JBL Charge 5 Review
The Charge 5 is a state-of-the-art Bluetooth speaker that offers up to 24 hours of playtime on one charge. It’s also portable, weighing less than 2 pounds and smaller than an average water bottle. With incredible sound quality and durability, this product will be sure to impress any music lover!
JBL has been producing quality audio products for years and they have decided to keep their momentum going with the Charge 5. This new speaker is specially designed to be more durable than its predecessors as well as being dustproof, all while also having improved sound quality!
The JBL Charge 5 is an update to the popular Charge 4 model, but with some improvements. The logo on this speaker has been rebranded and enlarged for a more sophisticated look than it had before; metallic accents line the letters of “JBL” in place of block-framing that was seen previously. Rubberized underbody now comprises pleasing diagonal lines for traction when you set it down instead of opaque rubber blocks; gone are ports such as 3.5mm audio jack (for wired listening) which have since become outdated: USB Type C port replaces these old features – all while retaining functionality like charging your devices through its other USB A port.
The Charge 5 is compatible with the JBL Portable app, formerly known as JBL Connect. It’s great for firmware updates and deploying PartyBoost from your phone where other app-supported speakers (including The Flip5) will appear ready to link up. With another Charge 5, you can create a stereo pair by toggling across from “Party” (mono sound), when hitting on the party boost button but otherwise it has nothing else going in terms of EQ optimization.
The PartyBoost function allows you to pair two JBL Charge 5 speakers together, for stereo sound. It’s a cool feature but a pity that you’re not able to pair up with the older models.
The Charge 5 delivers a powerful sound that resonates with intensity. The drivers may not be able to reach the deepest low-frequency sounds, but the passive radiators do an admirable job of recreating them and making you feel their full power in your chest cavity. However, at high volumes, it does distort slightly without developing any thinness or changes to bass frequencies from DSP processing.
The Charge 5 is a speaker that focuses more on the lows and mids, which can be heard in its general sound signature. Drums and low-register vocals are given added bass presence with a fuller, richer sound than they would through a flat response speaker.
While the low-end gets some extra attention from the speakers overall; high-mids and highs also have sculpting done to them. This gives vocals an added crispness while lending higher register percussive hits some additional clarity without sacrificing anything else at all. This is an excellent waterproof speaker that brings a lot of power and balance to the table. The Charge 5 also features plenty of bass depth without distorting, so you get top-notch sound quality for your money even if it’s not an accurate soundstage (as few speakers of this size and price point are!)
Orchestral tracks are rich in low-frequency sounds that can sometimes overpower the lower register instruments. This is made up of the bright, clear sound signature from higher-register brass, strings, and vocals. Though not natural or objective sounding – it has a boosted bass which adds definition to highs including some really surprising depth for such small speakers – there’s still plenty left over for an enjoyable listening experience at any volume level with the JBL Charge 5!
What’s in the Box?
- JBL Charge 5
- USB-C Cable
- Product Safety Sheet
- Quick Start Guide
- Warranty Card
The JBL Charge 5 is the very best sound you’ll find in a portable Bluetooth speaker design for under $200. And it’s even better than its predecessor, the five-star charge 4! It also looks great and has marginal improvements both sonically and aesthetically over other models out there in this price range.