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JBL Charge 4 Review: Performance, Design, and New Features

This JBL Charge 4 review discusses the design, features, and sound quality of one of JBL’s best-selling bluetooth speakers. As with any line of speakers, people might wonder about its differences with the Charge 3. As you may know, the Charge 3 was featured in our comprehensive guide on JBL bluetooth speakers as one of the best JBL speaker choices out there. This article will go into detail about their differences too.

In an age where people love to explore every inch of the world, the ability to bring your favorite music with you will take your grand trip to the next level. While a pair of earphones might do the trick, you don’t get to enjoy your music with the people you’re sharing the trip with. To make picturesque memories with the people you love, you should look to compact bluetooth speakers.

Consider getting the JBL Charge 4. A brief rundown of its capabilities should be able to convince you to make the purchase.

Design

Physical Look

JBL Design
Photo from Amazon

 

There are not a lot of innovations with the Charge 4’s look. JBL took the simple route in designing this bluetooth speaker, looking very like its predecessors. To get to the meat of it, the JBL Charge 4 is a cylindrical bluetooth speaker available in over 10 colors. It can cater to any personality type, as you can get it in bright teal or the standard black and red. This JBL Charge 4 review will get into how these colors differ from the Charge 3’s later on.

Facing you, it has the metal grille and logo the JBL speakers are known for. Its design is self-described as “durable and rugged”, the former standing for the cloth it is made out of while the latter is for the rubber it is housed in.

Its rubber housing also extends to its feet, propping up the speaker and preventing it from rolling. What keeps this speaker waterproof is its fabric that covers the entire speaker. As an extra level of protection, remember to keep the speaker’s rubber flap closed to prevent water from flooding the speaker’s insides.

The Charge 4’s size is 1.9 by 3.5 inches, weighing only at 3 pounds. This makes this bluetooth speaker a good choice for people who are outdoorsy and on-the-go.

You can control the Charge 4 using its buttons on top, and its battery level indicator is at the bottom. Five LED lights tell the user how much battery remains in this speaker.

The buttons at the top of the speaker are the volume buttons, the power button, the bluetooth pairing button, and the pause, play, and skip buttons. There is also a Connect+ button, but we will get into its function later on.

 

Build Quality

Build Quality JBL Charge 4
Photo from Amazon

 

The JBL Charge 4 is a durable speaker. In the next section, you will learn that it survives water, long playing times, and even a 30-feet distance.

Its build benefits the sound of its speakers, too. The sound will come out from around the JBL emblem found on the speaker’s center. This supports listening sessions that have the Charge 4 placed horizontally or vertically. Some say that placing the speakers in the vertical direction strengthens the bass, but you can be assured of quality sound regardless of how you use the Charge 4.

 

Features

Waterproof

Waterproof
Photo from JBL.com

 

JBL is aware of where their bluetooth speakers are most needed: outdoor gatherings and events. Whether it may be a pool party or a beach trip, you can be rest assured that Charge 4 speakers are low-maintenance. These speakers are IPX7-certified, meaning that it is waterproof for up to 30 minutes.

This can survive subtle sprinkles of water, but it does you one better: it can survive a depth of 1.5m. The Charge 4 can also survive different water types, be it fresh, salty, or chlorine-treated.

 

Connectivity

JBL Charge 4 Connectivity
Photo from Celsii.com

 

As for connectivity, you can pair with your JBL Charge 4 speakers through your bluetooth. This device packs a punch with the 4.2 bluetooth connection, which will hold its own even at about a 30-feet distance. This will minimize your urge to leave your phone by your speaker or sit next to it. Socialize as much as you want within the 30-feet radius the Charge 4 provides.

Unfortunately, this does not have Wi-Fi and a built-in microphone. While not a lot of people would like to answer their calls through their speakers, this lack of versatility can still be a concern for some.

There is no denying that connections made through Wi-Fi will hold up better in short distances. Since it only uses the Wi-Fi to connect, the phone-to-speaker lag will lessen. Still, as said above, JBL makes up for it with the Charge 4’s superb bluetooth coverage.

If anything, what’s missing in the JBL Charge 4 goes to show the features that people might not always need or enjoy. By improving on standard tech, the JBL Charge 4 remains accessible and good for anyone to use.

