JBL Flip review

A sensational blend of portability and performance makes the JBL Flip a belting Bluetooth speaker Tested at £100

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

A sensational blend of portability and performance makes the JBL Flip a belting Bluetooth speaker


  • +

    Neat, tidy, portable design

  • +

    Solid build

  • +

    Impressive clarity to the sound

  • +

    Inviting, rhythmic delivery


  • -

    Treble displays a hint of thinness

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

As far as Bluetooth speakers go, the JBL Flip is an attractive and desirable little unit. You can position it either horizontally, resting on its rubber support, or you can flip it vertically so the speaker stands upright, to attention.

It’s worth experimenting, as we found the angle of attack for the listener to be better with the speaker on the vertical – this way it’s angled slightly up towards your ears.

If you do use it this way you’ll also see subtle details, such as a second, smaller JBL logo specifically placed to be seen when it’s used this way.

JBL Flip review: Battery life

In the packaging you’re provided with an EU adapter as well as a UK one for overseas travel. There’s also a nifty neoprene carry case.

The battery lasts a reasonable-ish five hours (and takes around three hours to charge fully). Buttons for controlling playback and tweaking volume can be found on one end of the Flip.

It’s a multi-talented device, too – when you’re using it as a hands-free speaker, you can answer and reject calls and also use button-pressing to switch between two different callers.

JBL Flip review: Performance

Fire it up and the Flip sounds extremely lively in a wholly positive way. There’s the slightest hint of hardness at the top end, but the rest of the speaker’s delivery is hugely impressive, especially given its size.

The JBL sounds larger, more capable and more dynamic than the likes of the iLuv MobiOut and Logitech UE Mobile boombox.

Play Calvin Harris’s We’ll Be Coming Back, and the beat is immediately engaging, with the JBL handling the rhythm and timing with the surest of steps. Vocals, meanwhile, sound clear and open.

JBL Flip review: Verdict

Listen to the JBL Flip and there’s a good chance you’ll fall head over heels for it – you’re looking at one of the best Bluetooth speakers we've seen here, and one that’s worth every penny.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

Read more about how we test