I. JBL Clip 3 vs JBL Clip 4: Choosing the Best Portable Bluetooth Speaker
In the ever-evolving world of audio technology, the discerning listener seeks not only superior sound quality but also the assurance of a product’s reliability and authenticity. Portable Bluetooth speakers, in particular, have carved a niche for themselves, and the JBL Clip 3 vs JBL Clip 4 stand out as frontrunners in this category. From the esteemed house of JBL, a brand synonymous with unmatched audio brilliance, these two speakers promise both innovation and excellence. This comprehensive guide delves deep into their features, exploring their design, sound performance, battery life, and much more. Whether you’re a casual listener or an audiophile, by the end of this comparison, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to make an informed choice tailored to your needs.
Portable Bluetooth speakers have become incredibly popular among music lovers who want great sound on the go. Two of the most popular portable Bluetooth speakers come from audio giant JBL – the JBL Clip 3 and the newer JBL Clip 4. Both speakers pack impressive audio into a tiny, ultra-portable form factor and feature a handy carabiner clip for attaching to bags, belts, bikes and more.
But how exactly do these two portable speakers compare? In this detailed comparison article, we’ll highlight the key similarities and differences between the JBL Clip 3 and JBL Clip 4. We’ll cover design and build quality, sound performance, battery life, connectivity, durability and more. Our goal is to provide an in-depth look at both speakers so you can determine which model best fits your needs and budget.
II. Design and Build Quality
The JBL Clip 3 vs JBL Clip 4 may be small, but they boast a stylish and rugged design ideal for travel and outdoor use. Let’s examine the design aesthetics and build quality of each speaker.
A. JBL Clip 3 Design
The JBL Clip 3 features a compact, cylindrical design measuring just 3.7 x 5.3 x 2.3 inches. It’s incredibly lightweight at only 0.5 lbs, making it easy to clip onto a bag or backpack. The speaker grille wraps around the front and back, with control buttons on the top.
The Clip 3 comes in a wide variety of fun, vibrant colours like blue, pink, red, black, white, grey and more. There’s even a camo colour option perfect for outdoor use. The mix of colours and patterns gives you plenty of ways to stylize the speaker.
B. JBL Clip 4 Design Improvements
The JBL Clip 4 retains a similar cylindrical shape but is slightly smaller at 3.4 x 5.3 x 1.8 inches. It sheds a bit of weight as well, coming in at just 0.4 lbs. Like the Clip 3, it features a wraparound speaker grille and top-mounted control buttons.
While the Clip 4 is only offered in more basic colours like black, blue, red and grey, it does feature a redesigned integrated carabiner. This updated carabiner feels more sturdy and durable, with a locking mechanism to securely attach the speaker. The housing around the carabiner is also larger to accommodate thicker bags and straps.
C. Build Quality Comparison
Both the Clip 3 and Clip 4 feature a rugged, durable design built to withstand daily use. The speaker grilles consist of a durable woven mesh fabric, while the exterior houses are made of a solid plastic material.
The Clip 4 seems to have a slight edge in build quality thanks to its redesigned carabiner housing. But both models still maintain a waterproof design, which we’ll cover more in the durability section. Overall, both speakers are compact, lightweight and ready for adventure.
III. Sound Performance
When it comes to audio quality, the JBL Clip 4 makes noticeable improvements over its predecessor. Let’s break down the sound profile of each speaker.
A. JBL Clip 3 Audio Profile
The JBL Clip 3 produces surprisingly good audio for its tiny size. It delivers clean mids and highs with JBL’s signature sound. Bass is present but limited due to the small driver size. At higher volumes, the speaker can sound slightly distorted. Overall, the Clip 3 provides decent sound in a portable package.
B. JBL Clip 4 Audio Improvements
The JBL Clip 4 provides a noticeable boost in sound performance. The speaker utilizes a 40mm driver and an improved frequency range of 100Hz to 20kHz for louder, clearer audio with enhanced bass. The overall sound profile is more balanced across lows, mids and highs. Distortion at high volumes is also less prominent.
C. Audio Features Comparison
Both the JBL Clip 3 vs JBL Clip 4 allow for speakerphone use to take calls. An integrated microphone provides noise and echo cancellation when activated. The speakers also include JBL’s PartyBoost feature, which lets you wirelessly connect multiple JBL speakers together for amplified sound. No other advanced audio customization options are included.
IV. Battery Life and Connectivity
Battery life and wireless connectivity are two important factors for portable Bluetooth speakers. Here’s how the JBL Clip 3 vs JBL Clip 4 compare in these areas.
A. Battery Life
JBL rates the battery life of the Clip 3 at around 10 hours of continuous playtime on a full charge. In real-world testing, the speaker consistently achieves the 10-hour mark at moderate volume levels.
The Clip 4 is rated for the same 10 hours of battery life. However, some users note battery life closer to 8-9 hours at higher volumes. Still, both speakers offer excellent battery life in a small package.
B. Charging Comparison
Recharging the Clip 3 is done via an included micro USB cable. It takes around 2-3 hours to fully recharge the battery from empty to full.
The Clip 4 upgrades to USB-C charging, which offers faster charging speeds. A full recharge takes approximately 1.5-2 hours. The Clip 4’s USB-C port is also reversible, eliminating the need to fumble with plug orientation.
C. Wireless Connectivity
For wireless connectivity, the JBL Clip 3 uses Bluetooth 4.1. This allows for a wireless range of up to 30 feet when connected to a source device like a smartphone. The Clip 4 upgrades Bluetooth connectivity to version 5.1. While the range remains similar at 30 feet, Bluetooth 5.1 offers improved speed and stability.