Bluetooth speakers may seem like a work of magic, but they are not. We also have an article on how bluetooth speakers really work, if you are interested.

 

Battery Life

JBL Charge 4 Battery Life
Photo from Amazon

 

The JBL Charge 4 runs on a 7500mAh battery that can survive for about 20 hours, which is a significant feat for a bluetooth speaker. It does not keep its energy all to itself, too.

The Charge 4 lives up to its name as it doubles as a phone and charger for your devices as long as you use the proper equipment. This device can charge anything that uses the USB-A and USB Type-C cables. The former can double as an output while the latter only functions as a charger. The Charge 4 does not accommodate Type-C to Type-C cables, though.

With its packed battery and ability to source your phones with power, the JBL Charge 4 is best for holiday trips of any kind. Whether you are in the mood for camping, fishing, swimming, or plain old road tripping, you will enjoy the Charge 4.

Note that the 20-hour runtime does not account for the volume levels of your speakers. Either way, you should expect a 13-30 hour lifespan for the JBL Charge 4.

 

Connect+

JBL Connect+
Photo from Google Playstore

 

A JBL Charge 4 review would not be complete without mentioning Connect+. A prominent addition to the Charge 4, Connect+ is a game-changing feature that will let you pair with over a hundred JBL speakers. Through these, you can stage an all-out party wherever you are, blasting music from every direction.

The Connect+ is the successor of the JBL Connect that only allowed pairings of up to 1-2 other speakers. The Charge 4 carries a large technological development on its shoulders, making this its biggest selling point.

Play the same jams that keep your party alive when you use the Connect+. This feature benefits those who plan on hosting a gathering with other JBL speaker owners. You get to amplify the sound and the energy of any room you are in by syncing up with other speakers.

If you have at least two JBL speakers, you can control which delivers the right and the left audio channels for a richer, 360-degree experience.

 

Sound Performance

Sound Quality
Photo from Jason Rosewell on Unsplash

 

The Charge 4 delivers standard sound performance. The music you play out of it will come out clear and polished, without tainting its personality.

However, due to the Charge 4’s size, its speakers cannot capture the sub-bass of most songs. Some users claim that tilting the speaker fixes this, but this is usually a minor detail that goes unnoticed to most listeners.

Best for outdoor gatherings and parties, this JBL speaker delivers whole sounds when it comes to party music. Be sure to ready your party gear, because the Charge 4 will keep your energy levels charged with its directional speaker.

Having a directional speaker, the JBL Charge 4 does not deliver sounds from all directions. This is why pairing with other JBL speakers is a must, especially if you want to capture sounds coming from the left and right sides of your audio. In the next section of this JBL Charge 4 review, we compare the single driver quality of the Charge 4 to the multi driver speakers of the Charge 3.

Overall, the JBL Charge 4 delivers it promise: perfect-sounding music from a compact device that can be used anywhere in the world. Its features make it stand out, but its small body makes it impressive that these speakers can pack a loud punch.

JBL Charge 4 vs JBL Charge 3

Charge 3
JBL Charge 3 photo from Amazon

 

When a new product debuts as part of a product line, comparing the newer iteration with the older version is common practice. For people dedicated to JBL products, you would want to know if making a switch would be a practical choice that significantly changes your listening sessions.

Chances are, you already have a JBL bluetooth speaker of your own if you are looking at the Charge 4. This is why comparing the Charge 4 and Charge 3 is vital in a Charge 4 review. Whether the Charge 4 is a good product is second to whether it offers anything new to the table.

In this section of the JBL Charge 4 review, we look into its design, features, and performance when put beside the Charge 3.

Design

Design Comparison
JBL Charge 4 colors photo from Amazon

 

Design-wise, the JBL Charge 4 borrows almost all elements from the Charge 3. To start, both are compact bluetooth speakers that you can bring with you wherever you go. Moreover, they are also both dustproof and water-resistant, so when we say wherever you go, we definitely mean wherever you want to go.

The main difference between the builds of the two is their weight. The Charge 4 is bigger by a centimeter and heavier by over a hundred grams. Pinpointing the weight of the two, the Charge 3 weighs 800 grams while the Charge weighs 960 grams. This is not a significant difference, so you can still carry either of these two in your bag with ease.

