JBL Flip 5 vs JBL Charge 5: the waterproof Bluetooth speakers go head to head

JBL makes some of the best Bluetooth speakers on the planet, and the Flip 5 and Charge 5 are no exceptions – and that makes choosing between them very difficult indeed. 

© Provided by TechRadar the jbl flip 5 and the jbl charge 5 bluetooth speakers

The JBL Flip 5 is one of the brand’s most simple waterproof speakers, eschewing some of the more complex features such as multi-room audio or built-in voice assistants that you’ll see from the likes of the Sonos Roam and the Bose Portable Home Speaker 500

It’s a similar story with the JBL Charge 5, although it has a larger footprint, can charge your phone on the move, and uses a more modern Bluetooth version than the Flip 5. It’s more expensive, too. 

So, should you save some cash and go for the JBL Flip 5? Or splurge on the more powerful JBL Charge 5? We’ve tested both portable speakers extensively to help you make the right choice.

 JBL Flip 5 vs JBL Charge 5: price and availability 

The JBL Flip 5 launched back in August 2019 for $119.95 / £119.99 / AU$149.95 as the successor to the Flip 4. However, now that it’s a little older, it’s possible to pick up the Flip 5 at a discount, with the model selling in the region of $100 / £90 / AU$130 these days. 

The JBL Charge 5 is more recent, having launched in 2021 for $179 / £159 / AU$229 – that’s relatively pricey for a Bluetooth speaker, and the same price as our favorite model, the Sonos Roam

In spite of its youth, we’ve already seen some JBL Charge 5 deals, with prices dropping to around £150 / AU$200. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen similar discounts in the US just yet.

Both portable speakers are likely to be discounted over Black Friday 2021, when Bluetooth speaker deals are usually easy to find. 

Design

Both the JBL Flip 5 and the JBL Charge 5 feature cylindrical builds, with rugged rubberized end caps to protect them from falls, and physical buttons situated on the top of each speaker to control music playback. 

The Flip 5 is the smaller of the two, weighing 0.54kg /1.2lb. It’s the size of a small flask, which means you can easily carry it around in one hand, pop it in a bag, or hang it from a door handle thanks to its shoelace strap. 

The Charge is about twice the size of its sibling, at 0.96kg / 2.1lb. It’s designed to sit horizontally, on its longest side, while the Flip 5 can be oriented horizontally or vertically. 

At each end of both speakers is an exposed passive bass radiator, which is designed to displace lots of air to create a powerful low-end. You might be able to see them move back and forth, but these radiators are slightly recessed into the main body of the speakers, protecting them from bumps and scrapes. 

Both speakers are waterproof, with an IPX7 rating, which means they can be submerged in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes. However, the JBL Charge 5 takes this one step further by introducing an IP6X dust-proof rating, which should prevent sand or grit from breaking its inner mechanisms.

Both speakers are available in a range of colors, although you have more choice with the Flip 5. You can even customize the design of the Flip 5 to suit your taste exactly.  

Audio performance

Of the two speakers, the JBL Charge 5 delivers the most powerful sound, with deep bass frequencies, clear mids, and nicely rolled-off trebles for a warm soundstage. It does distort at higher volumes, though, so we’d recommend keeping the volume at about 50-60% to avoid harshness. 

Like the previous Charge speakers, the Charge 5 is directional, with its tweeters and woofers sitting behind the front of the speaker. 

While you might have expected 360-degree sound as a result of its cylindrical shape, the Charge 5 is directional, with its tweeters and woofers positioned at the front of the speaker.

It’s the same story with the JBL Flip 5, although it does deliver a surprisingly wide soundstage – and impressive audio power – in spite of its small stature. It doesn’t suffer from distortion at high volumes in the same way as the Charge 5, and delivers enough clarity to extract all the detail you’d want from your songs if you’re listening casually.

Battery life and connectivity

The JBL Flip 5 offers 12 hours of playback, with a full charge taking about two-and-a-half hours. Meanwhile, the Charge 5 comes with an impressive 20-hour battery life – if you’re playing music at 50% volume. Push those volume levels up, and you can expect the battery life to drop. Both speakers are charged via USB-C.

Alongside Bluetooth connectivity, both speakers come with JBL’s PartyBoost feature via the JBL Connect app. This allows you to pair the units with another JBL speaker in stereo, or with up to 100 – yes, you read that correctly – speakers in mono for a wall of sound. 

Weirdly, the JBL Flip 5 comes with Bluetooth 4.2, compared to the Charge 5’s Bluetooth 5.2. It’s not the end of the world, but it does mean missing out on faster data speeds and a staggering wireless range of 780ft / 240m (4.2 offers a range around four times shorter).

Neither speaker has a 3.5mm aux input, so you won’t be able to hook them up to other audio devices, such as a turntable. 

The Charge 5 comes with another trick up its sleeve: a USB-A port that lets you use the speaker to charge your phone as you listen to music – pretty handy if you’re using the Charge 5 in the great outdoors.

