We bought 2 of the best ultraportable speakers - JBL Clip 3 and Bose Soundlink Micro - in 2019 and then spent days comparing their differences regarding portability, battery life, sound quality, connectivity, and waterproof.
JBL Clip 3 and Bose Soundlink Micro sold abroad can be up to 30 SGD off the ones sold in Lazada Singapore.
Portability - Bose Soundlink Micro wins
Bose Soundlink Micro weighs 0.29 kg and is as large as a hand. It is just slightly larger and heavier than the JBL Clip 3. Soundlink Micro is covered with a soft feel silicone rubber skin and is strapped with an elastic band allowing itself to latch onto your backpack or other equipments.
To test the stability of the elastic band, I attached it to the backpack strap. When I walk with my backpack, I found the band is tightly attached to the backpack. It is stable and not easily gets loosened up. This is likely due to the make-up of the band is silicone rubber that is sturdy and suitable for fixing an object.
JBL Clip 3 has a durable fabric mesh on the front and a soft rubber skin on the back. It can use its clip to attach to an object, but its clip cannot be as useful as Bose's elastic band when attaching to different sizes of objects.
Battery life - JBL Clip 3 wins
JBL Clip 3 can last 10 hours while using it at 50% volume. But usually, we listen to music by a speaker at a louder volume. So with 80% volume, it can achieve an average of 5.5 hours of playback time. When its volume rises to 100%, it can play for approximately 3 hours.
Bose Soundlink Micro can only last 6 hours at 50% volume. It can only reach 3 hours at 80% volume and 1.5 hours at 100% volume, respectively. It seems relatively weak at battery life compared with other speakers which are able to play for the whole day. However, in order to deliver fantastic audio experience, it sacrifices its battery life.
Sound quality - Bose Soundlink Micro wins
Bose Soundlink Micro, with s small volume of the body, surprisingly sounds clearer and has a wider sound stage. Particularly, its bass outperforms than its rivals. When it is turned to the highest volume, it delivers fine sound to a listener standing 10 meters away. So I can say its sound strength is pretty satisfying.
JBL Clip 3 sounds better than its last version Clip 2, but it doesn't sound as great as the Bose.
Connectivity - tie
Bose Soundlink Micro can be simultaneously connected with other Bose speakers lying around by Bose Connect, a Bose mobile application, to create stereo sound in your room. In opposite, JBL Clip 3 is not able to connect with any other speakers. So it could be a pity for music lovers.
JBL Clip 3 has an audio jack for wired listening, while Bose Soundlink Micro can play music wirelessly.
But both of these speakers have a solid wireless connection and have little latency for sure.
Waterproof - tie
Both of these speakers are qualified for IPX7 waterproof certification, so getting them wet won't be an issue.
To add it up, the Bose's silicone rubber cover is able to fully protect itself from being saturated with liquid. So even if it accidentally drops into water or bubbles, it can still play music. But if it stays in the water for a long while, its stability might go down.
So which is better?
I personally prefer Bose Soundlink Micro to JBL Clip 3 because:
- its design looks premium
- can pair it up with another Bose speaker
- sound quality is outstanding for its mini size
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