Speak to the geek

2 min read
24 Dec 2017
2 min read
511 words
JBL Flip 4 or JBL Charge 3? Our resident geek answers

I've been thinking of getting a Bluetooth speaker for a while now, and I've narrowed my choices down to the JBL Flip 4 and the JBL Charge 3. Which one do you think I should pick? -- Riwaz KC

Congratulations on having taken into account thousands of Bluetooth speakers in the market and shortlisted two. That's actually the hardest part--but that's not to say that choosing between the Flip 4 and the Charge 3 is easy. They're both award-winning and amazing-sounding Bluetooth speakers, and even the best tech channels on YouTube haven't been able to give a crystal clear verdict on which one buyers should go for. And they won't be able to either, as choosing between the two comes down to what you want the speaker for.

Both the Charge 3 and the Flip 4 are IPX7-rated, which means that they're fully submersible in water. You can use both speakers in the shower, but I wouldn't really suggest that you take the Flip 4 to the pool or the lake. Although the Flip 4 is submersible (up to 1 metre, mind you), it doesn't float in water, which means there's no retrieving it if, god forbid, you happen to drop it in the lake. Secondly, the Flip 4 just isn't powerful enough to power a pool party. Sure, it's got dual passive bass radiators (which helps the device increase the low frequency, or bass, response of the speaker) and two front-facing speakers, but that's hardly enough to fill a wall-less environment like the pool. The Flip 4, however, is perfect for dorm rooms and the shower (you can even dangle it from the shower head using the strap that's attached to it).

The Charge 3, on the other hand, can handle any environment without breaking a sweat. Want to take it to the pool? The Charge 3 is loud enough to turn heads (without any compromises in sound quality), and should the speaker somehow end up underwater--oh wait; it can't. The Charge 3 floats! That's perfect for when you're going boating, etc. The Charge 3 also doubles as a power bank (thanks to its massive 6000mAh battery), through which you can charge your phone. But I'd advise against that, as the speaker gets drained quicker than you'd think when you're using it to charge another device. Also, I personally find the lack of a component as simple as a strap rather annoying, because I would have loved to go on a hike with the Charge 3 dangling from my bag while it blasts music.

Now to answer your question: if you're buying this speaker for others as much as you are buying it for yourself, you want to go for the Charge 3. It's rugged, it's loud, and it sounds glorious. However, if you're looking for a speaker for your dorm room for your listening pleasure, the Flip 4 should do.