Not the latest speaker from JBL but definitely one of the most affordable
Before we get straight to the review, we actually won this speaker through a giveaway by Doogee Philippines. So we’d like to thank them first and we feel so lucky having a JBL-branded speaker. JBL is one of our go-to choices when we’re looking for audio peripherals and now, we’re going to test this to see if it deserves the “JBL” branding.
We never had the first Flip Go, nor the third. So we have no point of comparison. This article is merely done to review purely this speaker to see if it’s worth its price, or it’s just a throwaway. This is currently one of the most affordable JBL speakers you can find in the Philippines. E-phone sells this for PHP 1,590.
Now, the Flip Go2 isn’t the company’s latest speaker. We mentioned that there’s a third one but let’s see if this affordable speaker is still worthy of purchase.
The JBL Flip Go 2 came in a clear plastic box with the speaker very much visible. Removing that reveals a smaller white box containing the manual, warnings, and warranty card. Unfortunately, they are all rolled. We tried to straighten them as much as we can without ironing and with our best effort, that’s how much it could be straightened. The orange MicroUSB cable is located underneath the speaker.
No, the speaker does not have its own app and it’s not really that necessary. What you’re finding inside that manual is pretty straightforward. What you need to do to set it up and let it play music, including using its speakerphone feature.
The unit that was sent to us came in grey. The speakers are a little heavy for something that’s meant to be portable. We like the simple design and the large JBL logo is just placed well. Also, the controls on top are engraved but they are interactable and responsive. They also don’t feel heavy to touch. Lower-quality speakers would have this type of engraving but they are often hard to respond.
Speaking of the controls, there are five of them. There is your power button, a Bluetooth button, the volume button, and the pause/play button. The Bluetooth button is there in case you connected a microphone or headset and want to switch to Bluetooth instead. Meanwhile, the Play/Pause button, as it tells, pauses or plays music as well as answer calls, if connected via a phone. The volume of the speaker syncs with the maximum volume of the phone or other connected devices. So if your phone is at max volume, so is the speaker. It takes one tap to wake the speaker up when sleeping, and about a second or two to activate it when it’s powered off.
As the speakers are IPX7-rated (we tested its waterproofing, later in this article), the ports are protected with a silicone rubber cover. In fact, the entire side frame is made of silicone. The back and front are made of plastic. Also, there’s a giant JBL logo engraved at the back.
There are two ports here. One to charge (the microUSB port) and the other is to connect your microphone and headphones (the 3.5mm jack). The speaker also come with a small MicroUSB-to-A charger coloured in orange, made of rubber.
There’s your legal stuff at the bottom and four small stilts to balance the speaker so it actually does not touch the ground. The speaker also comes in blue. The black colour is not available here in the Philippines.
The JBL Flip Go 2 is quite an old speaker. So old that it still uses Bluetooth 4.1 wherein the standard now should be at least Bluetooth 5.0. Nevertheless, it connected rather quickly to our phone, in this case, the Oppo A58 4G. We also found no syncing problems with music or other sounds. However, the speaker tends to disconnect frequently. Most of the time, it does this when it’s not in use for a couple minutes. We’re not sure if this is a battery-saving measure or it’s really the connection. Because it’s a very old version of Bluetooth, you cannot connect the speaker to multiple devices at once.
BATTERY AND CHARGING:
According to the packaging, the speaker has a 5-hour battery life and charges for as half as that. The battery life isn’t that impressive considering we have tested similarly priced earbuds (like the Cherry Buds Cube) that could last an entire day and this speaker won’t really last a whole day party. You have to charge it frequently.
As per the manual. Red indicates that the speaker is low in battery and/or it’s charging. A non-blinking white light indicates that it is charging, a blinking white light indicates that it is ready to be paired, and finally, a green light indicates that the speaker is fully charged.
We did test the charging capacity by connecting the given MicroUSB cable and sure enough, it took 2.5 hours to charge it. We’re hoping that this weak battery has been resolved by the 3rd iteration.
The packaging said that the speaker is IPX7 waterproof. Although we know there’s no such thing as “waterproof” in real life. The best we can do is make a thing extra water resistant, which this speaker is. Because the Flip Go2 is IPX7 water resistant, you can immerse it in water for up to 1 minute and 30 seconds in a depth of 2 meters. However, you need to flip the port lid closed or the speaker may malfunction. Nervous? Don’t worry, we did the testing for you.
Sure enough, after immersing it in running shower water for 30 seconds, the speaker still sounds just as well as it was unpacked. We didn’t hear any watery noises or a decrease in sound quality and loudness. So it’s safe to say that JBL isn’t lying about that waterproofing.
Of course, we saved the best test for last. You’re here for the sound quality aren’t you? Here it is! The moment you all have been waiting for.
The JBL Flip Go 2 has a pretty great sound. We love how balanced its frequencies are and how you can really feel the bass here, especially at the loudest volume. The speaker itself is loud and it occupied our small studio here. 25% volume is enough for a small personal space in case you want to do a soundtrip, like what we’re doing while writing this article. The speaker has a pretty great sound for something cheap, and it definitely feels like how JBL would sound their speakers. This thing sounds even better than some of our budget phones’ speakers and those cost a lot more.
Vocals are pretty clear and immersive so it’s a good partner when watching a movie. At higher volumes, it also does not distort and so the frequencies are consistent all throughout. We have no complaints to how the Flip Go 2 sounds and for its price, we really shouldn’t. It sounds premium enough already.
The JBL Go 2 is a cheap and nifty little speaker that does the job pretty well. The speaker is a little dated now and companies like Doogee simply just gave it away for users, and it just so happen that we are the lucky winner of that. In the Philippines, it costs PHP 1,590 and for that price, it’s actually better than expected. Better yet, it has proven water IPX7 water resistance which adds to the durability and flexibility of this speaker.
We found it hard to open the flap where the ports are located. To open it, we had to use a ballpoint pen which left some marks on its side which can be hard to remove. The speaker may not be suitable for today’s European Union population because it uses a MicroUSB port and certainly, if it was sold there, it was probably phased out now. Not only that, the JBL Flip Go 3 is already available.
The battery life is subpar, only 5 hours, and it charges slow at 2.5 hours. Not just that, it uses an outdated Bluetooth 4.0 standard which surprisingly connects fast to our test device, but that means it also will disconnect just as fast and you can’t use multiple devices. Though those are the only bad things about it. Everything, including sound quality, is exceptional for its price. We have high expectations for JBL products but we also need to consider its pricepoint. For what it is, it’s high quality.
Once again, we’d like to thank Doogee Philippines for selecting us as the lucky winner for the JBL Speaker giveaway. Without them, this review will not exist!
Oh, by the way, we have another budget JBL product to be reviewed. We won’t tell you what that product is but the review will be up soon. Stay tuned!