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JBL Charge 5 vs. Flip 5

War of the JBL Speakers!

JBL Charge 5 vs Flip 5

Bluetooth speakers are famous for being versatile, portable, and efficient. Among the various companies on the market, JBL has managed to gain substantial market share with its range of sound devices and speakers. The Charge and Flip series are almost equally famous among users. Hence, the JBL Charge 5 vs Flip 5 comparison!

Both Bluetooth speakers are the same yet different. While Charge is priced higher, Flip is smaller. However, both have their advantages and disadvantages. This makes it hard to decide which Bluetooth speaker you should buy. Charge 5 or Flip 5? Do you want a smaller and easily portable speaker, or do you want longer battery life and an option to charge other devices? What makes Charge 5 better than Flip 5 and vice versa? 

We analyzed the portable speakers based on different elements and came up with this detailed guide. You’ll notice that Charge 5 wins some rounds while Flip 5 takes over in others. The ultimate decision lies in your hands, but you need to know the similarities and differences clearly. 

Let’s read more about JBL Charge 5 vs Flip 5 and determine our best choice of Bluetooth portable speakers. 

JBL Charge 5 vs Flip 5 – Key Differences 

Before we get into the details, let’s look at a quick summary of the key differences between Charge 5 and Flip 5. This will give you a basic idea and be useful when comparing the two speakers to weigh their features and attributes. 

  • Charge 5 typically has a longer battery life of close to 20 hours. Flip 5, on the other hand, offers a decent 12-hour playtime. However, the actual duration depends on the volume at which you play the music. A louder volume will reduce the playtime accordingly. 
  • Charge 5 allows you to charge other devices by connecting to them. This can be a lifesaver when outdoors. Flip 5 doesn’t have this feature. 
  • If size and weight are important factors, Flip 5 wins with its smaller size and lesser weight. It is more compact and highly portable. Charge 5 has a larger footprint but is not so big that you can’t carry it around. 
  • Charge 5 has deeper bass, but Flip 5 has a wider and more immersive sound stage. Both speakers deal differently with bass. The notes are clear in both, but the impact varies. Flip 5 deals with upper bass frequencies, and Charge 5 is better with lower bass frequencies. 
  • Charge 5 is louder but can distort the sound at a higher volume. Flip 5 is less loud though it retains sound clarity even at high volumes. Charge 5 is slightly less sharp than Flip 5 when listening from a distance. 
  • Both speakers are waterproof. However, Flip 5 is IPX7, but Charge 5 is IP67. Charge 5 is not only waterproof but is also dust resistant. This can be a deciding factor depending on your usage. 
  • Since Flip 5 is an older version, it uses Bluetooth 4.2 for connectivity. Charge 5 has Bluetooth 5.1, making the connection faster and better. However, you won’t face connectivity issues with either JBL speaker. 

JBL Flip 5 and Charge 5 are both equally good in different aspects. They are portable, have a stable Bluetooth connection, and are waterproof. Though the two speakers have limited connectivity options (no aux port), their advantages outweigh the disadvantages.  

JBL Charge 5 vs Flip 5 – Design and Build 

JBL Charge 5 vs Flip 5 - Design and Build 

We start with the easiest differences – design, build, and related features. You can tell the shape and size just by looking at the two JBL Bluetooth speakers. Charge5 and Flip 5 have the same shape, a cylindrical design with rubber caps at the two ends. The mesh bodies are firm but yielding. The Bluetooth speakers have volume buttons, a play/pause button on the top, and a USB C charging port at the back. 

Now, let’s get to the differences. 

JBL Charge 5 is bigger and heavier. It is 1.5 inches longer than Flip 5 and has a wider circumference. It is also double the weight of Flip 5. Charge 5 has the JBL logo in a bigger font. The volume and play buttons are larger and stand out on the mesh. Moreover, the charge indicator is at the top so that you can clearly see how much battery life is left in the speaker. 

Flip 5 also has a battery indicator but at the back, right beside the USB port. The logo is smaller on this JBL speaker and doesn’t call attention to itself. There’s no need to worry about the charging port being damaged in either speaker. The port is covered and nicely sealed with a rubber cap. You can open it on one side to plug the USB C cable and connect it to the phone or the charger. 

Guess what? Flip 5 has a tiny spot at the back for attaching a handle. We love using this to hang the speaker over the wrist, in the shower, or just about anywhere we can. This leaves our hands free. Why carry the speaker in our hands when we can hang it? We even clipped it into the handbag. 

What About Colors? 

Both Bluetooth speakers come in a range of colors. You are more likely to be spoilt for choice here. We like that the colors range from discreet to bold. Of course, Flip 5 has way more colors (eleven in total) and can also be customized for an additional price. Now, that’s cool, isn’t it? 

Are the Speakers Water-Resistant? Are They Dustproof? 

The biggest requirement for a portable speaker is its water resistance. If water damages the speaker, we can hardly take it to the poolside or a beach. 

