When we previously tested JBL’s travel speakers, we confined ourselves to the Charge models, for example, the excellent JBL Charge 3. Flip lacks the large battery and the ability to recharge mobile phones, but on the other hand it is more affordable. The heavy-duty rubber housing reveals that it is a waterproof speaker, and it also protects against impact. The speaker is placed on the side and lays naturally so that the speaker driver points diagonally upwards to target the listener. A carrying strap makes it easy to carry and hang up.
The app allows you to either pair the speaker with another Flip, or set it in party mode where you can connect up to 100 (!) JBL Connect-compatible speakers. In the app, you can also choose whether the Play button should control the music or activate the voice assistant. The buttons are somewhat hidden, and there isn’t an option for jumping between tracks. Unfortunately, the app can’t be used for fine-tuning the sound.
This is clearly a party speaker in pocket-size. The two passive subwoofers in the ends work hard to squeeze out the pounding sound you never thought was possible in this size class. It is almost as if you feel the bass in Silent Shout with The Knife. The level of volume is also clearly above the norm. This is obviously not a speaker for everyone. Details of the music disappear easily, and it lacks clarity and separation when there are many instruments that play simultaneously.
If you want to have a party at the pool without breaking your budget, JBL Flip is an excellent option. It has a versatile format with a well thought out design that can withstand impact and go swimming. If the entire camp site has compatible speakers you can set it on party mode with up to 100 synchronised speakers. For its small size, it has a surprising amount of volume and bass rendition. However, it is less suitable if you want to lie on a deck chair and listen to Mozart.