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JBL Clip 2 review:

Tiny Bluetooth speaker improves with full waterproofing, boosted battery life

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The Good The JBL Clip 2 Bluetooth speaker is a hockey-puck-size speaker with a built-in lithium ion rechargeable battery that offers decent sound for its size, improved battery life (eight hours), and is fully waterproof. It also has an integrated line-in cable that stows away in the bottom of the device, as well as speakerphone capabilities.

The Bad It doesn't handle big bass well and distorts at higher volumes; should cost a little less.

The Bottom Line If it's a tiny wireless speaker you're after, the JBL Clip 2 is an appealing choice with some small but significant improvements over its predecessors.

CNET Editors' Rating

8.0 Overall
  • Design 10.0
  • Features 9.0
  • Sound 7.0
  • Value 7.0

JBL's Clip speakers have been among our favorite micro Bluetooth speakers, and the new Clip 2, which comes in five color options and costs $60 (£50, AU$80), is also a winner.

The Clip 2 has couple of notable changes from its predecessor. For starters, it's fully waterproof. It also comes equipped with a real metal carabiner instead the plastic "clip" mechanism found on the Clip and Clip+. And finally, battery life has been improved to eight hours from five.

Like those earlier models, this one has a nifty integrated audio cable for devices that don't support Bluetooth, and there's a built-in speakerphone that works reasonably well.

The fully waterproof speaker floats for a short period before sinking.

David Carnoy/CNET

As you can see from our video, the speaker initially floats when you put in water. But eventually it will sink. I gently put it in a pool and it played for about 10 seconds and then cut out as it dipped a little below the surface. It's rated to be submerged in four feet of water for 30 minutes. But drop it in a deep lake or ocean and you'll want to rescue it pretty quickly or you won't see it again.

On the sound front, I didn't notice a significant improvement, but the speaker still sounds relatively impressive for its tiny size. There's some bass, just not a lot of it, and the speaker will distort at higher volumes with certain bass-heavy tracks, such as the American Authors' "Best Day of My Life" (I tested this speaker with some of the same music as the Clip+). It's strongest in the midrange, and it does best with acoustic music and speech.

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