We are fans of JBL audio products and the new JBL Clip 2 is no exception. The small Bluetooth speaker packs a punch, but that’s just the beginning. It gets great battery life, doubles as a speakerphone, has an integrated carabiner clip, and for good measure is waterproof. And with a price under $60, it’s a steal!
The speaker is small and, except for the integrated carabiner clip, is fairly nondescript. My review sample came in black so it looks a bit like an overly thick hockey puck. If you are not going for the hockey puck look you can choose one of the Clip 2 speakers in Blue, Red, Teal, or Gray.Yes, the JBL Clip 2 comes in five different colors!
At $59.95 I’m not sure how much one should be able to expect from this speaker. Perhaps that is why JBL makes clear the fact this is a “full-featured waterproof ultra-portable speaker.” That is exactly what it is.
Inside the box is:
- The JBL Clip 2
- A Micro USB cable for charging
- A Quick Start Guide
- A Safety Sheet
- A Warranty Card
Let’s take a look at the speaker itself.
On the front is a rough cloth grill. The cloth is a special material whose purpose will become clear shortly. There is also a small plate with the JBL logo. It’s clearly there but not in an obnoxious way.
At the top is a small, translucent bit of material with a metal carabiner passing through it. This carabiner isn’t the typical “D” shape that is common but rather opts for a triangular one. The clip lets you put the speaker on a backpack, hang it from a hammock, or pretty much put it anywhere your heart desires. (I clipped it to the fence surrounding our pool and it hangs gently while rocking my latest tunes.)
Along the right side of the speaker is the power button, the Bluetooth button and, in between the two, a thick rubber door that opens to reveal the microUSB charging port.
Along the left side of the speaker are the dedicated volume buttons, the music control button, and a small hole for the built-in microphone. Tap the music control button once to play and pass a track. Tap it twice to skip forward. This button also works as a phone control button so you can take or decline a call.
On the back of the speaker is a male, 3.5mm plug that connects to a short cable. The cable runs around the circumference of the speaker and sits nestled in a groove designed to keep it in place when not in use.
When you do want to create a wired connection you simply pull out the plug and unwrap the cable from around the speaker.
The speaker gets surprisingly loud for something its size. If, however, you want bigger sound you can wirelessly daisy chain two speakers together and, in the process, double the sound.
Perhaps the best feature of the speaker is the fact that it is waterproof. Yes, this speaker joins the growing number of speakers that aren’t just water-resistant but entirely waterproof. That’s why the microUSB is hidden behind a thick rubber door. In this case it means you can, for example, clip the speaker to the rail of your sailboat and not worry when the water gets choppy.
Here’s a rundown of the features:
- IPX7 Waterproof: No more worrying about rain or spills; you can even submerge the speaker in water.
- Clip-on Convenience: Integrated carabiner is designed to hook onto your clothes, backpack or messenger bag.
- 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.
I’m impressed with the JBL Clip 2. No, this sub-$60 speaker isn’t about to become my only speaker. And no, this isn’t a speaker I would turn to while listening to music at home. But as a speaker for use on-the-go, and as a speaker that can be clipped to a backpack or laptop bag and be kept with you at all times it is a winner. The sound isn’t going to blow you away but it will sure beat the tinny sound coming from your smartphone.
Perhaps JBL’s own description of the speaker says it best:
“The JBL Clip 2 is an ultra-light, ultra-rugged and ultra-powerful portable speaker. Completely waterproof, the JBL Clip 2 provides 8 hours of playtime, allowing you to take your music wherever you go, be it land or water. Stream music wirelessly via Bluetooth, or plug it into any smartphone or tablet with its attached audio cable.”
“You can also wirelessly connect two Clip 2 speakers together to enjoy amplified sound. Use the speakerphone to make clear, noise and echo free phone calls. The JBL Clip 2 is covered with durable waterproof fabric, and earns its name with its upgraded carabiner, clipping to your clothes or backpack to take on any adventure.”
You can check out the $59.95 JBL Clip 2 here!
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample of the JBL Clip 2
What I Like: Small; Sounds better than one might expect; Built-in clip makes it easy to secure to just about anything; Bluetooth can be daisy chained for bigger sound; Doubles as a speakerphone.
What Needs Improvement: Not much, for what it is this speaker is great!