After doing up the unboxing video I was keen to find out how the JBL Flip 3 sounded as compared to the Charge 2+.
After doing up the unboxing video I was keen to find out how the #JBL Flip 3 sounded as compared to the Charge 2+. They both sport similar cylindrical designs with bass radiators at both ends. At $179 the Flip 3 may seem like simply a smaller and cheaper alternative... Is it?
Its smaller size means that the Flip 3 is slightly easier to carry around. JBL really wants you to take it to your next BBQ or outdoor activity, and to emphasize that point, they even factory-installed a loop-cord so that you can hang it. Its water resistance makes it washable, and safe to use near the beach or under the rain (or both!). If all you NSFs wanna take it for your next cheong-sua, the ancient books offer sagely wisdom: Please. Be. Tactical.
Most of the buttons are now situated on the water-resistant fabric grill itself, a unique design. I had no trouble at all pressing the buttons as they are evenly spaced out. It shares the same battery indicator lights as the JBL Charge 2+, but the battery life is shorter, rated at 10 hours. Although the battery life is stated at 10 hours, playing it continuously at 50% volume (loud enough to hear) it actually exceeds the stated life by a few hours! It does not have a USB port to charge your cell phone with its internal battery though.
Instead of the 'Social Mode' that's built-in to the JBL Charge, the Flip 3 features the new 'JBL Connect'. Basically this allows you to also pair up two JBL Flip 3 speakers. JBL claims this will 'amp up the music' aka make it louder, but realistically this should just distribute the sound over a wider area. From our experience, one is enough for a bedroom, actually. Still, this is definitely an improvement over 'Social Mode' which is just a fancy name for multi-point pairing.
Pairing the speaker is quick and easy, just press the bluetooth button once to pair, and press again to pair another device. I got down to playing Diana Panton's "Baby it's cold outside" and was immediately surprised that the Bass Guitar sounded nearly as rich and bassy as the Charge 2+. This one uses smaller bass radiators at the side but the bass is definitely still there. Vocals are clear but sounds a tad too hash and grainy for my liking. I played the same song on both the Flip 3 and the Charge 2+ and overall I prefer the smooth clarity of the Charge. When I played "Have a good time" by the Brand New Heavies, there was a good amount of clarity but there is definitely much less spaciousness than the Charge.
For $100 less and smaller in size, these differences in sound are acceptable. For S$179, the JBL Flip 3 with its relatively great sound quality, water reisistance and portability, is one of our top choices. It's actually hard to find something else out there with that price point to match this. The JBL Flip 3 is a definite buy if your budget is below 200 bucks!