Anker vs JBL | Anker Sound­core Flare vs JBL Flip 4

by Tim Blue

JBL has people hooked with their wide range of audio equipment, from home entertainment to stylish portable speakers they have stood out for design and quality at a reasonable price. The JBL flip series has been my favourite from the lot and has become a popular choice among most as an all-around portable speaker. 

Recently I decided to upgrade from my old JBL flip 3 as the battery was giving me fewer hours and decided it was time for a change. While searching online I came across this brand called Anker and how it was giving JBL’s latest flip 4 a run for its money.

I decided to check it out for myself and was mind blown by the speaker quality and build of their Soundcore series. So I decided to compare both the new JBL flip series with Anker’s new Soundcore series to make my final decision.

And here’s what I got for you after comparing both the brands latest releases if you are planning on upgrading or buying from either brand. 

Anker Sound­core Flare vs JBL Flip 4

Anker Soundcore FlareJBL Flip 4
Drivers/Speakers360 Surround Sound with Bass BoostTwo High-Frequency front-drivers with two side bass drivers
BodyGrey grill material with IPX7 rated waterproof body with a rubber flap to cover 3.5mm headphone jack and charging port. RGB LED strip at the bottom of the body.Rubber mould IPX7 rated waterproof body with metal front grill.
Sound Custom EQ app for colouring sound according to the environment.Pre-EQ colouring from JBL
Battery12-hours with No RGB LED strip and volume at 50%12-Hours at 80% volume 

Anker has slowly made its way up the electronic equipment market over the years with a unique variety of quality products at affordable prices. Some of the popular choices that people took a liking to from brands are their well designed portable chargers and power banks. 

What stood out the most from the brand was the Anker Soundcore Flare portable Bluetooth speaker. The speaker had all the modern features like a waterproof body design with a light strip beneath the speaker. 

Sounds familiar? Yes, these are the same features the new JBL Flip 4 has with a better build and has the prominent orange and white JBL tag. 

Both these amazing speakers are under a hundred dollars, but you must be thinking which one is better. So let’s get started. 

Design

If you’ve ever had the chance of checking out the Echo from Amazon, you’d notice that the Soundcore Flare from Anker has pretty much the same body design. Circular in shape with the bottom tapering outwards giving it a unique feel and design. 

The speaker when placed upright has a height of 15 cm making it super portable and easy to fit in your backpack or travel bag. The control function of the speaker is placed on top of the speaker that controls the bass boost, the music playback and the bottom LED strip. The complete body is covered with a grey grill type finish that looks and feels great. 

The build on this speaker feels solid and is IPX7 rated making it a worthy buy for not having to worry about water damage when listening to music in the shower or by the pool with family.

A rubber flap is provided to cover the 3.5mm headphone port and battery charging port to avoid any corrosion from moisture. 

The bottom of the speaker is fitted with an RGB LED strip light that removes the need for a disco ball in the room as there are multiple colours to choose from that you change by tapping on the colour control on top of the speaker to set the mood right.

The Design of the JBL Flip 4 is quite similar to the previous model, it has a more rugged exterior design with powerful passive bass radiators that show off the brands logo. The speaker body has a waterproof design and is IPX7 rated making it an excellent companion for your outdoor yoga session by the pool or beach. 

One of the coolest design features is the battery indicator that keeps you well aware of the power left in the speaker, making sure there is never a dull moment. The speaker weighs about 1.1 pounds making it comfortably light and compact to carry with you when you’re on the go.

Verdict

When it comes to exterior body design, both products are IPX7 rated and both have push-button controls for playback. I like the battery indicator of the JBL but the five colour options on the Anker Soundcore flare takes the cake for me. 

Connectivity

What’s an amazing design if the heart of the product is average, in this case, both the JBL flip 4 and Anker Soundcore Flare have well-thought hardware-implemented design that is not going to disappoint you at any point. 

Both speakers have Bluetooth 4.2 without NFC. Instead, you will have to pair the speaker by pressing the pairing button. With the upgraded Bluetooth it is possible to have stereo sound by connecting two speakers to the same phone. 

The Anker Soundcore Flare falls short here with no Bluetooth codec support causing glitchy sound while watching videos and movies. While the JBL has a high-quality Bluetooth codec making connectivity a breeze compared to the Anker Soundcore Flare.

Verdict

JBL Flip 4 clearly wins for amazing connectivity and high-quality Bluetooth codec making it a blissful experience with no much hassle. 

Sound Quality

Sound quality is the most important thing when deciding to buy portable speakers, the frequency response from the drivers of the speaker is key for it to give you the best clarity intended by the artist who recorded the music you are listening to. 

The Anker Soundcore Flare offers 360 surround sound with an option to boost the bass with the hit of a button. The speakers sound really good for the price they come in and offer excellent overall clarity. 

The most unique part of the Anker Soundcore Flare is that you can download the custom EQ app to your smartphone. This will allow you to control the EQ parameters of the speaker through your phone. With this benefit, you can control how the speakers sound in different environments making sure you get the best sound output from the speaker. 

The JBL Flip 4 has a signature loud and clear sound the is provided from the two high-frequency drivers on the front of the speaker and the bass is supported by the side bass drivers. The bass isn’t as prominent as the Anker Soundcore Flare but has its feel to it because of the sound that is being coloured by the pre EQ in the JBL speakers. The EQ sounds great at a moderate level but at higher volumes, you can hear the speakers unable to handle the frequency, hence causing distortion at high volumes.

Verdict

Anker Soundcore Flare won this round for its 360 surround sound and bass boost option, even though the JBL might sound louder. It loses out on clarity, which the Anker Soundcore Flare definitely delivers. 

Battery

Both the portable Bluetooth speakers promise to deliver 12 hours of battery life from a full charge, But there are factors that can make these results differ. The first would be the volume you play the speakers in. If you play either speaker at full volume you are not gonna get more than eight hours. 

The Soundcore Flare also supports an LED light so the battery will drain faster, with the volume at halfway and the RGB LED strips at moderate intensity. The Anker Soundcore lasted a good eight hours and longer if the LED strip was turned off. 

The JBL Flip 4 did as it promised and provided 12 hours from its 3000 mAH battery at 80 percent volume. 

Verdict

Tie, Both speakers give a good battery backup just not equal to each other because of the different components that make the speaker what it is. The Soundcore Flare has its alluring lights which I feel is a shame if it’s turned off just to save battery. If you want those extra hours JBL flip 4 should be your pick.

Conclusion

A well balanced Bluetooth speaker is, without doubt, the best choice to go with. Apart from the excellent sound, the overall build matters with solid battery life to support it. 

The JBL Flip 4 checks all the boxes for being an excellent Bluetooth speaker but lacks a creative design and originality that the Anker Soundcore Flare overflows with. 

If you like clarity more than distorted loudness the Anker Soundcore Flare should be your pick, the custom EQ app is definitely a plus that most portable speakers don’t offer. Also, it’s a party starter with five vibrant light settings to choose from.

The JBL Flip 4 has excellent build quality, sound, connectivity and battery life making it the winner among the two. The best features of the speaker are without a doubt the high-quality Bluetooth Codecs for seamless playback. 



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