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JBL Flip 4 review: Next-gen Flip mini Bluetooth speaker is a little bigger and a little better

The JBL Flip 4 is available in 6 color options.

David Carnoy/CNET

One of the problems of reviewing the performance of these small Bluetooth speakers is that their sound quality isn't consistent. With some tracks they sound quite good, and with others they sound like a small speaker that's getting pushed a little too hard and straining itself.

Overall the Wonderboom does come out on top for sound quality, but it's a close race, and for its size and price, the Flip 4 is a very good performer and has such extras as a built-in microphone, so it works as a speakerphone (the Wonderboom has no speakerphone or auxiliary input).

While it doesn't play quite as loud or have as good battery life as the UE Boom 2 (which is almost the exact same size and shape), it's a good alternative to that speaker if you're looking to save a little money. And hopefully, in time, this speaker will come down in price, making it an even better value. It's easily the best Flip yet.

Close-up of the speaker's physical buttons.

Sarah Tew/CNET

JBL Flip 4 features

  • Wireless Bluetooth streaming: Wirelessly connect up to two phones or tablets to the speaker and take turns playing music
  • Built-in 3,000mAh rechargeable lithium ion battery supports up to 12 hours of playtime at moderate volume levels
  • IPX7 waterproof (can be fully submerged in water to 3 meters for 30 minutes)
  • Connect more than 100 JBL Connect+ enabled speakers together to amplify the listening experience
  • Speakerphone with noise- and echo-canceling
  • Voice assistant integration: Access Siri or Google Now from your JBL speaker with a button press
  • New fabric covering and rugged rubber housing make the Flip 4 more durable than previous model
  • JBL Bass Radiator: Dual external passive radiators help deliver more bass
  • Price: $100, £120
  • Six color options: black, white, teal, gray, red and blue

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