The Flip 4 looks a lot like its predecessor, the 2016 Flip 3. However, it arrives with some key differences both inside and out.
Internally, the Flip 4 includes new drivers and a better battery. In doing so, it can go 12 hours between charges instead of the Flip 3’s 10 hours, even though both have a 3000mAH rechargeable Li-ion battery.
The JBL Flip 4 speaker is slightly heavier than the one before it, weighing 515 grams versus 450 grams. It also features fabric with a tighter weave. Perhaps, most importantly, the Flip 4 is waterproof, not just splash proof like its predecessor.
Both speakers are usable horizontally and vertically, which makes sense given its name, the Flip.
JBL Flip 3 (left) versus JBL Flip 4
The audio on the Flip 4 compares favorably to the Flip 3. I noticed a little bit more bass and clarity on the newer device. It also sounds a tad louder at similar audio levels.
Like similar Bluetooth speakers, such as the recently introduced FUGOO GO and compact UE Wonderboom, the Flip 4 is best when paired with another. With two speakers, you can double the sound or listen in stereo which makes for a more natural experience. You can also use the Flip 4 with Google Now or Siri, something that can’t be done with the Flip 3.
The Bottom Line
At the time of this writing, JBL still offers the Flip 3, although at a slightly discounted price. Normally I’d say you should go out and buy the newer of the two products. In this case, the decision isn’t as clear-cut.
If you’re looking for a waterproof solution and definitely want to use Siri with the speaker, go with the Flip 4. If the price is a factor and you don’t have to worry about dropping the speaker in a pool, the Flip 3 remains a good choice. Yes, you’ll get less time between charges and slightly less sound. However, unless you have both speaker models sitting side-by-side, you won’t know the difference.
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