There are a lot of mini Bluetooth speakers out there today but the JBL Clip 2 is easily the most recognisable of the lot. Although the Clip 2 came out in 2016, and its successor the Clip 3 was already out in the market, the lack of daisy chaining and a 3.5mm aux lead makes the Clip 2 the better choice when comparing between the two. But does it hold up well in terms of build quality, performance and sound?
The one I purchased features a camo print which doesn't look tacky by any means. The faded effect on the printed colours look nice and the rubber edges and back provide a good look to the speakers. Its IPX7 water resistance is amazing and as tested by yours truly, it splurts out water whenever it's exposed to it, making a hilarious noise in the process. The clip on the Clip 2's are so that you can tie it on to your bag, your bike or wherever you may find a hook and the rubberized end is solid, never once falling off when strapped to the side of my bag. The 3.5mm aux cable can be worrisome, however never truly feeling secured to the speaker. The other major build nuisance was the USB charging port. The rubber tip that houses the USB port stays in one place and must be pushed back with flex for you to put the charging cable in. While it's not something that tarnishes the Clip 2's overall quality, it would have been nice to have a simple slider mechanism for the tip of the charging port.
Performance and Sound
While most speakers in this size will top out at 4 to 5 hours of battery life, I easily got close to 8 hours of playtime on a full charge. But confusion arose when I realized that there was no way to tell when I had reached a full charge as the single indicator only shows blue when it's turned on, and red when the battery is low. The sound quality is however a mixed bag with the Clip 2s. Although there isn't a lot of bass, the mids shone through clearly making it almost seem like that that was JBL's go to sound profile. Vocals sound crisp on these speakers but the lows have a distinct compressed feeling to them. There were minimal hissing on songs with a lot of bass but nothing too noticeable. Overall though, for something this small, although I wasn't expecting it blow the house down with the bass, the equalization did sound off on certain songs.
For the price tag and quality, the Clip 2s might just be the best deal out there. But if you're like me and you're used to booming bass then don't expect these small speakers to punch above its weight. I was thoroughly pleased with them as, despite the low bass, the overall sound filled up the entire room and didn't produce any startling effects for me or other listeners.