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JBL Flip 5 Review

JBL Flip 5 Selection

JBL Flip 5 Specs

12 Hours
AUX Input

The year 2019 was a memorable one for Bluetooth speakers. Even though there have been many new releases, it’s always exciting to see some old favorites updated. The JBL Flip 5, an improvement over the Flip 4, is one of them. When contrasting the Flip 4 and Flip 5, you’ll want to read this review.

Design and Features

There are no surprises with the Flip 5 if you are familiar with any of the JBL Flip speakers. The small Bluetooth speaker is still cylindrical in shape, 7 inches long, and 1.2 pounds in weight.

The Flip 5 has an IPX7 rating, making it waterproof like earlier models. This will shield your speaker for 30 minutes at a depth of 1 meter (3.2 feet). Perfect for use in the shower or bath as well as around the pool (of course in the shallow end).

The newest speaker chain technology from JBL is called PartyBoost. To get even more sound, you can do this and connect additional JBL PartyBoost-compatible speakers. Two mono or stereo speakers, multiple mono speakers, or more are your options.

The Flip 5 charges one hour more quickly than the Flip 4 when it comes to battery life, but other than that, not much has changed. The JBL Flip 5 has a 12-hour battery life and takes about 2.5 hours to fully recharge from a dead battery. If you use the Flip 5 at maximum volume, the battery life will be roughly half that.

JBL Flip 5 Blue


You probably won’t like that the JBL Flip 5 does not support wired connections if you prefer a 1/8-inch AUX connection.

As more and more devices transition to wireless connectivity in 2019, we are seeing this with a large number of new speakers. While new playback devices and smartphones can benefit greatly from this, what about those without Bluetooth or WiFi?

Another minor letdown is that the JBL Flip 5 has Bluetooth 4.2 rather than the more recent, enhanced 5.0. I believe that any manufacturer of a premium brand Bluetooth speaker in 2019 must use the most current Bluetooth specification.

So, is there really a significant difference between 4.2 and 5.0? To be completely honest, not much for a portable Bluetooth speaker. For the majority of audio applications, you might get a little bit more range and a little bit better connectivity.

The video latency is one area where you might see a difference. If you’ve ever used a Bluetooth speaker to watch a YouTube video, you’ve probably noticed that there are some lip-sync problems. There is no latency thanks to the correction in Bluetooth 5. Naturally, there won’t be any latency issues if you only use the Flip 5 for music.

JBL Flip 5 Black


For those who are familiar with JBL, excellent sound quality is expected. Although the price is slightly higher than that of other Bluetooth speakers, the sound quality is excellent.

Only one 20W speaker driver and passive bass radiators are present on the Flip 5. Compared to the 16W of the Flip 4, this is an increase of 4 watts in power.

Compared to most portable Bluetooth speakers of comparable size, this speaker’s low end is a little bit deeper and punchier. Other high-end brands like Song, LG, Beats, and others are included in this. The Flip 5’s low end is tight and more polished and cleaner than that of its rivals.

Vocals and instrumentation stand out because the mid-range and highs are prominent in the mix. This is great for listening to podcasts or the radio on Bluetooth speakers as well as for music. The Flip 5’s comprehension is significantly better than any speaker of comparable size.

JBL Flip 5 Black Gray

JBL Flip 4 vs. Flip 5

Sound Quality

Most importantly, is the sound quality different? The answer to that question is “yes.” The Flip 5 sounds better than the Flip 4 if you want an audio upgrade. The Flip 5 is louder, has better clarity across the entire frequency range, and has better bass.

Mono vs Stereo

The Flip 5 only has one driver, despite potentially having better sound quality. The JBL Flip 5 is a mono speaker as a result. While the Flip 4 is a stereo speaker and has two drivers. The Flip 4 is unquestionably going to be the better option if left/right sound separation is important to you.

Audio Connections

The Flip 4 will be a better choice if you prefer using an AUX cable. There is no AUX input on the Flip 5. Each one has Bluetooth 4.2.

The absence of a built-in microphone in the Flip 5 is another notable difference. Speakerphones and voice assistants like Siri or Google Assistant are therefore not available. Better to choose the Flip 4 if you want these features.


Both the Flip 4 and Flip 5 are waterproof according to the IPX7 standard. The Flip 5 has some nice improvements over the Flip 4, including the fact that it floats now. This is especially helpful and almost necessary if you’re using your speaker on a boat or during those lakeside vacations.

Battery Life

The Flip 4 and Flip 5 have the same amount of playtime. Both speakers will give you 12 hours, depending on the volume at which you play your audio. The Flip 4 has a 3,000 mAh battery, whereas the Flip 5 has a 4,800 mAh battery. The difference in charging time between the two speakers won’t be very noticeable, but the Flip 5 can be charged in 2 hours 30 minutes as opposed to the Flip 4’s 3 hours 30 minutes.

Flip 4 vs. Flip 5 Comparison

Flip 5vsFlip 4
44mmDriver Size40mm
20WPower Output16W
4800mAhBattery Size3000mAh
YesStereo PairingYes
YesUSB-C Quick ChargeNo
NoAUX InputYes
NoStereo SoundYes
YesFloats on WaterNo

Multiple Speaker Connections

Multiple JBL speakers can be connected to the Flip 4 and Flip 5. While the Flip 5 has PartyBoost, the Flip 4 has JBL Connect+.

While the Flip 5 can only connect to other PartyBoost speakers, the Flip 4 can connect to all Connect and Connect+ speakers. JBL has acted incredibly poorly here.

This was also a problem when JBL first released Connect+. Only other Connect+ speakers could be connected; older models were not supported.

You can now pair Connect to Connect+ thanks to later firmware updates, but I don’t understand why JBL keeps changing this. Your older JBL speakers lose value and provide no added value to the consumer.


Cost is a significant additional factor. The JBL Flip 5 costs just under $120, which is just under $50 more than the JBL Flip 4, which costs just under $60.


  • amazing volume for its size
  • movable and robust
  • outstanding sound quality


  • fewer options for connectivity
  • no internal microphone


Should you purchase the JBL Flip 5 then? The JBL Flip 5 isn’t as straightforward as that; typically, it’s a simple yes or no. Absolutely, the JBL Flip 5 is a significant improvement over the Flip 4 and other Bluetooth speakers of a similar design on the market if you want better sound quality.

The more recent Flip 6 model is similar to the Flip 5 in terms of both appearance and functionality, but the Flip 6 is also compatible with JBL’s companion app’s equalization adjustments, and the Bluetooth codec has since been improved, enabling longer connection ranges and stronger signal.

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