JBL’s Clip has long been a favorite of ours, offering good sound in a small, portable package — both 2014’s original Clip and last year’s Clip+ earned our high recommendations. While the Clip+ added splashproof capabilities, the new Clip 2 is fully IPX7 waterproof. Clip 2 also boosts battery life to 8 hours. It’s also now possible to pair two Clip 2 units wirelessly for amplified sound, rather than relying on the built-in audio cable. On the downside, JBL has added $10 to the retail price, and there’s no mention of any sound quality improvements. The slightly redesigned Clip 2 comes in five different colors — black, blue, red, teal, and gray — and includes a micro-USB cable for recharging.
Clip 2 is the benefactor of a smart redesign, however slight it may be — the speaker is still about 3.5” in diameter. Instead of a hard plastic feel as in the past, JBL now uses matte rubber to cover most of Clip 2’s exterior. There are still Bluetooth, power, volume, and speakerphone controls on the sides of the puck-shaped speaker, with a sealed rubber flap covering the micro-USB recharging port. A 1’ integrated cable still wraps around the speaker to the back, but there’s no audio-in port, as linking two Clip 2 units is done wirelessly. Notably, the carabiner is all-new — it’s a moveable metallic orange carabiner with a silicone base.
As in previous iterations of Clip, Clip 2 delivers very good sound and volume for its size and price. It doesn’t have the overall range and power of a larger speaker, of course, but Clip 2 delivers a clear, enjoyable listening experience in a small area. (We only received one unit for review, so we were unable to test the speaker’s proficiency at linking to another Clip 2.) We were also quite impressed by Clip 2’s speakerphone performance — calls came through crystal clear in both directions.
JBL is currently selling the year-old Clip+ at a reduced $40 price, but we think Clip 2 is worth considering instead, especially for those users who intend on taking the speaker outdoors often. The waterproofing alone will be worth the price of admission for many, and the increased battery life is another big bonus. Furthermore, the upgraded redesign has more of a premium look and feel. Once again, JBL’s Clip hits the mark, and Clip 2 is a durable, fun, super-portable speaker which earns our high recommendation.
Company and Price
Model: Clip 2
Compatible: Bluetooth iPads, iPhones + iPods, Apple Watch