In the portable Bluetooth speaker market, JBL is a name synonymous with great sound. The JBL Flip 5 is the latest iteration of the company’s popular Flip series. This compact speaker packs a punch with rich audio, a rugged design, and good battery life. But how does it stack up against other portable speakers in 2022? Let’s dive into a detailed review.
Overview of JBL Flip 5
The JBL Flip 5 continues the Flip series’ heritage of delivering surprising power in a petite package. While retaining a similar capsule shape as previous models, the JBL Flip 5 gets design upgrades like a new mesh outer shell. Available colors now include sleek black, white, blue, pink and squad (green/black) models.
Some standout features of the JBL Flip 5 are:
- Powerful stereo sound with punchy bass
- 12 hour battery life
- IP67 waterproof and dustproof rating
- Speakerphone for calls
- PartyBoost mode to connect multiple JBL speakers
Clad in the woven mesh exterior, the Flip 5 has a distinctly textured look and feel while still being lightweight at just 540g. Rubber capped ends improve durability and grip. Buttons for power, Bluetooth, volume up/down, and play/pause are neatly arranged on one end. There’s also a USB-C charging port.
The JBL Flip 5 boasts a surprisingly big and bold sound for its compact size. Dual 40mm drivers and a racetrack-shaped woofer help crank out strong bass and vivid mids/highs with JBL’s signature sound. Overall loudness and clarity are impressive for this portable form.
Battery life is rated for up to 12 hours of continuous playtime. This solid performance means you can keep the tunes flowing all day long. And a full charge takes about 2.5 hours via USB-C.
Bluetooth 5.1 enables quick pairing and extended range up to 20+ feet from your phone or tablet. The Flip 5 can also connect to two Bluetooth devices simultaneously.
JBL offers the Flip 5 in five vibrant colors: Black, White, Blue, Pink, and Squad. The two-toned Squad colorway has green sides and a black front/back.
The JBL Flip 5 retails for $129.95 USD. This positions it as an affordable mid-range portable Bluetooth speaker.
Now let’s dive deeper into the build, sound performance, battery, and other key factors on the Flip 5’s report card.
The Flip 5 has a distinctly rugged feel thanks to its durable mesh covering and rubber end caps. But it still remains fairly lightweight and compact at 8 x 7.1 x 2.6 inches. The mesh exterior is a departure from the rubberized finish of past Flip models. It gives the speaker a sleeker, more refined look while still providing protection.
Buttons have a nice tactile click and the overall construction feels solid. The JBL Flip 5 also carries an IP67 rating making it dustproof and waterproof up to 1 meter for 30 minutes. You can bring it poolside or to the beach worry-free.
Audio reproduction is very impressive for the Flip 5’s compact size. The speaker puts out clear, powerful sound across the frequency range. The treble is crisp and mids come through with clarity for vocals and instruments. The low end has a legitimate thump thanks to the racetrack-shaped woofer.
Maximum loudness can easily fill a medium to large room. The JBL Flip 5 can pump out tunes for a small outdoor gathering as well. Higher volumes stay distortion-free.
Bass lovers will not be disappointed. The dual 40mm active drivers and tuned woofer deliver some hefty low-end punch on EDM, hip hop, and other bass-heavy genres. The bass tone itself has a nice definition instead of sounding one-note or boomy.
Another strength of the Flip 5 is its impressive 360-degree sound projection. This allows a wider sweet spot for listeners to hear the audio clearly, especially outdoors. The speaker radiates a bigger party atmosphere from its compact chassis.
Battery and Charging
Battery performance is solid with up to 12 hours of playtime per charge. At moderate volumes, expect to get towards the high end of that estimate. Charging the Flip 5 fully takes about 2.5 hours via the USB-C port. The battery indicators let you check the remaining juice at a glance.
Connecting devices to the Flip 5 is a breeze thanks to quick-pairing Bluetooth 5.1. Wireless range extends to over 20 feet allowing flexibility in placement. Two devices can be connected simultaneously so you and a friend can take turns playing DJ.
