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Fishing and Music? A Review of the Waterproof JBL Flip 4 Speaker and Fishing

Learn the facts and myths about fishing while listening to music, and if you're in the market

Fishing and Music? A Review of the Waterproof JBL Flip 4 Speaker and Fishing
Listening to music while fishing doesn't always mean an unsuccessful day on the water. (Chelsie Walters photo)

Fishing and music are two of my favorite things, but it’s fair to say they aren’t always a match made in heaven. I can appreciate the silence and peacefulness of being on a boat in the middle of a lake, but after some time I crave the serene sounds of my playlists. This begs the question, does listening to music while fishing spook away all of your prospective catches? Many anglers say yes. However, I’ve come to the conclusion there are moments when music and fishing in conjunction is acceptable and will not affect your angling success.

Along with my rod, tackle box and cooler on a fishing trip, I am never without my speaker. I am a proud owner of the JBL Flip 4 – a waterproof, portable and durable speaker. Considering a fishing trip already requires transporting a decent amount of equipment, it is important to ditch extra weight when possible. At only 1.1 pounds, the Flip 4 is incredibly light and can fit in most water bottle holders.

The JBL Flip 4 can be fully submerged in water, and still play like it did the first day you bought it. Since I am often on the water, purchasing a non-waterproof speaker was out of the question. I’ve tried that before and an unfortunate wave-induced incident damaged my previous music maker. Fully putting my speaker to the test and submerging it in water for the first time was a little unsettling, but just like the website says, the Flip 4 can handle it! This awesome waterproof feature means you can take the speaker literally ANYWHERE you go – middle of a thunderstorm, pool party, in the shower … you name it!

JBL Flip 4 Features:

  • Wireless Bluetooth streaming
  • 12 hours of playtime
  • IPX7 waterproof – fully submergible
  • JBL Connect + (link up more than 100 JBL speakers to further amplify the listening experience)
  • Echo-cancelling speakerphone
  • JBL bass radiator – dual external passive radiators
  • Available in 6 colors: Black, White, Blue, Grey, Red, Teal
  • Weight: 515g (or 1.1 pounds)
  • Dimensions (H x W x D): 68 x 175 x 70 (mm)

All of these top-notch features would be nothing without the stellar sound quality. The 360-degree speaker allows your music to compete with the purr of your boat engine and provides you with 12 hours of crystal-clear sound. With that being said, let me circle back to my initial question – when is it appropriate to listen to music when fishing?

Fishing and Music? A Review of the Waterproof JBL Flip 4 Speaker and Fishing
The JBL Flip 4 Speaker is 100% waterproof, an improvement from the JBL Flip 3 which is only splashproof. (Chelsie Walters photo)

I always use my Flip 4 while on my motorboat in between scouting fishing locations. If the vibration and clamor from your engine doesn’t frighten your under-the-sea friends, your music will certainly not. After all, some fish even make music of their own. Many experienced anglers argue that if you are anchored with the engine off, the vibrations from your speaker will travel below the water’s surface and deter the fish. I often wait for a bite with my music turned low, and typically come home with some fresh fish on ice.

Studies show that while some species may be frightened by the noise and vibrations, others are curious and may go towards the sound. This means you should try to understand which species inhabit your fishing hole for the day and if music might mean failure. Something I’ve recently learned is there is a difference between the auditory senses of deep-sea species versus those living in shallow water. Shallow water fish tend to have stronger auditory senses, meaning they might spook a little more easily.

In conclusion, I believe that in general, most fish can tolerate a normal level of noise. After all, they are quite used to both natural and manmade sounds, such as waves and boats. If you are listening to music softly and consistently not catching anything, the problem isn’t necessarily the music. It might be the type of bait you’re using or an indication that it is time to test out some new techniques! If you are eager to fish while listening to your favorite tunes, give it a try. Just be careful to gauge your surroundings – some anglers escape to the water for silence and may not appreciate your Bruce Springsteen.

If I’ve managed to steer you away from the myth that all sound is inappropriate while fishing, and you are in need of a great, lightweight, portable speaker, I highly recommend the JBL Flip 4. It is the newest model to the JBL Flip Series and has made some significant improvements since the Flip 3. Even though they look almost identical, the Flip 4 has more battery life  and better sound quality. The Flip 3 is also only splash proof, meaning no submerging in water allowed! The consensus of the Flip 4 speaker is it’s one of the best in its size and price class. So hop aboard, treat yourself to this fancy and fairly-priced device, and hit the water!

Bye for now! *gone fishing*

For more information on the JBL Flip 4, visit

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