Unless you are a proud owner of an HTC One M7/M8, or perhaps lucky enough to have grabbed the Nexus 6 during the 30 seconds it was available at launch, you likely find your phone’s speaker extremely lacking. Until front facing speakers become the norm, most of us smartphone users will be stuck frustratingly cupping our hands around the speaker of our phone to get just a little extra volume, whilst showing our friends the latest Kayne West disaster video on YouTube.
Enter the JBL clip.
Similar to JBL’s Micro Wireless speakers from a couple years ago, the JBL Clip offers an affordable, yet stylish, and surprisingly loud, alternative to some of the more expensive wireless speakers out there. The design is durable, but ergonomic, with easily accessible controls. Likely the most standout feature of the design is the inclusion of a carabiner clip at the top of the speaker. While I first thought this was nothing more than a gimmick, this feature has actually come in handy on several occasions. If you enjoy camping or going on hikes, you will appreciate being able to easily fasten the speaker to your backpack.
On the left side of the speaker are three buttons: a power button, a Bluetooth discovery button, and a voice-call switch button. The right side sports volume up and down and headphone jack that you can also use to daisy chain to other speakers, while the micro-USB charging port is located on the bottom.
The Clip is available in black, purple, grey, red, and blue.
This is where the JBL Clip really shines. Any time I have shown off the speaker people have been blown away by, not only the volume, but the clarity of the sound as well. Most music will sound crisp at full blast, unless you are listening to music with heavy bass. Even then, a couple notches down on the volume will solve any problems with distortion. If you are one of those people that still make voice calls – like me – you will also be pleased with the sound clarity while on speaker phone. In fact, there is a“phone” button located on the side of the speaker that allows you to seamlessly switch from listening to music to speaker phone.
The battery charges quickly and will last you up to five or six hours. I tend to take battery claims with a grain of salt, but suffice it to say you should be able to make it through a campfire session at the beach playing your favorite tunes.
While there are higher quality, and pricier, alternatives on the market, the simple fact that the speaker retails at only $50 makes this an easy sell. The JBL Clip sounds great, is well built, and is priced well below wireless speakers that sound only marginally better. A definitive recommend.