Man, this was a find. The JBL Flip. This things rocks, even before you hear it.
It was a few days before Christmas, wandering around Best Buy, looking for some last minute gifts. I liked the idea of having a portable speaker that I can bring into the kitchen, the bedroom, friend's house, etc. Before going to Best Buy, I didn't perform any research on the options in this market. It wasn't until I saw the dozens of small, portable, Bluetooth speakers in the first isle, that I went "Ah...there's a good last minute idea."
Of course, I tested them. In the end, it has to sound good, right? Tried the Jambox, some Sony offering, a Bose device, and the popular Pill by some rapper dude. The Bose and the Sony options were out of my price range. The Jambox was "meh", but it wasn't the big one. I thought for sure the Pill would be AWESOME since it's got commercials and stuff, but man the sound quality was average. I read somewhere that it could have been the iOS responsible for pauses or clipping? Anyway...for $200, it's not worth it.
I headed towards the checkout and almost ran into a display of the JBL Flips. Right away I notice, "This wasn't on display to test...". Then I immediately realized it was by JBL, a brand I had loved years ago. I installed JBL speakers in my first car, and man they sounded great! From the packaging, the design, the brand familiarity, and the $100.00 price tag, I bought it with no hesitation.
Christmas morning came, and we finally got to take it out of the box. The Flip was charged and connected to my iPhone 5s immediately. The sound quality impressed. This was a great buy. What makes this awesome is the range of volume you get, the listening area is plenty and largely balanced, and the Bluetooth is hassle free. There's even an AUX in on the back for a non-Bluetooth device. And to me as a bonus, phone calls sound great.
Best Buy is not a store I particularity favor. They often seem understocked in areas of interest to me, such as Computers / Electronics, and the staff can sometimes drive you nuts. Finding this gizmo in the clutch, from a big box store? ...can't say they didn't come through.