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JBL Go 3 vs Clip 3 vs Clip 4 (2021): Which Portable Micro Speaker Should You Get?

When it comes to ultra portable speakers, JBL is pretty much the go-to brand. Their Go and Clip series speakers offer good sound for their size, highly portable and durable designs and long playback duration. The JBL Go 3 and the JBL Clip 4 are the latest iterations in their respective lineups. They come with some improvements over previous versions, but they also have some downgrades. In this post, we’ll be comparing the two speakers, along with the JBL Clip 3, to find out how they differ and to determine which one is right for you. By the end, you should be able to pick one that is perfect for your specific needs.

JBL Go 3 vs Clip 3 vs Clip 4 Comparison Chart

ModelJBL Go 3JBL Clip 3JBL Clip 4
 JBL Go 3: Portable Speaker with Bluetooth, Builtin Battery, Waterproof and Dustproof Feature Blue...JBL Clip 3 Portable Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth Speaker - Black CamoJBL Clip 4: Portable Speaker with Bluetooth, Built-in Battery, Waterproof and Dustproof Feature -...
PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Dimensions3.4 x 2.7 x 1.6 inches5.4 x 3.8 x 1.8 inches5.3 x 3.4 x 1.8 inches
Weight0.46 lbs0.49 lbs0.53 lbs
IP RatingIP67IPX7IP67
Power4.2 watts3.3 watts5 watts
ControlsPower
Bluetooth
Play/Pause/Skip
Volume Up/Down
Power
Bluetooth
Play/Pause/Skip/Call
Volume Up/Down
Power
Bluetooth
Play/Pause/Skip
Volume Up/Down
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.13.5mm analog
Bluetooth 4.2
Bluetooth 5.1
Battery Up to 5 hours
2.5 hours charging time
Up to 10 hours
3 hours charging time
Up to 10 hours
3 hours charging time
Charging PortUSB-CMicro USBUSB-C
Auto Power OffYesYesYes
SpeakerphoneNoYesNo
Included AccessoriesUSB-C cable
Speaker
Micro USB cable
Speaker
USB-C cable
Speaker

Build Quality

The JBL Go 3, Clip 3 and Clip 4 are all water proof, with the JBL Go 3 and Clip 4 also being dust resistant.

jbl go 3 vs clip 3 vs clip 4 build quality
Front view of the JBL Go 3 (left), JBL Clip 3 (center) and JBL Clip 4 (right).

All three speakers offer excellent portability. The JBL Go 3 measures 3.4 x 2.7 x 1.6 inches and only weighs 0.46 lbs, so it is highly portable. The JBL Clip 3 and Clip 4 are slightly larger, measuring 5.4 x 3.8 x 1.8 inches and 5.3 x 3.4 x 1.8 inches, respectively. They also weigh less than a pound, with the Clip 3 at 0.49 lbs and the Clip 4 at 0.53 lbs. All three speakers can be carried with one hand, and their built-in strap and carabiner hooks also contribute to their excellent portability.

As for their build qualities, they don’t disappoint. They all feel durable and solid with their tight knit fabric and plastic builds. The JBL Clip 3 and Clip also have metal carabiners that add to their rugged builds. If you are looking to get portable speakers that can take a beating, these three are great.

Adding to their excellent build qualities are their water resistance. With an IP67 rating, the JBL Go 3 and Clip 4 are completely water proof and dust resistant. On the other hand, the JBL Clip 3 has an IPX7 rating, which means that it is also waterproof but not dust proof. All three speakers can withstand being submerged underwater to up to three minutes without incurring damage.

Features

The JBL Clip 3 has a built-in mic that allows you to answer incoming calls. The JBL Go 3 and Clip 4 do not have this feature.

jbl go 3 vs clip 3 vs clip 4 features
The power and Bluetooth buttons on the JBL Go 3 (left) are at the bottom while the JBL Clip 3 (center) and Clip 4 (right) have them on the side.

One advantage of the JBL Clip 3, even though it is an older model, is its ability to answer incoming calls. It has a built-in microphone for this function. This feature is removed with the JBL Go 3 and Clip 4, which is a questionable decision on JBL’s part because it is very useful.

