In terms of Bluetooth speakers, there appears to be one company that’s constantly in the conversation. JBL includes a speaker for nearly every price point, which range from the small and lightweight JBL Clip 3 to the giant Xtreme 2, but if you’re looking for something in-between, then your Charge 4 is just about the speaker for you personally. As the fourth iteration of the merchandise, JBL has had a good amount of time to obtain it right. So how could it be? May be the JBL Charge 4 worth spending your cash on?
This JBL Charge 4 review originates from the sound authorities at our sister site SoundGuys. Have a look at their in-depth undertake the JBL Charge 4.
Editor’s note: this JBL Charge 4 review was updated on June 8, 2020, to handle the JBL Flip 4 and 5 as alternatives.
What’s the JBL Charge 4 prefer to use?
On either end of the speaker the Charge 4 continues to be rocking dual exposed passive radiators.
On either end of the speaker, the Charge 4 continues to be rocking dual exposed passive radiators.The JBL Charge 4 looks nearly the same as the prior model, but there are several notable variations worth watching: for just one, the Charge 4 is slightly larger, both in proportions and in weight. It isn’t an enormous difference, but in the event that you plan on causeing this to be the speaker you toss in your backpack when you are camping then every ounce counts. The battery inside in addition has been upgraded to a bigger 7,500mAh battery that could make clear the slightly heavier weight.
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Besides that, the entire design of the Charge 4 hasn’t changed much. You’ll still get the IPX7 waterproof fabric which makes the speaker water-resistant for up to thirty minutes in a meter of water and the 30W USB output within the waterproof flap that enables you to charge your devices. On either end of the speaker is a dual passive radiator. Not merely do these help with the reduced end, nonetheless they just look cool. You then get the control and playback buttons up top, which are slightly raised that will help you know which is which in a low-light situation. Underneath has a tiny built-in stand, in order to place the speaker without worrying it’s likely to roll away. Plus, there are five small LED lights to inform you roughly just how much battery life is left.
How to hook up the JBL Charge 4
The Charge 4 gets the playback buttons up top with the energy and Bluetooth pairing buttons lit up.
Like the majority of Bluetooth speakers the Charge 4 includes a selection of about 10 meters, and during testing, I experienced no skips or stutters unless I was intentionally testing the number. The playback controls are nice and clicky, although buttons are somewhat hard to see at night seeing as only the center two (power button and Bluetooth pairing button) light.
Until recently everything with the Charge 4 has been fairly identical to the prior JBL Charge 3, but that’s where the variations start showing. Not merely does the Charge 4 have the newer Bluetooth version 4.2, in addition, it has JBL Connect+, which enables you to hook up up to 100 other JBL speakers simultaneously – a thing that isn’t possible with the Charge 3. I’m uncertain how necessary of an attribute that is, but at least you understand you have the choice to get a giant JBL rave with you and 100 other friends.
Protected under a waterproof flap will be the inputs and outputs of the speaker.
Beneath the waterproof flap around the trunk, you’ll get the earlier mentioned USB output in addition to a headphone jack if you wish to hardwire in a device, and a USB-C port for charging. You may charge your phone as well as your Bluetooth speaker with the same cable, which is fantastic taking into consideration the older JBL Charge 3 only had the microUSB.
Let’s talk battery life
There isn’t a lot of a notable difference in battery life between your JBL Charge 3 and Charge 4. Both speakers are rated for 20 hours of regular playback. Inside our testing, the Charge 4 got significantly less than that: 13 hours and 46 minutes of frequent playback, which continues to be pretty solid. A very important factor to note may be the USB-C port on the trunk is merely for charging the speaker, if you were planning to make utilization of it as an output to charge your devices you’re out of luck.
How does the JBL Charge 4 sound?
So far as sound quality goes, the Charge 4 doesn’t appear to be much of a noticable difference over the prior version. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, taking into consideration the Charge 3 was among the better sounding Bluetooth speakers we’ve tested.
The Charge 4 still features the same strong low end. Bass notes through the entire song Tearing at the Seams by Nathaniel Rateliff & THE NIGHT TIME Sweats were distinct and simple to follow along with, however the speaker is suffering from the same insufficient clarity in the mids that the last model did. Vocals were still discernible, nonetheless they sounded like these were taking the backseat for some of the instrumentation of the song.
This was particularly true in the song Lost you by LP, where in fact the vocals sounded like these were in competition with the strings and background melodies through the entire chorus. If you’re a lover of the top quality, you don’t need to worry because nothing sounds harsh and I didn’t hear any distortion at high volumes either. Overall, it appears like JBL just centered on tuning the speaker to sound as close as possible to the Charge 3, and it’s impressive how close they got taking into consideration the move to only 1 driver. But in the event that you liked what sort of last Charge 3 sounded, you’ll such as this one too.
Should you choose the JBL Charge 4?
The Charge 4 comes with an IPX7 water-resistant fabric which means you don’t need to worry about water damage and mold.
Absolutely, you should get the Charge 4. Well, sort of: when the JBL Charge 4 was initially released, it seemed just a little overpriced. After all, you can get lots of the same features in the older and less costly Charge 3. Really the only variations which will matter to most of the people may be the JBL Connect+ feature and the USB-C charging. If those features are worth the ~$25 difference, than more capacity to you.
Don’t expect a lot of a noticable difference over the Charge 3, since you’ll get similar sound quality, the same IPX7 build, and the same battery life. But, taking into consideration the Charge 3 had been an excellent speaker, then by default so may be the Charge 4. In the event that you curently have a Charge 3, there isn’t any reason to rush out and grab this model, but if that is likely to be your first Bluetooth speaker, you then won’t be disappointed, as the Charge 4 continues to be among the finest around.
Put portability first with the JBL Flip 4
The JBL Flip 4 is among JBL’s most successful lightweight speakers. Its svelte cylindrical condition is simple to pop right into a bag, and it shares the same IPX7 rating as its your government the Charge 4. You may also utilize the speakers as a speakerphone in a pinch, because of its microphones. For under $100, it’s an excellent little adventure buddy. If you wish the latest technology, go on and get the Flip 5, but if you wish the very best v