Which wireless Bluetooth speaker to choose

Which wireless Bluetooth speaker to choose

JBL is no stranger to the audio game and is known for producing accessories that meet a wide range of use cases. One of the popular categories is its line of portable wireless Bluetooth speakers, and the JBL Flip 5 and JBL Charge 4 fall into that category. These audio accessories have a long battery life and serve as an ideal companion for outdoor events, beach parties or any informal meeting.

They are not heavy and the IPX7 rating makes the case softer. At the same time, they are easy to transport, thanks to the cylindrical design, which facilitates their handling.

However, when it comes to the price, things are not that similar. While the old JBL charge costs around $ 179, the Flip 5 has a price of $ 120. So this begs the question of whether the $ 60 price difference is worth it.

And that’s what we’re going to find in this article by comparing the new JBL Flip 5 with the JBL Charge 4, and finding which portable Bluetooth speaker is better for their price and if it’s worth investing in.

As it will be a long post, let’s go.

Specifications that matter

PropertyJBL Charge 4JBL Flip 5
PropertyJBL Charge 4JBL Flip 5
Weight0.965 kg0.54 kg
Bluetooth versionBluetooth 4.2Bluetooth 4.2
WaterproofYes, IPX7Yes, IPX7
Loud speakerNoNo
Battery life20 hours of reading12 hours of reading
USB Type-C chargingYesYes
Dimension8.5 x 3.5 x 3.4 inches7.1 x 2.7 x 2.9 inches

1. Design and connectivity

When it comes to design, the JBL Flip 5 and Charge 4 are almost alike. They have the same cylindrical construction with passive radiators with lateral triggering at the edges. The lightweight, elongated design makes it easy to throw them in a backpack or tote bag.

The Charge 4 is slightly heavier at around 965g, but nothing you can’t carry for a short time. However, if you want to carry it on your hikes or camping, the weight can add up in the long run. In short, the weight does not help the portability of the product.

JBL Flip 5 vs JBL Charge 4 charge

Apart from that, you will find the buttons at the top of the device. They are reactive and give off a tactile response when pressed. Oddly, Charge 4 doesn’t have a Back button.

As previously mentioned, Charge 4 has an IPX7 rating, which means it can stay submerged in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes.

JBL Flip 5 vs. JBL Charge 4 charge 2

Interestingly, it even floats in water for a bit, which gives you enough time to save it if you accidentally drop it (if you’re looking for a floating speaker, you should check out the UE Boom 3).

Note that the Charge speaker does not have a microphone, which means that if your phone is connected to the speaker, you will need to attend on your phone. Again, this may not matter to many people. I don’t like to attend calls from a speaker. And hey, the 3.5mm headphone jack is still intact.

Interestingly, the Charge 4 has a feature called JBL Connect +, which you can use to connect wirelessly to other compatible JBL speakers to boost the volume of music. The best part is that you can pair it with a secondary speaker to create a stereo effect. Naturally, you will find it practical with regard to outdoor use, especially at parties.

You or your friend can invest in an additional speaker to animate the scene. If we are talking about numbers, you can associate up to 100 speakers. Woah, right?

As we noted earlier, the new Flip 5 has a similar design. But when you place them next to each other, you will find that Flip 5 has a more streamlined appearance. It doesn’t have the subtle base at the bottom like the Charge 4. Instead, Flip 5 has a neat spine running the length of the speaker with the buttons and the battery indicator in place.

JBL Flip 5 vs. JBL Charge 4 flip 2

This design allows you to place it transparently in the handle of the bottle of a bicycle, among others. In addition to removing the speaker functionality (no microphone), JBL ignored the addition of a 3.5mm headphone jack. Yes, everything is wireless here.

Being a newer device, the JBL Flip 5 removes JBL Connect +. Instead, it contains a new technology called PartyBoost. This allows you to pair your speaker with other PartyBoost compatible speakers to amplify the sound.

JBL Flip 5 vs. JBL Charge 4 flip

As far as use in the real world is concerned, this feature does not have many satisfied users. For example, a number of users have stated in their reviews on Amazon that it is not working as it should. And since this feature is not supported on older models like the Flip 4, you will need to purchase newer models to get amplified sound.

2. Battery life

The crux of Charge 4 is its charging power, and therefore its name. This speaker can also double a neat power bank and charge your gadgets like phones and headphones while on the go. Yes, you read that right!

JBL Flip 5 vs. JBL Charge 4 charge 3

It has a huge 7500mAh battery, well, it can play music for a good 20 hours before needing a recharge. And the USB-C port means you can easily use your phone’s charging cable in place of the original one if you misplace the latter.

Last but not least, it only takes 4.5 hours to fully charge it. It’s pretty decent considering the size of the battery. If you have a party planned, be sure to plug it in and it will be prepared for the long haul.

On the flip side, the Flip 5 doesn’t offer such whimsical features. Its battery is intended for one and only one thing: to charge the enclosure. Battery life is approximately 12 hours, approximately 8 hours less than the Charge 4.

Fortunately, both speakers have a neat battery indicator at the top, which lets you know how much juice is left.

3. Sound quality

So what is the sound quality of these two speakers? Let’s start with the new Flip 5. This 20 W speaker has a punch. The audio is crisp and clear, and a resonant bass is more accompanying.

Sound quality

The Flip 5 combines an improved driver that improves bass frequencies a little and which results in low distortion at high volumes. Several professional critics confirm this. Compared to Flip 5, the Charge 4 offers 30W peak power and powerful sound. While the volume levels of the two speakers are almost at par, it’s the overall clarity and quality that drives the Charge 4 ahead of its Flip counterpart.

The bass is wider and more pronounced and, more importantly, the audio has clarity. In short, you get better quality with the Charge 4.

Charge the way

It goes without saying that the JBL Charge 4 is heavier and larger than its counterpart, undermining the portability factor. However, the improved soundstage and clarity of sound as well as the powerful bass should be reason enough to buy this product.

The Flip 5 is more of a compact product that you can take with you on your hikes and other outdoor adventures. The weight will not feel like you are dragging a large rock at the end of the day.

The audio is not bad for a speaker that costs $ 100. In addition, if you plan to buy another new generation product, you can chain them.

But if you already have a few old JBL speakers, then the old Charge 4 would be the best way to go forward.


Are you looking for a more compact option? Discover the comparison between the JBL Clip 3 and the UE Roll 2 in the article below.

Last updated Jul 2, 2020

The above article may contain affiliate links that help support Guiding Tech. However, this does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains impartial and authentic.

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