3.8 x 5.4 x x 1.8 inches
If you’re looking for a super portable wireless speaker, you might’ve your eyes on the JBL Clip 3. After all, it’s one of the most popular Bluetooth speakers from JBL. And it’s probably the best one of the series.
But there’s no denying that the market has a lot of super compact wireless speakers. For example, you’ve the Tribit StormBox Micro 2, Anker Mini 3, and Sony SRS-XB100. All of them have a pretty similar form factor as the Clip 3.
That brings the question, is the JBL Clip 3 a good pick when you consider the options from the competitors? Should you really get it instead of looking into other portable mini wireless speakers? Let’s take a closer look!
JBL Clip 3 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Small size, mighty performance
Even though the JBL Clip series has always offered great speakers for the money, the JBL Clip 3 offers the best overall value. It’s super compact, allowing the speaker to fit pretty much everywhere.
While the size of the speaker is small, its sound performance is better than some of the large-sized wireless speakers on the market. In other words, the driver setup of the Clip 3 can offer you a proper music-listening experience.
However, if you like to get more bass from the audio playbacks, the Clip 3 mightn’t be the perfect mini speaker. Also, there’re no high-quality streaming codecs, which affects the overall audio quality to some degree.
Moreover, the Clip 3 comes with a micro USB port. In the age where most of the devices come with USB-C, this micro USB port can be a little annoying to some.
If you’re okay with all of those drawbacks, the JBL Clip 3 is a great pick. It even has a durable build, which makes it perfect for outdoor music listening.
- Output Power: 3 watts
- Connectivity: Wireless and Wired
- Dynamic Frequency Response: 120 Hz to 20 kHz
- Bluetooth Version: Bluetooth 4.1
- Battery Capacity: 1000mAh
- Battery Life: 10 hours
- Battery Charging Time: 3 Hours
- Bluetooth Profiles: HFP V1.5, HSP V1.2, AVRCP V1.5, and A2DP V1.2
- IP Rating: IPX7
What’s in the Box?
- Micro USB Charging Cable
Stuff I like
- Great battery life for the size
- Comes with an IPX7 rating
- Features built-in microphone to take calls
- Decent audio performance
- Offers a solid and reliable wireless connection
Stuff I like less
- Can’t offer deep bass
- Utilizes a micro USB charging port
Comparable products to consider
If you’re caught up with the past Clip speaker releases from JBL, the JBL Clip 3 mightn’t look like a new portable mini speaker. It has a lot of similarities in terms of design with the JBL Clip 2.
But that’s a good thing, as the design of the Clip 2 was one of its main highlights. However, Clip 2 failed to deliver some of the most crucial aspects, which is precisely where the Clip 3 improves on.
Build Quality and Durability
As mentioned earlier, the overall build and design of the Clip 3 mightn’t really seem that different from the Clip 2. However, if you take a closer look, you’ll notice that there are some subtle differences.
Yes, it does have a carabiner like the JBL Clip 2. However, the carabiner of the Clip 3 is built into the frame. As it’s not a tiny piece of metal triangle that’s hooked into hard plastic like before, the carabiner of the Clip 3 feels more durable and capable of handling some proper abuse.
Other than that, the overall build of the JBL Clip 3 is pretty solid. That is, it can withstand some accidental drops with ease. It even comes with an IPX7 rating, making it capable of resisting water at 1 meter depth for 30 minutes. In other words, you can take it with you near the pool or in the shower if you want to.
Like the other Clip speakers from JBL, the JBL Clip 3 is extremely portable. You can throw it inside the smallest pocket of your backpack and expect to have space left for other things.
Additionally, the Clip 3 is exceptionally light in weight. Thanks to that, you can carry it around for the entire day in your backpack or pocket without facing any fatigue or discomfort.
Another thing that’s quite important to note for this speaker is the built-in carabiner. After all, it has “Clip” in its name. Thanks to this carabiner, you can easily clip the speaker on a rope, the sling of your backpack, and any other place where you can use a carabiner on.
Overall Sound Performance
The audio quality of the JBL Clip 3 isn’t that different from the predecessors. So, if you’ve had the chance to listen to some music on the past Clip speakers, you probably already know what to expect from Clip 3 in terms of sound.
Also, even though the speaker is highly compact and light in weight, it can get reasonably loud. You won’t really feel the need to get something more powerful if you’re in a small room or not in an open area. Even in large spaces, the speaker will seem loud enough if you keep it near you.
If you like to listen to music that’s full of bass, such as EDMs, the Clip 3 will disappoint you a bit. There’s a very hard drop in the frequency response in the lower range. This drop makes the drivers less capable of delivering the thumping bass that most look for.
However, if you consider how small the outdoor wireless speaker is, there’s basically the right level of bass on the playback.
Although the bass performance isn’t that great, the JBL Clip 3 offers a superb mid-range performance. Listening to songs that emphasize the vocals and lead instrumentals will be very pleasing with this wireless speaker.
Moreover, the speaker can deliver vocals and guitars reasonably loud. Most importantly, there’s minimal distortion, which ensures better clarity and depth.
This sound profile of the Clip 3 also means that you’ll enjoy listening to podcasts on this wireless speaker. The same thing applies to acoustic music sessions.
Out of the box, the treble performance of the JBL Clip 3 is very average. But the good news is that the speaker comes with Bass Mode.
Once activated, both the treble and the bass performance of the Clip 3 improves by a little. And with that mode on, the overall sound experience gets much better than before.
Controls and Ease of Use
It’s relatively easy to use the JBL Clip 3. Everything is pretty straightforward, from pairing to controlling playback to powering the device on and off.
Also, props to JBL for including an indicator light. This indicator light lets you know the speaker’s state, whether it’s turned on, paired, or out of battery.
Moreover, Clip 3 features built-in buttons for controlling the volume and playback. It also has a dedicated button for power and Bluetooth.
For a speaker that’s super compact, the JBL Clip 3 has a very impressive battery life. And even though JBL says that you can get up to 10 hours of battery life out of it, you can push it to 16 hours.
Of course, you need to keep the volume at a moderate level to achieve such a high runtime with a single charge.
As the Clip 3 is a relatively dated portable speaker, you shouldn’t expect to get class-leading wireless connectivity from it. The speaker comes with Bluetooth 4.1, which can offer about 10 meters of range.
And for a speaker of this size, that range is perfect. In addition to that, you can rely on wired connectivity through the 3.5mm input jack.
To wrap things up, the JBL Clip 3 is an excellent wireless speaker that you should consider, especially if you’re looking for something super compact. It has almost everything you can expect from a mini Bluetooth speaker.
And while the sound performance may not seem great out of the box, the Extra Bass Mode does help. So make sure to turn that on. Also, don’t forget that it comes with a microphone. You can take calls directly from this wireless speaker!
Slava is a man of mystery and no-one seems to know exactly where he is at any point in time. When he isn't enjoying writing about all things audio and technical he can be found researching his next project of interest. The man never rests.
This post was last updated on 2023-11-28 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.