JBL Charge 5 vs Flip 6

By |

When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read More

Comparing two of JBL’s flagship speakers head to head.

Despite JBL’s comprehensive catalog, the Charge 5 and Flip 6 are two of the company’s best-selling Bluetooth speakers. Both are relatively affordable and are made for daily use, featuring portable designs that lend themselves to frequent use. Despite some similarities, these speakers have noteworthy differences, and if you’re torn about which to buy – keep reading as we compare them side by side and determine which comes out ahead.

JBL Charge 5

Winner

JBL Charge 5

The Charge 5 is a slightly better speaker than the Flip 6 overall. It has much better battery life, easier-to-use controls, and can reach higher volume levels.

Check Price on Amazon

JBL Charge 5 vs JBL Flip 6 Specs

ModelCharge 5Flip 6
Water ResistanceIP67IP67
Output Power40W30W
Bluetooth Version5.15.1
Bluetooth ProfilesA2DP 1.3, AVRCP 1.6A2DP 1.3, AVRCP 1.6
Battery LifeUp to 20 HoursUp to 12 Hours
Charging Time4.5 Hours2.5 Hours
Frequency Response60 Hz to 20 kHz63 Hz to 20 kHz
Party PairingYes (Stereo Pairing)Yes (Stereo Pairing)
Weight2 lbs1.2 lbs
Dimensions8.7 x 3.8 x 3.7″7 x 2.6 x 2.8″
App SupportJBL PortableJBL Portable

Design, Build, & Durability

The JBL Flip 6 and Charge 5 are both easily portable speakers; the Flip 6 is more compact and lighter, and it also comes with a removable carry strap. The Charge 5 is a bit larger and isn’t as well-suited to handbags or pockets, whereas the Flip 6 can often be carried in either. Both speakers are durable and suitable for use outdoors, sporting a comprehensive IP67 rating.

Durability

Winner: Tied

The JBL Charge 5 and Flip 6 have near-identical durability, with both speakers incorporating a fabric-wrap design with rubber accents that protect them from scratches and light impact events. Both speakers incorporate an IP67 rating, meaning they are both resistant to dust intrusion and water damage. They can be hosed down to clean them or used in rainy weather without the risk of damage. Additionally, both speakers can withstand limited submergence in water up to 1 meter deep.

Portability

Winner: JBL Flip 6

JBL Charge 5 vs Flip 6 3

Both speakers are easily portable, weighing around 2 lbs or less. The Flip 6 is much smaller than the Charge 5 and weighs nearly half as much. The Flip 6 is small enough to fit into a shoulder bag or handbag, while the Charge 5 won’t fit into smaller bags and is better suited for backpack storage when out on the go. The JBL Flip 6 also has a removable carry strap to improve its portability, while the Charge 5 doesn’t.

Lighting Effects

Winner: Tied

Neither the JBL Flip 6 nor Charge 5 have built-in lightning. If having LED lighting is essential to you, you can consider the JBL Pulse 5, which features a unique, vibrant design with a 360-degree light show.

Controls, Connectivity & App Support

Both speakers share the same basic controls that allow for volume adjustments, pairing, power, pairing, play/pause, and track skipping (forward only). The position of the buttons on the Charge 5 is easier to use and feels more practical than the awkward positioning on the Flip 6. Regarding connectivity, the Charge 5 has a slight advantage over the Flip 6 with its USB-A output. They both use the JBL Portable app, which allows you to perform EQ adjustments using the 3-band graphic EQ.

