There’s nothing quite like feeling as though you got more than what you paid for. That’s how you’ll feel if you drop a C-note on JBL’s Flip 4 Bluetooth speaker. Small, easy tote, and waterproof to the point of being submersible, this speaker sounds like it’s considerably bigger and much more expensive.
It can easily fill a large bedroom with sound, and it can also hold its own outside. But the Flip 4 is more than just loud. It delivers a quality of sound that you wouldn’t expect for its size or price tag, despite being outfitted with just two 40mm full-range drivers and an 8-watt-per-channel amplifier.
A pair of 1.5-inch passive radiators on each end certainly help by serving up copious amounts of bass response, but never out of proportion to the mid-range and higher frequencies. I found that the Flip 4 delivered terrific dynamic range with all types of music, from acoustic jazz to hard rock.
The cylindrical speaker measures 6.9 inches wide and 2.7 inches in diameter and has thick rubber end caps at each end, with a 1.5-inch strip of rubber running across its back. Lay it horizontally, and the speaker almost automatically rolls into a position where that strip holds the drivers pointed slightly up and toward your ears. I thought the speaker sounded best oriented that way, but if it takes up too much space, you can stand it on end. Those sloped end caps will also angle the speaker up.