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JBL Charge 4 Bluetooth speaker gets some key upgrades

Due out this fall, the fully waterproof JBL Charge 4 offers improved sound, battery life and USB-C connectivity.

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David Carnoy Executive Editor / Reviews
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Nook e-books and audiobooks.
Expertise Mobile accessories and portable audio, including headphones, earbuds and speakers Credentials
  • Maggie Award for Best Regularly Featured Web Column/Consumer
David Carnoy
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The $150 Charge 4  will arrive this fall in 10 color options.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Coming to stores this fall, JBL's $150 Charge 4 Bluetooth speaker features improved sound, better battery life (20 hours) and some other small upgrades.

JBL's Charge speakers are a little bigger than the company's Flip series speakers and are named "Charge" because of their ability to charge devices thanks to a built-in USB-out port. 

JBL says that its engineers "developed an all new JBL transducer for Charge 4 that features increased cone area and excursion." That new transducer combined with updated 3D metallic passive radiators should mean better bass response and perhaps less distortion at higher volumes. I'll let you know how the speaker really sounds as soon as I get my hands on a review sample.

JBL didn't mention in its press materials that it has USB-C charging, but our photographer at the IFA trade show in Berlin spotted it when he lifted the gasket on the back of the speaker. We'll still confirming the charging situation with JBL, but USB-C connectivity could mean quicker charge times.

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This is the first JBL Bluetooth speaker to feature USB-C connectivity.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Here's a look at the JBL Charge 4's key specs, according to JBL.

  • Wireless Bluetooth streaming: Wirelessly connect to up to 2 smartphones or tablets to the speaker 
  • 7500mAh power bank: Built-in rechargeable Li-ion battery supports up to 20 hours of playtime and charges smartphones and tablets via USB
  • IPX7 waterproof (can be full submersed in water)
  • USB-C connectivity
  • JBL Connect+: Amplify the listening experience by wirelessly connecting more than 100 JBL Connect+ enabled speakers.
  • Durable fabric and rugged materials
  • Dual passive radiators
  • 10 color options: Desert Sand, Mustard Yellow, Dusty Pink, Grey Stone, River Teal, Fiesta Red,
    Ocean Blue, Midnight Black, Steel White and Forest Green
  • Price: $150, 179 euros (no word yet on UK or Australian pricing but we'll add it as soon as we get it)
  • Availability: Fall 2018
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Buttons on the top of the speaker.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET