JBL Charge 4 vs Flip 5: Which bluetooth speaker is better?

If you’re in the market for a quality portable Bluetooth speaker, you can’t go wrong with JBL. In this article, we’ll compare two that stand out – JBL Charge 4 vs Flip 5. They represent two different series of JBL speakers, so there are some key differences between them.

JBL Charge 4 vs Flip 5: The Basics

While the JBL Charge 4 offers more output and battery power, it also weighs more and is larger. The Flip 5 is smaller, offers less power, and is slightly more portable. JBL has been offering great quality speakers to its customers for more than 75 years, so you can bet that they know what they’re doing over at JBL.

FeaturesCharge 4Flip 5
Dimensions8.66 x 3.74 x 3.66 in (220 x 95 x 93 mm)7.12 x 2.91 x 2.71 in (181 x 69 x 74mm)
Weight 2.12 lbs (965 g)1.2 lbs (540g)
Battery Life7500mAh (up to 20 hours of playback time)4,800mAh (up to 12 hours of playback time)
Charge Time4 hours2.5 hours
USB TypeUSB-CUSB-C
Speaker Power Output30W RMS20W RMS
Drivers1 (44 x 80mm)1 (50 x 90 mm)
Frequency Response60Hz–20kHz65Hz–20kHz
Waterproof RatingIPX7IPX7
Pairing with Other SpeakersJBL Connect+JBL PartyBoost
3.5 mm audio cable input
Bluetoothv4.2v4.2
Powerbank
PriceCheck Price on AmazonCheck Price on Amazon
My OpinionThis speaker packs a surprising punch for its size.Sounds a bit better than the Charge 4 but has a lower volume.

JBL Charge 4

JBL Charge 4 Front
JBL Charge 4

The JBL Charge 4 is a great speaker that offers 30W of output power, Bluetooth v4.2, and a 3.5mm audio jack. It connects with other JBL speakers via Connect+, which is the older of the two JBL protocols. You can get the JBL Charge 4 in one of 12 colors and designs, including two camouflage designs.

Pros:

  • Waterproof
  • Powerbank
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • JBL Connect+

Cons:

  • Weight
  • Slower charging

If you want to see how the JBL Charge 4 compares to the Charge 5, read our article.

JBL Flip 5

JBL Flip 5 side
JBL Flip 5

The JBL Flip 5 is slightly smaller than the Charge 4 and you can easily carry it around in your hand, securing it with a handy wrist strap. It offers 20W, Bluetooth v4.2, and pairs with other JBL speakers using the PartyBoost protocol (the newer protocol). The Flip 5 comes in eleven colors, only one of them camouflage.

Pros:

  • Waterproof
  • Quick charge
  • USB-C
  • JBL PartyBoost

Cons:

  • Less battery life
  • Less output power

If you want to find out how the JBL Flip 5 compares to the Flip 4, read this article.

JBL Charge 4 vs Flip 5: Features Face to Face

Sound quality

The most important thing to consider when purchasing a speaker is sound quality. Who needs a poor-sounding speaker, right? Always keep in mind that sound is a subjective thing. Though mono speakers have their limits, JBL did its magic on both of these models. The Flip 5 seems to sound better in closed spaces, which is surprising as it’s smaller and less powerful.

The JBL Flip 5 emphasizes acoustics at the mid and high-range frequencies, while the Charge 4 delivers more bass (low-range frequencies). The Charge 4 carries a beat very well outdoors, while the Flip 5 loses its appeal outside.

Winner: Draw

Volume

The additional 10W that the JBL Charge 4 offers go the extra mile. If your main criterion is volume, the JBL Charge 4 is your best bet. The smaller Flip 5 just can’t pump out that many decibels even with its boosted volume (when compared to previous Flip models).

Winner: JBL Charge 4

Bass frequency

Both JBL portable speakers feature twin passive radiators that pump bass as if their life depended on it. The JBL Charge 4 has the upper hand here as it offers a wider frequency range starting 5Hz below that of the Flip 5 (60Hz vs 65Hz).

Winner: JBL Charge 4

Soundstage

In layman’s terms, soundstage refers to an imaginary three-dimensional space created by the reproduction of sound. It allows listeners to “hear the location” of specific sounds, such as instruments or vocals. Though soundstage is better perceived when using headphones, it’s far from foreign in high-quality speakers (i.e., surround sound).

When comparing the JBL Charge 4 vs the Flip 5, the Charge 4 takes the cake as it feels more vast and sweeping overall, especially in the low and midrange, while the Flip 5 sounds compact.

Winner: JBL Charge 4

Clarity

The clarity of both of these speakers partly depends on how much you crank up the volume. Nevertheless, the JBL Charge 4 offers clearer sound due to its ability to handle higher volumes better. Tracks with heavy arrangements sound a lot clearer on the Charge 4, so you’re definitely getting a more detailed scope of sound.

Winner: JBL Charge 4

JBL Charge 4 vs Flip 5: Design, Build, and Durability

JBL Charge 4 Colors
JBL Charge 4 Colors

Now that we’ve gotten sound out of the way, let’s take a look at the next most important thing when choosing a portable speaker: (design,) build, and durability. Both the JBL Charge 4 and the Flip 5 offer JBL’s signature strength when it comes to their build, and the same wire mesh bodies. They’re designed to take a beating and keep on jamming.

JBL Flip 5 Colors
JBL Flip 5 Colors

What (literally) stands out on the JBL Charge 4 is its stand. You can rest assured it won’t roll off when you set it up, whereas the Flip 5 seems like a roller to us. It’s meant to rest on the plastic bar that runs along the back end of the Flip 5. Not very assuring if you ask us.

Winner: Draw

Weight and dimensions

The Charge 4 is noticeably larger than the Flip 5 and heavier too, almost twice as heavy, but not quite twice as large. You can check the table above for specific measures. Since the whole point of portable speakers is to be more portable, we have to give this one to the Flip 5.

Winner: JBL Flip 5

Waterproof rating

Both the Charge 4 and Flip 5 are IPX7 rated. IP Codes classify the degree of protection offered by product enclosures (casings). These can include water and dust resistance, as well as several other classifications. IPX7 means that both the Charge 4 and the Flip 5 are waterproof but not dustproof.

You can submerge either of them in up to three feet of water for up to 30 minutes and they should be just fine.

Winner: Draw

Portability

The JBL Flip 5 is certainly the more portable of the two, as it weighs less and is smaller. Plus, you can carry it easily in the palm of your hand which is a bit harder to do with the Charge 4. You can purchase cases on Amazon for both the Charge 4 and Flip 5 if you’re looking for some extra protection when carrying either of them around.

Winner: JBL Flip 5

Software

JBL Portable App
JBL Portable App

Both use the same JBL app called JBL: Portable (formally JBL Connect). You can unlock additional features for your speaker, customize settings, and manage pairing via the app. JBL does a fine job of keeping the app up to date, with the last update on February 14, 2022

Keep in mind that JBL: Portable has dropped some of the older models from support, so this will inevitably happen with the Charge 4 at some point, probably before it happens to the Flip 5.

Winner: Draw

User interface

JBL Charge 4 Buttons
JBL Charge 4 Buttons

Both the JBL Charge 4 and the Flip 5 have the button setup we’ve become accustomed to in JBL portable Bluetooth speakers. It’s their positions that differ. The primary buttons are on the back part of the device, embedded in the wire mesh above the plastic bar we mentioned earlier. The power and Bluetooth buttons are in the center of the bar.

The JBL Charge 4 offers a bit more accessibility in our opinion, as its buttons are on the top of the device. Its power and Bluetooth buttons sit between the volume up and down buttons, also easily accessible.

