For a good time, call JBL. Their Bluetooth speakers are perfect for pool parties, bbq’s and gatherings of all sizes. And I say the following in every JBL review, so, I’m starting to bore myself; in terms of build quality, durability and portability, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better product on the market than what JBL offers for the price. So, regardless of which JBL speaker you choose today, know that you’re buying a solid product. In fact, I own a little JBL Clip 3, and I was super impressed with the design and volume capacity for such a tiny little speaker. But if you’re reading this, it means you need a little more boom than the JBL Clip. So, let’s figure out which JBL portable speaker is for you in this JBL Charge 4 vs JBL Flip 4 Review.
IN the BOX
JBL Charge 4
JBL Flip 4
DESIGN and FEATURES
These waterproof kittens are built to last. Both speakers have a rugged design with an ample amount of rubber and fabric insulation. And in this respect, they are equal in their durability. However, one thing you want to consider is the USB connection. The Flip 4 employs a micro-USB input for charging, while the Charge 4 uses a USB-C input. USB-C is generally considered to be the more durable connection, as the micro-USB is prone to breaking or bending out of shape. That being said, JBL offers a 1 year warranty for both products.
Both speakers are meant to be portable. But, of course, the Flip 4 is lighter, smaller and comes with a wristband that you can tie to your bag or hang off a hook. If you’re planning to use your speaker for intimate gatherings or a day in the park with a few friends, the volume on the Flip 4 should be more than sufficient.
Both speakers offer Bluetooth Version 4.2.
Charge 4 offer 20 hours of battery life and takes 4 hours to fully juice up. The Flip 4 will give you 12 hours of battery life, and takes 3.5 hours to fully charge.
Another important difference is the power bank. The Charge 4 has enough juice to recharge your smart devices, while the Flip 4 is not designed for recharging your phone.
Both, the Charge 4 and Flip 4 can both connect up to 2 smartphones at a time. And both speakers support other JBL Connect + devices. So, if you were so inclined, you could buy another 100 JBL speakers with Connect + capability and spread them around your 1 bedroom apartment. And both speakers can work as loudspeakers for phone calls.
Both speakers come with USB charging cables. But again, the Charge 4 employs the soon to be universal USB-C connection, while the Flip 4 uses micro-USB, which is on the brink of extinction. Well, that’s dramatic. But it will be phased out eventually. Of course, there’s nothing particularly wrong with micro-USB. But the other nice thing about USB-C is that you can plug it in any which way. There’s no such thing as upside down, while the micro-USB sometimes requires a bit of fiddling, which is hard when you’re hammered on Red Stripe and doing belly flops in the pool.
Little gadgets always look cuter and slicker than bulkier gadgets. But I’m a lady, so some of you boys might prefer the more masculine size of the Charge 4. The Charge 4 offers a different line of colors from the Flip 4. One more thing. If you need a cool party trick, go for the Charge 4. The bass radiator, which is the thing that moves when the bass thumps, is bigger and brighter on the Charge 4 than it is on the Flip 4. So, if you’re planning a night of shrooming, the Charge 4 is a more fun time.
Anyone who is familiar with JBL products expects to hear a bit of oomph in the lower frequencies. In this case, neither speaker is incredibly bassy. That being said, there’s enough subbiness to do justice to pop and hip-hop. So bass-heads, don’t get your panties in a twist. But the Charge 4 does offer a punchier low-end than the Flip 4. Given the size difference, this is unsurprising. However, in terms of clarity, you won’t notice much difference between the two models, especially if you’re using them in an outside environment. In fact, if a cleaner sound is what you’re after, I might even stick with the Flip 4 because the lower frequencies don’t cloud the rest of the mix as much as they do on the Charge 4.
In terms of volume, the Charge 4 obviously gets quite a bit louder. But I expected the difference to be huge. It wasn’t. So, if you want obscenely loud volume, upgrade to something like the JBL Xtreme. That being said, these babies do get loud. That is, they’re loud enough for pool parties, but maybe not loud enough for frat parties.
Both products are super solid and reliable, offering decent sound quality and ample volume, considering their size. But as my grandmother used to say, go big or go home. If you need portability, go with the Flip 4. But if you need something to rock the house, skip the Charge 4 and go for the Xtreme.
You can find these baby boomers for the best price at:
Audio 46: JBL Charge 4 (Use our promo code, “majorhifi” to get a 10% discount)
Audio 46: JBL Flip 4 (Use our promo code, “majorhifi” to get a 10% discount)