JBL is a well known brand and an American company that makes loudspeakers and other devices associated with them from the early 1946 so they have more than 60 year experience. This company makes anything starting from consumer sound systems to professional sound studio systems and they also make battery operated consumer loudspeakers like the JBL Flip.
JBL Flip is not a fully fledged Android docking station but it is a speaker dock and it can connect to every Android device either trough the Bluetooth connection or that 3.5 mm audio jack and it can also be used to answer calls so it fits our standards. This is one of the best mini Bluetooth Android speakers and with those 6.3 inches x 2.4 inches x 2.4 inches (160 x 70 x 70 mm) dimensions it is a very portable device.
JBL Flip is a Bluetooth enabled mini speaker station that is designed to be stylish and comfortable to use but also has a really easy interface and only 4 buttons so there is nothing that will ruin the fun. The speaker is made mainly from plastic but it has a very great tubular design that is styled with black and metallic colors that flow together making this device feel strong and powerful but also creating a sleek look. The whole device is mainly covered with that dotted speaker cover material and looks like one long speaker but in fact underneath there are two different drivers. On the front of this speaker there is a great JBL logo so you know that this little device means business and the sound quality will be great!
There are two orientations you can stand this speaker dock and they are Horizontally and Vertically. Because of this there are small rubberized bits sticking out at the right places so this speaker is held in place and will not vibrate on any flat surface. In my mind there is no preferred way to orient this speaker as there is no noticeable sound difference and I sometimes put it horizontally but sometimes vertically but it may be more convenient to put it vertically as all those control buttons are at the top but that is just a suggestion.
The charging and auxiliary ports are located on the back of this speaker and as you can see then this Flip multifunctional speaker uses a power adapter that is custom made and that is a really big drawback as you have to lug around another charging adapter if you want to charge this device. I don’t understand why did the company make this custom AC adapter where they could have made an USB port that could be universal. If you lose your USB cable you can replace it easily with a cable from a different device but if you lose this charger you will have to buy a new one and that is not that easy as it sounds.
At the top or at one side how you orient this speaker there are those control buttons that allow you to turn on/off the device itself as well as control the sound and answer calls directly from this dock. They are all designed properly and they go well together with the overall design of this speaker dock.
The design is maybe the best part of this speaker and that can be seen with the attention to detail as every inch of this Android speaker is designed to feel and look nice and that even includes those rubberized legs that I mentioned as they are also designed and created very small so they won’t stand out in that vertical positioning.
JBL Flip is created to have a full stereo sound and it has two 40 millimeter drivers built into that sleek case but it also has a bass port somewhere in there so the sound that comes out is quite crisp and loud. The sound quality is great and if you crank up the volume it can go quite high but as the volume increases you can feel the lack of bass but that is common in these small speaker docks and you should expect that from a device this small.
Those two sound drivers are put on each side of this speaker-dock but even then they are too close to create a full stereo two channel sound and you have to literally be two or three feet (1 meter) close to this device to notice any difference in those two sound channels.
Overall the sound quality and loudness is acceptable and it will easily be able to fill up a 30 feet (9 meter) room with sound and in an open space this range can even increase and that means there are various different uses for this speaker.
There is also a built in microphone so you will be able to make calls with this speaker trough that Bluetooth connection and it is a great feature to have. The sound quality of those calls is great and the microphone is crisp and your caller will be able to understand everything you speak clearly and without any hassle.
This portable speaker also has a built in battery that is capable of supplying around 5 hours of continuous sound and that is not an impressive number but on average it is enough to give you great music on a beach or other outdoor gatherings. There are no specifications how much capacity is in that battery measured in mAh but it takes around 3 hours to fully recharge it with that AC adapter so it can’t be that much. If you crank up the volume to the max it will not last those 5 hours but if you decrease it the speaker can outperformed that measure so depending on your needs you can get anywhere from 3 to 7 hours of continuous playback and in general that is an acceptable number.
This Android speaker-dock has two main connections and they are the Bluetooth and 3.5 mm Auxiliary connection so you will be able to play music from virtually any device that can play it either trough that Bluetooth or from that 3.5 m audio jack.
The sound quality from the Bluetooth connection is a little lower than from the wired connection but in the great scheme of things you will not notice any difference. People with absolute hearing will be able to make out the difference but they usually will not be buying speakers as small as these and certainly will not listen to music trough Bluetooth connection as it compresses music and that creates some small variations in the playback.
Because you can use this device with your Bluetooth enabled Smartphone it also acts as a remote and you can put your phone in your pocket and stream music to this dock in about 30 feet (9 meter) radius and that is about the same distance as is the speakers sound range.
What is a great addition to this Flip speaker is a Neoprene carrying case that will protect this speaker from dust and other residue as well as soften any falls and bumps. This case is a tight fit and is colored in black but has stylish orange stitching and of course the JLB logo.
Overall this Bluetooth speaker dock is a really nice little device that can come handy in a various of different occasions and overall everything except that custom AC power adapter is working seamlessly and without any trouble. I can strongly recommend this Flip speaker to anyone that wants a portable battery powered speaker with an amazing design.