The other day I was carrying a backpack with my JBL Clip speaker clipped to one shoulder strap. Someone asked me what it was and was impressed when I explained that it let me keep my music with me all the time. The new JBL Clip+ goes one better for the same sub-$60 now that it has a splashproof design.
The new Clip+ has the same design as the speaker it replaces. Small and simple to use, the speaker has a built-in 3.5mm cable for those times when you want to make a wired connection and, of course, it has a clip built into the design so you can connect it to a bag or pretty much anything else you might want. This is one speaker that truly lives up to its name.
Here’s what JBL has to say about the new speaker.
“The JBL Clip+ is an ultra-light, ultra-rugged and ultra-powerful portable speaker. This splashproof upgrade to the JBL Clip+ provides 5 hours of playtime, so you can take your music wherever you go, over land or water.”
“Stream music wirelessly via Bluetooth, or plug it into any smartphone or tablet with its integrated audio cable. Use the speakerphone to make clear, noise and echo free phone calls. The JBL Clip+ earns its name with its built-in carabiner, clipping to your clothes or backpack so you can enjoy any adventure.”
Inside the box you will find:
- JBL CLIP+
- Micro USB cable for charging
- Quick Start Guide
- Safety Sheet
- Warranty Card
I like the simple design of the speaker and the fact that it is unchanged from it’s predecessor. The clip at the top opens to one side. The entire front of the speaker is the grill and the JBL logo sits centered toward the bottom.
On one side of the speaker you will find the Bluetooth pairing button, the power button, the call/Siri button, and the microphone. Yes, this little speaker will double as a speakerphone.
On the other side you will find the volume up and down buttons and a 3.5mm Aux In port, so you can daisy-chain two or more speakers. (A cable with a 3.5mm plug is permanently affixed to the speaker so you can always use it in wired mode without the need to hunt for a cable. This port lets you do even more.)
At the bottom of the speaker you will find a micro-USB port for charging the speaker.
As far as sound goes this speaker holds its own quite nicely. No, it doesn’t get as loud as some other portable speakers, and the sound is a bit thinner than some of the larger offerings currently available, but this speaker is under $60 and is designed for a specific purpose- to let you take and enjoy your music anywhere. As such it needs to be small and light-it is-and able to be kept close at hand. (It is that as well thanks to the inclusion of the clip.)
In other words, if you approach this speaker expecting the kind of sound you will get from something like the JBL Flip 2 or larger you may find yourself disappointed. If, on the other hand, you approach this speaker with reasonable expectations and the understanding that this speaker is intended for those times when you might otherwise simply listen to the music playing through your smartphone speaker, you will be more than satisfied. In fact, if you approach the speaker with that level of reasoned expectation you will be blown away by the sound and convenience.
- A Splashproof Design: No more worrying about rain or spills, you can even clean it with running tap water. Just don’t submerge it.
- Aux Connection: Auxiliary-input (aux in) connector allows you to plug into practically any audio device.
- Bluetooth Connectivity: Allows you to wirelessly stream music through any Bluetooth enabled device.
- Built-in Microphone: The built-in microphone allows you to answer calls without skipping a beat.
- Clip-on Convenience: Integrated carabiner is designed to hook onto your clothes, backpack or messenger bag.
- Rechargeable Battery: Features a rechargeable battery for convenient portability and extended playback time.
Of course the splash proof design is what makes this the JBL Clip+. The previous model didn’t have any sort of water protection. And while this speaker isn’t going to be as waterproof as, for example, the UE ROLL I recently reviewed, it will be able to withstand the elements if they turn on you. Considering the fact that the speaker is designed to be brought with you on your daily adventures I think that makes for a pretty good addition to what was already a nice budget-priced speaker. You can learn more here.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample of the JBL Clip+
What I Like: Small in size but still sounds quite good; Easy controls; Built in 3.5mm cable and jack; Water resistant; Built-in clip; Available in cool colors
What Needs Improvement: Small size means sound is good but not blow-you-away good; Battery life only 5 hours