Our Verdict
The Flip 2 can be an affordable, lightweight Bluetooth speaker that gets plenty loud, however the fidelity won’t wow you.

For
Inexpensive
Will get loud without distortion
Includes speakerphone
Against
No weatherproofing
Limited battery life
Let’s face it: Portable Bluetooth speakers aren’t cheap. The majority of the types you wish to pay attention to cost about $200. At only $100, JBL’s Flip 2 – a recently available update to the initial Flip – brings the conveniences of wireless sound to a far more budget-minded crowd. Wrapped within an attractive package, the Flip 2 looks great and packs in features such as a speakerphone.

Design

The streamlined, cylindrical design of the Flip 2 looks fun. Obtainable in black, red, blue, yellow and white (we tested the blue model), the Flip is mainly covered in a colored grille that protects both 40 mm drivers. Two rubber end caps – the same color as the grille – seal the sides, while a rubber strip on the trunk prevents the cylindrical speaker from rolling off your table when you lay these devices horizontally. Also you can stand the Flip 2 using one end if you need a vertical approach.

On one end, you will discover the energy, volume, phone and Bluetooth buttons; the other side can be used only to hook up the speaker with NFC-compatible devices. At 6.2 x 2.5 inches and 13 ounces, the speaker is small and light enough to comfortably carry in your hand as you tote it from destination to place.

MORE: Best Bluetooth Speakers

Although Flip 2 isn’t weatherproof, it ships with a case to greatly help protect it from bumps and dings if you are not listening.

Setup and Use

The JBL Flip 2 paired easily with this iOS and Android devices. To place the speaker into discovery mode, press the Bluetooth button privately of the speaker. On an Android device, head to Settings, to check out the speaker listed in Available Devices. (You may want to touch Seek out Devices.) In iOS, head to Settings > Bluetooth, where in fact the JBL Flip 2 should appear under Devices.

In case you have an NFC-equipped Android device, touch the speaker and the mobile device together for the most effective pairing – you will see a pop-up on your own device that asks if you need to pair it with the speaker. Click Yes, and you’re set.

The Flip 2 maintained a solid connection from so far as 25 feet away with a clear type of sight, which is on a par with most lightweight Bluetooth speakers.

Audio Performance

In terms of sound performance, the Flip 2’s greatest strength is that it could get really loud. With both drivers rated at 6 watts, it really is among the loudest lightweight Bluetooth speakers we’ve tested, and plays loudly without distortion (until you truly crank it up, above 75 percent of the max volume).

However the Flip 2 has limits with regards to sound quality. It targets the midranges, where vocals reside. That meant Lorde’s husky voice on “Team” sounded full, however the bass behind her lacked oomph. The saxophones playing the melody on Charles Mingus’ jazz classic “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” found richly, however the drums felt thin. In the event that you listen to a whole lot of pop and vocal-driven music, the Flip 2 will probably fit the bill, but don’t be prepared to be wowed.

Compared, the Braven 570 ($100) offers similar, if slightly more tinny, fidelity. While it’s doubly expensive, the Fugoo Style has solid midrange, crisp treble and rich bass that provides music depth.

Within JBL’s lineup, the $150 Charge offers far better bass response compared to the Flip 2, and the $50 Clip has slightly less fullness compared to the Flip 2 – but also for half the purchase price, the Clip compares very favorably.

Speakerphone

The Flip 2’s speakerphone produced clear sound on both ends of test calls and compared favorably with the iPhone’s built-in speakerphone function. The calls benefited from the Flip 2’s volume, too. It’s a huge bonus for the purchase price level, particularly when more costly models, just like the JBL Pulse and Bose SoundLink Mini, don’t add a microphone.

Battery Life and Charging

JBL rates the Flip 2’s battery life at 5 hours, and we saw approximately 4.5 hours of playing time before it ran out of power. Compared, the Braven 570’s 1200 mAh battery is rated to last about 10 hours, and JBL’s Charge gets 12 hours on a complete charge, which is approximately average because of this size of lightweight Bluetooth speaker.

The speaker recharges with a microUSB port on the trunk. That’s a noticable difference over the initial Flip, which required a proprietary charger.

Bottom Line

Using its included speakerphone, the $100 JBL Flip 2 is an effective value for many who don’t want to hand out $200 for reduced Bluetooth speaker. Limited battery life makes the Flip 2 less portable, though, and if music quality matters for you, there are a good amount of other options. For instance, the $150 JBL Charge offers better bass and resonance, as the company’s $50 Clip – which also contains a speakerphone – represents a straight better deal. But if you need a lot of volume for a realistic price, the Flip 2 can be an attractive option.