iTest is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to There's also a JBL Connect+ button for linking to various other compatible JBL wireless speakers—you can chain together more than 100 speakers to play the same audio. The design of the JBL Charge 4 is a youthful one that highlights its ‘party animal’ credentials. Posted on January 18, 2020January 8, 2020 by Peter Mattsson. Charge your other devices on the go with the USB-A charge-out port, IPX7 certified so you can submerge the speaker in water without damage, Balanced sound with great frequency separation, Easily connect up to 100 speakers together for a full-on sound. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product or service, we may be paid a fee by that merchant. The only two bummers are the lack of a speakerphone function and that the speaker is mono (this is forgivable, though, since the size would prevent true stereo separation anyway). The highs are sculpted and boosted a bit to match and balance the lows, meaning that, between the sculpting, boosting, and mono delivery, this isn't an ideal speaker for purists. PCMag, and PC Magazine are among the federally registered trademarks of Ziff Davis, LLC and may not be used by third parties without explicit permission. The added bass depth may not appeal to purists, but it anchors the mix nicely, and doesn't overshadow the higher-register elements. The spotlight still belongs to the crisp, brightly delivered higher register brass, strings, and vocals, however. Bill Callahan's "Drover," a track with far less deep bass in the mix, gives a better sense of the Charge 4's general sound signature. The JBL Charge 4 has better sound quality than the Charge 3 and the Flip 4. On Jay-Z and Kanye West's "No Church in the Wild," the kick drum loop receives the ideal amount of high-mid presence, allowing its attack to retain its punchiness. Contributing Editor Tim Gideon has been writing for PCMag since 2006. Let’s review JBL Charge and find out. It’s particularly rugged and waterproof, and the sound quality is an improvement over its predecessor. Two passive bass radiators deliver resonating bass that never overpowers the mix. It takes around 5.5 hours to recharge the JBL Charge 4’s battery from empty to full. Having been born curious about how everything works, he spends his time taking things apart to put them back together, and shares what he finds out through writing. Our expert industry analysis and practical solutions help you make better buying decisions and get more from technology. s an iteration on an iteration, but connectivity is where things to start to split. The only thing design-wise that gives an edge to the Charge 4 over the Charge 3 is its wide variety of colors that you now get to choose from. JBL knows how to deliver the goods when it comes to portable. The speaker comes covered in a nice durable fabric that keeps water outside, as well as a waterproof flap to keep its input/output panel dry. The sustain of the drum hits get more bass response than lower, sub-bass attention. And that is indeed true for the Charge 3 and 4. Introduction. The maximum output power is 20W, and the speaker never sounds overwhelmed even when pushed to maximum volume. The Flip 5 is that the newer of the 2 speakers, but it costs less than Charge 4.Charge 4 has better battery life it gives 20 hours of battery life on one charge. The portable bluetooth speaker features dual passive radiators to keep the bass thumping, and an IPX7 waterproof rating that keeps the music on when at the pool, or even under the rain. This works great for setting up a wide stereo sound in your room without having to deal with wiring. Gadget Review works with a variety of eCommerce partners and vendors to help monetize the site’s traffic – instead of advertisers. He specializes in reviewing audio products, and is obsessed with headphones, speakers, and recording gear. The bass depth here is also impressive, thanks mostly to dual passive radiators that add richness and thump. You won’t need to worry about your JBL Charge 4 falling into your pool by accident thanks to its IPX7 waterproof rating. Vote count: The JBL Charge 4 has slightly better sound and a better case design than the Charge 3, but lacks some of the previous model’s wireless features, Connect up to 100 speakers together in Party Mode for a massive audio extravaganza, Improved sound quality, particularly in the bass. This may change in the future as more speakers begin to support JBL Connect+, and it’s a minor issue as mixing different types of speakers is not usually recommended anyway if you’re looking for a balanced sound. PCMag Digital Group. To satisfy the urge to press these, JBL has embossed an exclamation mark into the rubber surface. This level of waterproofing certification is higher than most of its competitors. The ranges at which an amplifier and Bluetooth speaker can cover are different. Orchestral tracks, like the opening scene from John Adams' The Gospel According to the Other Mary, get some pleasant added low-mid and low frequency push here, adding some depth to the presence of the lower register instrumentation. Both speakers are also waterproof. To add to that, you also can count on the JBL Charge 4 to revive your smartphone in case it runs out of power, since the portable speaker comes with a built in power bank unlike the Anker Soundcore. The sound quality is still as good as if not better than that of the Charge 3, with a bass that sounds much more convincing when you’re in a closed space. is a leading authority on technology, delivering Labs-based, independent reviews of the latest products and services. © 1996-2020 Ziff Davis, LLC. While there is still a mild bass boost that helps the speaker project sound further, the Charge 4 overall has clear definition of frequencies so the music never sounds muddy. As the name suggests, the JBL Charge 4 has a handy feature that allows you to charge your electronic device on the go from its battery. It's still a powerful sound, and the vocals have ideal clarity here—clean, with no added sibilance. If you have two JBL Charge 4 speakers, you can choose to set them to output the left and right audio channels from a stereo signal independently. When it does, it’ll only take about 4 hours until it’s fully charged and ready for action. Should you upgrade from the JBL Charge 3 to the JBL Charge 4? Aside from that, the JBL Charge 4 is also a bit heavier than most bluetooth speakers (like the UE Boom 3), and we think this also translates to a higher sound quality. Our team of experts work around the clock researching 100s of products and services every month to ensure that you buy not just the correct product, but the best product.