JBL is no stranger to the audio piece and is known for producing accessories that cater to a diverse range of use cases. One of the popular categories is its range of portable Bluetooth wireless speakers, and the JBL Flip 5 and JBL Charge 4 fall into this category. These audio accessories have long battery life and double as the perfect companion for outdoor events, beach parties or any informal get-togethers.
They’re not heavy, and the IPX7 rating makes the deal sweeter. At the same time, they are easy to carry, thanks to the cylindrical design, which makes them easy to grip.
However, when it comes to the price point, things aren’t all that similar. While the older JBL Charge costs around $179, the Flip 5 carries a $120 price tag. So, the question is asked, whether the $60 price difference is worth it.
And that’s what we’re going to find in this post as we compare the latest JBL Flip 5 against the JBL Charge 4, and finding which portable Bluetooth speaker is best for its price, and whether it’s worth the investment.
go be a long post, come on.
1. Design and Connectivity
When it comes to the design, both the JBL Flip 5 and Charge 4 look pretty much the same. They have the same cylindrical construction with side firing passive radiators at the ends. The elongated, lightweight design makes them easy to throw in a backpack or tote bag.
Charge 4 is slightly heavier at almost 965g, but nothing you can’t carry for a short duration. However, if you want to take it on your hiking or camping adventures, the weight can add up in the long run. In short, weight does not help the product’s portability.
Also, you will find buttons at the top of the device. They are sensitive and give a tactile response when pressed. Interestingly, Charge 4 doesn’t have a Back button.
As noted above, Charge 4 has an IPX7 rating, which means it can remain submerged in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes.
Interestingly enough, it even floats in water for a short time to rescue it in case you accidentally release it (if you’re looking for a floating speaker, you should review EU Boom 3).
JBL Charge 4
Please note that the charging speaker does not have a microphone, which means that if you have your phone connected to the speaker, you will need to attend your phone. Again, this might not matter to many people. I don’t like taking calls for a speaker. And well, the 3.5mm headphone jack is still intact.
Interestingly, Charge 4 has a function called JBL Connect +, which you can use to wirelessly connect to other JBL-compatible speakers to amplify music volume. The best part is that you can stop it with a secondary speaker to create a stereo effect. Of course, it will come in handy when it comes to outdoor use, especially at parties.
You or your friend can invest in an additional speaker to film the scene. If we’re talking about numbers, you can connect up to 100 speakers. Woah, right?
As we’ve noticed before, the new Flip 5 has a similar design. But when you put them next to each other, you’ll find the Flip 5 has a more aerodynamic appearance. It doesn’t have the subtle base at the bottom like the Charge 4. Instead, the Flip 5 has a pulcra spina that runs the length of the speaker with the knobs and battery gauge in place.
This design ensures that it can be securely placed on the handle of a bicycle bottle, among other places. In addition to adding speaker functionality (no mic), the JBL jumped in by adding a 3.5mm headphone jack. Yes, it’s all wireless business here.
As a newer device, JBL Flip 5 disappears with JBL Connect +. Instead, it packs a new technology called PartyBoost. This allows you to pair your speaker with other PartyBoost-enabled speakers to amplify sound.
When it comes to real-world usage, this feature doesn’t have many happy users. For example, quite a few users have stated in their Amazon reviews that it doesn’t work 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 hence its name. This speaker can also fold a clean power bank and charge your gadgets like phones and headphones in the gap. Yes, you read this right!
You have a 7500mAh battery pack, and well, you can play music for 20 hours before you need a loud one. And the USB-C port means you can easily use your phone’s charging cable instead of the original one in case you roll the last one.
Last but not least, it only takes about 4.5 hours to complete it completely. That’s pretty decent given the sheer size of the battery. If you have a party planned, simply make sure you engage in a chat and be prepared for the long haul.
On the other hand, the Flip 5 doesn’t pack any luxury figures. Its battery is intended for one and only coa-charging the speaker. Runtime is about 12 hours, which is about 8 hours less than Charge 4.
Fortunately, both speakers have a clean battery indicator on top, letting 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 20W minute speaker packs a punch. The audio is crisp and clear and a resonant bass speeds it up even more.
Flip 5 packs an improved driver that slightly improves low-frequency frequencies, which translates to free bass for high volumes. Several professional reviews back that. Compared to the Flip 5, the Charge 4 packs a maximum power of 30W and delivers powerful audio. While the volume levels of both speakers are almost on par, it’s the clarity and overall quality that push Charge 4 ahead of its Flip counterpart.
The bass is wider and more pronounced and, most importantly, the audio is clear. In short, you get better quality with Charge 4.
Charge the Way
There is no doubt that JBL Charge 4 is heavier and larger than its counterpart, which undermines the portability factor. However, the improved sound stage and sound clarity along with powerful bass should be reason enough for you to buy this product.
Flip 5 is another compact product you can take away for your walks and other outdoor adventures. The weight won’t feel like it’s a big rock at the end of the day.
JBL Flip 5
The audio isn’t bad for a speaker that costs $100. Also, if you plan to buy another new generation product, you can run them together.