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JBL Charge 4 Review

What does the fourth generation of the JBL Charge wireless speaker bring? Read our test …

Sale
JBL Charge 4 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker with 20 Hour Battery - Black
1,162 Reviews
JBL Charge 4 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker with 20 Hour Battery - Black
  • Wirelessly connect up to 2 smartphones or tablets to the speaker and take...
  • Battery type Lithium ion Polymer 27Wh (Equivalent to 3.6Volt, 7500mAh)....
  • Take charge 4 to the beach or the pool without worrying about spills or...
  • Amplify your listening experience to epic levels and rock the party...
  • Please note* the JBL charge 4 does not include a USB wall adapter.

The most serious competitor of the new JBL Charge 4 speaker is probably the Flip 4 of the same brand. What speaks in favor of the JBL Charge 4? First of all, the powerbank function (which means both a more efficient battery and longer working time) and a new type of USB connector – C.

But Flip also has an ace up its sleeve: it offers hands-free mode and integration with the Siri or Google Now voice assistant, and, unlike Charge, stereo sound. Which speaker should you choose? That is the question!

Construction and Functionality

The form taken by most JBL portable loudspeakers (combining a roller with a rugby ball) seems optimal – compact and handy – so the next generation of Charge looks like … its predecessor. The external changes are cosmetic – the round bases have thinner flanges, passive membranes are decorated with new caps, and instead of the micro-USB socket for charging the built-in battery, we find a USB C type under a solid cap. The other two connectors are left unchanged, this is 3.5mm minijack (AUX) and USB-A (for charging smartphones etc.).

JBL-Charge-4-review

The top of the “four” is almost identical to the previous model. Two buttons have been exchanged (Bluetooth and Connect +) and one “icon” has been simplified (player control). This time the central switch (illuminated) is occupied by the main switch and BT pairing button.

Two passive membranes effectively boost the bass, so the bass is quite juicy.

The other keys – volume control, start/stop/scrolling and Connect + – have the form of raised “badges”. At the base of the speaker there are five white LEDs that inform about the battery charge status. According to the manufacturer, a 27Wh lithium-polymer battery, equivalent to 7800mAh (3.6V), was used, which allows about 20 hours of listening to music.

JBL-Charge-4-vs-JBL-Flip-4

In the fourth installment of Charge, instead of two active converters known from the previous version, one (full-band) and two passive membranes were used, which means that Charge 4 plays mono alone. For stereo you need a second speaker – it can be Charge 4, Charge 3, and even Amazon Echo Plus (in this case you should turn on the Connect + function). Another interesting feature of the “four” is the IPX7 waterproof class, which means protection against the effects of immersion in water up to a depth of 1 meter for 30 minutes.

The Quality of the Sound

Charge 4 is not intended to receive music “in an audiophile way”, it’s probably clear. However, its sound is quite pleasant, it has an element of vitality, quite decent liveliness and verve, especially when playing so-called popular music, i.e. rock and pop. For the average recipient, whose main source of sound is a smartphone and Spotify services, this is certainly good news.

JBL-Charge-4-close-up

From the very beginning, the bass draws attention – it does not go very deeply, but taking into account all the restrictions (first of all the size of the speaker enclosure and the driver’s diaphragm), it really “manages”. Two “heat sinks” effectively boost the bass, so the bass is quite juicy. It is a pity that Charge is relatively easy to distort, so really loud and at the same time clear listening is not an option.

The analytical qualities of the “four” are somewhat uneven, in the highest tones quite average. On the one hand, at the turn of high and medium frequencies, where the sound can be more offensive, some sounds are exposed, as well as above (e.g. ride plate), so you can talk about the impression of selectivity, and on the other, the hi-hat in every recording is withdrawn .

JBL-Charge-4-test
Better selectivity could be needed for more complex recordings. Spatially Charge 4 is kind of “dimmed” – this is the result of using only one broadband speaker, so there is no question of stereophony or sound release. It is definitely worth considering buying two pieces or connecting to an already existing compatible “player” using the Connect + function.

Conclusion

With Charge 4 you can spend quite a pleasant time, provided that the sound is not expected brightened and detached from the speaker. Active bass largely compensates for the not very convincing treble and lack of stereo.

Verdict: JBL Charge 4

Pros: Armored construction, resistant to splashing. Large battery capacity, power bank function, USB-C connector. Easy pairing. Sound based primarily on bass and midrange.

Cons: The treble is uneven, sometimes exposed, and sometimes hidden.

Overall: Good for every day use with your smartphone.

JBL Charge 4 Specifications:

  • PRODUCT: JBL Charge 4
  • TYPE: Bluetooth speaker
  • PRICE: ~ 180$
  • WEIGHT: 965 g
  • DIMENSIONS (W × H × D): 22 × 9.5 × 9.3 mm

THE MOST IMPORTANT FEATURES:

  • Transducer: 50x90mm, 2x passive membrane
  • Power: 30W
  • Frequency response: 60Hz-20kHz
  • Signal / noise ratio:> 80dB
  • Battery: lithium ion; charging time: 4 hours (5V / 2.3A), music playback time: up to 20 hours
  • Bluetooth version: 4.2
  • Technologies: IPX7 waterproof class, Connect +, powerbank function
  • Connectors: USB-C, USB-A (max. 5V / 2A), 3.5mm jack
  • Different color versions
Sale
JBL Charge 4 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker with 20 Hour Battery - Black
1,162 Reviews
JBL Charge 4 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker with 20 Hour Battery - Black
  • Wirelessly connect up to 2 smartphones or tablets to the speaker and take...
  • Battery type Lithium ion Polymer 27Wh (Equivalent to 3.6Volt, 7500mAh)....
  • Take charge 4 to the beach or the pool without worrying about spills or...
  • Amplify your listening experience to epic levels and rock the party...
  • Please note* the JBL charge 4 does not include a USB wall adapter.

Manual is available here: JBL Charge 4 Manual

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