Hands-on review: JBL Flip 6 portable speaker
A first look at the JBL Flip 6 will likely leave you jumping to the wrong conclusion. “Oh cute!” you may exclaim. Once you switch it on, and listen away for up to 12 hours, you will quickly realise that this is a little speaker looking for a party. I have been spending a happy morning listening to music when I was supposed to be working.
Weighing in at 0.55kgs, with dimensions of 17.8 x 6.8 x7.2 cm, this is a speaker you'll be happy to have with you, whether lounging by the pool or cruising on the lake. It has a rating of IP67 which means that it is protected against dust, contact with small objects, and brief immersion in water under pressure between 15cm and 1m. In other words, it won't worry if you splash some water on it. One purchaser uses theirs to provide the background music for their lusty early morning shower singsong. I hope my neighbours won't mind but it has been too long since I last entertained them with my rendition of Nessun Dorma.
It is rated at 20W and if your friends bring their Partyboost compatible devices with them you can link them together for even greater ambience. The app allows you to set up the speakers as Left and Right. Partyboost is triggered by the button directly below the volume – one, resembling the number 8. JBL have continued with their raised controls on the opposite side to the power control and charging port. If you have the JBL icon turned away from you the controls are easily accessible.
The JBL Portable App allows you to keep the device's software up to date, and features functions such as equalizer. The equalizer function is available only when using a single speaker, with Partyboost off. You will have endless hours of fun tweaking the bass and treble levels to get just the right mix. It is so engrossing that I just noticed that since I started, we have gone from early morning to lunch time. As soon as Paul McCartney and Jeff Lynne's song “Little Willow” finishes, I shall take a break.
I am loving the clarity of this speaker, with crisp trebles and lovely round bass tones. On that note, I just realised that the Flip 6 is now fully charged, so I can take it with me to lunch! This is where the handy adjustable strap comes in handy. It even fits around my pudgy hands, freeing them up to carry the mornings coffee cups and crumby plates back to the kitchen.
Whew! I really felt that 0.5kg. Now that I have rested from those exertions, I am impressed by the incredible sound quality of the Flip 6. Boasting an incredible 12 hours of playing time, it also boasts incredible sound quality. I wanted to know how they achieved this and this is what their website had to say: “The beat goes on with the JBL Flip 6 2-way speaker system, engineered to deliver loud, crystal clear, powerful sound. Its racetrack-shaped woofer delivers exceptional low frequencies and midrange, while a separate tweeter produces crisp, clear high-frequencies. Flip 6 also features optimized dual passive radiators for deep bass, fine-tuned with using Harman's advanced algorithm.
You can actually feel the woofer and tweeter at work if you inadvertently touch either end. It certainly gave me a bit of a buzz. With Partyboost you really could host a happening event. One speaker on its own is fantastic. One reviewer noted that pairing with Partyboost takes the sound to another level.
I decided to lay the Flip 6 horizontally, although one reviewer remarked that it was quite happy on the vertical. JBL have included a plastic strip that enables the Flip 6 to rest happily without rolling.
I notice that the equalizer doesn't include any pre-sets, but I don't see that as a problem. Most users now have a fairly good idea of their preferences, and I found that a Bell Curve gave me just the right balance of vocal and instrumental clarity. I must have spent a couple of hours playing with those settings, just for fun. That and my desire to ensure that my readers can make informed decisions before spending their hard-earned money. Priced on their website at $199.95, the JBL Flip 6 offers quality and durability at an affordable price.