JBL Flip 5 Review

The JBL Flip 5 has a powerful sound and a durable build that makes the speaker perfect for outdoor enthusiast to play music on-the-go.

The JBL Flip 5 is the perfect on-the-go Bluetooth speaker, most noted for its sound, durability, and IPX7 waterproof rating. This speaker is tough and yet cosmetically appealing at the same time with more than ten colour options to choose from when you make a purchase.

The sound meets the standard of JBL’s signature performance delivering punchy bass and quality across a 65Hz-20kHz frequency response range. The new racetrack-shaped driver allows the speaker to produce 20 watts compared to the 16 watts produced by the Flip 4, so this speaker is loud.

Notable differences between the Flip 4 and Flip 5 have proved controversial due to the significant reduction in features on the JBL Flip 5.

In this review, we flesh out the details of JBL Partyboost compared to JBL Connect+ pairing and determine whether the JBL Flip 5 is worth the $130 AUD+.

  • Our Score: 7.75/10
  • Pros: Portable, Waterproof, Loud, Bass
  • Cons: Connectivity, no Wi-Fi mode, No Aux, No mic

Verdict

The JBL Flip 5 is one of the best small portable Bluetooth speakers available on the market.

The sound quality and performance of this speaker give the Flip 5 enough value to be worth the price especially if this is your first portable Bluetooth speaker or you listen to your music outside.

JBL did not include as many features on the Flip 5 and did not make the speaker backwards compatible with previous speakers. These changes have proved to be frustrating for long-term customers.

The new USB-C charging port has decreased the charging time and placed the Flip 5 above competitors in performance.

Comparison Table

JBL Flip 5UE Boom 3UE Wonderboom 2
Power20 watts12 wattsNot stated
BluetoothYesYesYes
WiFiNoNoNo
360° SoundNoYesYes
Water Resistance RatingIPX7IP67IP67
Battery PoweredYesYesYes
Battery size4800mAh
Playtime12 Hours15 Hours13 Hours
USB Charge OutNoNoNo
AppYesYesNo
Weight0.50kg0.61kg0.43kg
SpeakerphoneNoNoNo
Voice AssistantNoNoNo
Audio InputsNoneNoneNone

Performance

We’ve scoured user reviews, expert tests, and everything in between, to come up with a comprehensive view of how the product name performs in real-world scenarios.

In the section we assess key criteria based on the following data points: 

  • Aggregated results from expert testing to determine how this speaker performs in terms of audio quality.
  • Our analysis of hundreds of user reviews to understand what users like about this speaker as well as any common issues.
  • Side-by-side comparison of this speaker versus its main competitors to help understand its strengths and weaknesses and provide alternatives based on your preferences.

Sound Quality (8/10)

The JBL Flip 5 has a notable sound for the price range and size.

Two passive bass radiators on both sides push out bass from the Flip 5 and vibrate at the same time, which gives the speaker a nice interactive appeal and loud sound.

Purchasing a JBL Flip 5 speaker is an investment in a line that has a strategy for quality control. The company raises the volume on frequencies in the bass range and lowers the volume on frequencies in the treble range to create a punchy, vibrant sound.

“JBL’s wireless speakers tend to follow a signature sound that’s roughly similar to the Harman target curve. “

Soundguys

This is not a 360-degree speaker so the sound does not project in multiple directions, but the sound quality is crisp for a beach trip, bike ride, or any outdoor activity. The clarity of the JBL Flip 5 is more audible outside than inside, which makes this speaker great for the summer season.

The EQ levels for the JBL Flip can be adjusted in the new JBL Portable app. This is an upgraded feature not in the former JBL Connect app.

Volume (8/10)

A general consensus amongst users is that the Flip 5 is surprisingly loud.

The Flip 5 gets plenty loud, measuring about 96 decibels at max volume — louder than the Flip 4. But it got pretty distorted at that level; the sound was better around 85 decibels.”

