While JBL 4 is a fantastic Bluetooth speaker, especially with all of the customization options available, the Charge 5 is a significant upgrade. But, on the other hand, one particular adjustment may not be favorable to some existing JBL owners.
The JBL Charge 5 has better sound quality and adds a few improvements to the well-liked JBL Charge 4. Minor design tweaks, such as a dust-free structure, and an enlarged logo that blends in better with the Charge 4’s aesthetic, make the Charge 4 marginally better.
By “upgrading” from the JBL 4 to JBL 5, on the other hand, you pay extra and lose the aux jack. And some of the Charge 4’s flaws are still there in the latest version.
This was just a peek at both the JBL Charge speakers. However, our detailed review will help you understand the difference between the two and what you should consider while buying them based on our thoughts.
What Is the Difference Between JBL Charge 4 and Charge 5?
When it comes to the ease of usage of the devices, we talk about their button and other accessory points. For example, with Jbl Charge 4 vs Charge 5, we would like to review the layout of their accessory points.
The button placement and arrangement on JBL speakers have always been excellent, so you can see no substantial difference in JBL charge 5, which is welcoming. On the far left of each portable speaker is a button required to connect it with other JBL speakers, with the volume Down button nestled inside.
The Power and Bluetooth buttons are in the center of the row, and you can see the buttons for volume and pause on the right side.
The most evident distinction in JBL Charge 4 vs Charge 5 is the JBL’s use of technology and its utilization to link each portable speaker to other speakers of the same brand. There’s no difference between JBL Connect+ and PartyBoost.
The difference is the range that you can achieve between linked speakers. For example, JBL 4 speakers can keep a connection within 75 meters, while JBL 5 speakers can only cover up to 35 meters.
If there are any impediments in the way, it will reduce the range of either speaker. However, if you’re looking for two new speakers to connect to one other, the JBL Charge 5 is the way. It’s also worth noting that JBL’s models can’t be connected unless they are from the same class.
So you can’t connect the class of JBL charge 4 with the new model, and that’s the incapability of the software, which the manufacturers should fix. We can say that speakers of the same class can be connected (like Connect + to Connect +), but the inter-class connection is not possible (like Connect+ to JBL Partyboost)
In terms of range, JBL Charge 5 wins the race.
View on Amazon: JBL Charge 5
On JBL Charge 5, there is some more rubber in a few areas, which should improve the device’s breaking threshold. However, this is unlikely to make a significant difference.
The JBL Charge 5’s broader rubber ridges on the base, on the other hand, should improve the base’s grip, improving stability and reducing the number of drops. This improvement improves the Charge 5’s expected durability, but it’s still a baby step rather than a game-changer.
While the JBL Charge 4 is water-resistant, the Charge 5 also has a dust-proof classification. This is more of a formality than anything else. The Charge 4 is a rigid device, and there haven’t been any instances of users damaging it with dust, grime, or sand. However, a better rating is desirable, and Charge 5’s increased durability speaks for that.
Thus Charge 5 is a little upgrade over Charge 4 in durability, but not a significant one.
JBL Charge 4 vs Charge 5 – Design and Build
The JBL Charge 4 and JBL Charge 5 are nearly identical in size. In fact, JBL Charge 5 is the smaller sibling.
Both the JBLs have a similar covering of meshed wire. This makes JBL’s portable Bluetooth speakers their characteristic design while keeping all of the internal components safe and allowing them to withstand harsh environments.
Unlike the JBL Charge 4, the rubber caps around the speaker on the JBL 5 extend out from the speaker, causing the Charge 5 to tilt to one side if held upright.
You can notice that the new model has a rubbery texture than the older rival. In contrast, the latter one’s end caps appear to be plastic. Therefore, we’d imagine the new model having these end caps are more prone to fracture.
While both speakers feature identical external passive radiators, the passive radiators on the JBL Charge 5 seem a little more robust than JBL Charge 4. Both feel tough. The new model has no such noisy external radiators. Instead, the stand is one of the most prominent design variations between the two.
The JBL Charge 4 has a 10 cm wide flat base that rests at the downside of the model. The Charge 5, on the other hand, has rubbery lines that go diagonally over the same area. It’s not a big deal, but it does make the JBL 5 more susceptible to tipping.
The Charge 4 is therefore only dust-proof, whereas the Charge 5 is dust-proof. You can immerse the Charge 5 in water, and it will still function normally.
So in terms of design, JBL Charge 5 is better than JBL Charge 4.
