we can use it at the edge of the water without fear, and why not throw it away while playing in the water.
JBL clip 4Usage and application
JBL Clip 4 is very easy to use. It starts up quickly and is accompanied by the traditional guitar riff of JBL Bluetooth speakers, followed by a small melody that confirms the correct Bluetooth association. The speaker’s format encourages you to hold it in your hand to operate the various buttons. The volume and play buttons fall naturally under the thumb. However, there’s nothing stopping you from slinging the Klip 4 on your back and pressing buttons. In short, all this is child’s play.
Unlike the JBL Flip 6 or JBL Charge 5, the JBL Clip 4 is not supported by the JBL Portable app. Therefore, it is not possible to equalize the sound or use the Party Boost mode to use several speakers at the same time.
The JBL Clip 4 has a Bluetooth 5.1 controller, but unfortunately it doesn’t have multipoint compatibility. Thus, the speaker can be connected to only one device at a time. The Bluetooth connection proved stable during this test up to 10 meters indoors (through a wooden floor and a thin partition) and just over 15 meters outdoors (unobstructed).
JBL clip 4Audio
The JBL Clip 4 may be very small, but it still has two transducers, one active and one passive. The first is located on the front panel, while the second, which emits only bass, is mounted on the back of the speaker, directly behind its rubber base. This acoustic load induced by a passive radiator allows for an extended response at low frequencies despite the very small volume of internal air. The passive radiator vibrates when playing actively and mechanically amplifies low frequencies, so it does not require additional power from the integrated amplifier.
JBL uses this technique in almost all of its mobile speakers, from the JBL Flip 6 to the massive JBL Xtreme 3, which also have several passive radiators to boost performance. The JBL Clip 4’s active driver has a small 4cm wideband and no center cone to spread the sound wider. This is coupled with an amplifier that can deliver up to 5 watts of power (an increase in power over the Clip 3).
Test setup and sound signature
I tested the JBL Clip 4 from Apple Music with an iPhone 13 Pro Max and a Huawei P30 Pro in various listening configurations: on a table in a small room, on a bed in a room or on a kitchen layout, but also in the smartphone compartment of a car and of course outside (terrace and garden) is installed.
In all these cases, the JBL Clip 4 sounds about the same and is only slightly affected by its environment. It should be said that it is usually the low frequencies that are affected by the characteristics of the room, and in this case the JBL Clip 4 produces almost no sound below 100 Hz. extension. However, JBL has struck a nice enough balance. The sounds are reproduced with a lot of body, and this is clearly a strong point of the Klip 4. Therefore, the midrange is quite accurate and is slightly pulled back from the treble. In the absence of a tweeter, the upper part of the spectrum is not very subtle, but the sound is clear and understandable. Overall, the JBL Clip 4 delivers physiological sound that flatters the ears. In other words, it’s a small speaker that’s easy to listen to, no matter what kind of music you’re playing.
give a synthetic and slightly cold sounding title like strange love Dave Gahan by Depeche Mode and Clip 4 effortlessly pulls off metal percussion. The same Lovestoned (Justice Remix) By Justin Timberlake, often listen to bad material: the artist’s voice comes out easily. Active abcdefu By Gayle, the JBL Clip 4 knows how to hit the upper bass to give enough value to the electronic drums, and here again it brings out the artist’s voice in the well-mixed choruses. As for the treble, it is accentuated with a nice bright accent, especially useful for old jazz or blues titles, which give it a very pleasant additional relief: One Bourbon, One Scotch eg John Lee Booker or whatever Only Together By Chet Baker, whose cymbals, saxophones and trumpets come cleanly out of this little enclosure.
At very high volumes, the JBL Clip 6 maintains its sound signature without much reduction in the intensity of low frequencies. If pushed to the bottom, it inevitably distorts and the treble turns sour.
- Bass: short (almost not below 100 Hz), but with enough volume to balance the overall signature. The speaker packs more punch when not paused but paused.
- Medium: soft and attentive, especially prefers sounds
- Loudness: fluid, especially when the speaker is suspended, a little more subdued in the front, rear, but generally noticeable for clarity.
Dynamic behavior and soundstage
We find in the Clip 4 the dynamism common to JBL portable speakers. Recovery is edgy and catchy with a good sense of rhythm. Another positive point is that the JBL Clip 4 can play really hard considering its size. In fact, it can be heard from far away. However, this mini-speaker is most enjoyable to listen to in the immediate vicinity. After one meter, the recovery loses a lot of low frequencies and the sound seems fuller.
As for the localization, it is not bad at all, despite the mono configuration (only one active speaker). The small driver is tight enough to adequately separate the sound planes, and the sound doesn’t feel squishy because it goes off at a large enough angle.
JBL clip 4Microphone
The JBL Clip 4 is not equipped with a microphone and therefore does not allow you to make hands-free calls with your smartphone.
JBL clip 4Autonomy
JBL advertises up to 10 hours of battery life and a 3-hour charge time for the Clip 4. Our review unit gave up after 9 hours with 50% iPhone volume. That’s less than advertised, but JBL doesn’t specify the selected volume for its test. Certainly, considering the high volume produced at the level of 50%, the autonomy is satisfactory. It took just over 2 hours 45 to charge with a 10W (5V/2A) charger.
JBL clip 4Price and release date
The JBL Clip 4 Bluetooth speaker is available in nine different colors and costs €59 including VAT.
Where to buy
JBL Clip 4 at the best price?