JBL Charge 5

  • Bluetooth version
    5.1
  • Bluetooth profiles
    A2DP 1.3, AVRCP 1.6
  • Bluetooth frequency
    2.4 GHz – 2.4835 GHz
  • Bluetooth transmitter modulation
    GFSK, π/4 DQPSK, and 8DPSK
  • Bluetooth transmitter power
    ≤20dBm (EIRP)

JBL Flip 6

  • Bluetooth version
    5.1
  • Bluetooth profiles
    A2DP 1.3, AVRCP 1.6
  • Bluetooth frequency range
    2.4 GHz – 2.4835 GHz
  • Bluetooth® transmitter modulation
    GFSK, π/4 DQPSK, and 8DPSK
  • Bluetooth transmitter power
    ≤ 10 dBm (EIRP)

Inputs & Outputs

Winner: Charge 5

Neither speaker has particularly impressive wired connectivity options. The Flip 6 adopts a minimalist approach with no inputs and outputs other than the charging port. The Charge 5 holds a slight edge with a built-in USB-A output, letting users charge their phones and other USB devices directly from the speaker.

Controls

Winner: Charge 5

Both speakers feature the following buttons:

  • Volume up
  • Volume down
  • Bluetooth pairing
  • Power on/off
  • Play/Pause (Track skip forward)
  • Group pairing

The Flip and Charge both use the same controls, with only the play/pause button having a secondary function, which skips tracks forward on a double-press. Unfortunately, neither speaker can skip backward.

Despite their functions’ similarities, the two speakers’ layout controls are vastly different. The Flip 6 has separate control panels, one sitting near the speaker’s base and controlling the power and Bluetooth pairing. Another row of buttons features track and volume controls, which sit offset to the center when lying horizontally. In contrast, the Charge 5 lays out all its buttons in a single control panel at the top of the speaker.

Because the Flip 6 has its buttons offset from the top and splits the controls between two rows of buttons, it can feel frustrating to use, especially because you cannot see the controls on the Flip 6 without pivoting over the speaker or rolling it towards your direction. The Charge’s buttons being grouped together and sitting at the top center of the speaker are much more practical.

Bluetooth

Winner: Charge 5

Both speakers use Bluetooth 5.1 for their wireless connection. Still, there is a performance difference between them, with the Charge 5 providing lower latency and slightly better range than the Flip 6. This could be because of enhancements to the antenna, allowed by the Charge 5’s spacier design.

App Support

Winner: Tied

The Charge 5 and Flip 6 use JBL’s Portable app, which is available on iOS and Android. The app’s abilities are relatively narrow in scope, offering a 3-band graphic EQ and stereo pairing. The limitation of a 3-band EQ falls short of competitor brands, and even UE’s Boom app, which caters to the similarly priced Ultimate Ears Boom, provides a 5-band EQ.

JBL Charge 5 vs Flip 6 6

Audio Performance

The Flip 6 and Charge 5 have the same general driver configuration, with one “racetrack style” woofer and one dedicated tweeter. The Charge 5 has a 40W output with more volume, while the Flip 6 is limited to 30W. The Charge can also produce frequencies slightly deeper than that of the Flip. Overall, the Charge 5 performs slightly better in most areas of audio, except for soundstage.

JBL Charge 5

  • Power Output
    40W RMS
  • Frequency Response Range
    60 Hz – 20 KHz
  • Drivers
    1x Full range, 1x Tweeter

JBL Flip 6

  • Power Output
    30W RMS
  • Frequency Response Range
    63Hz – 20kHz
  • Drivers
    1x Full range, 1x Tweeter

Frequency Response

Winner: Tied

The JBL Charge 5 and Flip 6 are both good-sounding speakers overall. Both speakers were released in a period where JBL started shifting their focus more towards a balanced frequency response, yet they aren’t as refined in this area as some of the company’s latest releases.

The Charge 5 has a little more bass, particularly towards the upper bass, which makes it sound more punchy than the Flip 6. The extension is relatively modest on the Flip and the Charge, with both speakers lacking providing limited deep bass.

The midrange performs similarly on both speakers, with the Charge and Flip creating a balanced sound across most of the midrange frequencies, with a dip towards the upper midrange. This is a common feature of many of JBL’s speakers and is likely tuned in this way to reduce harshness in what is generally a ‘busy’ range of frequencies.

The Charge 5 has a slightly brighter sound to it, with a little more emphasis on the highs. This brighter sound can make the Charge 5 sound slightly more lively than the Flip 6.

