JBL Clip 4 review - a simple but robust speaker perfect for shower singalongs

We review the JBL Clip 4, which is one of the brand's most versatile portable Bluetooth speakers

JBL Clip 4 being tested in writer's home
(Image credit: Future)
Livingetc Verdict

A great speaker that's ideal for taking on trips or using in the shower, the JBL Clip 4 has far more audio power than we expected and has one of the most user-friendly designs we've experienced.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Completely water and dust proof

  • +

    Convenient clip-on design

  • +

    Attractive color options

  • +

    Solid audio output

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Large logo hurts design

  • -

    No multi-speaker connectivity

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We focus a lot on speakers that look great in a space, and aesthetics are indeed an important part of how technology fits into a home. But what about those moments when you just want something reliable that can withstand the trials of daily household life? 

The best shower speakers cover us in those treasured moments when we have a small chunk of time to ourselves and want to make it as luxurious as possible. We've tested more than a few of these over the years, and most are the more rugged speakers designed for outdoor use, commandeered for use in the home. The JBL Clip 4 is one of the first we've found that actually works better in the shower than it does in the yard or around the house.

Keep reading to find out what we thought about the clip-on Bluetooth speaker and whether it has found a permanent place in our bathroom.

JBL Clip 4: Key info

  • Power: 5W
  • Battery life: 10 hrs
  • Waterproof?: Yes, IP67 rated
  • Dimensions: 3.4 x 5.3 x 1.8in
  • Weight: 0.5lbs

JBL Clip 4 speakers in different color variations

(Image credit: JBL)

JBL Clip 4: Design

As with many JBL products, the general design premise will suit some more than others. In our opinion, the Clip 4 is one of the brand's sleekest-looking speakers, but the large logo remains alongside prominent controls on the front of the device. One thing the speaker has in its favor, though, is the range of colors available.

We tested the green, purple, and gold model, but there's an option for pretty much every preference. As of the time of writing, you can get the Clip 4 in black/silver, blue,  pink, camo/orange, red, white, or - our personal favorite - gray/pink/gold. Most JBL speakers come in a variety of hues, but there's something about the Clip 4's combinations that catches the eye.

Regarding the build of the speaker, the clip-on handle is designed to allow you to hang it from various things around the home or outside. Used as a bathroom speaker, we could hang it from a towel rail, a nearby plant hanger (pictured), or the shower curtain rail. We will note, however, that the gap was only large enough to fit the smallest part of our tension rail, so it may not fit on others. 

The logo and controls (play, plus, and minus) are all rubber contrasted with the fabric of the main body and metal of its frame and handle, and there is also some rubber detailing on the back for more security when placing it flat on a surface.

JBL Clip 4: Performance

The JBL Clip 4 has an IP67 waterproof rating, which allows it to be used outside as well as around the home. We used it primarily as a bathroom speaker, which was a great fit considering its clip-on design. The speaker faired well in direct water flow as we showered, and it was great to have a speaker that could be placed next to the bath or sink without any of the associated worries of knocking it in.

The audio was also good in these situations, with sound coming in clear at higher volumes against the sounds of the shower and extractor fan. For such a tiny device, we were extremely impressed with the depth of the audio it produced, and the battery life stayed true to the ten hours promised by JBL.

Outside of this context, the Clip 4 also makes a good outdoor speaker for trips where you don't have space to pack a larger device. Simply clip it onto your backpack and get going. For us, the audio was more than good enough for general listening despite this being primarily pegged as a portable speaker.

The only way to connect is via Bluetooth, as there's no option for wired connections, but this works brilliantly with our phone finding and pairing with the speaker immediately. From then, there was seamless connection whenever we turned on the Clip 4. One thing that could have been useful, but is lacking, is multi-speaker pairing, so you'll need to be happy with the audio from just one spot. 

JBL Clip 4 hanging from shower curtain rail in writer's home

(Image credit: Future)

JBL Clip 4: Our verdict

The JBL Clip 4 has remained in our shower following its official testing period, which is the biggest badge of success we can give it. Down primarily to its great design and balance of audio power with the size and weight of the speaker itself, the only big things that let it down are its lack of connectivity options and the less-than-subtle design choice of having its logo be the main event. 

Short of installing a more permanent solution like in-ceiling speakers, this is a fantastic option that gets the thumbs up from us.

Caroline Preece
Smart Homes Ecommerce Editor

Caroline is the smart home ecommerce editor for Livingetc, covering everything tech for the home, from smart speakers to air purifiers and everything in between. She is passionate about the role that technology and smart devices can play in daily life, enhancing the home without sacrificing personal style and carefully chosen interiors. In her spare time, she can be found tinkering with bulbs, soundbars, and video doorbells in an effort to automate every part of her small home. Previously, she lent her expertise to the likes of Expert Reviews, IT Pro, Coach, The Week, and more.