JBL Clip (Black) review: A tiny Bluetooth speaker that sounds good for its size and travels well

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An audio cable stows away in the bottom of the speaker. Sarah Tew/CNET

I thought it performed well enough as a speakerphone, but it helps to remain close to the microphone and not wander 10- or 15-feet away. Bluetooth range is the typical 10m or 33-feet (it's equipped with Bluetooth 3.0).

As for battery life, it's rated at 5 hours. That isn't terribly long but about average for this size speaker.

There are other speakers out there like the Clip. It performs similarly to Philips' BT2500, which has more of a square design. Another competitor would be Divoom's Voombox Travel, which also costs $50, plays a bit louder and is more durable but a little heavier. The Voombox also distorts with certain tracks at higher volumes.

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Side view of the Clip, with volume control buttons. Sarah Tew/CNET

You get a micro-USB charging cable in the box -- the speaker charges in about 2 hours -- but no carrying case. I do think it's a good idea to cover it with something because the paint on the grill can chip off if the speaker rubs against something rough or sharp in your bag.

Conclusion

The JBL Clip retains the same likeable qualities as the earlier Micro Wireless while adding speakerphone capabilities and a carabiner-style clip at the top, should you want to clip the speaker onto a bag or even your own belt loop.

It's recommendable for someone looking for a very compact speaker that's more affordable than Jawbone's Mini Jambox. It produces decent enough sound for its tiny size and makes for a good traveling companion that won't take up much room in your bag.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Color black
  • Amplification Type active
  • Connectivity Technology wireless