Picture of the JBL Flip 4 portable Bluetooth speaker, showing logo side, horizontal view.

JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth Speaker, Portable, Waterproof, Review




In this piece, we review the JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth speaker.  We cover this portable waterproof speaker’s performance, and accessories.  This JBL BT speaker sounds great and goes pretty loud. Plus, even when playing at top volume, the built-in rechargeable battery lasts up to twelve hours per charge.



The only major drawback we saw with this JBL speaker, is that the bass drivers are exposed at each end of the speaker cylinder.  The instructions warn against touching or pressing them.  But especially for outdoor, waterside use, we feel that JBL should have covered the woofers with a protective grill.  Other than that though, this JBL 4 Bluetooth speaker is a great buy for under a hundred US dollars.  So, we explore its high and low points below.  We’re confident that after that, you’ll agree that the JBL Flip 4 is an excellent portable Bluetooth speaker over all.  Get one this summer to take to the swimming pool.

Picture of the JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth Speaker box, front view, horizontal.
The JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth Speaker box, front view, horizontal.

JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth Speaker Advantages, Benefits, Pros, and Features

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

Picture of the JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth speaker, top view, showing speaker controls, horizontal.
JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth speaker, top view, showing speaker controls, horizontal.

Lots of Useful Controls

This forth version of the  JBL flip wireless speaker has several buttons.  These include Power, Play-Pause, Volume, and Pairing.  

Multi Function Power Lamp

Picture of the JBL 4 Flip series speaker, top view, powered ON.
JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth speaker, top view, powered ON.

Note the glowing white power button on this Flip JBL 4 speaker in the picture above.  When you turn the speaker on, this button lights white, meaning that the speaker is running but not currently paired.  But when successful pairing occurs, this button turns bright blue.

Picture of the JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth speaker, top view, powered ON, paired, showing blue power lamp.
JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth speaker, top view, powered ON, paired, showing blue power lamp.

Splashproof and Waterproof

Picture of the JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth speaker box, front view, showing the speaker dipped in water. It's waterproof!
JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth speaker box, front view, showing the speaker dipped in water. It’s waterproof!

This JBL splashproof speaker can take a few drops of water, and can even be submerged in water for short periods without damage.  Just be sure you have the charge port door completely snapped shut.  Otherwise, water might get inside and damage BT speaker electronics. IPX7 rated. Rain will not hurt it.  If you drop it into a chlorinated swimming pool, just rinse this JBL Flip waterproof speaker in fresh tap water when the party is over.  



Built in Rechargeable Battery

The JBL Flip battery that comes in this Bluetooth speaker fully charges in under four hours.  With medium play volumes, this battery lasts roughly twelve hours per charge.  

Sealed Micro USB Charge Port

Picture of the JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth speaker with USB charge port highlighted.
JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth speaker with USB charge port highlighted.

How to charge JBL Flip 4?   The Flip 4 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 4 JBL speaker orange micro USB charge cord in bag.
JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth speaker orange micro USB charge cord in bag.

The JBL Flip 4 comes with a micro USB charging cable.  The cable we received is bright orange in color, and is about forty inches long.  Quite flexible.

Can Act as a Speakerphone

When paired with a smart phone, you can answer calls with buttons on the JBL Flip 4.  They’re 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 these assistants through the speaker with a button press.

Large Excursion Speaker 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 4 Bluetooth speaker, held in hand.
JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth speaker, held in hand.

Stereo Sound

You get 8 watts of audio power per channel, for 16 watts total sound output.  You can also connect to JBL Flip speakers as a stereo pair with the JBL Connect+ app.  Instantly reverse channels right from your phone.

Party Mode

Or, connect them in party mode so that each speaker plays the same content (mono sound from both speakers).

Multiple Bluetooth Sources

Supports as many as two 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 over this JBL 4 wireless speaker.



JBL Connect+ Support

You can stream to more than one speaker at the same time with speakers that support the JBL Connect+ protocol.  This is like Google Chromecast or Amazon’s Multi Room Music feature.  Both of these allow streaming the same content to multiple speakers together.

Comes in Six Bright JBL Flip Colors

You gen buy the JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth speaker in red, blue, black, gray, white, and aqua.

Picture of the JBL Flip 4 splashproof speaker, right side horizontal view.
JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth speaker, right side horizontal view.

JBL Flip 4 Portable Splash Proof Bluetooth Speaker Disadvantages, Cons, Problems, Drawbacks, and Limitations

Cloth Grill can Easily get Dirty

No Stand

The Flip 4, when laid horizontally, can roll.  The button panel on it often does not stop this rolling.  Plus, the fabric covering can get dirty resting right on the ground.  JBL might attach feet to future Flip series models, to keep the speaker more clean and to prevent rolling.

No Case




No USB Charger Included

Picture of the JBL Flip 4 waterproof speaker, left side horizontal view.
JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth speaker, left side horizontal view.

JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth Speaker Specifications

Dimensions:                    (H x W x D) 68 x 175 x 70 (mm)
Battery type:                   Lithium-ion polymer (3.7V, 3000mAh)
Battery charge time:     3.5 hours @ 5V1A
Music playing time:      Up to 12 hours (varies by volume level and audio content)
Bluetooth version:         4.2
Support:                           A2DP V1.3, AVRCP V1.6, HFP V1.6, HSP V1.2
Transducer:                     2 x 40mm
Output power:                2 x 8W
Frequency response:    70Hz – 20kHz
Signal-to-noise ratio: ≥ 80dB
Weight:                            515g
Case design:                    Waterproof with charge port door closed tightly.

Our Rating

We find the JBL Flip 4 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, 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 4 by JBL at 97 out of 100.

Where to Buy the JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth Speaker

We bought our JBL Flip Bluetooth speaker at Walmart for roughly $90.  But you can also find this JBL Flip speaker for sale on Amazon, eBay, and Crutchfield among other outlets. JBL Flip 4 price ranges from around $70 to $150.  

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References

Revision History

  • 2018-05-06: First published.