Build & Design
When it comes to design the JBL Flip 5 has some subtle differences when compared to the older JBL Flip 4 speaker. These subtle changes now make the newer JBL Flip 5 a bit more refined than its predecessor. It still sports that durable mesh fabric grill which covers most of the speaker, it also has the rubber ends that offer plenty of protection against bumps while also helping it to stand up.
Like previous generations of JBL Flip speakers, the Flip 5 also has the signature passive radiators that pulsate in relation to your volume level. This very durable speaker has an IPX7 certification which means you can be submerged underwater for 30 minutes in up to 3.3 feet of water.
The Buttons on the Flip 5 are pretty straight forward, you have pause/play, volume up and down, skip forward and back. But JBL has now added a Party Boost button which allows you to connect to other Party Boost speakers and have them play in sync. One thing to note about this feature is that its not yet backward compatible with JBL Connect Plus speakers. So if you have the older speakers like the JBL EXTREME 2, CHARGE 4, PULSE 3, etc, you can’t connect them to the Flip 5. But JBL will be providing a firmware update very soon to fix this issue. But for now, a Flip 5 can only pair with a Flip 5.
At the back of the speaker, you will also notice that the power and pairing buttons have LED lighting plus there’s also a new power indicator that will instantly show you how much power you have left. The Flip 5 now has a USB-C charging port that now exposed and might collect sand, dirt plus other debris easier.
Battery life is rated at 12 hours which is similar to most of the competition. In real-world testing at 50% volume from a full battery to dead, you will be able to achieve just under 9 hours. And the Flip 5 can be fully charged in just 2 hours from dead to full.
The Flip 5 offers the older Bluetooth 4.2 technology and it works pretty good. But Bluetooth 5.0 would have provided an improved wireless range, increase speed and performance while also delivering a stronger connection.
Additionally, there are no microphones built-in so you cant take any phone calls or active voice assistants.
We have seen manufacturers slowly starting to kill off the 3.5 mm jack for physical connection and the Flip 5 is now the latest device to not include one. This means that the JBL Flip 5 completely wireless.
It delivers really good punchy bass that’s a little bit deeper than the Sony XB22. The mids are clear and pushed forward to allow vocals to stand out while bringing instruments to the forefront. The highs are high enough to be enjoyable without being very bright. When it comes to audio, in my opinion, the JBL Flip 4 is still a better speaker, it delivers a better audio experience with more bass and brighter vocals and clarity.
JBL has been providing us with great speakers over the years and the Flip 5 is no exception. It is a great Bluetooth speaker that can be enjoyed anywhere. We highly recommend it. But if you prefer your Flip speaker to have a 3.5mm port for wired connectivity, the JBL Flip 4 is still an awesome option. It is cheaper and offers better sound.