JBL Clip 4 Eco Review Vs Clip 4 Vs Go 3 Eco Speakers

Friday, January 20, 2023

JBL's newest travel size speaker - Clip 4 Eco - makes the perfect companion! It comes with a large rock-solid carabiner for grabbing and clipping the speaker securely onto anything without worrying about losing it or someone stealing it!

 The JBL Clip 4 Eco speaker integrates a 1050mAh internal battery with a charging time of approximately 3 hours, giving you 8 hours of playtime on a single charge at 70% volume. There is no quick charge support and Clip 4 Eco doesn't work in wired mode when the battery is empty, unless it is charged to about 10% health. In bluetooth mode, this isn't an issue though. The Clip 4 Eco speaker is capable of playing bluetooth audio and input charging at the same time.

The JBL Clip 4 Eco has similar specs to its little brother - the Go 3 Eco - including a bluetooth 5.1 chip which only supports standard Bluetooth codec. Clip 4 Eco doesn't support SBC or AAC codecs, which comes a bit as of a surprise since the original Clip 4 supports SBC. That said, codecs seem to have more of an impact on latency than audio quality so, you can expect a bit more latency with the Clip 4 Eco when watching videos.

The material used in the making of Clip 4 Eco are made from recyclable and sustainable sources, including the packaging. This is one of the key differences between the new Clip 4 Eco and the original Clip 4. Another difference is wired audio, which is supported by the new Clip 4 Eco. The original Clip 4 only supports is a bluetooth-only speaker.

The Clip 4 Eco has a lovely grille cloth, as well as a large JBL rubber logo stamped on the front and a thick aluminum metal carabiner built-in around the edge of the speaker. The carabiner clip is partially rubberized for grip. The thick carabiner design helps protect the speaker against side impacts. The carabiner also doubles as a small grab handle for carrying the speaker around.

The Clip 4 Eco is robust and resistant to dust, scratches and water. It can be used on a beach, dusty outdoors, boating or shower. Just like the Go 3 Eco speaker, the Clip 4 Eco is equipped with one full range driver, although the one in the Clip 4 Eco is a bit larger and a bit more powerful, capable of 5W RMS.

Front facing the speaker, you find 3 physical buttons for controlling play/pause, skip tracks, and volume. On the underside of the speaker, there are 2 more physical buttons for power and bluetooth. The buttons are raised, made of plastic and non-clicky. They have the same hard press actuation as the buttons on the Go 3 Eco speaker; whereas the original Clip 4 power button is easy to press accidentally.
Because of the built-in carabiner design, the Clip 4 Eco speaker cannot stand upright. You can only position it flat on its rubberized backside. The USB-C charging port is mounted at the bottom of the speaker. The Clip 4 Eco weighs 247 grams and measures 13cm long x 8.5cm wide x 4.5cm thick
Would have been neat if the JBL Clip 4 Eco supported PartyBoost boost mode to allow you to connect the Clip 4 Eco to another JBL speaker like the JBL Go 3 Eco or original Clip 4. The new Clip 4 Eco has the same sound signature as the Go 3 Eco with a midrange/treble focus.

Potential deal breakers
  • Doesn't support JBL PartyBoost
  • No quick charge
  • No SBC, AAC codec support - the original Clip 4 supports SBC
  • No multipoint
  • No 3.5mm audio port - the Clip 2 & Clip 3 have an audio jack
  • Cannot be in wired mode
  • No mic for calls
  • A bit under-powered for a room speaker - better to get the Charge 5 speaker
  • No charge-out function for charging external devices
  • No mic for calls - the Clip 2, Clip 3
  • No audio cable included
  • No EQ app support
Selling points
  • USB-C port - the Clip 2 & Clip 3 use micro USB charging
  • Passthrough bluetooth audio whilst charging
  • Supports wired and wireless audio - the original Clip 4 only supports wireless
  • Built-in carabiner clip
  • Hard to steal when clipped
  • IP67 rated 
  • Crystal clear sound quality
  • Loud volume
  • Perfect for hiking, walking the dog, biking, etc
  • Durable button switches
  • Dual purpose carabiner/ grab handle
  • Supports absolute bluetooth volume
  • Audible beep when reaching 100% volume
 Accessories included are a 60cm long, JBL branded charging cable. You can buy the JBL Clip 4 Eco from JBL and amazon

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