Picture of the JBL Flip 3 Bluetooth speaker, view of the buttons panel.

JBL Flip 3 Review of this Portable Bluetooth Speaker

In this piece, we review the JBL Flip 3 Bluetooth speaker.  We cover this wireless splash proof model’s performance, and accessories.  This JBL speaker sounds none too shabby, and goes pretty loud besides. Plus, even at top volume, the built-in rechargeable battery lasts up to ten hours of play per full charge.

The only big drawback we found, is that the bass drivers are exposed at each end of the cylinder.  The instructions warn against touching or pressing them.  But especially for outdoor, waterside use, we feel that JBL should have covered the radiators with a protective grill if a touch could indeed damage them.





That aside though, this JBL 3 Bluetooth speaker is an excellent buy for under a hundred US dollars.  So, we examine here its benefits and drawbacks.  Based on our tests, we believe that should you get to hear the Flip 3 for yourself, you’ll agree. It is a splendid portable speaker.  So get one this spring to take to the swimming hole. You’ll love it!

This wireless speaker, red version, front view. JBL Flip 3 review.
Theiw wireless speaker, red version, front view. JBL Flip 3 review.

JBL Flip 3 Review: Advantages, Benefits, Pros, and Features

As we expect from JBL, this Bluetooth speaker has far more advantages than disadvantages.  Next, we tackle a little of that good list of features.

Lots of Handy Controls

This third version of the JBL Flip wireless speaker has six buttons.  These include Power, Play-Pause, Volume UP and DOWN, Connect, and Pairing.  

Multi Function Power Lamp

Picture of the speaker top view, power button glowing white, highlighted. speaker powered ON.
Top view of the speaker, power button glowing white, highlighted. Speaker powered ON. JBL Flip 3 speaker review.

Note the glowing white power button on this Flip JBL 3 speaker in the picture above.  When you turn the unit on, this button lights white.  This means that the speaker is running, but not currently paired.  But when successful pairing occurs, this button turns bright blue, as shown next.

Picture of the JBL Flip 3 battery powered Bluetooth speaker, showing its power button glowing blue.
JBL Flip 3 battery powered Bluetooth speaker, showing its power button glowing blue. JBL Flip 3 speaker review.

Splash Proof 

This JBL splash proof speaker can take a few drops of water.  Do not submerge it any part of it however.  Also, be sure you have the charge port door completely snapped shut.  Otherwise, water might get inside and damage the electronics. Rain will not hurt it thus.





Stereo Sound

You get 8 watts of power per channel, for 16 watts total audio output from a single Flip 3.  Furthermore, connect two JBL Flip speakers as a stereo pair with the JBL Connect+ app.  From there, instantly reassign left and right channels from your mobile device.

Built in Rechargeable Battery

The built in battery fully charges in under four hours.  With medium play volumes, it lasts roughly twelve hours per charge.  

Sealed Micro USB Charge Port

Picture of the JBL Flip 3 Bluetooth portable speaker, showing the AUX In and USB port compartment.
JBL Flip 3 Bluetooth portable speaker, showing the AUX In and USB port compartment. JBL Flip 3 review.

How to charge JBL Flip 3?   The Flip 3 has a port cover, as pictured next.  Open this cover by prying with a coin or key, and find the USB power port inside.  Connect the BT speaker with any 1.0 amp or higher USB charger with the included USB cable.  Plug the adapter into AC power, and let charge for about three and a half hours.

JBL Flip Charging Cable Included

Picture of the Flip 3 JBL speaker orange micro USB charge cord in bag.
The JBL Flip 3 Bluetooth speaker orange micro USB charge cord in bag. JBL Flip 3 speaker review.

The Flip Three comes with a micro USB charging cable.  The cable we found in our box is bright orange, and is around forty inches long.  Bends easily too.  Not stiff.

Can Act as a Speakerphone

When paired with a smart phone, answer calls with buttons on the JBL Flip 3.  The calls are quite clear too, owing to the built in noise reduction circuits.

Siri and Google Now Support

When paired with phones that support these voice assistants, you can access them through the speaker with a button press.





Large Excursion Passive Drivers

You can actually see the ends of this speaker (the drivers) moving while playing bassy music and spoken word recordings.

Picture of the JBL Flip 3 battery operated speaker, with its USB charging cable along with an iClever 3 port USB wall charger.
JBL Flip 3 battery operated speaker, with its USB charging cable along with an iClever 3 port USB wall charger. JBL Flip 3 speaker review.

Party Mode

Connect multiple Flip 3 units in party mode so that each speaker plays the same content (mono sound from all so connected speakers).

Multiple Bluetooth Sources

Supports as many as three streaming mobile devices paired at the same time. This allows quick playing music from two different libraries.  Or, two people can take turns playing their favorite songs.

JBL Connect+ Support

Stream to more than one BT speaker at the same time with speakers that support the JBL Connect+ system.  Similar to Google Chromecast or Amazon’s Multi Room Music feature.  Both allow streaming the same program to multiple speakers together.

Comes in Eight Different Colors

The JBL Flip 3 comes in black, gray, blue, aqua, pink, red, orange, and yellow.  This list of colors may change though, without notice.

Picture of the red version of this speaker, showing its back and left end passive radiator.
Red version of this speaker, showing its back and left end passive radiator. JBL Flip 3 speaker review.

JBL Flip 3 Review: Disadvantages, Cons, Problems, Drawbacks, and Limitations

No Stand

The Flip 3, when laid on its side, can roll.  The button panel on it often does not stop this rolling.

