JBL CLIP 3 Review

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A Portable Speaker Ideal for Outside Activity Devotees

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JBL CLIP 3 is a compact and highly portable lightweight speaker that brings a decent sound quality and excellent usability, letting you enjoy the music wherever you go. Its great battery life and solid durability offer nothing less than a pleasant user experience for a reasonable price, as it should be the case with one of the best Bluetooth speakers available on the market.

Specifications:

Form factor: Compact
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.1, 3.5mm jack
Number of keys: 3
Output Power: 3.3W
Battery capacity: 1000 mAh
Battery life: 10 hours
Rating: IPX7 waterproof
Weight: 222 grams
Dimensions: Width 97 mm, Depth 137 mm, Height 46 mm

Features

As you may guess, JBL CLIP 3 presents a pretty good package and has not only good durability that includes the IPX7 waterproof rating, but also an excellent battery that gives you some 10 hours of music listening. On top of that, there is Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity that allows for easy pairing and equally importantly, an affordable price that makes the JBL CLIP 3 an even more appealing product.

To make things even better, JBL CLIP 3 also comes with easy-to-use controls, as well as solid audio quality that comes as a result of the built-in echo and noise-canceling speakerphones that are making the difference. Of course, all that doesn’t mean you will have the experience of the best hi-fi systems out there; however, you will get enough push to have fun while hiking, showering, or having any other indoor or outdoor activity.

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Usage

When talking about usage, it should be clear the JBL Clip 3 is super easy to use. You just need to turn it on, press the Bluetooth button on the speaker, and pair it with the device of your choice, whether that is a smartphone, laptop, or some other device.

Play and volume controls are easy to reach and allow for straightforward use, while the only “challenge” you may face is the situation when you need to reset the speaker. Even that is no rocket science and requires only a bit more work that includes turning on the device, waiting for the sound, and then simultaneously pressing the play and volume up button until the lights start flashing – and that is pretty much it.

JBL Clip 3’s Bluetooth 4.1 connection is solid and it allows you to use it while you at up to 10 meters away from the paired device, while the number of available codecs might disappoint you a bit because there are no high-quality ones; nonetheless, considering these speakers’ price tag, that is to be expected.

As mentioned, in the sound department, JBL Clip 3 won’t blow you away; however, it does a decent job of reproducing guitars and vocals that are loud and clear. What may present a problem are songs with more push and dynamics that cause the speaker to struggle, while the limited bass power shows its true weaknesses at the higher frequencies where it becomes harsh and tiny. However, considering the size of the device, this is expected, and it could be said that its audio performance is more than satisfying for the size, to say the least.

Design

In the design department, JBL Clip 3 brings nothing new compared to its predecessors. However, that is only an illusion of the first impression, because the more you look, the more differences you will see. Sure, these changes aren’t anything major and are pretty subtle; however, they do make a difference, as it is the case with the clip that is built-in into the frame and isn’t a separate one that can be easily removed.

Also, the playback keys are now present on the front side of the speaker, and not as a small indent on the speaker’s edge, while the back of the speaker is no longer reserved for the 3.5mm cable, but a solid plastic piece with the 3.5mm jack.

On top of that, JBL Clip 3 also comes with built-in microphones and IPX7 build rating that lets you submerge it in up to 1 meter of water without any consequences, while its availability in up to 12 different colors makes it appealing to the large base of users, allowing you to find the one that perfectly suits your taste or image.

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Good

JBL Clip 3 has so much to offer. There is the excellent 10-hour battery life, IPX7 waterproof rating, and even an integrated carabiner. It is lightweight; it offers a solid Bluetooth connection and, on top of that, it is easy to use.

What is even more important is that the JBL Clip 3 provides a good sound quality; it has a reasonable price and is available in 12 different color combinations, which is impressive.

Bad

Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that the JBL Clip 3 comes without any downsides. Luckily, these bad sides of it aren’t significant, yet they have to be mentioned, especially its lack of bass that may present a major issue for many, although it is almost inevitable in such a compact size as this, as well as the non-existence of the high-quality streaming codecs that are also something not to be expected in such a size, and especially such price range.

Moreover, it should be noted that JBL Clip 3 only offers micro-USB charging and that it isn’t compatible with the JBL Connect+ app, which prevents it from linking to other Clip 3 speakers and making surround sound. Yet, all of these are just smaller remarks that don’t significantly impact the otherwise great portable speaker.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, whether you are into hiking, podcast listening, or you simply want to enjoy music while you are on the go, JBL Clip 3 is the thing to seriously consider. Sure, this isn’t the perfect device and it has a few downsides; however, you may be sure that it won’t break your bank and more importantly, it will provide a more than respectable performance.

The fact remains that you can find speakers with better sound quality, such as Anker Soundcore Flare, or better protection that is available on JBL CLIP 4 and 5, yet for the price, JBL CLIP 3 is pretty much the best deal you can get, and a device that will certainly provide a ton of fun and joy.

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