JBL Clip 3 Review

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While we wait for the highly anticipated JBL Xtreme 2 to get here… I thought we should take a quick look at the new JBL Clip 3 cause it was announced back at CES 2018 along side the Xtreme 2. And to be honest, I was pleasantly surprised by this ultra portable speaker. Heres what I like, and what I don’t like about the Clip 3 and how the sound compares to the outgoing Clip 2 and the Flip 4. 

The New JBL Clip 3 currently retails for $59.95 and comes in a whole bunch of different colors… And the outgoing clip 2 is now on sale for $39.99. now I just want to get this out there really quickly, if you’re trying to decide between the Clip 3 and Flip 4 just get the Flip 4 if you have the budget for it. The Clip 3 is really for someone who just wants something ultra portable. If you want to pick either of the speakers up I’ll have links in the description below, and if you use the links it really helps out the channel. I suggest you check them out cause JBL Speakers routinely go on sale so you’ll might get lucky. 

Design wise, there are some significant changes on the clip 3 from the clip 2. The clip 3 is slightly larger and thicker than the out going clip 2. The Clip 3 still has the same fabric mesh on the front of the body as the clip 2, but clip 3 now has raised control buttons on the front which I’ve grown to prefer over the side buttons on the clip 2. The new buttons on the Clip 3 makes it easier to know what you’re pressing without having to look. But there are two major differences between the Clip 2 and Clip 3 that I want to point out. First up the actual clip on the Clip 3 is slightly smaller than the Clip on the clip 2. So I did find the Clip 2 had an easier time latching on to more things than the Clip 3. Its not a huge deal but I like too nit pick. Also the Clip 3 no longer has a built in audio cable like the Clip 2. But since having an audio jack on a phone these days is considered a feature I don’t think its a big deal for smaller speakers like these. But the Clip 3 still has an audio jack so you can just use your own cable if you really want to use a wired connection to save on battery life. And just like the Clip 2, the clip 3 still chargers via a Micro USB port. 

Regarding battery life, JBL advertises a battery life of 10 hours on the Clip 3 which is a 2 hour improvement from the Clip 2. In my testing I was able to hit 10 hours of playback time with the volume set at 50%. But with the volume set at 80% the clip 3 managed to hit 5 and a half hours of playback time. And with the volume set at 100% the Clip 3 managed to hit 3 hours of playback time. Which is not bad for this little guy. 

Regarding speaker set up the Clip 3 has a single upward firing 40 millimeter transducer just like the outgoing clip 2. And as a result the clip 3 is a very directional speaker. The Clip 3 is also using bluetooth 4.1 and I found the connection was pretty solid and having a single wall or two between the speaker and my phone didn’t cause an stuttering issues. I also notice latency was pretty low so I would recommend this speaker for watching youtube videos. And the clip 3 is also IPX7 rated so its not afraid of a little water. And it also floats. 
aside from a slightly updated design, and slightly better battery life… the biggest improvement on the clip 3 from the clip 2 is just over all sound quality. The sound on the clip 3 is just over all clearer and theres more bass. The Clip 3 doesn’t sound muddy like the clip 2 does. I also noticed that the Clip 3 gets significantly louder than the Clip 2. But like I said the beginning of this video, if you have the budget to get the flip 4 just get the flip 4 cause the clip 3 doesn’t sound nearly as good as the flip 4. 

Even though the Clip 3 is a pretty good improvement over the Clip 2… there is one major set back. And thats the clip 3 doesn’t not have JBL Connect plus, so you cant pair a clip 3 to any other JBL speaker. And I think thats just a huge mistake, cause the Bose Soundlink micro, which is a speaker of comparable size to the clip 3 can be chained to any other Bose speaker. Granted it does cost significantly more than the clip 3, but I do feel the clip 3 should have came included with JBL Connect plus. 

But over all, JBL’s ultra portable Clip 3 is a pretty good improvement over the clip 2. Bluetooth latency has been reduced, battery life has been improved and the clip 3 sounds significantly better than the clip 2. The Clip 3 is a good little speaker if you want something small and rugged for personal listening for when you go out hiking. I’ve also seen a lot of people jerry rig clip 2’s to their handle bars when they go cycling and I expect the same for the Clip 3. But if you’re someone like me who likes to shower with music or podcasts playing in the back ground the clip 3 can get the job done easily.