JBL Charge 4 vs Charge 5 – Sound Quality
The Charge 5 has a minor sound improvement, according to most users. Whereas, the Charge 4 scored extremely well in terms of sound quality, especially compared to other speakers of the same price. The Charge 5 has a little more crispness, sharper treble, and less distortion at high volumes.
Also, the Charge 5’s output power is 40 Watts, compared to 30 Watts on JBL 4. The Charge 5 adds a little additional volume, but it’s only a smidgeon. Only a side-by-side comparison will reveal this.
The sound quality on both is great. Suppose one speaker fulfills your sound quality requirements and the other will. But if we have to pick a side, the Charge 5 comes out on top by a slim margin.
Both speakers have the same frequency response between 60 Hz and 20 Hz and the same ratio of the desired signal to noise, which is 80 decibels. Furthermore, as we previously discussed, the JBL Charge 5 may sound better in a vast open environment due to its smooth sound transmission.
You are pumping out sounds that sounded terrific even at a few feet. However, because everyone’s hearing differs, you should listen to both to decide on your audio quality. You’ll be comfortable compared to any other Bluetooth speaker you’re considering.
So in terms of sound quality also, JBL Charge 5 is better than JBL Charge 4.
Read Also: JBL Charge 5 vs Flip 5
JBL Charge 4 vs Charge 5 – Portability
The JBL Charge 5 is slightly larger than the JBL Charge 4 Portable Bluetooth Speaker, but that doesn’t make much difference. It is portable enough to make any area or place (inside or outside) the Party Palace!
It’s a tie between JBL Charge 4 and Charge 5 in terms of portability.
View on Amazon: JBL Charge 4
JBL Charge 4 vs Charge 5 – Battery Life
At the downside of the model of JBL 4, there are five dots. The lights of those dots show the amount of battery remaining. As the light diminishes, the battery power drops, and the last light remains red, which conveys that you’ll need to charge it soon.
On the other hand, the JBL Charge 5 has a light bar on the front side of the speaker, just beneath the logo, that JBL completely lights. In contrast, the speaker is charged and gradually dims as the speaker’s battery capacity depletes. As the battery nearly depletes, it glows red.
The Charge 5 has the same battery life as the Charge 4. Both contain a 7,500 mAh battery with a 20-hour run time rating and the ability to charge other devices as well.
JBL 5 doesn’t have a 20-hour battery life estimate much as the Charge 4. This lack of performance is common among the Bluetooth speakers we’ve evaluated.
The 20-hour claim is almost certainly dependent on the level of volumes one is listening in. Both of our tests produced a battery life of around 10 hours. However, this is only true when the volume is greater than half of the battery percentage.
Even if you crank up the volume to the maximum, you should get 5+ hours from either gadget. And if you’re happy to listen at 30 percent loudness, the device should survive for 12 hours or more.
JBL 5 should last longer than the Charge 4 battery because the Charge 5 uses Bluetooth 5.1 instead of Bluetooth 4.2. This is owing to Bluetooth 5.1’s lower power usage. However, there was no discernible difference in battery life during our tests.
As previously stated, the battery indicator light is the only actual difference between the two. The Charge 4 contains a set of lights that, like a status bar, turn off as the battery goes down. JBL 5 has a light that shines brighter when the gadget is fully charged and dims as the battery level drops.
This adjustment is neither an upgrade nor a degradation; rather, it is a matter of personal preference. Some customers, however, have claimed that the Charge 5’s status light is overly bright, which can be bothersome when it’s kept somewhere in the dark.
As mentioned, because of the change in the Bluetooth technology in these speakers, JBL 5 is ahead in the race.
JBL Charge 4 vs Charge 5 – Connectivity
JBL has removed the 0.4-inch input connector that worked for audio input from the JBL Charge 5, a significant change as its rival model used to have it. This could be a deal-breaker for some people, so it’s vital to be aware of it.
While you may still charge the JBL 5 via a type C connector, the location of that port has changed. For example, the manufacturers have hidden the USB C charging port on the JBL 4 behind the device; however, the C port on the JBL 5 is right next to it.
Both the competitors have a Type-A port hidden beneath the port cover solely for charging other devices. It would be best if you also connected any devices connected to the Charge 4 or Charge 5 through the Type-A connector for charging to the speaker through Bluetooth. This is if you wish to listen to the songs from a device through your speakers.
It’s also worth noting that both the competitors provide 20 hours of non-stop music on a full charge. Hence, utilizing the speakers for charging devices draws power from the same battery, reducing your overall listening duration. It takes JBL Charge 4 and JBL Charge 5 about 4 hours to charge fully.