Fortunately for us, both JBL Bluetooth speakers are waterproof. You read that right. The speakers have been designed to resist water. Rather, the rubber caps at the sides act as seals that prevent water from entering inside. The buttons are just as tight and sealed to prevent water damage. The speakers don’t drown either. They float on water. You might sink if you can’t swim, but the speakers won’t. 

Flip 5 has an IPX7 rating that makes it a waterproof Bluetooth speaker, which can survive being immersed in fresh water for up to 30 minutes. Therefore, it is also one of the best beach speakers on the market. Charge 5 has a rating of IP67. However, we recommend not taking the speaker too close to saltwater. They have been tested in freshwater, remember. We still use them at the beach. Just a little carefully. 

Noticed the X in Flip 5’s rating? That’s for dust resistance. X indicates that the speaker has not been tested for dust resistance. Don’t get confused here. It could be dust-resistant and water-resistant but only tested for water. Charge 5, on the other hand, has been tested and certified for dust and water. 

We sure didn’t have any issues when using the speakers in the bathrooms, on the beaches, in the forests, and on the trial and cliffs. However, Charge 5 might be a little more equipped to handle dust. 

Winner in Terms of Design and Build – Tie Between JBL Flip 5 vs Charge 5

JBL Charge 5 vs Flip 5 – Sound Quality

JBL Charge 5 vs Flip 5 - Sound Quality

The thing about these JBL portable speakers is that they have a similar audio quality. It is easier to pick one when the audio quality is different, and we can vote for one of them as the best. Furthermore, other JBL speakers also have good sound quality, making it a tough choice to decide on one model. 

The cylindrical design makes it easy for speakers to pump out great music. They deliver powerful sound and pack a punch when playing bass frequencies. However, let’s get to the differences. 

Charge 5 marginally wins because of its size. It has solid drivers for bass, mids, and treble. The lower bass frequencies are impactful when played in Charge 5. We could feel the thumping effect when we placed the speaker on a table. Charge 5 is the better of the two for deeper bass. It also has a louder sound. We didn’t up the volume beyond 50 or 60%, as it is loud enough at this point. Of course, another reason is that Charge 5 doesn’t roll off highs as warmly as Flip 5 does. The sound gets distorted when the volume goes beyond 75% or so. 

Flip 5 also offers noteworthy sound quality with identifiable bass and a neutral but wide sound stage. The thumping effect is missing in Flip 5, but high bass notes are clear and perfect. The volume is too. However, we increase it to the maximum without worrying about distortion. So what if it doesn’t play the same volume as Charge 5. It can be pushed to play louder and warmer. 

Winner in Sound Quality – Tie Between JBL Flip 5 vs Charge 5

JBL Charge 5 vs Flip 5 – Portability

JBL Charge 5 vs Flip 5 - Portability

A portable Bluetooth speaker should be easy to carry and use. It should be dustproof and have water resistance. Also, it should be sturdy, durable, and sustainable in tough environments, and have a long battery life to last for half a day or more. 

So who wins this round for Flip 5 vs. Charge 5? Let’s find out.

Flip 5 is smaller and less heavy. That means you can stick it anywhere in the backpack or even your handbag. You can carry more than one portable speaker because of the lightweight feature. 

Charge 5 is bigger and heavier. Carrying it around can make you feel the weight, especially if you are trekking. Taking two Charge 5 portable speakers with you can occupy a lot of space in the backpack. Not something we personally like. Of course, we sometimes take one of each and connect them both. 

Flip 5 lasts for half a day, but Charge 5 can last for almost a day. That’s a major difference when you will be on the go for most of the day. Since Charge 5 can charge other devices like your cellphone, it gains brownie points here. 

Dust and water resistance are not a concern for both, though we are careful not to let Flip 5 get dirty. We don’t know its IP rating for dust resistance, so it’s better not to risk it. The two speakers are great for poolside and backyard parties. 

If you want to carry multiple speakers or don’t want the extra weight, choose Flip 5. If charging is more important and you don’t mind the extra weight, pick Charge 5. Also, buttons are nice and big on Charge 5 in case you want to use the speaker in the dark. 

Oh, don’t try to make speakers stand on the sides. They’ll fall and might get damaged. Always keep speakers in a horizontal position when you play music. 

Winner in Terms of Portability – Tie Between JBL Flip 5 vs Charge 5

JBL Charge 5 vs Flip 5 – Battery Life

JBL Charge 5 vs Flip 5 - Battery Life

No one wants a speaker with a low battery for parties or outdoor celebrations, right? The battery life or playtime of a speaker is an important factor to consider when buying portable Bluetooth speakers. 

So how do JBL Flip 5 and Charge 5 fare in this segment? 

Well, Flip 5 is a great speaker with around 12 hours of battery life. Of course, the actual playtime depends on how well you take care of the speaker and what volume you play the music. But the same goes for every other speaker out there in the market. 12 hours is a decent time and more than the 4-6 hours some Bluetooth speakers are capable of. 