For their heights, the Charge 4 is only a few millimeters taller than the Charge 3. Again, this difference is not that significant. They more or less will have the same physical feel to them.

However, the Charge 4 boasts new colors that better adapt to the vibrant aesthetic of these times. They have bluetooth speakers in dusty rose, teal, and mustard, colors that are not available on the Charge 3.

 

Features

 

Features Comparison
JBL Charge 4 photo from Amazon

 

It is no surprise that these two bluetooth speakers share the same features, too. Both are wireless and both are compatible with almost any smartphone you can think of. Also, their designs render them water and dust-proof, a dream for any on-the-go traveler.

There are stark differences, however. One of those differences is that the JBL Charge 4 cannot respond to voice commands due to its lack of a microphone. While you may be quick to judge JBL for omitting this feature,  you should honestly think about it: when was the last time you wanted your phone conversations blasted on your speakers? The answer to that is close to never.

People do not like having their parties disrupted by a quick phone call from mom or a draggy chat with an IT agent. This is what the JBL Charge 4 is getting rid of.

Moreover, the Charge 4 also has a sleep timer. These speakers are best for gatherings, yes, but if you prefer having a relaxing night vibing to your favorite songs, then it has something for you too.

 

Battery Life

Battery Comparison
Photo from Currys PC World UK

 

The JBL Charge 4 and Charge 3 can both run at about 20 hours, which is a benefit for users of either speakers. However, do note that they keep the speaker at low volumes when JBL tests these, so the run time may not always be the case for loud parties.

This is where their battery capacities come in, though. The Charge 4 has 1500 mAH more battery than the Charge 3. Because of this, it is much more likely to run at about 15-20 hours with the Charge 4 at a moderate volume.

A jump from 6000 mAH to 7500 mAH is not insignificant. Since both can function as a power bank,  expect the Charge 4 to provide longer charging times, too. The Charge 4 has excellent battery life and anyone who enjoys bringing their speakers on trips and such will not regret making the switch to the Charge 4.

Every battery percentage counts when you have no sockets around to charge in.

 

Performance

Performance Comparison
Photo from JBL.com

 

The Charge series was never meant for single-person listening. Because of this, both of these are good choices for large and open spaces. The bass is crisp and emphasized, bringing life to whatever social gathering (or intimate get together) you plan on holding.

Still, the Charge 4 ups the ante by providing a more balanced sound, regardless of the loudness of songs. It captures the subtle sounds of music, where you can hear instruments individually but also in harmony. It is loud, clear, and much more capable of resonating. The JBL Charge 4 can fill rooms with sound without being too abrasive.

It is worth mentioning that the main sound difference between the two is that the Charge 4 is single-driver. This means that sounds will be coming from all directions, differing from the Charge 3 that has the “left and right ear” experience.

These speakers are for parties and gatherings, though. It is important to say that these are not noticeable as you party the night away with your friends.

 

Is Charge 4 better than Charge 3?

So, after all of these, is the Charge 4 better than the Charge 3? A JBL Charge 4 review is incomplete without this question.

In most aspects, yes. It is 25% more powerful and boasts a better bluetooth connection than its predecessor. The audio is crisper and clearer without sacrificing the harmony of sound. Also, it is compatible with USB Type-C chargers. This bluetooth speaker is ready to adapt, and is made to do so.

For people who like partying and staying-in, this is one of the best bluetooth speakers you can get. It is the bell of the ball at parties but can also provide you with a great sleep timer.

 

Is the JBL Charge 4 Good?

Photo from Amazon

 

This JBL Charge 4 review proves that the JBL Charge 4 is a good buy. While people with the Charge 3 might be wary of getting their speaker’s younger counterpart, do know that there are stark differences between the two.

Charge 4 boasts a crisper sound and a better understanding of what the JBL audiences want. It will not blast your phone calls, but it will definitely blast the roof out of your parties. For the homebodies, it will keep your sleeping time sacred by shutting down when you are fast asleep.

Not to mention, the Charge 4 is waterproof and dust-proof. This bluetooth speaker is low maintenance and is willing to share its energy with you because it doubles as a strong power bank. This speaker is twenty-five (25%) stronger than the Charge 3, we may add.

Yes. The JBL Charge 4 is good. But it is more than just good; it is a good choice.

Get the JBL Charge 4 on Amazon

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