JBL Clip 2 Review
Remember the portable JBL Clip we reviewed last year? It now has a successor and seems like it’s now a better portable speaker with the addition of what its predecessor lacks — waterproofing. Here’s our review of the JBL Clip 2.
Design and Construction
The Clip 2’s design is, as expected, still similar from the first generation. It’s circular and still carries the name of “clip” since it can be clipped onto things like your bag. Although, there are a number of improvements all over the body of the speaker. Most importantly, the carabiner is now bigger, or should we say a real one, hence it can clip onto more objects like thin pipes, thicker straps, and wherever you can fit it in. It’s also a bit adjustable thanks to the soft plastic holding it in place. We tried clipping it onto our shower rod and while it can hang on, it won’t lock. But, no worries, you can easily use it on your bag straps when hiking or onto thin ropes.
The reason why we tried bringing it into the shower is that it’s IPX7 waterproofed meaning it can withstand water submersion for up to 1 meter. Not that it’s useful when underwater but any liquids around should not pose a threat. The housing is also now a smooth rubberized plastic, with five dimples for each of the buttons.
On the left side, you’ll find volume up and down buttons, and a call button in between. There’s a small hole for the microphone too. The right side has the power button and Bluetooth pairing button. Hidden under the thick flap is the microUSB port for charging. There’s also noticeable lining on the edges of the speaker for the built-in 3.5mm cable.
Lastly, the grill now has a fabric covering similar to the current line of JBL portables and it makes the Clip 2 more casual yet stylish to look at. There’s just a bit of concern regarding dirt, especially with our light colored unit.
Playback and Setup
Using the Clip 2 is fairly simple. There are two ways to connect an audio source — Bluetooth or 3.5mm jack. You can either go wired or wireless, depending on your choice. The cord is about 14-inches long just in case you’re wondering. As for the Bluetooth, it’s version 4.2 with a max range of 60 meters.
Pairing is straightforward just like with any other Bluetooth device. Although you can make use of the wireless daisy chain feature if you have multiple compatible JBL devices around.
Sound and Call Quality
When it comes to sound quality, the Clip 2 delivers its JBL brand. It’s loud and ideal for most music genres but leaning on pop and electronic. We tested it paired with a OnePlus 3T and Spotify in normal quality setting.
We started with “Toxic”, a Britney Spears classic, since pop music is something JBL is known for. We enjoyed the song with a good amount of bass for its size. At max volume, there’s noticeable vibration but nothing major. Next, we have “I Will Wait” sang by Mumford & Sons which is of neo-folk and rock genre. Vocals are clear as well as the strums although, again, at max volume, there’s the strong vibration of the lows. Lastly, we have “A Beautiful Mess” of Jason Mraz to test it out with acoustic songs and it’s not much different from the first two we tested.
After multiple playbacks, we were able to pinpoint the weakness of the JBL Clip 2 and it’s the bass. For its size, honestly, it’s understanduniable. It’s just that in 100% volume, it produces minor distortion. One thing’s for sure though, this pocketable speaker can go really loud to fill a big room.
JBL rated the use of the of the Clip 2 for up to 8 hours. With our use, we were able to get about 5-6 hours depending on how we like to push the volume. If you’re going wired, you might be able to squeeze additional hours of playback.
In the end, JBL Clip 2 is a worthy successor. With the improved design and waterproofing alone, it’s already more attractive than the first gen. Although, the bass, like before, is still wanting due to the small driver and lack of dedicated woofer. For its size, we can’t expect so much.
This one is for those who need an adventurous (water only) companion. It retails in the country for Php3,099.
JBL Clip 2 specs:
Bluetooth version: 4.2
Output power: 1 x 3W
Transducer: 1 x 40mm
Frequency response: 120Hz – 20kHz (-6dB)
Signal-to-noise ratio: >80dB
Music playing time: up to 8 hours (varies by volume level and audio content)
Battery type: Lithium-ion polymer (3.7V/730mAh)
Battery charge time: 2.5 hour @ 5V, 0.5A
141 x 94 x 42 mm
- Improved design and materials
- Waterproofed (IPX7)
- Loud volume
- Average bass