But Charge 5 has a battery life of 20 hours. We checked this multiple times by playing music at 50% volume. The speaker lasted close to 20 hours almost every time. Another vital factor is the phone charging ability of Charge 5. We use the USB port to charge our phones a bit. When you are in the wild, a phone with a battery is more important than a speaker with a battery, right? 

Charge 5 also works as a power bank and a portable charger. Flip 5 doesn’t have this feature. That’s a double advantage with Charge 5 if battery life tops your list of priorities. 

This round of Flip 5 vs. Charge 5 goes to Charge 5. Its bigger size accommodates a bigger and more powerful battery that provides a longer battery life and playtime. 

Winner in Terms of Battery life – JBL Charge 5

View on Amazon: JBL CHARGE 5

JBL Charge 5 vs Flip 5 – Uses

The two speakers from JBL have been designed for outdoor use. You can connect multiple speakers through the Connect+ app (but only if you have Flip 5 and Charge 5 or higher models). 

Both have a Party mode and PartyBoost feature that makes it possible to sync the audio output on more than one JBL speaker through the app. 

The downside is that the Connect+ app isn’t that great. It doesn’t have an equalizer. It doesn’t allow us to check the remaining battery life or manage other devices. This isn’t a problem with the speakers but the app. JBL Flip 5 and Charge 5 are not smart speakers. 

These are just waterproof Bluetooth speakers with good portability and even better sound quality. However, the play button is easy to access on Charge 5, and that makes it easier to use. The bigger size of the volume up and down buttons is an advantage if you want to control the music through the speakers instead of the phone/input device. 

But what if you want to listen to music quietly? You can plug the headphones into your phone. However, we don’t always feel like using headphones or earbuds. In such instances, we rely on Flip 5 to play music for us. The lack of louder sound is an advantage here. Flip 5 has a warm output that works well when you want some peace and wish to listen to your favorite tracks at a lower volume. 

Winner in Terms of Ease of Use – It is a tie. Flip 5 is for quieter times. Charge 5 is for parties. 

JBL Charge 5 vs Flip 5 – Connectivity 

Ah, this is a slightly disappointing section. 

JBL Flip 5 and Charge 5 have a USB C port and Bluetooth connectivity options. Charge 5 comes with a USB A port as well that is used to charge the phone, but that’s it. 

Flip 5 has Bluetooth 4.2 version, and Charge 5 has Bluetooth 5.1 version, which is faster and has a longer range for wireless connectivity. The connection is stable in both speakers once you pair them with mobile devices. 

What About the Wi-Fi and Aux Port? 

Sadly, Flip 5 and Charge 5 have neither option. Flip 4 and Charge 4 (the previous models) had aux input, which was removed during redesigning. There is no auxiliary input to connect to a stereo in case we want to listen to the speakers indoors. We have to use the Bluetooth or USB C cable. 

Another downside of these JBL portable Bluetooth speakers is the lack of a built-in microphone to answer phone calls. There is no Google Assistant to listen to your voice commands (not possible without a built-in mic) and play the songs you want. We set the playlist in advance and let it run. Otherwise, we skip a song on the device connected to the speakers. 

Considering that we spend more than $100 for Flip 5 and close to $200 for Charge 5, the lack of multiple-input connectivity options dampens the enthusiasm a little. Of course, you can get a discount on the speakers when you order from global marketplaces, but that doesn’t ‘fix’ the issue. We wish JBL retained the aux inputs in these models. 

Winner in Terms of Connectivity – Tie again

Frequently Asked Questions About JBL Charge 5 vs Flip 5

Is the JBL Flip better than the Charge?

The answer depends on what parameters you consider to make the decision. Flip is less expensive and smaller in size, but Charge is more powerful and louder. The Charge series is also well-rounded in terms of sound quality and boasts a longer battery life. Flip is better than Charge in size, portability, design, weight, and price. 

Is the Charge 5 or Flip 5 louder?

Charge 5 is proven to be louder than JBL Flip 5. You can use Charge 5 at 50% volume to play the music clearly and loudly in open environments. That said, Charge 5 will distort the sound as you increase the volume to the maximum. Flip 5 works better with higher volume because of its neutral sound stage. 


Final Thoughts

JBL Charge 5 and Flip 5 are worthy Bluetooth speakers with good water resistance, waterproof ability, decent sound quality, and reliable battery life. If price is your deciding factor, you can happily invest in Flip 5 and take it anywhere with you. It is half the size of Charge 5 and less heavy. 

However, if you insist on longer battery life, dust resistance, a portable charger, and a longer wireless range, opt for the Charge 5 Bluetooth 5.1 speaker. It is stylish and trendy despite the larger footprint. 

Both speakers have been designed for outdoor use and can be connected to the JBL app. They deliver noteworthy output. 

Take your time to decide which model is the best choice for your specifications. Don’t forget to let us know. Drop a word in the comments about your choice and reason for it. 

Want to know more? Go ahead and ask your questions in the comments.