JBL Flip 6 vs Bose SoundLink Flex

JBL Flip 6 vs Bose SoundLink Flex: A Comparative Review

The JBL Flip 6 and the Bose SoundLink Flex are some of the most popular portable Bluetooth speakers from JBL and Bose. The JBL Flip 6 is primarily designed as a portable Bluetooth speaker and is IP67 waterproof and dustproof, making it great for outdoor use. The JBL Flip 6 is one of the louder portable Bluetooth speakers we have tested that delivers a massive 30W of output power with crystal clear highs and deep bass response. The Bose SoundLink Flex, by contrast, has a sleeker design but is also designed to be IP67 waterproof and dustproof, and comes with roughly the same battery life as the JBL Flip 6 at 12 hours.

Having said that, the JBL Flip 6 does come with several updated features including Bluetooth 5.1 (as compared to the SoundLink Flex’s Bluetooth 4.2 version) and it takes only 2.5 hours to reach a full charge (as compared to the SoundLink Flex’s 4 hours). The Bose SoundLink Flex does have a much sleeker design with a polished metallic finished that makes it look like an indoor portable speaker with a less rugged exterior. It also comes with a built-in microphone which looks the speaker to double as a speakerphone when required.

Comparing the Specs

SpecificationsJBL Flip 6Bose SoundLink Flex
Dimensions7.01 x 2.68 x 2.83 in7.93 x 3.56 x 2.06 in
Weight1.3 lbs (approx. 550 g)1.3 lbs (0.6 kg)
Waterproof RatingIP67IP67
Battery LifeUp to 12 hoursUp to 12 hours
Charging Time2.5 hours4 hours
Bluetooth Version5.14.2
ConnectivityBluetooth, USB input portBluetooth
SpeakerphoneNoYes
Power Output30 watts – 20 W RMS for Woofer & 10 W RMS for Tweeter20 watts
Frequency Response63 Hz – 20,000 Hz60 Hz to 20, 000 Hz
Drivers1 woofer (80 mm), 1 tweeter (16 mm)1 driver, 2 passive radiators
Aux InputNoNo
USB ChargingUSB Type-CUSB Type-C
Speaker PairingYes, with PartyBoostYes, with Bose SimpleSync technology
Multi-Device ConnectionNot specifiedCan remember the last 8 devices
Built-in MicrophoneNoYes
Color OptionsBlack, Blue, Green, Grey, Khaki, Pink, Red, Teal, WhiteNot specified but includes Black as a main option
Additional FeaturesCan wirelessly connect up to 2 smartphones or tabletsBuilt-in microphone for calls, IP67 waterproof and dustproof, floats if dropped in water

Both speakers are highly portable and are IP67 waterproof and dustproof, and both speakers deliver up to 12 hours of battery life on a single charge. The JBL Flip 6 has a slightly more powerful output at 30W and offers a broad color range, while the Bose SoundLink Flex includes a speakerphone feature, built-in microphone for calls, and compatibility with Bose SimpleSync technology for pairing with other Bose speakers. This is perhaps the biggest advantage that the Bose SoundLink Flex has over the JBL Flip 6 speaker as it can double as a speakerphone when required.

The Bose SoundLink Flex also has a unique feature of floating if dropped in water, enhancing its suitability for outdoor adventures.

Read also: 

JBL Flip 6 vs JBL Charge 5: Which is the better speaker?

JBL Charge 5 vs Bose SoundLink Flex: Which is better?

Bose SoundLink Flex Waterproof
The Bose SoundLink Flex speaker is able to deliver slightly deeper bass and a more refined low-end than the JBL Flip 6

Sound Performance

The JBL Flip 6 delivers a well-balanced frequency response with the treble increasing at higher volumes. The speaker delivers a louder sound due to its RMS power of 30W but has a slightly shorter battery life of around 8 hours and 23 minutes at 50% volume. It includes features like a custom EQ and PartyBoost for connecting multiple speakers, although it lacks a mic for phone calls and a 3.5mm jack for wired listening​​.

One thing that we really liked about the JBL Flip 6 is that it delivers really deep bass response that sounds really deep at higher volume levels – the speaker does have a lot of boomy bass and is great for listening to EDM, rock and hip-hop music genres. The highs on the Flip 6 are also more pronounced and well-defined, and vocal performances can come across as bright and crisp with really nice timbre ranges.

The Bose SoundLink Flex, on the other hand, delivers a more balanced bass response and crisp sound across all frequency ranges due to its Position IQ technology. We felt that the Bose SoundLink Flex delivered more extended lows and deeper bass than the Flip 6 – while the JBL Flip 6 emphasizes on the quantity of bass, the SoundLink Flex delivers quality bass that feels deep and really punchy. It’s a speaker that can definitely handle a wider range of music genres including live jazz, hip-hop and EDM music performances.

With that said, we did feel that the JBL Flip 6 provided more customization options and you can tweak the EQ according to your listening preferences, while the Bose SoundLink Flex lacks any music customization options. The JBL Flip 6 also provides slightly wider soundstage than the SoundLink Flex, allowing you to enjoy music performances with somewhat better clarity across the frequency spectrum.

The JBL Flip 6 is IP67 waterproof and dustproof and is designed for rugged outdoor music listening

Design

The Bose SoundLink Flex features a minimalist design with effective sound performance and is equipped with a single fullrange driver that delivers a somewhat spacious ambiance, notable bass volume, and good bass punch. It supports Bluetooth 4.2 and has a battery life of up to 12 hours. The SoundLink Flex is IP67 waterproof and dustproof, making it versatile for outdoor use. However, it doesn’t offer an EQ (like the JBL Flip 6) for sound customization and relies on the Bose Connect app for additional functionalities like party mode and stereo pairing​​.

The JBL Flip 6, by contrast, is supported by the JBL Connect app which allows you to adjust the EQ graph and connect the Flip 6 to other Flip 6 speakers in stereo mode (or daisy chain for a much wider listening field). The JBL Flip 6 also comes with button controls at the top of the speaker for you to adjust the volume and skip tracks on the go. It comes with a more updated Bluetooth 5.1 version compared to the SoundLink Flex’s Bluetotoh 4.2.

While the JBL Flip 6 is designed like a rugged outdoor portable speaker with its rubberised exterior, we felt that the Bose SoundLink Flex has a more sleek design with a metallic finish. This makes the Bose SoundLink Flex look more modern and blends as a home speaker if need be, while the JBL Flip 6 looks more like a speaker designed for hiking or outdoor adventures. Both speakers are IP67 waterproof and dustproof and provide the maximum level of protection for outdoor water sports – we did like the fact that the Bose SoundLink Flex can also float on water if you ever drop it into the pool.

The Bose SoundLink Flex has a very sleek polished metallic design and is highly portable

The Verdict?

We preferred the JBL Flip 6 speaker as it delivers louder sound and more EQ customization options as compared to the Bose SoundLink Flex. While the Bose SoundLink Flex has bass with more depth and quality, it does not go as loud as the JBL Flip 6 and the soundstage is not as wide – we found that the SoundLink Flex was more of a portable speaker for casual listening and does not perform as well as the Flip 6 when you blast music at maximum volume levels. The JBL Flip 6, by contrast, handles louder volumes really well with good soundstage and separation, and it delivers crystal clear highs which sound more crisp and refined than on the Bose SoundLink Flex. The Flip 6 also gives you the ability to customize your EQ settings using the JBL Connect app and you can also pair multiple JBL Flip 6 speakers together for a full party listening experience.

While the Bose SoundLink Flex has a sleeker and more refined design as compared to the JBL Flip 6, the Flip 6 delivers louder 30W of output power with more customization options.