Takeaway

If you’re deciding between the JBL Flip 5 and the JBL Charge 5, then your biggest consideration will probably be price. In that respect, the Flip 5 is your best bet, although both speakers are likely to be discounted in the run up to Black Friday 2021

Spend a little more money, however, and you could pick up a more powerful, louder Bluetooth speaker in the Charge 5. Not only does this speaker double as a portable charger for your phone, it comes with a much longer wireless range, too – handy, if you want to use the Charge 5 for outdoor parties. 

Still, both speakers sound excellent, are water-resistant, and offer great value for your money, while also standing out from the crowd with their cool, brightly colored designs. You can’t go wrong with either. But if you’re looking for a higher-spec alternative that can handle Wi-Fi connectivity, multi-room audio, and comes with a voice assistant, then check out the Sonos Roam – our pick for the best Bluetooth speaker you can buy today.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

James Stewart's family beach day pics

© Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd The often private Home and Away star James Stewart has celebrated his first weekend out of lockdown with his wife Sarah Roberts, and ... Read more »

Aqua English program helps refugees overcome trauma and learn to swim

© Provided by ABC News Sarah Scarce has run the Aqua English program in Brisbane for 15 years. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Edwina Seselja) When Manahil Hassan Hamuda sees water, she ... Read more »

Inside Ada Nicodemou's close family bonds

© Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd Ada Nicodemou is an iconic actor, mother, daughter, sister and sister-in-law. Her devotion to her family is evident, but do you know who ... Read more »

Zero-emission vehicles, wind and solar energy seen taking off - climate report

By Simon Jessop © Reuters/PHIL NOBLE FILE PHOTO: Electric vehicle charging units are pictured at newly opened MFG (Motor Fuel Group) EV Power service station in Manchester LONDON (Reuters) – ... Read more »

S. Korea to actively respond to US info-sharing request on chipmakers: minister

photo, taken on Monday, shows Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki presiding over a governmet meeting on the economy and security in Seoul. (Yonhap)South Korean Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said Monday the ... Read more »

$50k of cocaine seized in Sydney's east on first post-lockdown weekend

Seventeen people have been charged and $50,000 worth of cocaine seized in a police operation in Sydney’s eastern suburbs on the weekend. In the city’s first weekend out of COVID-19 ... Read more »

Sydney petrol prices hit record high

Sydney motorists woke up this morning to the highest average price for regular unleaded petrol on record, breaching $1.70 per litre, with further hikes expected this week. Average prices for ... Read more »

Prince William sparks hopes of a reunion with Prince Harry following Earthshot Prize Awards

Could a royal reunion be on the cards in 2022? That’s the hope following an announcement from Prince William that his Earthshot Prize Awards ceremony for next year will be ... Read more »

S. Korea to actively respond to U.S. info-sharing request on chipmakers: minister

SEOUL, Oct. 18 (Yonhap) — South Korean Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said Monday the country plans to closely cooperate with local chipmakers to respond to the U.S.’ latest request for ... Read more »

WA's Brockman sworn in as Senate president

West Australian Liberal Slade Brockman has been sworn in as the new Senate president. © Mick Tsikas/AAP PHOTOS The Liberals’ Slade Brockman won the vote for Senate president 45 to ... Read more »

Woman 'unhappy' with how boyfriend has divided bills after moving in together

A woman who has recently moved in with her boyfriend admits she is “unhappy” with how they have divided their finances but having never done it before, isn’t sure of ... Read more »

Princess Mary's son is all grown up on his 16th birthday

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Prince Christian of Denmark marked his 16th birthday by posing for new photos that prove he is all grown up. Two portraits posted ... Read more »

The world will be asked to work together on climate. What chance that'll happen?

The final topic at COP26 in Glasgow — to the extent that any discussion on decarbonisation can be final — is how we “work together to deliver”. © Provided by ... Read more »

Who is Sean Penn's ex, Leila George?

Sean Penn and Australian actress Leila George have called it quits. George, 29, filed for divorce from the Mystic River star, 61, in Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday, October ... Read more »

Cop26: 70 climate scientists urge PM to end new oil and gas investment ahead of Glasgow summit

Scores of the most respected climate scientists in the world have called on Boris Johnson to bring an end to new oil and gas development in the UK ahead of ... Read more »

Why every parent should consider organic food

Over the past decade, organic food has become increasingly popular. Research shows organic foods, including fruit, vegetables, eggs and dairy, may have nutritional, environmental and animal welfare benefits. So, it’s clear ... Read more »

Victoria to move towards home quarantine for fully vaccinated travellers

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has suggested the state will axe hotel quarantine for fully vaccinated international arrivals and move to a home-based program, similar to the one proposed by New ... Read more »

Victorian business groups have welcomed the fast-forwarded lockdown plan, but want further support for retailers and live music

© Provided by Business Insider Australia Melbourne’s harshest lockdown restrictions will lift from Friday, Premier Daniel Andrews said, given Victoria’s high COVID-19 vaccination rate. The change will see hospitality and ... Read more »

