This is the first time JBL engaged me for a product review, thanks to Claudia. On top of that, JBL is having a giveaway contest for my blog readers, as well as readers of 4 other influential blogs. Before we talk about how to join, I shall share my review of the JBL Flip 3.
JBL Flip 3 Specs
Transducer: 2 x 40mm
Output power: 2 x 8W
Frequency response: 85Hz – 20kHz
Signal-to-noise ratio: ≥80dB
Bluetooth version: 4.1
Support: A2DP V1.3, AVRCP V1.5, HFP V1.6, HSP V1.2, noise-echo cancellation speakerphone
Battery type: Lithium-ion polymer (3.7V, 3000mAh)
Battery charge time: 3.5 hours @ 5V 1A
Music playing time: up to 10 hours (varies by volume level and audio content)
Dimensions (H x W x D): 64 x 169 x 64 mm
What’s in the box:
1 x JBL Flip 3
1 x Micro USB Cable
1 x Quick Start Guide
New Rugged Housing
The Flip 3 is the third generation in the popular JBL Flip series. Known for good audio quality, the Flip 3 retains the cylindrical design but ups the ante with a life-proof exterior. The speaker grille is made of durable fabric material while the rest of the body is protected by rugged rubber housing. Although the marketing material only says the Flip 3 is splash proof and washable under running water, it appears to be able to survive harsh elements and rough handling.
The only weak link to this robust design is the exposed passive bass radiators at the sides. While there is little doubt that the radiators should not be easily damaged accidentally, they are irresistible parts for children and adults alike to probe and touch.
Buttons and Connectors
Behind the JBL Flip 3 are buttons to operate the speaker. Most are self-explanatory: Bluetooth symbol button to initiate Bluetooth pairing, + and – buttons for volume, Phone symbol button to answer phone calls.
The power button is activated by just a single press, which can be rather annoying when you accidentally tap the wrong button and the speaker turns off. To add to the annoyance, the speaker will play some startup and shutdown rhythmic sequence that never fails to startle everyone in quiet environment.
A dedicated JBL Connect button allows you to pair another compatible JBL speaker so that you can either play in stereo mode (each speaker plays one side) or party mode (both play same audio).
The USB and 3.5mm audio ports are capped neatly for liquid protection. The included USB cable’s Type-A connector is reversible, which is really good to have. I also like the 5-LED battery indicator so I have a good visual gauge of the remaining battery.
After testing dozens of portable speakers, the JBL Flip 3 lands instantly as one of my top favourites. The treble is clear, well-defined, and disciplined without sounding noisy or compressed. The bass offers good definition without sounding heavy and boomy. The Flip 3 plays well with classical, jazz and instrumental genres. Pop music still sounds good, but the kick bass comes out hard and distracting. The bass probably could do better with a little more boom to make it fatter and less dry.
I never like to listen to my music at loud volumes using small speakers. Most of the time, the audio balance will go off, either too muddy or too treble-noisy with weak bass. I like to listen the Flip 3 in an enclosed area with moderate volumes, as it delivers the best balance of transparent treble and responsive bass. I would not get the Flip 3 solely for parties or outdoors, although it handles high volumes relatively well.
In spite of my criticisms, I don’t think I have heard any other portable rugged speakers with such pleasant all-rounded music quality.
The JBL Flip 3 has the perfect balance of sound quality and durability, making it an exceptional speaker to own for audio-critical consumers who love to carry quality music everywhere. There are 7 colors available in Singapore – Black, Grey, Blue, Red, Orange, Teal and Orange. Recommended retail price is S$179.
JBL will give a Flip 3 (colour decided by JBL) to one winner picked from a random draw out of all the comments posted on any of the JBL Flip 3 review articles at the following blogs.
http://musicphotolife.com/ (my blog)
Here’s what you must do for a chance to win: comment below this article by 30 Oct 2015 on how your feel about the product. The contest is open to Singapore residents only. Winners will be notified by email.
Thank you JBL Singapore for the opportunity to reward my readers. I hope you guys win this Flip 3 and share my joy listening to this sweet-sounding speaker.