Both speakers have a reasonable frequency response that aligns with flagship releases in their price range. Neither is particularly impressive, but using the associated JBL Portable app, you can tweak the weak points with the 3-band EQ, though a 5 or 9-band EQ would make the process more effective.

Soundstage & Dynamics

Winner: Tied

JBL’s Charge 5 has noticeably better dynamics than the Flip 6; it’s capable of reaching higher volume levels and can do so with less sound quality degradation at those volume levels. With both speakers producing less than 90 dB SPL at maximum volume, neither are particular loud speakers and are best suited to small rooms and limited outdoor gatherings of friends or family.

With a single full-range driver and supplemental tweeter in both the Flip and Charge, neither does particularly well with soundstage performance. Both speakers produce mono sound on their own, but can also be paired in stereo to produce separate left and right channel sound. Both speakers have average directionality and sound best with the drivers facing towards the listener.

Battery Performance

JBL Charge 5

  • Battery Type
    Li-ion polymer (27 Wh)
  • Charging time
    4.5 hours
  • Estimated Playtime
    Up to 12 Hours
  • Cable Type
    USB-C

JBL Flip 6

  • Battery Type
    Li-ion polymer (17.28Wh)
  • Charging Time
    2.5 hours
  • Estimated Playtime
    Up to 20 Hours
  • Cable Type
    USB-C

Winner: Charge 5

A major shortfall of the Flip 6 is its limited battery life. It is advertised to last up to 12 hours, but controlled tests during our review of the Flip 6 yielded around 7 hours of playtime at 50% volume. On the other hand, the Charge 5 is rated for up to 20 hours of playtime, with real-world tests providing closer to 15 hours at similar volume levels.

The Flip 6’s limited battery life makes it better suited for occasional short listening sessions, while the Charge 5 is better suited for social gatherings that may go on for hours or for those looking to use their speaker daily.

The Flip 6 charges much faster than the Charge 5, going from 0% to 100% in just shy of 2.5 hours, nearly half that of the JBL Charge.

Both speakers feature an LED battery indicator light; the Flip 6’s light indicator is on the lower portion of the speaker and forms a part of the power control panel. On the Charge 5, the indicator is easier to read as it is positioned vertically under the front logo.

Price & Value

The JBL Flip 6 retails for around $100, while the Charge 5 goes for $180. At almost twice the price, the decision on which is best to buy becomes more challenging. The Charge 5 is a better speaker overall, particularly in battery performance, but the differences between the two speakers are limited. If a long-lasting battery, louder volume, and easier-to-use controls are important to you – the Charge 5 is the better choice.

If you have the Flip 6 and are considering upgrading, I would suggest holding onto the Flip until the next generation of Charge speakers is launched.

Alternatively, these Bluetooth speakers are similar in performance to the Flip and Charge – and are also worth considering.

Sale
Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 Portable Wireless…
  • SOUND: MEGABOOM features powerfully loud, clear, and immersive 360° sound with deep thundering bass you can feel. All carefully balanced so you can hear every note.Mounting Type: Tabletop.Waterproof : Yes
Soundcore Motion 300 Wireless Hi-Res Portable…
  • Wireless Hi-Res Sound: Elevate your outdoor audio experience with Wireless Hi-Res sound. You won’t find a better audio experience in a speaker this small.

Conclusion

Overall, both the JBL Charge 5 and Flip 6 are good speakers for daily use. They are small enough to be carried by hand or in a backpack. The Flip 6 is more easily portable and best suited for use around the home or casual listening on the go. The Charge 5 gets louder, has a USB-A output, and has almost twice the battery life.

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!
Share:
Photo of author

Author: Bryn De Kocks

Bryn has worked in the field for several years, writing in-depth speaker reviews for various audio publications. His work has historically focused on headphones and Bluetooth speakers, while incorporating his understanding of the Bluetooth speaker market to help educate potential buyers.

See All His Posts