JBL Flip 2 Speakers Review: Is It Worth It?

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JBL’s new Flip 2 may look nearly the same as company’s original Flip wireless Bluetooth speaker, but it offers some key upgrades which make it an improved speaker.

On the performance end, JBL has improved the clarity of both speaker and the speakerphone, which features something called SoundClear echo and noise cancellation technology. The speaker also offers a slightly higher power rating (2×6 watts, 2×5 watts for the initial Flip) and just like the original, it plays impressively loud because of its size. It’s a tad heavier at .84 pounds (381g) versus 0.78 pound (354g) for the initial, but nonetheless lightweight enough to easily take with you.

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The other important change is to what sort of Flip charges. With the initial Flip, you’d to charge it with a proprietary AC adapter. The brand new model charges via Micro-USB, which signifies that you can use a typical Micro-USB cable and plug it right into a computer USB port or power adapter for charging.

JBL in addition has added NFC tap-to-pair technology for phones and tablets that the support the feature. However, I find this feature somewhat superfluous because the speaker will automatically hook up together with your mobile device (or PC) once you create a short pairing. You just have to have Bluetooth enabled on your own device, then turn the speaker on for computerized pairing.

For individuals who aren’t acquainted with this speaker, it’s called the Flip because you can withstand it up vertically or lay it down horizontally. As with the first Flip, I cannot say I noticed a notable difference in sound quality but I paid attention to it more regularly oriented vertically than horizontally. It includes a smaller footprint in this mode, and the physical buttons (power on/off, call end/answer, and volume) conclude at the top where they’re just a little better to see and reach. It’s worth noting that there surely is no pause/play button or transport controls (skip track forward/back) on the speaker itself. Most persons won’t mind, however, many users prefer to have at least a pause/play button on the speaker.

In comparing the initial to the brand new model, I did observe that the designers have traded a harder rubber finish for just one that’s soft to touch and has a bit more grip (this can help to keep carefully the speaker from active when you crank the quantity).

The other change involves the included travel case. The prior version was a straightforward neoprene affair. The brand new “hard” case is somewhat swankier and will be offering better protection. A Micro-USB cable and USB power adapter round out the included accessories.

Performance


The Flip was among the better sounding Bluetooth speakers because of its size and the Flip 2 takes things up a notch. It isn’t a major notch, but it’s noticeable. The Flip 2 handles bass just a little better at higher volumes and includes a tiny bit smoother, cleaner sound. Additionally, it may play slightly louder, if you will face some harshness when you improve the volume above 70 percent (each one of these speakers do better at more modest volume levels).

The midrange is pretty forward, so vocals get accentuated, and there’s just a little treble push. I did so throw some techno and rap as of this little guy, and the bass comes off just a little restrained (as you may expect), however the speaker has more kick than many competing models. Having said that, the more costly UE Boom offers more bass.

The Flip 2 beats various other popular Bluetooth speakers in this price class, like the UE Mini Boom and both original Jambox and more costly Mini Jambox. In addition, it sounds fuller and stronger than the smaller and less costly Cambridge SoundWorks Oontz speakers, though like each one of these compact Bluetooth speakers that contain their twin drivers so close together, there’s really no stereo separation.

Speakerphone performance was good (callers’ voices sounded very loud plus they said they could hear me fine). No complaints there.

Alas, JBL hasn’t improved the brand new model’s battery life — it’s still rated at 5 hours, which is merely so-so. That you can do just a little better by playing your music at quieter volume levels. And you will flunk of 5 hours if you really crank your tunes.

If you are looking for better battery life, JBL also offers the Charge, which currently retails for about $120 — roughly the same price as the Flip 2. TDK Life on Record A33 Wireless Weatherproof speaker can be an excellent option, but it’s drastically bigger than the Flip 2.

Conclusion


My only gripe with the Flip 2 is its middling battery life. Otherwise, the tweaks to the look, slightly improved sound, and the power charge via USB are nice upgrades over the initial.

This speaker does cost a bit more at $129.99 (the initial Flip sells for under $100), but relatively speaking, it remains a decent value, particularly if you can pick it up at a slightly low price. The Flip 2 has its limitations, however the fact that it could play as large as it can (and sound fairly decent) for a little, highly lightweight speaker, helps it be simple to recommend.

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