In addition, JBL Charge 5 has 5.1(Bluetooth), which increases the range from 10 m to around 40 m, instead of 4.2 (Bluetooth), which you could find in its rival model. This is an improvement over the JBL Charge 4 feature, allowing you to connect Charge 5 wirelessly with several other JBL PartyBoosts, Bluetooth-enabled products.
Structures like walls can obstruct the signal and create stammered sound, limiting the range of connection. Due to the lack of an aux port on the JBL Charge 5, only a wireless connection is possible.
So JBL Charge 5 is a hands-down winner in this case.
JBL Charge 4 vs Charge 5 – Uses
We think both of these models are quite portable and thus can be used in different places to party, chill, and enjoy. So, be it a beach, house warming party, or any other occasion, in or outside the house, both the JBL Charge models will be your party poppers with great music and an extremely helpful charging port.
That makes it a clear tie between JBL Charge 4 and JBL Charge 5.
JBL Charge 4 vs Charge 5 – Additional Features
First, the Charge 4’s Bluetooth 4.2 has been replaced by the Charge 5’s Bluetooth 5.1. Second, Bluetooth 5.1 is quicker, has a longer range of connectivity, and uses less power.
Another software difference is that JBL 5 has PartyBoost, whereas Charge 4 has Connect+ for connecting additional speakers. Connect+ has been changed and replaced by JBL PartyBoost. The manufacturers have stepped up the performance, and you can use many speakers simultaneously. It’s the magic of compatible speakers.
The Charge 5’s PartyBoost isn’t compatible with Connect+, an annoying update. That implies you won’t be able to connect and utilize an earlier JBL speaker with a newer JBL speaker. However, you cannot connect multiple speakers of different classes. This will have little effect on many users.
However, this is infuriating for JBL fans who already own a Charge 4, a Flip 4, or other previous JBL speakers. So only within the same class are they, compatible speakers. Because JBL 5 currently lacks an equalization, you can only modify the speaker’s sound by changing the volume.
There are a few more things to think about before you leave to buy. Either of the modes doesn’t support mobile Software like Siri or Google Assistant Bo. Both the speakers don’t have a microphone for taking phone calls straight from the device.
Bluetooth 5.1 is used by the Charge 5, which provides faster data transfer rates and a longer wireless range, whereas Charge 4 uses Bluetooth 4.2.
Frequently Asked Questions About JBL Charge 4 vs Charge 5
If you already own a JBL Charge 4 or, for that matter, Charge 3, the JBL Charge 5 may not be worth it. However, the Charge 5 is a wonderful pick if you don’t currently own a previous model. It looks like a deal with mind-blowing sound quality and a portable Bluetooth speaker. It also provides brilliant sound output power. So if you want a portable Bluetooth speaker, the Flip 5 model of JBL is an effectively tiny version of the same and is a really good option.
With few enhancements in the new model, it may seem that there’s nothing much that it’s providing. But just because the differences are minor doesn’t mean that their effects would also be the same. Small variations are shown in the new model to help better perform the same and make it a complete package for a portable Bluetooth speaker.
Though the price may differ, true fans of JBL would understand that the price difference is also due to the difference in features between the two, which are quite essential.
If you stayed throughout this review article, you already know the variant you’ll buy. So, good luck with that!
Finally, because both models’ sound quality is pretty close, we’d say the most essential feature to you personally, will decide the recommended speaker. For example, if you need other devices to connect through the audio or other Connect + Bluetooth speakers, JBL Charge 4 is the way to go.
We’d recommend the JBL Charge 5 if you want a rough and tough device for outdoors, which is crucial to you, or if you plan to expose your speaker to much water.
If you already have JBL 4, the Bluetooth connection, speaker update, and arrangement are compelling reasons to upgrade. The Bluetooth range is incredible, and the sound quality improvement is more and more noticeable than with other JBL models.
If you prefer an aux input, remain with the Charge 4, as the manufacturer has removed the same from the Charge 5.
However, once all is said and done, these are still our favorite portable speakers. Other devices may perform better than both, but the Charge receives good honors in practically every category.
As we mentioned earlier, the difference and upgrades might not seem much. On one sight, you may decide that it’s better to go for a cheaper one with almost the same features as the new one. However, we still recommend JBL Charge 5 to you because these small updates make much difference in quality, durability, and portability but are more enhanced.
Real JBL fans would go for the newer model as the JBL Charge 5 Portable Bluetooth speaker gives you something different and new for those with an eye for detailing.