A portable Bluetooth speaker is becoming one of the must-have gadgets for any music enthusiast. Most of us would rank it as a perfect companion everywhere you want to listen to music. Be it days at the beach, park, picnic, or a night out at the bonfire; portable speakers are the perfect music device.
Over the last few years, JBL – the portable speaker company – has quickly risen with robust little speakers that promise not to break your bank. The latest model is the Clip 3, which is an improved version of its predecessor the Clip 2.
Below is my in-depth review which I recommend you read but if you are super busy and want a summarized verdict then there you go: battery life is great, it’s waterproof and easy to take with you. It’s great value for the money and I totally recommend buying it on Amazon.
Using JBL Clip 3
This device gives the same impression as the previous version – Clip 2. However, I will get to take a close look at some of the subtle differences that frame out the JBL Clip 3 as a significant upgrade.
The first design standout feature with this speaker comes in the form of three playback buttons that are also available in Clip 2. You will also find that the speaker makes up the front fabric of the device despite the buttons being consistent with the product line-up.
The backside of the speaker, however, has had a significant upgrade with the solid plastic securing content and device battery.
On the side, is a protective flap that hides the USB port and a 3.5mm headphone input. Charging is available through a micro USB cable. Other design features on the side include the Bluetooth and power buttons. At the press of the Bluetooth button, you are guaranteed to pair with your phone.
Overall, the design packs the JBL Clip 3 into weighing less than a pound, making it easily portable practically everywhere, even in parties. However, I didn’t find sufficient enough to rank among our best party speakers I have reviewed.
Features worth noting:
Clip 3 lists its waterproof capabilities as bearing the IPX7 Standard. By this, the brand means that this Bluetooth speaker device can undergo a full splashdown without damage. You can practically drop the speaker in water levels of up to 3 feet and still have the speaker working.
Another high possibility is that waterproof protection can allow Clip 3 to sustain long periods of exposure to rain. However, this is only capable for up to 30 minutes as too much exposure may clog up the grille speaker.
Clip 3 has a battery that boasts of 1,000 mAh in power. That allows the device to run for up to ten hours after a full charge. The up-time is an improvement from the 8-hour run-time present with Clip 2. Besides, it takes three hours to charge the JBL Clip 3 Bluetooth speaker fully.
On the topic of Bluetooth technology, Clip 3 features the “Bluetooth Smart capability or Bluetooth v4.0. According to IEEE Digital Library, version 4.0 heightens the performance of device connectivity, especially with the Internet of Things. It is a disruptive technology that presents a mature device class for JBL Clip 3 that is undebatable.
Let’s Take A Look At Performance
With the technology of Bluetooth 4.0, this portable speaker carries with it a hugely optimized version of Bluetooth technology. This version is embedded explicitly in the JBL Clip 3 since it practically requires little time and power to pair with standard operated devices. The pairing is, therefore, super quick and easy.
Once the speaker device pairs for the first time, it will automatically do so in the future when both devices are turned on. Also, no upgrades are necessary to facilitate excellent pairing. Version 4.0 is even sophisticated enough to aid functions such as call answering and voice assistant for a hands-free dialing experience.
Clip 3 has also stepped up the sound volume by redesigning the capacity to have a higher max. Since the speaker grille covers practically the whole front of the device, you can expect the sound to be loud enough with a high volume setting.
Customers report a decent bass kick that makes playing songs around an astounding experience. Others list it as a blaring loud enough to not even turn up.
It is also worth mentioning that the sound clarity of the JBL Clip does not seem to match my expectations. That was primarily a huge disappointment when it comes to listening to songs on high volume. The sound would often be less apparent when playing heavy-bass music. But Clip 3 did a decent job when it came to listening to soft instruments or vocals.
However, JBL contends this notion with in-built turbulence and echo-canceling feature. And in a previous post, I did explain the need to eliminate echo while listening and recording. It’s quite fortunate that JBL has made it possible to eliminate and reduce echo in Clip 3.
This JBL Clip model eliminates some of the standard input features I find in portable speakers. For starters, the auxiliary cable is not among the package so it’s impossible to connect to other audio devices right away. What this means is that the extra wire is a separate purchase.
Other notable inputs include for the USB and Micro-USB cables, included in the purchase. The JBL Clip 3 allows charging via these inputs to suit you.
Making the purchase
The JBL Clip 3 comes across as a portable Bluetooth speaker with a great design and latest tech. I had the chance to explore some of the unique selling points and downsides that come with purchasing a JBL Clip 3 portable speaker.
Pros Of This Model
Its IPX7 waterproof standard gives the Clip 3 a high degree of protection than other portable speaker devices. The rating is according to the IP Code or the Ingress Protection Marking.
Improved battery life
With ten hours of music playtime, the Clip 3 cuts as one of the best powered portable speaker models. The primary factor behind this might perhaps be the 1000mAh rechargeable Li-ion battery. It will only take one regular charge of three hours to fire it back up.
The portable speaker remains one of the smallest sized models I have come across. It is small enough to fit into your hand and take it anywhere practically. The micro-sized speakers and carabiner sum up the ease of plugging it anywhere without a fuss.
A significant difference with the JBL Clip 3 also is with the design itself. The carabiner has an integrated model which adequately covers the entire speaker. At first glance, you will even realize that the casing, speaker grille, and the integrated carabiner are placed strategically to make up the whole speaker.
If you have come across the Clip 3 product list, you will also notice the different models available. All these have practically the same functions of the Clip 3 portable speakers.
However, individuals who would love to fiddle around with colors have the option to try different color purchases. You can choose from a list of over ten colors available.
An integrated Carabiner
The carabiner- the oblong metal part with a spring-hinged side- is integrated to secure the speaker by allowing clipping onto a bag or belt loop.
Clip 3 seems like the perfect definition of extreme portable. Surprisingly I found out its design is one of the heaviest in the market. It takes the lead with a design packing 7.8 ounces as the total weight. Its predecessor, Clip 2, weighs in at 6.5 ounces for the whole portable speaker.
Lackluster output at max volume
Clip 3 records a surprisingly big sound for a speaker device that small in size. However, the volume clarity is in question, especially when it involves high volumes.
Customers of the product report of having their playtime getting distorted when they turned to max volume. A good number of the complainants also believe that Clip 3 fails to overcome noise while in the outdoors.
Long charging time
The cycle of battery charging with the JBL Clip 3 is also quite hectic. For a full recharge, users need up to three hours to ensure enough power effectiveness for connectivity. However, this limit varies, and you can’t always expose it as a fixed disadvantage. Still, this may lead to inappropriate charging by leaving the device plugged in and unattended for long cycles. This often ends up putting a lot of stress on the batteries, so they don’t last long.
Is Clip 3 worth it?
For all its worth, the JBL Clip 3 is a borderline comically device which would be mistaken for a hockey puck. The size is small enough and with a little carabiner to enable attachment to all kinds of places and stuff. And the best part is that it comes with controls to it – the play, volume, power, and Bluetooth buttons.
Overall, I still feel that the JBL Clip 3 ranks among our list of versatile and cheap portable speaker options I have come across. I find this model much accustomed to be traveling with during your adventures, everywhere. My Verdict: order it on Amazon and you won’t regret it.
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