The JBL Flip 6 and the Charge 5 are some of the best portable Bluetooth speakers from JBL that delivers superb sound performance with very good bass response. The JBL Flip 6 is the latest and upgraded version of JBL Flip speaker series, with the Flip 6 capable of delivering a whopping 30W of sound performance and powerful bass in a compact form factor. The Charge 5 speaker is slightly larger than the Flip 6 speaker and pumps out a loud 40W of sound and is also a really powerful speaker that delivers a tonne of volume with a portable design. Both the JBL Flip 6 and the Charge 5 come with the latest features such as Bluetooth 5.1 and are IP67 waterproof for outdoor use. The only real differences between the JBL Charge 5 and the Flip 6 are the sound performance and speaker size.
The JBL Flip 6 delivers an impressive 30W power output which is 33% louder than the previous JBL Flip 5 speaker, and only slightly less than the JBL Charge 5 40W speaker. We we really liked about both the JBL Flip 5 and Charge 5 is that they both come with a dedicated woofer and tweeters (2” x 3.5” woofer and 0.8” tweeter for the Charge 5 speaker). Both speakers have a similar frequency range of 65 Hz to 20 kHz, with the Flip 6 going to as low as 63 Hz which is nominally lower. Both speakers come with dual bass radiators at the side of the speaker to improve the overall bass performance, and also feature the latest Bluetooth 5.1 for high-quality music streaming with A2DP 1.3 and AVRC 1.6 Bluetooth support. Apart from the sound performance and size difference between the JBL Flip 6 and Charge 5 speakers, both speakers share virtually the same speaker specs and are IP67 waterproof and durable.
In terms of sound performance, the JBL Flip 6 sounded incredibly clear and detailed, with very distinct highs, smooth vocals and deep bass response. It comes with its own dedicated tweeter and woofer which clearly separates the highs from the mids and mid-bass, allowing you to get really solid lows and consistently clear highs at the same time. We played a couple of EDM and hip-hop music soundtracks through the JBL Flip 6 such as Golden Hour by JVKE and it sounded absolutely detailed with very realistic piano strokes and bright vocals. The bass on the speaker sounded deep with plenty of depth, and never muddies into the midrange frequencies which makes the music feel much clearer and more defined. You can also push up the volume on the JBL Flip 6 speaker to maximum volume without hearing any distortion and still get consistently clear vocals at around 20 kHz.
When we compared to the JBL Flip 6 with the Charge 5 speaker, we could tell immediately that the Charge 5 had much more power and volume up to 40W – volume tones sound much louder and this speaker is capable of punching high-volume sound for parties and indoor events. The bass on the Charge 5 was equal, if not better, than the JBL Flip 5’s bass. The bass feels solid and tight, and it does not muddy into the midrange frequencies or sound bloated like other JBL speakers (such as the Xtreme 3 speaker) which can become slightly bloated when the bass is tuned to its maximum setting.
We played a couple of sophisticated jazz music performances from Tony Bennett’s “Fly me to the moon” to Dusty Springfield’s “The Look of Love” and you can really hear the quality in the vocals with pristine clarity without any harshness in the treble ranges. The highs are super crisp and have plenty of depth and gravitas; the bass complements the highs nicely but never sounds muddy. We also liked the level of soundstage and sound projection that both the JBL Flip 6 and the Charge 5 can deliver – they sounded really good with very nice low-end bass response. Despite the warm bass-leaning sound signature of the JBL Charge 5 speaker, it can handle vocals very well with superb clarity; it feels almost as though you are listening to a high-end Bluetooth speaker.
Both the JBL Charge 5 and JBL Flip 6 sound almost the same in terms of acoustics and audio representation – they have near perfect highs, smooth treble ranges and very distinct and impactful bass that feels tight with plenty of depth. The only difference however, is that the Charge 5 speaker sounds much louder than the Flip 6 speaker with 40W of output power. Nevertheless, the JBL Flip 6 is still a very respectable speaker with a loud 30W output which is exceptionally good considering how small and compact the Flip 6 is. You can push up the volume on both speakers and get minimal distortion or harshness in the treble ranges – the volume quality is consistent throughout.
