JBL Clip Review

JBL Clip Review

Traditionalist frown upon change on the golf course. That old guard mentality resistant to the inevitable evolution in the game. Golf can be a little too stiff and stodgy in a lot of respects. Tee box honor, collared shirts, shaking hands and removing your cap on the 18th green are just a few that seem to stick no matter what. Over the years, especially when the golf business was struggling, some of the old tenants have been relaxed to encourage play. After all, golf is big business and alienating clientele is never a good recipe for success. Many of the adoptions are enhancements in my opinion. The new generation of golfer adding to the experience. I might be a little late to the party, but I’m all on board now.

This may sound strange, but what if….stay with me….what if we listened to a little music while we played? What if, the stars aligned and all was right in the world, and music was played on the golf course. Blasphemy? No, I dare say, it’s a harmonious union of two of my favorite things. Like hamburgers and french fries, Jack and Coke, that kind of sanctified matrimony. For the past few months, I’ve adopted this new sort of perversion when playing with like minded individuals. First it was just my iPhone that provided the tin can soundtrack backing my short iron approach. Then we upgraded to a little bluetooth speaker, might have been $10, that would sit in the cup holder in the cart. Often, I would choose music that was mellow and soothing. Maybe a little Jack Johnson, Toby Keith, or some Zac Brown Band. I played in a foursome the other day and one of the guys asked if I was cool with a little music while we played? “Why yes”, I replied, smiling at my new found brethren. He broke out some old school rap….Ice Cube, NWA, some Tribe Called Quest….surreal, somehow it worked though. A relaxing round, breaking it down on a golf course with sear sucker shorts and a pink shirt, this cat was bringing it with some Biggie and Pac. The galaxy has shifted.

Now a full fledged convert to the notion of music and golf, I was on a mission to find the perfect speaker to complement my game. Not too much different than finding the perfect wedge or the right putter. After exhaustive research I bought The JBL Clip speaker. The clouds parted and the sun imparted it’s warming rays upon my face rather pleased with this blessed purchase…a little melodramatic? Absurd encomium aside, this speaker just rocks. I like to walk when I can, another of the old guard rules I like to try an uphold. One of the issues with my other little bluetooth speaker was where do you put it when you are walking? The JBL Clip solves that conundrum because it has a built in carabiner that latches on to my bag and sits perfectly opposite my Bushnell Z6 laser range finder. Almost as if it was destined to be there and has been for all of time. This little guy will give you about 5 hours of music and linked up flawlessly with my iPhone 6. When it’s late in the day and there aren’t many other players around, I can crank it up and get some very good sounding tunes. The sound is pretty rich given it’s size and the utility is second to none. My wife will attest, I don’t generally answer the phone or text much when I’m playing, it’s my time to disconnect. Given that, one of the features of the speaker is a built in handsfree speakerphone. Again, I don’t use this feature on course, but I have tested the functionality and it’s solid. If you are in to that kind of thing, have at it, I’ll continue to uphold my anti cellphone policy. Keeping the volume at a moderate level doesn’t seem to bother other players (ones not in my group). When riding in a cart, I can’t even hear the music when I’m putting out on the green. The speaker for me really shines when walking because the music is right there with you.

There really aren’t many negatives to the JBL Clip in my estimation. The price is right, under $50 from most retailers. I’ve even found it in various colors on Amazon in the $30-$40 range. The only real knock is when you are playing music with a heavy baseline, you may encounter some mild distortion. Mid range is very good which you would expect given it’s size. If you are an audiophile….sorry, I don’t have much in the way of meaningful feedback for you. I’m a golfer who likes his music, who sometimes likes to mix the two. In my limited research, I’ve found that changing genres mid round can change your state of play. I think I was playing some Jason Mraz the other day and my round was just meh. Thumped a little House of Pain the last 4 holes and things improved. Sure there is something to it, but I’ll let someone smarter than me figure out the correlation. If you are looking to spice things up a bit on the golf course, give the JBL Clip a go. I have yet to look back. By the way, if you listen to Bieber or you are closet Spice Girls worshiper, please don’t take my advice. In both cases you should opt for headphones.


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