JBL Charge 4 Speaker Review

This is the way to go if you want to futureproof yourself and receive the new JBL Connect+. Aside from that, there isn't much of a change between this and the previous Charge 3. (though USB-C charging is definitely nice). If you're looking for a Bluetooth speaker, one brand appears to be more popular than others. JBL has speakers at almost every price range, but the Charge series has always been the finest value for money. Although the JBL Charge 4 speaker is a few years old, it is still available from a variety of stores. How has it held up since it was first released?

The Charge 4's IPX7 water resistance means it may be immersed in water up to 1.5 meters deep. Unlike other water-resistant phones, JBL says that the speaker is ideal for chlorinated or salty water situations. "Take Charge 4 to the beach or the pool without fear of spills or even drowning," it reads. Water resistance doesn't get much better as long as the hefty connection port cover on the rear is shut. The Charge 4 boasts the same 20-hour battery life as the Charge 3. However, the battery capacity has been raised significantly, from 6000mAh to 7500mAh. This means you can use it more frequently without affecting its lifespan. The battery level is displayed on the front with a convenient white LED indicator. The JBL Charge 4 can charge your phone or tablet – in fact, anything that can charge through USB from a 5V source – much like the previous iteration. This speaker is near-perfect for camping trips, long days at the beach, and use at home thanks to its durable build, outstanding battery life, and 'battery sharing.' However, this is still a rather basic speaker. The top of the JBL Charge 4 contains Bluetooth and click button controls. Wi-Fi, native compatibility for digital smart assistants, and real multi-room capability are all missing. The most advanced feature is also the one you'll utilize the least. Connect+ allows up to 100 JBL speakers to play the same music simultaneously. It could make a fine marketing film, but it won't help you much unless you can obtain multiple JBL speakers.

The inputs on the 2022 Predator Helios 300 range have been upgraded by Acer. The keyboard has undergone significant changes. The arrangement is similar to what they had before, with a set of full-size main keys on the left and a narrower set on the right for the NumPad area, as well as full-sized arrows jammed in among the other keys in a way that makes them difficult to detect without looking. The style and profile of the keycaps have altered, with solid black sides and a lower overall length. That’s why the overall feedback of this implementation is closer to an ultraportable design than to a full-size gaming laptop, which means this is a quick and quiet typer, but that it might also seem a little shallow on a first contact. I got used to it quickly, though, and I found the keys’ resistance and overall feedback one of the better balanced in this class. Acer updated the backlighting system as well, opting for a miniLED implementation with per-key RGB control. Various effects are selectable from the Armour Crate app, where you also get the key the manually customize each key if you want to.

The buttons on the JBL Charge 4 are clicky and most are texturized, making them simple to push. You can skip a track by pressing the play/pause button twice, but you can't go back. There are volume controls as well as a Bluetooth button and a Connect+ button, which allows you to connect up to 100 JBL speakers using the Connect+ function. The Bluetooth pairing status is indicated by a light, and the battery life is indicated by LEDs at the bottom. When you reach maximum level, this speaker chimes, however there is no warning when you reach lowest volume.

At this pricing, the Charge 4 sounds great for a mono speaker. Its sturdy construction is watertight and compact, despite its high output. The EcoXGear EcoSlate, Bose SoundLink Color II, and Sony SRS-XB3 are all good choices in this price bracket, and if you want to go bigger, the JBL Xtreme 2 is a genuine powerhouse, but it costs twice as much as the Charge 4. The Charge 4 is a fantastic value for the size and price, and it easily gets our Editors' Choice award.