Tom’s Guide

Users are especially satisfied using the JBL Flip 5 for pool parties and backyard barbeques as the speaker is generally reported to perform better at higher volumes. Kick drums will beat loudly, but the driver is not equipped for the sub-bass to be heard even if the volume raised.

We found several Flip 5 users have expressed disappointment with the lack of lighting on the volume buttons especially when using the Flip 5 in darker environments although this was not a deal-breaker.

Connectivity (7/10)

The JBL Flip 5 uses Bluetooth version 4.2. According to expert reviews, JBL’s choice of 4.2 instead of 5.0 has not left room for high-quality Bluetooth Codecs.

Users have experienced a huge lag in playback syncing of Youtube videos attributed to connectivity so the Flip 5 is not the best option for video streaming. If listening to music is your aim, you will not have latency issues during playback on the Flip 5.

The new Partyboost feature allows users to pair two Partyboost compatible speakers together to create a stereo pair. Connectivity reviews note an improved consistency in the connection between speakers while pairing with Partyboost.

The Partyboost feature increases the wireless range of the Flip 5 to 85-90ft. Up to 100 Partyboost compatible speakers can be connected for events such as weddings or celebrations.

Battery Life (8/10)

The JBL Flip 5 has an advertised battery life of 12 hours, but according to more than one review, the power can last much longer. Complaints about the Flip 5’s battery life are few and far between.

JBL upgraded the charging port on the JBL Flip 5 to a USB-C. The new USB-C charging port lowers the battery charging time to 2.5 hours compared to the 3.5 hours on the Flip 4.

Some users dislike the fact that the battery indicator light requires the press of a button and would prefer an alternative method, but are satisfied with the USB-C Charging.

Other Features

The Flip 5 can be personalized on the company’s website according to your preference. There is an option to select colours, add text, and even upload pictures.

There is an Eco Edition Flip 5 that is made of 90% recycled plastic. This eco-friendly version is the first to be made of recycled material and impressibvely the IPX7 rating/waterproof design, 12 hours of battery and other features remain intact.

What’s Changed from Previous Versions?

The most common issues noted in JBL Flip 5 user reviews relate to the significant differences between the Flip 4 and the Flip 5.

Many long-term users of the JBL Flip series are highly disappointed with the feature changes JBL made to the Flip 5. The build of the Flip 5 is very similar to previous versions but the ports and connectivity are drastically different.

The JBL Flip 5 does not have an aux input, microphone, or JBL Connect+.

The changes mean the Flip 5 cannot be used with a wired cable, does not support voice assistant or speakerphone, and cannot pair with Connect+ compatible devices.

Despite these changes, many users express their satisfaction with the JBL Flip 5 as a portable Bluetooth speaker and are highly impressed with the enhanced sound of this model.

Alternatives

UE Boom 3

The UE Boom 3 is a great alternative to the Flip 5 for users willing to pay a slightly higher price. Both speakers are very similar in specs and features.

The Boom offers wireless charging although the charging dock is sold separately. The power of the boom holds approximately three hours longer than the Flip 5.

The Boom gives the stereo option that JBL Flip 5 is missing, but Flip 5 has a clearer, crisp sound.

UE Wonderboom 2

The UE Wonderboom 2 is a great choice if you need something smaller than the Flip 5. Both speakers provide the same durability but the Wonderboom 2 is dustproof and also floats in water.

The Wonderboom 2 will give you more features at a lower price and generally wins review contests when compared to the Flip 5 by experts.

This speaker has a wider stereo field and is a 360-degree speaker. It is generally considered a better speaker for sound quality than the JBL Flip 5.

The play pause buttons on the Wonderboom 2 are multifunctional making it convenient to make adjustments on the speaker including EQ without requiring an app.

Review Summary

JBL Flip 5

he JBL Flip 5 is one of the best small portable Bluetooth speakers available on the market. The sound quality and performance of this speaker give the Flip 5 enough value to be worth the price especially if this is your first portable Bluetooth speaker or you listen to your music outside.

Product SKU: FLIP5BLK

Product Brand: JBL

Product Currency: AUD

Product Price: 128.00

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
7.75