JBL Flip 5 Buttons
JBL Flip 5 Buttons

Among their primary buttons, the only one that differs is the button for pairing with other JBL speakers. The Charge 4 has a JBL Connect+ button, while the Flip 5 has a JBL PartyBoost button in the same spot.

The battery indicators also differ when looking at the JBL Charge 4 vs the Flip 5. The Charge 4 has five LED lights on its front side, just above its stand and below its wire mesh. As the battery drains, the lights go out one by one. The Flip 5 has an elongated LED light on its bottom side, dimming as the battery drains.

Winner: Draw

Compatibility

JBL Charge 4 Connect+
JBL Charge 4 Connect+

Both the JBL Charge 4 and the Flip 5 are compatible with several other models of JBL speakers. The difference is in the protocols with which they pair with other speakers. The JBL Charge 4 uses the older of the two JBL protocols, JBL Connect+. The JBL Charge 4 uses the JBL PartyBoost protocol, the older of the two.

You can find a list of JBL Connect+ devices here.

JBL Flip 5 PartyBoost
JBL Flip 5 PartyBoost

The JBL Charge 4 and the Flip 5 can’t pair with each other because of this. Keep this in mind if you plan to pair your speaker with other JBL speakers. Also, all newer generation JBL speakers are equipped with JBL PartyBoost, so JBL Connect+ will become obsolete sooner. Both protocols allow you to pair your speaker with more than a hundred other JBL speakers.

You can find a list of JBL PartyBoost devices here.

Winner: JBL Flip 5

JBL Charge 4 vs Flip 5: Connectivity

Connectivity is one of the most crucial things a portable speaker offers us. How do you connect it to other devices, how do you charge it, and can you hook a phone to it using a cable? These are all important questions when choosing a portable speaker.

Bluetooth connection

Both devices use Bluetooth v4.2. This means you can pair them with other devices to a range of up to 30 feet (10m).

Winner: Draw

Related Read: How to Connect JBL Speakers to ANY Device or Each Other!

JBL Charge 4 vs Flip 5: Battery

Battery type

The JBL Charge 4 and the Flip 5 have Lithium-ion Polymer batteries. The JBL Charge 4 has a 7500mAh battery, while the Flip 5 has 4800mAh.

Placeholder: JBL Charge 4 Charging

Winner: Draw

Battery life

The JBL Charge 4 has a much longer battery life than the Flip 5 (12h), with an advertised playback time of 20 hours. Even the extra power output hasn’t cut its playback time down.

Winner: JBL Charge 4

JBL Flip 5 Charging
JBL Flip 5 Charging

Battery charge time

The JBL Flip 5 charges in almost half the time it takes the Charge 4 to do so. This means you’ll be up and running again faster, but remember that it drains faster too.

Winner: JBL Flip 5

JBL Charge 4 vs Flip 5: Standout Features

Two things stand out when we compare the JBL Charge 4 vs the Flip 5: the JBL Charge 4 has a 3.5mm audio jack that allows you to connect devices that don’t have Bluetooth and a power bank for charging other devices.

Price

The JBL Charge 4 ranges roughly between $99 and $115, and you can find it with the additional travel casing for $120. The JBL Flip 5 sells for $90 to almost $130 (with the travel casing).

Winner: JBL Charge 4

Conclusion

There’s a lot to factor in when comparing the JBL Charge vs Flip 5. If you’re looking for sound quality, the JBL Charge 4 is the choice for you. It handles all volumes quite well and will keep on doing so far longer than the JBL Flip 5. Also, their prices are very similar, so that shouldn’t be an issue.

If you’re looking for something more portable that still sounds great for up to 12 hours, the JBL Flip 5 is the obvious choice. Nonetheless, keep in mind these things are made for the outdoors, and the JBL Flip 5 can’t seem to cut it outside as well as the Charge 4 can.

About Jon

Hey, I'm Jon. I'm an engineer by trade, so it makes sense that I'm obsessed with anything technology related! On the weekends, you can find me playing around with my computers or fixing something around the house. Feel free to leave a comment if you want to get in touch.

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