Two men stabbed inside Melbourne shop

Two men have been taken to hospital after being stabbed by another man inside a Melbourne shopping centre. © Daniel Pockett/AAP PHOTOS A man is in custody after two men ... Read more »

Two in hospital, man in custody after shopping centre stabbing in Brunswick, Melbourne

© Provided by ABC NEWS The shopping centre on Sydney Road has been closed while police investigate. (ABC: Sephanie Ferrier) Two men are in hospital and a third has been arrested after ... Read more »

Shoppers race to buy the $6 'must-have' top from Kmart

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Shoppers are obsessing over a $6 top from Kmart that pairs perfectly with any outfit, with many saying it’s the must-have staple every ... Read more »

The simple makeup swap that will change your skin

© Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd When it comes to makeup, not all products are created equal: some are better than others at giving our skin the love it ... Read more »

James Stewart shares family beach day

© Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd The often private Home and Away star James Stewart has celebrated his first weekend out of lockdown with his wife Sarah Roberts, and ... Read more »

Inside the lavish Bachelorette mansion

© Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd The Bachelorette Australia is filmed in a mansion located in picturesque Dural, NSW, about 36 kilometres north-west of the Sydney CBD. It is ... Read more »

Sunrise 'baffled' by Sam Armytage's new gig on Farmer Wants A Wife

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Samantha Armytage’s surprise return to Channel Seven has ruffled quite a few feathers among her former colleagues at Seven, reports claim.  The 45-year-old ... Read more »

BREAKING NEWS: MAFS stars Melissa Rawson and Bryce Ruthven welcome their twin boys 10 weeks early

© Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd Married at First Sight’s Melissa Rawson and Bryce Ruthven have welcomed twin boys into the world 10 weeks early. The couple announced the ... Read more »

Victoria recorded 1,903 new Covid-19 cases overnight

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Victoria has recorded 1,903 new Covid-19 cases and seven deaths overnight as the state prepares for an early exit from its long-running sixth lockdown. ... Read more »

The Australian and international news stories you need to know today, Monday October 18.

© Getty Images The Australian and international news stories you need to know today, Monday October 18. Rush for hair, restaurant bookings in Vic as the state opens five days ... Read more »

Sarah Snook reveals she secretly married Aussie comedian Dave Lawson

Australian actress Sarah Snook revealed she secretly tied the knot with comedian Dave Lawson earlier this year. In an interview with Vogue Australia, the Succession star, 33, said the pair ... Read more »

How to watch Fear the Walking Dead season 7 online from anywhere

Are you ready to step back into the post-apocalyptic world of walkers that Robert Kirkman created? Well, season 7 of Fear the Walking Dead is returning to our screens and ... Read more »

Hope tourists may return before Christmas

Tourists, migrant workers and international students could start flooding back to Australia before Christmas. © Bianca De Marchi/AAP PHOTOS People have been told to be cautious as the nation reopens ... Read more »

Eastern suburbs cocaine crackdown: $50,000 in drugs seized, 17 charged

A taxi driver allegedly carrying 34 bags of cocaine in his vehicle is among 17 people charged with drug-related offences after a police blitz in Sydney’s eastern suburbs at the ... Read more »

Newlywed husband sparks internet debate after putting wife on budget

A newlywed husband has sparked an internet debate this week after sharing that he was putting his wife on a ‘spending ban’ just months after their wedding. The man took ... Read more »

Big investment in green hydrogen production by Ineos

Chemical giant Ineos is to invest around £1.69 billion in green hydrogen production. The company said it will be Europe’s largest ever investment in electrolysis projects to make green hydrogen ... Read more »

Virgin Media O2 launches first joint product in bid to take on BT

Virgin Media O2 has launched its first joint product since the two company’s £31 billion merger earlier this year to take on BT. Customers of both brands can expect their ... Read more »

Molecule could prevent damaging cell changes caused by type 2 diabetes – study

Researchers have identified a molecule that could help prevent damage to cells caused by type 2 diabetes and obesity. They say a large proportion of the damaging chemical changes that ... Read more »

"She didn't deserve to die." 11 months after Melissa Caddick disappeared, her husband has spoken.

This post deals with suicide and might be triggering for some readers. © Getty Images “She didn’t deserve to die.” 11 months after Melissa Caddick disappeared, her husband has spoken. ... Read more »

Search for 4-year-old girl Cleo Smith ramps up in Western Australia

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo A desperate search for a missing four-year-old girl has entered its third day with police releasing footage of the remote campsite from where ... Read more »

Barnaby Joyce warns on Coalition after net zero impasse

Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce has warned of a “ripple effect” through the Coalition if his party is put under pressure to endorse a cut in carbon emissions to net zero ... Read more »

New trailers: The Beatles: Get Back, Narcos: Mexico, The Batman, Hawkeye, and more

Happy Succession day to all of us who are celebrating, the show returns tonight and I look forward to being welcomed back by the dissonant piano chords of its theme ... Read more »