As for their controls, all three have the same layout and buttons. On the JBL Go 3, the power and Bluetooth buttons are at the bottom and the play/pause/skip and volume up/down buttons are on the side. The JBL Clip 3 and Clip 4 have the same button layout where the power and Bluetooth pairing buttons are on the side and the play/pause/skip/answer call and volume up/down are on the front.

As mentioned earlier, all three are water resistant, with the JBL Go 3 and Clip 4 also being dust proof.

Sound

The JBL Clip 3 and Clip 4 sound richer and fuller than the JBL Go 3.

jbl go 3 vs clip 3 vs clip 4 sound
With their built-in carabiner hooks, the JBL Clip 3 (left) and JBL Clip 4 (right) are easier to attach to your clothing, bag, etc.

When it comes to sound quality, they have similar sound profiles that have good mids, underemphasized highs and lacking low frequency. That said, the JBL Clip 3 and Clip 4 do sound a little better than the JBL Go 3.

The JBL Go 3 does not produce a lot of bass, which is expected with these speakers due to their smaller builds. Its mids are good, so vocals and lead instruments are clear. The highs are underwhelming, so it won’t be very good if you listen to music with a lot going on in the treble range.

The JBL Clip 3 and Clip 4 sound similar. Their low frequency output is tighter and their mids are more forward. The highs are underemphasized and they will struggle with music that have a lot going on in the treble range, same as the JBL Go 3.

All three are great for listening to podcasts and vocals, but the JBL Clip 3 and Clip 4 will be able to deliver a fuller and richer sound when you listen to different genres of music.

Connectivity and Battery Life

The JBL Go 3 and Clip 4 have USB-C ports for charging while the JBL Clip 3 has a micro USB port.

jbl go 3 vs clip 3 vs clip 4 connectivity and battery life
The JBL Go 3 (left) and JBL Clip 4 (bottom right) have USB-C ports while the JBL Clip 3 (top right) has a micro USB port and a 3.5mm analog input behind its protective flap at the bottom.

All three speakers stream music wirelessly via Bluetooth. The JBL Go 3 and Clip 4, since they are newer models, come with Bluetooth 5.1, while the older JBL Clip 3 has Bluetooth 4.2. With their more recent Bluetooth versions, the JBL Go 3 and Clip 4 have a wider operating range than the JBL Clip 3. However, all three offer stable Bluetooth connections and connection drops rarely happen.

One advantage that the JBL Clip 3 has over the other two is that it also has an analog 3.5mm port for wired connectivity. Having this connection option is nice and the JBL Go 3 and Clip 4 would have been better off if they came with this option.

The JBL Go 3 has a battery life of up to 5 hours with a charging time of 2.5 hours. In comparison, the JBL Clip 3 and Clip 4 can last up to 10 hours on a full charge. Both speakers need a charging time of 3 hours. Clearly, the JBL Clip 3 and Clip 4 have the advantage in this area.

Both the JBL Go 3 and Clip 4 have USB-C ports and they come with USB-C cables. The older JBL Clip 3 still uses a micro USB port and same with the other two, it comes with a charging cable.

Verdict

The JBL Clip 3 offers the best value for your money.

Even though it is an older model, we still recommend the JBL Clip 3 over the JBL Go 3 and Clip 4. It comes with the ability to answer calls due to its built-in mic, has a wired connection option and it basically sounds the same as the Clip 4. The JBL Clip 4 comes with an improved design but it has less features than the JBL Clip 3. The JBL Go 3 is a nice budget option but its price is not that far off from the JBL Clip 3, so we recommend that you spend the extra money to get the Clip 3.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Which is better, JBL Clip 4 or JBL Go 3?

The JBL Clip 4 sounds better and has a better overall design, but it’s also almost double the price of the JBL Go 3. If you are on a budget, the JBL Go 3 is the smarter choice, but if you want the better speaker, you should get the JBL Clip 4.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the JBL Clip 3 worth it?

Yes, even though it is an older model, it is still a very good portable speaker. It sounds good, has a long battery life and it comes with features such as speakerphone and a wired 3.5mm connection.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the JBL Go 3 waterproof?

Yes, it has an IP67 rating, so it is water and dust proof.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the JBL Clip 4 loud?

When used indoors, it can get loud, which is impressive since it has such a small build. When used outdoors, you’ll need to max out its volume for it to get loud, but it might still struggle, especially in a noisy environment.

Last update on 2021-06-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Carlo Salvador

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about fitness, gaming and music.