The Clip 3 also contains an auxiliary input jack for a wired connection. The Clip 4 loses the aux jack in favour of Bluetooth-only connectivity. Both models lack advanced connectivity options like Wi-Fi or multi-point pairing.
V. Water Resistance and Durability
JBL designed both the Clip 3 and Clip 4 to withstand the elements, making them ideal outdoor companions. Let’s examine the waterproof rating and overall durability of each speaker.
A. JBL Clip 3 Water Resistance
The JBL Clip 3 carries an IPX7 waterproof rating. This means the speaker can be submerged in up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes without damage. The woven fabric covering the driver is designed to withstand splashes and sprays.
In real-world testing, the Clip 3 performs well in wet environments. The speaker can be used by the pool or beach without issue. However, the fabric cover can be prone to muffling the audio after being submerged.
B. JBL Clip 4 Waterproof Improvements
The JBL Clip 4 retains the same IPX7 waterproof rating as the Clip 3, allowing it to survive submersion. But it also adds an IP6X dustproof rating, making it more resistant to fine particles like dirt or sand.
The Clip 4’s fabric cover seems less prone to water-related muffling. The design prevents dust and debris from working its way under the fabric layer. Overall, the Clip 4 offers slightly better water and dust protection.
C. Durability Comparison
Aside from water and dust resistance, both speakers feature a rugged, durable exterior that can handle bumps, drops and tumbles without damage. The carabiner clip and top hook allow you to securely attach either speaker to the bags without worry. Overall, both models are built to last and are ideal for active outdoor use.
VI. Price and Value for Money
With any purchase, price always plays a role. Let’s see how JBL Clip 3 vs JBL Clip 4 compare in terms of pricing and overall value.
A. Price Comparison
The JBL Clip 3 retailed for around $50-60 at launch. These days, you can routinely find it discounted to $40-45 new. Renewed/refurbished options can drop as low as $30.
The newer JBL Clip 4 retails for around $70. Discounts lower the price to $50-60 for a new model. Renewed units can be found for $40-45. So, while the Clip 4 costs a bit more, the difference is just $10-20.
B. Value for Money
At launch, the JBL Clip 3 offered great bang for your buck. But with the JBL Clip 4’s improvements in sound quality, battery life and durability, it edges out its predecessor in overall value.
The minor price difference is justified by the upgrades. And the JBL Clip 4 includes desirable features like USB-C charging. If your budget allows, the JBL Clip 4 is arguably the better value despite costing a bit more upfront.
So, which portable Bluetooth speaker is right for you, the tried-and-true JBL Clip 3 or the upgraded Clip 4? Here are some final recommendations:
For those seeking the best value under $50, the JBL Clip 3 remains an excellent ultra-portable speaker. It provides surprising sound and ruggedness at an affordable price point.
But for just $10-20 more, the JBL Clip 4 offers noticeable audio improvements and a more refined design. If you can spend a bit more, the Clip 4 is arguably the better all-around speaker.
Casual listeners who want basic portable audio will be happy with either speaker. But more discerning listeners who want richer sound will appreciate the upgraded audio performance of the Clip 4.
So consider how you’ll use your portable speaker and your budget when choosing between these two fantastic options from JBL. Either the Clip 3 or Clip 4 will provide awesome sound in a tiny, durable package perfect for life’s adventures.
JBL Clip 3 vs JBL Clip 4: A Detailed Comparison of Two Portable Speakers
1. What are the main differences between JBL Clip 3 and JBL Clip 4?
The main differences between JBL Clip 3 and JBL Clip 4 are as follows:
- The Clip 4 has a newer design compared to the Clip 3.
- The Clip 4 has a USB-C charging port, while the Clip 3 uses a micro-USB port.
- The Clip 4 has an improved battery life compared to the Clip 3.
- The Clip 4 has a slightly bigger size and weight compared to the Clip 3.
- The Clip 4 has an upgraded IP67 rating for waterproof and dustproof protection.
- The Clip 4 offers better sound quality and improved bass performance.
2. Which speaker has better battery life, JBL Clip 3 or JBL Clip 4?
The Clip 4 has a better battery life compared to the Clip 3. The Clip 4 offers up to 10 hours of playtime, while the Clip 3 provides up to 8 hours of playtime. This means you can enjoy your music for a longer period without needing to recharge the speaker.
3. Are JBL Clip 3 vs JBL Clip 4 both portable speakers?
Yes, both JBL Clip 3 vs JBL Clip 4 are portable speakers. They are designed to be compact and lightweight, making them easy to carry around wherever you go. Additionally, both speakers come with a built-in carabiner clip, allowing you to attach them to your backpack or belt for added convenience.
4. How is the sound quality on JBL Clip 3 vs JBL Clip 4?
Both JBL Clip 3 and JBL Clip 4 offer impressive sound quality for their size. However, the Clip 4 provides a slightly better audio experience with improved bass response and overall clarity. If you prioritize sound quality, the JBL Clip 4 would be the preferred choice.
5. Do JBL Clip 3 vs JBL Clip 4 have built-in Bluetooth?
Yes, both JBL Clip 3 vs JBL Clip 4 have built-in Bluetooth technology. This allows you to wirelessly connect your devices, such as smartphones or tablets, to the speakers without the need for any cables. You can stream music or other audio content from your device directly to the speakers via Bluetooth.