The Marshall Willen, JBL Flip 6, and JBL Clip 4 are three of the most popular Bluetooth speakers on the market, and each one delivers a unique suite of features that may or may not be ideal for you, depending on your needs.
The JBL Flip 6 is the clear choice by every measure, as it offers the best sound quality and bass response, an excellent design, easy-to-use software, and an adjustable equalizer. For a full review of our favorite speaker under $150, see here.
Regarding Marshall Willen vs. JBL Flip 6, the JBL speaker is superior by almost every measure.
Regarding Marshall Willen vs. JBL Clip 4, these two speakers are a reasonably even match in size and design. The Marshall speaker offers better sound quality but is significantly more expensive.
By comparison, there are clear winners and losers here. Still, it’s important to remember that each of these speakers is a terrific choice and the perfect tool to help you get a party started. Read on as we take a closer look at the details of these speakers to help you decide on the ideal model for you.
While there are some minor differences across these three speakers in each category, the most significant differences are noticeable in the sound quality department.
The JBL Flip 6 is a two-way system engineered to deliver precise and powerful sound further improved by Harman’s cutting-edge algorithm. The oval subwoofer provides significantly more low-end response than the JBL Clip 4 and Marshall Willen, and adding a 10-watt tweeter makes the sound more focused and crisp.
When comparing Marshall Willen vs. JBL Flip 6, the Willen offers similarly excellent sound quality, although it’s lacking in the bass department compared to the Flip 6. The sound is rich, and the bass response is still better than average, considering how tiny the speaker is.
If you’re looking for a mini speaker, the Willen could be ideal for you. Meanwhile, if you can work a bigger speaker like the Flip 6 into your lifestyle, it significantly increases sound quality and power.
The JBL Clip 4 is the least desirable of the three regarding sound quality. It sounds as good as you could hope for a speaker this size. The Clip 4 offers a decent bass response and an impressive frequency range of 100Hz – 20kHz. Still, it’s a tiny speaker, so you can only expect so much. The bass response is lacking, and it doesn’t offer the focused punchiness of the Flip 6 or Marshall Willen.
Sound winner: JBL Flip 6 (the Marshall Willen runs a not-so-distant second)
Regarding the design showdown between the Marshall Willen vs. JBL Clip 4 vs. JBL Flip 6, all three speakers offer intuitive designs that look great while providing excellent performance.
The JBL Flip 6 received a significant redesign compared to its predecessor, the Flip 5. Some of those improvements include a rubberized bottom that provides much more solid footing for the speaker than past models and a JBL logo that’s molded into the case, replacing the cheap-looking stick-on logo of the Flip 5.
The Flip 6 is also IP67 waterproof and dustproof, so you can rest assured that this speaker is rugged and can stand up to beach trips, weekend getaways, and anything else you can throw at it.
The buttons are oversized and tactile, making it easy to adjust the volume or skip a song even when you’re in the dark. The front panel features a USB-C charging port and power button, and powering on, connecting, and playing music is as intuitive as can be.
The Marshall Willen also features a beautiful and intuitive design that will be immediately familiar to anyone who recognizes Marshall’s aesthetic. They do have decades of experience as the leading amplifier manufacturer in England, after all. This little speaker looks like one of Marshall’s high-powered guitar amps, adding some rock and roll sensibility to this awesome speaker.
When it comes to pitting the JBL Flip 6 vs. Marshall Willen, the Willen features the same IP67 waterproof and dustproof rating. This speaker will put up with anything you can throw at it, and it’s a fitting companion for any outdoor adventure.
The controls are sparse, with a power button on top, an LED battery indicator, and a multi-directional knob on the front right side for you to control each aspect of the speaker. Controlling the speaker isn’t as intuitive as the Flip 6, but it’s still straightforward once you get the hang of it.
The Willen is also the only speaker in this comparison that offers an onboard microphone, allowing you to make and receive calls without interrupting the connection between your phone and the speaker. There’s also a voice mode EQ setting which improves the sound quality of phone calls.
The Willen offers a smartly-designed strap that can attach the speaker to virtually anything. You can also tether the strap to itself so you can hang it from a belt loop or backpack.
