Put the JBL Flip 6 next to its predecessor, the Flip 5, and, on the outside at least, it’s a match where you can tell the difference. JBL has toned down the “rugged” rubber accents on the edges of the tubular speaker, and the passive bass radiators now feel cool, textured and metallic, rather than smooth and rubbery. The placement of the power and Bluetooth buttons next to the USB-C port remains the same, but they’re on a slightly smaller rubber plate that no longer spans the entire length of the speaker. The Flip 6’s stability is now aided by a small rubber foot underneath the plate to ensure it doesn’t tip off the desk. Previously, the connection point of the speaker’s fabric jacket was hidden by the larger rubber panel, but now it is fully visible. We mention this because JBL made a similar decision for the Go 3, and we found this to be a weak point on this smaller speaker that could fray over time. The Flip 6 has a real ace up its sleeve if you download the JBL Portable app. Here, thanks to the Party Boost switches, you can find other JBL Party Boost-enabled speakers and connect them in “party” mode (i.e. mono) or stereo if you have another Flip 6. It’s not possible to make a stereo pair of a Flip 5 and a Flip 6, which is a shame, but that’s not a new surprise. In the Flip 6’s in-app dashboard, above the feedback tone slider, there’s now a three-band equalizer that lets you tweak the sound – a new feature we’ve been wanting for a while. After spending some time with the bass, mid, and treble sliders, we find that boosting the mids and treble is the easiest to detect, as you can imagine. Unfortunately, bass lovers won’t get much out of pushing the bass control to the max, even if they reduce the mid and treble controls to a minimum, but with a design that’s about the size of a hot dog, that’s hardly surprising-and this speaker doesn’t lack for bass. Although we wouldn’t recommend it for indoor use, there are situations where boosting the treble and midrange to suppress outside noise is beneficial, and in this case it certainly is.

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