Weighing just 1.2 pounds, the Flip 5 won’t weigh down bags or backpacks. Its palm-sized footprint takes up minimal space. The durable build, waterproofing, and carabiner make this speaker an ideal grab-and-go companion from the backyard to the beach or park.
Comparisons to Other Speakers
How does the Flip 5 stack up to competing portable Bluetooth speakers? Here are some brief comparisons to a few popular models.
JBL Flip 4
Against its predecessor the Flip 4, the Flip 5 gets upgrades like improved driver size, louder max volume, and a USB-C charging port. Battery life stays the same excellent 12 hours. The Flip 5’s sound seems slightly richer overall, but the two are quite close in performance.
UE Boom 3
The UE Boom 3 also puts out bold 360-degree sound in a rugged, waterproof build. The Boom 3 has a deeper bass punch but can distort at top volumes. Battery life is about 15 hours on the Boom 3. But the Flip 5 is more affordable, so factors like budget can determine the right choice.
Bose SoundLink Micro
For those wanting ultimate portability, the Bose SoundLink Micro is more pocket-friendly. But the Flip 5 sounds much bigger with fuller bass and louder max volume. The Flip 5 is the better package for the price.
Anker Soundcore 2
As a budget-priced alternative, the Anker Soundcore 2 lacks the ruggedness of the Flip 5. However, it does provide impressive sound for the money. The Flip 5 justifies its higher cost with better construction, bass, and brand reputation.
Who is the JBL Flip 5 For?
The Flip 5 hits a real sweet spot for portable Bluetooth speakers. It packs a pleasingly rich sound in a durable, waterproof package. Beach trips, hiking, and backyard BBQs are just some ideal use cases. Its wallet-friendly price makes it accessible to most. Students love its grab-and-go flexibility. While serious audiophiles may want more hi-fi sound, overall the Flip 5 is impressive for its compact size. Those looking for loud, immersive audio in a rugged form will find lots to like.
Pros and Cons
- Surprisingly big, bold sound
- Solid bass punch
- 12-hour battery life
- IP67 water/dust resistance
- Easy wireless pairing
- Speakerphone for calls
- Great for outdoor use
- No app for EQ or settings
- Lacks 3.5mm aux input
- Can’t stereo pair two Flip 5
- Mesh exterior prone to staining
With great sound, ruggedness, and appealing design, the JBL Flip 5 continues the Flip series’ reputation as a crowd-pleasing portable Bluetooth speaker. It punches above its weight sonically, delivering lively audio in a palm-sized package. Factor in satisfying battery life, waterproofing, and easy wireless connectivity, and the Flip 5 makes the ideal companion on the go. Minor drawbacks like the lack of app features or aux input are forgivable at this price point. For shoppers wanting a versatile Bluetooth speaker ready for fun in the sun or wherever life goes, the JBL Flip 5 is a top choice in packing performance and value.
Q: How long does the battery last on the JBL Flip 5?
A: The Flip 5 has an impressive battery life of up to 12 hours per charge. Real-world use at moderate volumes will get you towards the upper end of that estimate.
Q: Can the JBL Flip 5 pair with multiple devices?
A: Yes, the Flip 5 can maintain connections with 2 devices at once. This allows you to switch between two phones or tablets when streaming music.
Q: Is the JBL Flip 5 fully waterproof?
A: The Flip 5 has an IP67 rating making it dustproof and waterproof up to 1 meter for 30 minutes. So it can easily handle splashes, rain, and quick dunks in the pool or shallow water.
Q: What colors does the Flip 5 come in?
A: JBL offers the Flip 5 in 5 color options: Black, White, Blue, Pink, and Squad (which is a green/black color scheme).
Q: How does the Flip 5 compare to the UE Boom 3?
A: The UE Boom 3 gets slightly louder and has richer bass. But the Flip 5 offers comparable performance in a more affordable package. And has a more rugged build than the cylindrical Boom 3. Either is a great portable speaker choice.