JBL Charge 4
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JBL Charge 4 Review
The 3-Minute JBL Charge 4 Review
JBL Charge 4 Brings You More Mobile Music
By Graeme Messina | January 27, 2019
Features & Design: 3/5 ● Performance: 4/5 ● Value: 3/5 ● Sound Quality 4/5
JBL continues to refine the Charge series of devices, as the numbering of the models suggests. What isn’t apparent from the numbering conventions that are used is just how good this speaker is when compared to the previous model. There is a bigger battery, climbing from 6000mAh to a more respectable 6500mAh. Bluetooth coactivity provides the main method of connection from your smart device.
Although the battery life is shown as being significantly larger in capacity than its predecessor, the rated playback hours are identical, showing 20 hours. The controls could have used some back lighting as well, or a contrasted color to make things a little more legible.
Is it for you?
This device is more than just a cheap Bluetooth speaker because it has many other features that separate it from imitation brands. There is waterproofing, decent sound and great bass response as you would expect from JBL. There is also JBL Connect+ which lets you connect multiple speakers wirelessly so that you can blast your favorite tunes from multiple directions if you have a larger gathering of people.
Meet the JBL Charge 4
This is a single driver device, which means it only has one speaker in it, but you would be hard pressed if you were to guess that. The sound reproduction is just as good as the Charge 3 model that was released before this one, and that is great news because it sounds really good. There are 3 connectors on the back: a standard USB, headphone jack and a Type C connector for charging. This means that you will always have connectivity options, even when wireless devices are not available to pair with.
What we like
We like the overall design and shape of this device, along with the passive bass radiators that help to blast lower frequencies when you are listening to your favorite tunes. The speaker has a solid weight and definitely doesn’t feel like a cheap speaker.
There is waterproofing that is rated at IPX8 and it is really loud considering its size. There are also some pretty good color options available for you to choose from if the standard black and orange scheme isn’t what you are after.
The JBL Charge 4 wouldn’t be called the Charge if it didn’t do just that: charge! So of course just like previous models you can plug in your mobile device to the USB port and get a bit more battery charge from the speaker if you need it.
What we don’t like
While the weight of this device is reassuringly solid, it might be a little bit heavier than the previous model. This isn’t a deal breaker, but it comes in at just under 34 ounces. There is no built in mic, so don’t expect to be answering any phone calls with this device or, giving it any voice commands either. Not all of the buttons are lit up either, so you might need a bit of light if you are partying up a storm in the dark and want to change tracks.
Should you buy it?
If you don’t already own the JBL Charge 3, then it probably isn’t a great purchase for you, especially since you can upgrade the Charge 3 model’s firmware and enable the Connect+ features. It’s a decent speaker with great sound, but it is an iterative update over the previous model, and nothing more.
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