Clip 4 is a brilliantly designed speaker that gets most of its style from an attractive front grille and the oversized JBL logo. It is styled to look sporty rather than high-end, which is a perfect representation of the product itself.
The built-in clip (hence the name, JBL “Clip”) enhances the look but isn’t actually as functional as you would expect. The clip has a small opening, so it is more limiting than a strap would be. Unless you want to clip it onto something narrow, like a backpack strap, it likely won’t fit.
Design Winner: Tie between JBL Flip 6 and Marshall Willen
When it comes to durability, these three speakers are tough to beat. Each speaker is designed with a rugged case, waterproof and dustproof rating, and simple controls that won’t damage easily.
Thanks to its weighted base, the Flip 6 offers the most sturdy and durable feel. Still, the Marshall Willen and JBL Clip 4 are also exceptionally durable; but they don’t offer the same heavyweight feel as the Flip 6.
The Marshall Willen borrows most of its design philosophy from guitar amplifiers, which are designed to be lugged on and off stages worldwide, so it’s practically bulletproof. Its rugged coating and high gauge metal grille keep all the components well protected from damage no matter where you are.
Durability Winner: Marshall Willen
Of all the areas this review focuses on, the question of battery life is the one that’s pretty cut and dry.
All three speakers deliver solid battery performance. The JBL Clip 4 offers the shortest battery life of the three. The Clip 4’s 3.885Wh lithium ion battery delivers up to ten hours of playtime, while the JBL Flip 6 provides a more robust twelve hours of playtime with its sizable 17.28 Wh battery. The Flip 6 has the largest battery of all three speakers.
While the Marshall Willen has a smaller battery than the Flip 6, it delivers a tough-to-beat fifteen hours of playtime. The Willen can provide the most extended battery life of the three because the speaker produces half the wattage of the larger Flip 6.
Technically, the Flip 6 provides the most impressive battery performance since it delivers 12 hours of playtime and 20 watts of power. The Marshall speaker offers the best battery performance but also drains less power than the Flip 6.
Battery Winner: Marshall Willen (JBL Flip 6 is a close second)
Most portable speakers on the market feature similar hardware. The software the speaker runs is what separates a decent Bluetooth speaker from the best models.
Software dictates a large portion of the performance, affecting device connection, equalization, battery life, and user experience.
All three speakers use Bluetooth v5.1, the most recently-updated protocol, and it provides the most secure and reliable connection. The Flip 6 and Willen both offer a companion app available on all smart devices, whereas the Clip 4 lacks app-connectivity or any party mode.
The JBL app for the Flip 6 is intuitive and easy to navigate. Unfortunately, it’s so easy to use because its capabilities are minimal. Through the JBL app, you can update firmware, control PartyBoost, change the name of your device, and check the battery life. Additional functionality, like changing songs or shuffle play, isn’t supported.
One additional feature of the Flip 6 is a graphic equalizer that you can adjust from the JBL app. This inclusion is a home run, and it’s a wonder it took JBL so long to incorporate it. It lacks presets, which is slightly frustrating, but it’s still a win considering users can customize the sound profile of their speaker.
The Marshall Bluetooth app offers similar functionality to the JBL app. You’re able to view battery life, update firmware, control Stack Mode, and select one of the three EQ presets (standard Marshall profile, push, and voice). It would be nice to have a full equalizr like the Flip 6 offers, but the presets are still quite functional.
Software Winner: Tie between JBL Flip 6 and Marshall Willen; Clip 4 is very limited due to the lack of an app and having no party mode
All three portable speakers are an excellent choice, whether you’re looking for a speaker for your home or apartment or something you can take with you when you’re out with family and friends.
The JBL Flip 6 is the top performer by virtually every measure, and it offers the best sound quality and bass response with the most features when you compare the Marshall Willen vs. JBL Flip 6 vs. JBL Clip 4.
The Marshall speaker offers an awesome rock and roll-inspired look, while the JBL Clip 4 is the most portable of the three. If either of those characteristics is most important to you, you may find the Willen or Clip 4 is the best choice.
But, if you’re like most people and your biggest concern is the sound and performance of the speaker, the JBL Flip 6 is the clear winner.