JBL Flip 5 Review: A Rich-Sounding Speaker with a Hefty Price

By Yvonne

JBL Flip 5 Review: An Expensive Speaker at a Rich Sound. The JBL Flip 5 is a solid speaker with excellent build quality and battery life. It will provide you with plenty of sound for any adventure. It was my first time using it.

JBL Flip 5

A JBL Flip 5 speaker on a wet deck

We like this

  • Excellent sound quality

  • Excellent build

  • Fun, colorful designs

The Things We Hate
  • Pricesy

  • A bit heavy

  • Better battery life

Although the JBL Flip 5 Bluetooth speaker is capable and durable, it will not last very long.

This article explains.
  • Design
  • Portability
  • Durability and build quality
  • Connection and setup
  • Sound Quality
  • Battery life
  • Software and Additional Features
  • Price
  • Concurrence
  • Final Verdict
  • Specifications

JBL Flip 5 is a classic example of a portable Bluetooth speaker that has all the features you need. Its cylindrical design has inspired a lot of copycats. This speaker is small enough to fit in a water bottle, and it has side-firing subwoofers. It does a great job of dispersing sound at small groups without taking up too much space. Although the sound quality is solid and a bit bassy for speakers in this price range, it has many applications. A black Flip 5 was my first purchase and I spent about a week exploring the possibilities of this speaker.

Related Reading: JBL Pulse 3 Review: An Excellent Bluetooth Speaker with RGB

Design: A visually appealing and highly functional design

The Flip 5 is JBL’s flagship portable Bluetooth range. JBL's preferred design has always been the cylinder chassis, with its directionally-fired main driver and the two subs that pulse at the ends. It's been copied many times by other manufacturers such as Ultimate Ears or many overseas ones. It looks great, but also suggests a certain degree of "360-degree sound". In a section on sound I will discuss the playback quality. However, it is important to remember that although the grille covers almost the entire perimeter of the device, the speakers are not firing in all directions.

The speaker looks great, however. It looks great when you take it out of its bag and place it on a table. The subwoofers that pulse on the sides of the speaker look awesome while they move. This design feature also serves a purpose, since the subs can fire off bass in any direction. My black unit is not flashy and only the JBL logo in metallic orange on the front gives it some color. The rubber rings at either end of the speaker aren’t symmetrical, but I like them because they give it a little more character.

The most important thing about the Flip 5's design, however, is its ability to be customized. The standard colors range from subtle black and white to bold mustard or bright red, which is the most well-known for the brand. You can design your Flip 5 pattern online if you buy it from JBL.

JBL Flip 5

Related Reading: JBL Clip 3 Review: A Clippable Sidekick with Solid Sound

Portability: Simple but effective

The best thing about the Flip 5's form factor is the fact that there aren't a lot of empty spaces. No strange clippings or oddly shaped parts create an unusual shape. This is a tiny cylinder, which can fit in the space of either a small coffee cup or small water bottles. It can fit into any water bottle pouch or a small coffee tumbler. The Flip 5's long, thin chassis allows it to slide alongside notebooks and laptops in your backpack. The Flip 5 measures just 7 inches by the round ends and less than 3 inches overall. The device's weight is perhaps the biggest drawback. The speaker weighs in at almost 1.25 pounds and was noticeable when I tried to pack it into my bag. It is a good speaker for outdoor adventures or gatherings in the yard. However, it's not too bulky.

Related Reading: Nest Audio Review: A Smart Speaker for Music Lovers

Build Quality and Durability: Robust with built-in protection

The Flip 5 was designed with durability and ruggedness in mind, just like other JBL products. I was able to throw the speaker on the ground without hesitation because the grille covers the majority of the device. It is a hard shell made with tightly woven fabric. Rest of the chassis is made of tough, rubberized plastic. It should absorb a lot of shock. I have a lot confidence in the speaker's durability, which makes it an ideal companion for hiking, swimming, or other outdoor activities that could cause damage to delicate electronics.

Water resistance is the other side to durability. JBL, like most other speakers in this class, has earned IPX7 water resistant. This means the speaker can be submerged for up to 3 metres in water. The tests were done under laboratory conditions so we do not recommend that you drop the speaker in water. The IPX7 rating is simply a durable speaker that can be used in rain and on poolside tables.

JBL Flip 5

Setup and Connectivity: Easy and straightforward

JBL has been a great company to provide speakers that connect to Bluetooth. While some brands may not work with your Bluetooth menu, others might. However, every JBL product I have ever opened (including this one) went straight into pairing mode and appeared on my Bluetooth device quickly. You won't need to worry about how to connect to another device because the Bluetooth button is visible on the exterior.

Bluetooth 4.2 is the protocol here. It gives 30m of connectivity on paper. But I am left wondering why JBL did not use Bluetooth 5 in their latest Flip. The difference in 5.0 and Bluetooth 4.2 won't be noticeable if you use the speaker outdoors, as I did for most of my testing, with no walls or obstructions to transmission.

Truth be told, the speaker did not cut out in any interference environment. You can also use the Bluetooth standard connection method to connect this device with a speakerphone for higher quality calls.