Specs and Design
In terms of specs, the JBL Charge 5 comes with a 40W power output which is slightly higher than the Flip 6’s 30W power output. The Charge 5 speaker is also slightly larger than the Flip 6 speaker with a dimension of 8.8” x 3.8” x 3.7” as compared to the Flip 6’s 7” x 2.6” x 2.8” and is approximately 2.3cm larger. The Charge 5 is also 960g in weight and is heavier than the JBL Flip 6’s 550g. Apart from the wattage output and dimensions, the Charge 5 also comes with a larger 7500mAh battery that provides up to 20 hours of playtime on a single charge, compared with the JBL Flip 6’s 4800mAh battery that provides up to 12 hours of playtime.
One feature that we really liked about the Charge 5 speaker is the ability to charge your smartphone devices by plugging it into the speaker’s USB-C port. Both speakers come with a dedicated tweeter and woofer that can handle the highs and bass respectively, and we really liked enjoyed the sound performance of both speakers at 80% volume level.
Finally, both the JBL Charge 5 and JBL Flip 6 speaker is IP67 waterproof and dustproof, so that you can bring the speaker virtually anywhere to the beach or outdoor pool party. Both speakers have an exceptional rugged build quality designed to withstand bumps, drops and rough handling. The wireless 5.1 Bluetooth connectivity also works like a charm and it can connect seamlessly to your smartphone device up to 30-40 feet away without any dips in connectivity or sound performance.
Both the JBL Flip 6 and the Charge 5 speaker supports JBL’s PartyBoost feature which allows you to pair two JBL PartyBoost speakers together for stereo sound or link multiple JBL speakers together for a much wider soundstage, and both speakers are highly portable and convenient to bring around.
Both the JBL Flip 6 and the JBL Charge 5 speakers are incredibly impressive speakers that deliver superb sound performance and deep bass. While the JBL Charge 5 speaker is arguably louder than the Flip 6 speaker with 40W of sound output and slightly better bass, the JBL Flip 6 is the most portable option and weighs only a mere 550g, making it extremely easy to carry around. Both speakers performed very well when it comes to EDM or jazz music; you can really hear the clarity in the upper frequency ranges and the vocals, and both speakers have a dedicated tweeter and woofer that deliver really good highs and bass at the same time. One thing to note however, is that the Charge 5 does provide up to 20 hours of playtime with its built-in battery life compared to the Flip 6’s 12 hours, and the Charge 5 can also pump out a good 40W of audio performance which is slightly louder than the Flip 6’s 30W output.
Our personal view is that the JBL Charge 5 provides better value than the Flip 6 because the added ability to charge your smartphone devices via the USB-C port. This provides a nice handy feature especially if you are outdoors and require an additional power bank to charge your devices – which the JBL Charge 5 can effectively substitute for. You also get marginal improvements in terms of loudness (40W with the Charge 5 vs 30W with the Flip 6) and better overall bass performance. This makes the Charge 5 a more compelling option if you are planning to get an outdoor speaker.
Ultimately, if you are looking for a portable JBL speaker that can deliver more volume for outdoor parties and events, then the JBL Charge 5 would be a better choice due to its louder volume and bass response. However, if you want to have a portable speaker for personal listening and like crisp highs and very nice bass response, the JBL Flip 6 is also a great choice if you don’t need the power and size of the Charge 5 speaker. While this may be up to your individual preferences, we would go for the JBL Flip 6 because it delivers a massive 30W of sound performance in a highly portable form factor and delivers good value for money compared with the nominal improvements that you get over the Charge 5, such as the extra 10W of output power and extra 8 hours of battery life as compared to the Flip 6.