The JBL Clip 2 or one of the best speakers for quality/price ratio
If you are an audio technology lover, you have certainly heard about the brand « JBL », specialized in headphones and its well-known portable speakers. The brand's success comes not only from its great quality but also from its small prices as compared to other brands.
Today, I will present you a small ultra-portable speaker that I just bought: the JBL Clip 2. Its price varies from 40$ to 50$ depending on the reseller.
The speaker is held in a small packaging which includes a micro usb cable, a quick start guide, a safety data sheet and a warranty card. Just as simple as that!
The JBL Clip 2 takes its name from the clip up to the speaker allowing the user to hang it wherever he wants, on a bag for example. The speaker has a rounded shape of the size of a hand and weighs only 184 grams. The front side is covered with a grill that makes the speaker waterproof, you can put it in water until 1 meter so feel free to take it at the pool or at the beach without any fear. On the opposite side, an audio cable is directly embedded, which can be both a benefit and disadvantage. On one hand, you don't have to carry yourself an audio cable meaning that it's really practical but on the other hand, you cannot replace the cable if it's broken.
On the sides, you have 5 buttons: two buttons for controlling the volume, one button for the Bluetooth connection, one power button and a call button that makes possible to use the speaker as a hands-free microphone. At last, there is also a micro usb plug to charge it.
The Bluetooth connection
The connection is great if you are close to the speaker. I tested it in my apartment: I had no problems when I was in the kitchen with my speaker meanwhile my phone was in my bedroom just next to it. However, when I wanted to take it to my bathroom, the sound started to cut. I would say that if you don't need to transport the speaker without your phone around, the connection is enough. However, you might find it problematical.
The audio quality
Before I give you my impressions of the sound it provides, keep in mind that a speaker of that size cannot be as efficient as a double-sized speaker of 300$.
I tested the sound based on different music styles that I listen to. I found it really effective with the mids, it gives the vocals a very clear sound, putting the voice forth. I would say that it is perfect for listening to chill songs that don't use a lot of instruments.
The lows are quite good as long as you don't push the volume too far from the speaker's limits. To give an example, I tested it on « Day 'N' Nite » from Kid Cudi. It was quite good but don't expect to put a party on fire with it. Unfortunately, it is not efficient enough to emphasize the basses in a high volume.
I found the same problem with the highs. At a great volume on a rock song, the lows have a tendency to supplant the highs and they became a little « shrilling ».
The battery efficiency
I was quite impressed with the battery lifetime. The constructor announces an 8-hour use before the speaker needs to be charged but in fact, at a 70% volume, it can go to 10 hours more or less. However, if you use it at the max volume, you can't expect more than 4 or 5 hours so don't forget to bring your charging cable when you carry it!
I based my criterias on the fact that I was looking for a speaker that I could carry anywhere I want with a good battery lifetime and a relatively acceptable quality sound but also because I already have a really great efficient speaker at home, however too heavy to be transported. My choice has been made on the JBL Clip 2. Even if it doesn't excel in all the criterias mentioned above, it still fulfills its job for a 50$ speaker. I have to admit that I've been hesitating with the Bose Soundlink Micro which costs the double, more or less 100$. The sound was very powerful as Bose can do it but it had no audio plug and the battery lifetime was less efficient than the JBL's. I would recommend the JBL Clip 2 if you have a small budget but still want something practical and a sound more than acceptable for its price.
Here is a small sum up of its characteristics:
Weigh: 184 grams
Autonomy: 8 hours (depending on the volume)
Output power: 3 Watts
Dimensions: 141 x 94 x 42 (mm)
Other characteristics: hands-free kit, built-in clip, Bluetooth connection, audio cable of 3,5 mm, waterproof