From the silent Chamber of Dread to the stygian River of Souls, the Headphone Dungeon can seem at times a quiet, dreary place. Until now, thanks to the JBL Clip 3. Newly released by JBL, this portable Bluetooth speaker offers 10 hours of battery life and IPX7 water-proofing – all for just $59.95. But how does it sound?
JBL Clip 3 Review
The JBL Clip 3 follows in the footsteps of the older JBL Clip 2, it’s highly successful predecessor. Released just this month, the Clip 3 presents an impressive addition to JBL’s Bluetooth speaker lineup. But just what features can be found beneath it’s stylish exterior?
The JBL Clip 3 features a rugged, rubbery exterior that lends a tactile grip to the speaker. The top or front panel features the speaker panel, while the bottom or base sports buttons for powering the unit on and off, as well as for pairing via Bluetooth.
There’s also a gasket-sealed port for charging via micro-USB and a 3.5 mm AUX input for non-wireless devices.
Perhaps the biggest design feature of the Clip 3 comes in the form of its namesake. On the earlier Clip 2, the carabiner clip seemed added as an afterthought, while the Clip 3 integrates this feature into its build. This results in a more solid, more secure experience.
When it comes to connectivity, the JBL Clip 3 delivers quick and painless pairing. Utilizing the older Bluetooth 4.1, the technology isn’t the newest – but the connection remains secure with my phone in my pocket. And, in addition to this, the audio still sounds surprisingly good for a $59.95 speaker.
Battery life comes in at a decent 10 hours of playtime, depending on volume and the type of music being played. The battery charges in 3 hours.
The JBL Clip 3 delivers robust lows and a throbbing bass you can feel in your bones. When holding the speaker, I can actually feel the reverberations from the bass being conducted by my bones. The result is a level of audio fidelity that I can literally feel in my bones.
Mids seem a bit recessed and two-dimensional. Nothing to alert the audiophile community about, and pretty much expected from a Bluetooth speaker at this price point.
In the highs, the JBL Clip 3 delivers a similar level of emphasis as that found in the lows. There’s a certain energy at play here, with excellent precision that renders most tracks highly detailed and emotive.
All of this sound quality improves with volume, leading to a loud, intoxicating listening experience. The Clip 3 ensures you hear your tunes at their clearest, no matter where you are.
Despite the two-dimension midrange, the JBL Clip 3 still impresses with its superior build, strong battery life, and otherwise-rich sound. As a successor to popular Clip 2, the Clip 3 easily offers an improved sound and user experience. In its own right, though, the JBL Clip 3 also strikes me as an impressive little speaker. At this price, few portable speakers can measure up to its sound, build, or battery life.
Five skulls on the Headphone Dungeon skullometer. The JBL Clip 3 amounts to the best little Bluetooth speaker I’ve ever heard.
Support: A2DP V1.2, AVRCP V1.5, HFP V1.5, HSP V1.2
Transducer: 1 x 40mm
Output power: 1 x 3W
Frequency response: 120Hz – 20kHz (-6dB)
Signal-to-noise ratio: >80dB
Control and Connection Specifications
Bluetooth® version: 4.1
Bluetooth® transmitter power: 0 – 9dBm
Bluetooth® transmitter frequency range: 2.402 – 2.480GHz
Bluetooth® transmitter modulation: GFSK, π/4 DQPSK, 8DPSK
Battery type: Lithium-ion polymer (3.7V/1000mAh)
Charge time: 3 hour @ 5V, 0.5A
Music playing time: up to 10 hours (varies by volume level and audio content)
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