The JBL Flip 6 is the latest JBL Flip series speaker to be released on 2nd September 2021 and comes with numerous improvements over its predecessor, the JBL Flip 5. Both speakers are roughly around the same size (the JBL Flip 5 is 7.13 x 2.91 x 2.72” while the JBL Flip 6 is marginally smaller at 7 x 2.6 x 2.8”) but the JBL Flip 6 clearly has more power and bass in this upgrade. The JBL Flip 6 has a power output of 30W and comes with a dedicated tweeter and woofer for crystal clear highs and midranges, while the JBL Flip 5 only has 20W of power with a single driver for handling the highs and bass. In addition, the JBL Flip 6 uses the latest Bluetooth 5.1 technology for high quality music streaming, while the Flip 5 uses Bluetooth 4.2. Both speakers also support A2DP 1.3 and AVRCP 1.6 audio streaming codecs.
We were initially blown away by the sound performance of the JBL Flip 5. Despite this speaker having a single driver, they deliver surprisingly deep bass and crystal clear highs. You can hear this speaker regardless of how you position it due to the racetrack-shaped speaker driver which projects sound in all directions. We also played a couple of music genres through the Flip 5 including EDM, rock and hip-hop and this speaker can really handle the bass and beats well – they feel tight and punchy with plenty of depth. The Flip 5 has a warmer V-shaped sound signature compared with other speakers and you can definitely feel the emphasis on the bass. You can also push up the volume on the JBL Flip 5 and not hear any distortion or muddiness in the bass response. The highs are also crisp and very clean, and we did not hear any harshness in the treble ranges.
When we compared the JBL Flip 5 with the Flip 6, we were quite surprised at how much fuller the sound from the Flip 6 sounded. While the Flip 5 sounds good, the Flip 6 sounds even better with really good soundstage and accurate separation in musical notes. The Flip 6 also sounds much louder than the Flip 5 due to its total 30W power output, and the bass feels tighter and cleaner. Where the Flip 6 shines is the vocals and in the treble ranges – the speaker delivers absolutely clear sound due to its dedicated tweeter and you can hear the vocalist’s voice with pristine clarity and in detail. The speaker also delivers pretty good soundstage and you can get a sense of where each sound is originating from – the Flip 6 effectively sounds like the JBL Charge 5 but in a more compact form factor.
The bass on the Flip 6 also feels tight and very punchy, and the low-end beats have a lot of depth to them which makes EDM and rock music very enjoyable to listen to. We also played a couple of jazz music soundtracks from Dusty Springfield and thoroughly enjoyed how much presence and sonic impact the Flip 6 has; it feels almost as though the vocalist is standing right in front of you. Compared with the JBL Flip 5, the Flip 6 has sonic presence which gives music a sense of natural realism that you don’t get with the Flip 5.
Apart from the noticeable improvements in sound performance, both the JBL Flip 6 and Flip 5 have virtually the same specs. The Flip 6 is IP67 waterproof and dustproof, allowing you to take this speaker anywhere outdoors or on a hiking trip. Just like the JBL Flip 5, the Flip 6 also comes equipped with a 4800 mAh battery that provides around 12 hours of playtime on a single charge. It also comes with its signature mesh design which gives it an eye-catchy appearance and you can choose to listen to music while positioning the speaker horizontally or vertically. The JBL Flip 6 also supports PartyBoost which allows you to pair two JBL Flip 6 spekaers together for a larger stereo sound performance, although you will need to pair two JBL Flip 6s together (it does not work if you try to pair a JBL Flip 6 with the Flip 5).
The JBL Flip 5, by contrast, only comes with a single racetrack-shaped driver that delivers omni-directional JBL sound (as compared to the JBL Flip 6 which has two drivers – one tweeter and one woofer). Just like the JBL Flip 6, the Flip 5 comes with a portable design with a mesh exterior that looks and feels rugged and durable. It also comes with a 4800 mAh battery that provides up to 12 hours of playtime on a single charge. The Flip 5 is also IPX7 waterproof and can be brought to the poolside or beach parties and can take splashes of water with no issues. With that said, the JBL Flip 5 uses Bluetooth 4.2 which may seem quite outdated as compared to the Flip 6’s Bluetooth 5.1 technology that provides much faster music streaming.
Both the JBL Flip 6 and Flip 5 are virtually identical in shape and design. Just like the Flip 5, the Flip 6 also comes with button controls at the top of the speaker for you to adjust soundtracks, volume and activate Bluetooth pairing. Both speakers also have two passive bass radiators at the side of the speaker which vibrate while playing music. The JBL Flip 6 is actually marginally smaller than the Flip 5, but practically speaking there is no tangible difference in weight between the two speakers (the JBL Flip 5 weighs 1.19 lbs while the Flip 6 weighs 1.21 lbs). Both speakers also come with a durable string attachment which you can use to attach the speaker to a backpack while outdoors.
One final note is that the JBL Flip 6 does not work with the JBL Flip 5 while using JBL’s PartyBoost mode. During our tests, the app returned a message which stated that you can only pair two of the same PartyBoost speakers in stereo mode. This means that if you want to use PartyBoost, you will need two of either the Flip 6 or Flip 5 speakers in order to pair successfully.
Both speakers come with a 4800 mAh battery that provides approximately 10-12 hours of playtime on a single charge which is pretty decent, although the battery on the Flip 6 depletes faster due to its louder sound performance and 30W output.
The JBL Flip 6 delivers noticeable improvements over the Flip 5 speaker, including a much louder 30W power output and a dedicated woofer and tweeter. When we compared both speakers together, the JBL Flip 6 sounded much fuller and articulate, with crystal clear highs and very nice bass response. You can hear the difference between the highs and the lows as they are handled separately by two drivers, and each frequency band is distinctly separate and clearly reproduced. The JBL Flip 5, by contrast, delivers really good sound performance and bass but does not have the level of clarity between the highs and bass as the JBL Flip 6 has. To put it another way, the JBL Flip 6 delivers much better sound performance in a marginally smaller design as compared to the Flip 5, and has an impressive frequency range of 63 Hz to 20 kHz.
Apart from the sound performance, both the JBL Flip 6 and Flip 5 are almost identical in design. Both speakers come with a 4800 mAh battery that provides 10-12 hours of playtime on a single charge, and both speakers are waterproof and durable which makes them ideal for outdoor parties and hiking adventures. We really liked the durable mesh design which gives these speakers an unique appearance, and you can also easily attach them to a backpack using the durable string attachment. Both speakers are also almost identical in weight and size, with the JBL Flip 6 being just marginally smaller.
Having said that, the JBL Flip 6 uses Bluetooth 5.1 technology which provides a much cleaner and faster sound transmission as compared to the Flip 5’s Bluetooth 4.2 technology, which feels rather outdated.
Overall, we would recommend upgrading from the JBL Flip 5 to the Flip 6 as the Flip 6 provides much better sound performance and uses the latest Bluetooth audio codec, and we thoroughly enjoyed listen to the Flip 6 with its deep punchy bass and really crisp highs. Although both speakers have the same design and roughly the same specs, the improved clarity that you get with the Flip 6 and dedicated tweeter and woofer design justifies the upgrade.