High Quality Sound: The best in the class

Let me be honest: I am an audio snob. Although not at the '$1,000 headphones are terrible' level of snobbery I prefer Bose and Sony's sound to that from brands such as JBL or Beats. The Flip 5 Bluetooth speaker is small and compact, which I have tried many times. This is probably due to JBL's super-unique driver, which lies behind the circular grille.

Two smaller speakers were included in the Flip 4, which attempted to provide stereo sound. However, this resulted in a poor bass response. JBL calls the Flip 5 a "racetrack" speaker. It measures 44x80mm according to the specification sheet. The oval shape of the driver theoretically allows it to produce lower lows than an ordinary circular 44mm driver (because of its 80mm diameter properties). The speaker produces 65Hz to 20kHz on paper. Technically, it is not able to produce the lowest frequencies. The driver's unusual shape, coupled with the subs that are side-firing, creates a surprisingly rich listening experience.

Flip 5 Bluetooth speaker is small and compact. This is probably due to JBL's super-unique driver, which lies behind the circular grille.

The most impressive thing about this speaker was the level of detail, regardless of whether it's playing soft classical music or being used as a speakerphone. The speaker has a very nuanced sound that isn't as susceptible to harmonic distortion at high volumes. It's not all positives here—there are no fancy Bluetooth codecs to speak of, so you'll have to make do with the lossier SBC and AAC formats.

JBL eliminated the two speaker cones from its speakers, so you don't get the same stereo coverage as larger speakers. The Flip 5, when paired with an app (more later), and any other JBL speakers, allows that stereo spread to take place using multiple JBL units.

It has a very nuanced sound that isn't as susceptible to harmonic distortion than other speakers this size.

Battery life: Currently missing

Two things became clear after testing JBL products in this class. JBL uses a conservative approach to estimating their battery life. If you desire better battery life, keep your volume low. These factors also apply to the Flip 5. JBL claims that the 4,800mAh rechargeable battery will provide about 12 hours of playing time. I found that to be true in my testing.

Although I noticed a decrease in battery life at higher volume, it was not unexpected. However, if the maximum charge is kept to 40 percent, that could give you more than 12 hours depending on what content you are streaming. These numbers are disappointing due to the speaker's weight. It weighs in at about one pound and half. I would like to have seen more than 15 hours, even with louder listening situations.

The bright side is that thanks to the more modern USB-C port, you can charge the speaker fully in only about two and a half hours—a much better charging speed than JBL's micro USB models. Although the speaker is capable of powering through an entire night, it's not as powerful as a larger battery.

JBL claims that the 4,800mAh rechargeable battery will provide about 12 hours of entertainment. I found that to be true in my testing.

Software and Additional Features: A few cool extras

The Flip 5 appears and feels very standard at first. This is because it's a portable Bluetooth speaker that was designed to be used as an individual device. However, Sonos and other brands have pushed consumers to expect more from their devices, which is why JBL decided to add a few additional features to the Flip 5.

JBL calls this 'Party Boost,' which allows you to play the same audio source across a number of compatible JBL speakers. One speaker acts as your main source. It is possible to pair as many as 100 JBL speakers together (if 100 of your friends have the same speaker), which seems pretty insane. This feature can be used to pair one Flip 5 with another Flip 5 to create a stereo pair, which will give you better sound quality.

Both of these functions can be achieved easily with the JBL Connect App. This app allows you to check your battery life and update firmware. It also lets you turn off the "audio feedback" sounds. These are the sounds that tell you what device mode you're in. Although the functions may not be as robust as those on Connect-compatible speakers like the Pulse, there's something to love about being able to control your device through an app rather than using limited buttons on the board.

JBL Flip 5

Cost: A bit expensive but maybe worth it

The Flip 5 speaker is not a budget model, as are many other JBL products. This speaker is listed at just below $120 by most retailers, but that does not include accessories. Although it would be great if the product was priced at around $100, the $120 price is reasonable considering the outstanding sound quality and durability.

It's important to evaluate if you will be using this Bluetooth peripheral a lot. You can find much more affordable options from other manufacturers than the Flip 5, which will give you the same quality as the Flip 5.

JBL Flip 5 Vs. Ultimate Ears Blast

Ultimate Ears speakers are very similar to JBL's in terms of looks and sound quality. Their mid-sized Blast model (view Amazon) has a 12-hour battery life and a loud, full sound. The Blast isn’t as loud or as beautiful as the Flip 5, but it does look better. It does have IP67 water ,dust resistance and Wi-Fi options. However, the price tends to be around $50 higher.

The JBL Flip 5 is a great choice if you have a lot of parties to host and do not want to install a permanent system. It will be cost-effective and durable, as well as reliable. You can find better value elsewhere if you only need this device occasionally. This speaker is a great sounding and looking device.


  • Produkt Name: Flip 5
  • Brand Name JBL
  • SKU B07QK2SPP7
  • Prices from $119.95
  • Weighing 1.25 pounds
  • Dimensions of the product: 7.1x2.9x2.7in
  • Battery life: 12 hours
  • Both wired and wireless
  • The range of wireless is 30m

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