Cloth Grill can Easily get Dirty

Plus, the fabric covering can get dirty from laying right on the ground.  JBL might attach feet to future Flip series models, to keep the speaker more clean and to stop the rolling.

No Case

No USB Charger Included





JBL Flip 3 Speaker Specifications

Dimensions:                    (H x W x D) 64 x 169 x 64 (mm)
Battery type:                   Lithium-ion polymer (3.7V, 3000mAh)
Battery charge time:     3.5 hours @ 5V1A
Music playing time:      Up to 10 hours (varies by volume level and audio content)
Bluetooth version:         4.1
Support:                           A2DP V1.3, AVRCP V1.5, HFP V1.6, HSP V1.2
Transducer:                     2 x 40mm
Output power:                2 x 8W
Frequency response:   85Hz – 20kHz
Signal-to-noise ratio: ≥ 80dB
Weight:                           450g
Case design:                  Splash proof with charge port door closed tightly.

Our Rating

We find the JBL Flip 3 Bluetooth speaker a truly great value.  It’s advanced, yes.  Quite advanced indeed.  Yet this is a very solid wireless speaker. It never crashes or goes out. It has a lot of range, and works well even when nearby radio sources are strong.

Over all, we appreciate the workmanship and thoughtful designing that went into this JBL product. Its wide excursion speakers and acoustic design make it a high fidelity speaker in spite of its small size.  So we rate the Flip 3 by JBL at 97 out of 100.

Where to Buy the JBL Flip 3 Bluetooth Speaker

We bought our JBL Flip Bluetooth speaker at Walmart for roughly $90.  But you can also find it for sale on Amazon, eBay, and Crutchfield among other outlets. JBL Flip 3 price ranges from around $70 to $150.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Does the JBL Flip 3 charge your phone?

No.

Does the JBL Flip 3 work with iPhone?

Yes.  Pair the Flip 3 to an iPhone, just as you would pair it to any other BT speaker.

Does the JBL Flip 3 come with a charger?

No.  But JBL does send along a micro USB charging cable in the Flip 3 box.  Use this cord along with most any 10 watt or better USB charger.

Can you connect JBL Flip 3 to Charge 3?

Yes.  In fact, you can charge your Flip 3 from the Charge 3.  Do this by connecting a micro USB to A cable to the A connector on the Charge 3. Then, connect the other end of that cable to the micro USB power input port on the Flip 3.  Finally, if the battery in the Charge speaker has enough power, your Flip 3 will recharge.  Perhaps not to full.  But enough to get a couple more hours of music time.

Does the JBL Flip 3 Turn off by itself?

Yes.  When not paired with any device, the unit shuts off after a little while.  Or when paired but with silence coming through, same thing happens.





Can JBL Flip 3 Charge a Phone?

No.  The Flip 3 is not a “powerbank” unit.  For this, try the JBL Charge series BT speakers.  The Charge and Xtreme models do indeed charge your mobile phone.

Does JBL Flip 3 work with Alexa?

Yes.

Why is my JBL Flip 3 cutting out, or making crackling noises?

Try moving the Flip 3 closer to the paired Bluetooth source device (your phone, tablet, or other mobile device).  This spotty play might happen because of weak signal from the source device.  Or, interference from other Bluetooth or WiFi devices can generate crackling noises on your Flip 3.  To resolve this, try moving the 3 and mobile device to a new location.

Can you pair JBL Flip 3?

Showing its Bluetooth pairing button highlighted.
The Bluetooth pairing button highlighted. JBL Flip 3 Review.

Yes.  The Flip 3 has Bluetooth pairing mode. You start this mode by pressing the Bluetooth button on the speaker.  Then, you discover this Flip 3 while scanning on other Bluetooth devices.

Why won’t my JBL Flip 3 turn on?

The speaker’s internal battery may be dead.  Try recharging it for several hours.   Be sure that the charger used is working.

What are the buttons on the JBL Flip 3?

See our   JBL Flip 3 Buttons Layout, What Each Button Does and When to Use Them    post for a complete description of all buttons on this speaker.

Why does my JBL Flip 3 run down so fast?   

The Flip 3 goes dead more quickly if…

  • You did not fully charge it the last time you recharged it.
  • Or, perhaps its battery had gone bad and needs replaced.
  • Then again, if you routinely play the Flip 3 at loud volumes, the battery goes dead more often.  Indeed, the louder you play it, the shorter the battery life per recharge.

Other Posts About the JBL Flip 3 Bluetooth Speaker

  1. How to Charge JBL Flip 3 Bluetooth Speaker
  2. Pairing JBL Flip 3 with Victor Reader Trek
  3. How to Tell if JBL Flip 3 is Charging
  4. JBL Flip 3 Low Frequency Mode, How to Turn On
  5. Pairing JBL Flip 3 with iPhone. iPad, iPod, iOS

Related Posts to JBL Flip 3 ReviewJBL Flip 3 Firmware Update Instructions

 

  1. How to Tell if JBL Flip 3 is Charging
  2. JBL Flip 3 Charging Instructions for Longest Battery Life
  3. Charging Indicator on JBL Flip 3 Shows How Full Battery Is
  4. JBL Flip 4 Review of this Portable Waterproof Speaker
  5. JBL Flip 3 Low Frequency Mode, How to Turn On

References

  1. JBL Flip 3 Product Page at JBL.com

Revision History

  • 2020-04-08: Added tags.
  • 2019-05-17: Tuned the key word targeting for ” and added tags.
  • 2019-02-28: First posted.
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