Roughly the size of a coaster, JBL’s newest portable speaker, Clip, integrates a carabiner-style clasp atop a single speaker. Moreover, this small container (roughly 10cm long x 8cm wide x 4cm deep) holds a rechargeable Lithium-ion polymer battery averaging 5 hours of continuous usage.
JBL’s Clip is affordably priced at $49.95 and is available in the following five colors: blue (also pictured in this article's slideshow), grey, purple, red, and black. A 13” Micro USB cable is included (recharge time is ~2 hours) along with a quick-start guide and safety sheet.
The rugged exterior incorporates a metal speaker grill into a double injected plastic body with a rubberized feel to the touch. Clip’s lobster claw clasp opens when the exterior is strongly depressed and then automatically closes. This product lives up to its name and provides secure attachment (e.g., onto a belt loop, backpack, bag, etc.).
Clip provides a robust number of possible connections via Bluetooth 3.0, built-in 3.5mm audio jack, and 1’ long audio cable that coils around the back for storage. Also, the aforementioned I/O allows two of these Clips to be interconnected or “daisy chained.”
Controls and connectors surround the middle of the device and include a Bluetooth connectivity button, power button, answer/end-call (play/pause), Micro USB connector, 3.5mm audio input, and volume down, and volume up. With such a sturdy casing, this author discovered that buttons responded only when firmly depressed. This central location also houses a microphone, thus, allowing Clip to function as an amazingly clear speakerphone.
For such a small speaker, the sound quality is quite good. Yet, with a frequency response of 160Hz – 20kHz, bass is audible but not palpable. With only a couple of potential hiccups, JBL’s Clip is recommended based on its compact, economical, and tough nature.
Rating: 4 out of 5