Which portable bluetooth speaker should you choose

Which portable bluetooth speaker should you choose

JBL and Bose are two of the leading names in audio accessories such as headphones and speakers. Over the past few years, both companies have produced some pretty neat speakers like the Bose smart portable speaker and the JBL Charge 4. And now JBL has a neat little addition to the lineup in the form of the JBL. Flip 5. On the other hand, the Bose Soundlink Color 2 is a bit older in comparison, but it continues to reign supreme in the popularity ladder, thanks to its portability and audio delivery.

JBL Flip 5 vs. Bose Soundlink Color 2 8

At $ 99, the JBL Flip 5 is significantly cheaper than the $ 129 Bose Soundlink Color 2. This brings us to an important question – is the Bose Soundlink Color 2 worth $ 30 more? Or does the Flip 5 sound better than its competitor?

Well, that’s what we’re going to find in this article comparing the JBL Flip 5 with the Bose Soundlink Color 2.

Let’s start. But first,

Specifications that matter

PropertyJBL Flip 5Bose Soundlink Color 2
PropertyJBL Flip 5Bose Soundlink Color 2
Dimension3.64 x 3.6 x 8.5 inches5.25 x 5 x 2.25 inches
Weight1.19 lbs1.2 lbs
BluetoothBluetooth 4.2Bluetooth 4.2
AUX inputNoYes
Drums12 hours8 hours
Load typeUsb-cMicro USB

Design, portability and controls

The Flip 5 has the signature look of JBL portable speakers. It has a long cylindrical design with rubberized edges. The small and compact design makes it easy to carry in your hands, or you can just perch it on the water bottle holder of your bike or on the back of your backpack.

JBL Flip 5 vs. Bose Soundlink Color 2 1

JBL Flip 5 vs. Bose Soundlink Color 2 1

The button layout is not much different from its predecessors, safe for the thin strip that runs the length of the speaker. In fact, it’s this strip that houses the buttons and the fast-charging USB-C port. And as you might have guessed, passive bass radiators are found at either end of the enclosure.

JBL Flip 5 vs. Bose Soundlink Color 2 6

JBL Flip 5 vs. Bose Soundlink Color 2 6

Like many JBL speakers, Flip 5 can also be placed both horizontally and vertically. Plus, the IPX7 waterproof rating means you can carry it to the beach or your hiking adventures without worrying about damaging the speaker.

On the other hand, the old Soundlink Color 2 is quite different from its JBL counterpart. Instead of having a cylindrical look, this one has a square look. The good thing is that the SoundLink Color 2 packs a soft rubber exterior. This feature makes it incredibly easy to hold and grab this speaker. It also adds to the durability of the product as it plays its role in deflecting dents and scratches.

JBL Flip 5 vs. Bose Soundlink Color 2 5

JBL Flip 5 vs. Bose Soundlink Color 2 5

Regarding water resistance, it has an IPX4 rating and is not waterproof but splash proof. Still, it will be able to take its share of splashing water and the like. You just have to be careful not to immerse it in water.

The button layout is smart and is placed at the top and comes with all the essential buttons for volume control and switching of Bluetooth devices.

JBL Flip 5 vs. Bose Soundlink Color 2 4

JBL Flip 5 vs. Bose Soundlink Color 2 4

Since this is an older speaker, you will still find the 3.5 headphone jack. So if you have a phone that still has one, it will be worth it. Unlike the Flip 5’s USB-C charging, the Bose Soundlink Color 2 still contains the legacy Micro USB charging port. Since most devices now ship the new USB standard, it could be a problem later if you lose the micro USB cable.

Additional connectivity options

The JBL Flip 5 sports a nifty PartyBoost button that lets you connect to other compatible speakers to boost the volume.

Note that when I say compatible speakers I mean newer speakers like the JBL Pulse 4. PartyBoost is not the same as JBL Connect + and therefore will not work with older speakers like Flip 4 or the Charge 4, and quite a few critics have expressed annoyance with their reviews.

JBL Flip 5 vs. Bose Soundlink Color 2 7

JBL Flip 5 vs. Bose Soundlink Color 2 7

Fortunately, the Bose Soundlink Color 2 has a nifty addition in the form of a Bluetooth multipoint when it comes to connectivity. This technology allows you to connect up to two devices at the same time to the speaker, thus adding to your convenience.

At the same time, it also comes with party mode. Like PartyBoost, it lets you amplify sound by letting you pair it with other compatible Bose speakers through the Bose Connect + app. party mode is available in speakers such as the SoundLink Revolve Plus.

Battery life

When it comes to small portable speakers, you wouldn’t want a speaker that dies quickly. Fortunately, the JBL Flip 5 does not disappoint. It has a 12 hour battery life which is pretty decent for its size.

And thanks to its USB-C charging port, the Flip 5 can also charge quickly. A full charge only takes about 2.5 hours, and a handy indicator on the side lets you see how much juice is left in the speaker.

1 JBL Flip 5 vs Bose Soundlink Color 2 3

1 JBL Flip 5 vs Bose Soundlink Color 2 3

Compared to it, the Bose Soundlink Color 2 has a battery life of around 8 hours on moderate volumes. Again, a lot depends on the volume levels. So if you increase the speed, there is a good chance that the battery life will run out faster.

On the other hand, the recharging time is not much, considering the micro-USB input. The Bose speaker only takes about three hours to fully charge.

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Sound quality and performance

So how does the $ 99 JBL Flip 5 perform compared to the Bose SoundLink Color?

Well the JBL Flip 5 has an average punch. It has a crisp and clear audio output and is additionally accompanied by a resonant bass. The bass is rich and deep enough to make you groove to the beat of the songs.

The best part is that there is no distortion even at high volumes, all thanks to the improved DSP which is responsible for reducing deep bass in audio tracks. And several users liked it in their reviews.

1 JBL Flip 5 vs. Bose Soundlink Color 2 2

1 JBL Flip 5 vs. Bose Soundlink Color 2 2

Spec-wise, the Flip 5 packs 20-watt speakers and 44x80mm drivers.

On the other hand, the Bose SoundLink Color 2 offers balanced sound with reasonable bass, thanks to the passive radiators on the sides. However, it is not perfect. When the volume is turned up, especially outdoors, the audio distorts and the heavy bass makes the audio a little less clear.

But ultimately the Soundlink Color 2 is a personal speaker, and for that the audio delivery is pretty good and you can have your share of great music with this one, especially considering the size and price. .

Verdict: new vs old

So, should you choose the old Bose Soundlink Color 2 over JBL Flip 5? For starters, the Bose Soundlink Color 2 offers decent sound for a personal speaker. If you are a person who enjoys listening to soft instrumentals or classical jazz, Soundlink Color 2 will do its best to reproduce them accurately.

But it’s a bit dated, especially when it comes to its looks and battery life. And micro-USB charging doesn’t help its cause, especially as more and more devices are now opting for USB-C charging.

On the other hand, the JBL Flip 5 is quite the modern speaker that you can buy right now. The price is right and the audio delivery is there. In addition, the IPX7 rating and lightweight design let you easily carry it anywhere, whether it’s a poolside party or a ride around the block.


Are you looking for wireless bluetooth speakers with long battery life? Look no further, check out the list below to discover an interesting collection of speakers with long battery life.

Last updated Jan 4, 2021

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