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JBL Flip 5 vs. JBL Charge 4: Which should you buy?

JBL Charge 4 Photo
JBL Charge 4 Photo (Image credit: JBL)

JBL Charge 4

JBL Charge 4 Render

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The JBL Charge 4 is one of the best modern-day boomboxes around. It gets very loud and can keep going for nearly 24 hours. Plus, it has the ability to serve as a power bank to top off your smartphones and other gadgets. The biggest downside here is that it's a bit on the heavy side for a portable speaker.

JBL Charge 4

Large and in charge

IPX7 water resistance
Can serve as a power bank to charge other devices
Up to 20 hours of battery life
10 fun colors to choose from
Not the most portable speaker
No voice assistant or speakerphone integration

JBL Flip 5

Jbl Flip 5 Render

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The Flip 5 is a fantastic portable Bluetooth speaker with long battery life and USB-C charging. However, it lost some key features from the previous generation like voice assistant integration and speakerphone support that actually set it apart from other Bluetooth speakers in its class, as well as the Charge 4.

JBL Flip 5

Flipping awesome

IPX7 water resistance
Up to 12 hours of battery life
11 fun colors to choose from
Lightweight and portable
Doesn't feature voice assistant integration
Doesn't feature speakerphone integration

Comparing the JBL Flip 5 vs. JBL Charge 4 is tricky because while both are spectacular speakers from JBL, each has a very different use case. Both are relatively affordable, sound great, and are meant to take on the elements. But there are plenty of differences between the two as well. Let's break down those similarities and differences below.

JBL Flip 5 vs. JBL Charge 4: Spec comparison

When you look at these two Bluetooth speakers side-by-side, you can't help but notice the obvious differences (size) and infer some non-obvious differences (battery life, sound output). But because they're both made by the same company, they share a lot of JBL DNA as well.

JBL Charge 4JBL Flip 5
Dimensions8.66" x 3.74" x 3.66"7.13" x 2.91" x 2.72"
Weight2.12 pounds1.19 pounds
Battery lifeUp to 20 hoursUp to 12 hours
Charge time4 hours2.5 hours
Maximum output30W20W
Number of drivers11
Frequency response60Hz – 20kHz65 Hz to 20 kHz
Number of color options1011
Water resistanceIPX7IPX7
JBL connectConnect+Connect+
3.5 mm audio cable inputYesYes
Integrated voice assistant accessNoNo
SpeakerphoneNoNo
Charging cableUSB-CUSB-C

JBL Flip 5 vs. JBL Charge 4: Similarities

JBL has built a solid reputation for making some truly excellent-sounding speakers, and is one of the companies that has taken the lead in the durable, waterproof Bluetooth speaker space. Many of its devices grace our lists and buyers guides as tops in their respective categories, and the Flip 5 and Charge 4 are both devices capable of going toe-to-toe with any competitor.

These two speakers share a common design language that makes them instantly recognizable as JBL devices. Both sport the tubular 360-degree speaker shape, and both have the red JBL logo front and center. Both are available in nearly a dozen fun colors and patterns, including Black Cammo, firey Red, and a really beautiful Ocean Blue. If you buy directly from JBL, you can even customize your colors and patterns to make your speaker really unique.

These devices work well indoors, of course, but they're really meant to shine outside. Both have IPX7 waterproofing and can even be submerged up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes. They're equally suited for long day trips to the beach or backyard barbecues thanks to their extended battery lives, and they both can get incredibly loud for their size. Thanks to an upgrade for the Flip 5, both speakers also now feature USB-C charging so that you can share the same cable as your phone or other portable devices!

JBL Flip 5 vs. JBL Charge 4: Differences

Jbl Flip 5 Lifestyle

Source: JBL (Image credit: Source: JBL)

Right off the bat, the biggest difference you're going to notice between these Bluetooth speakers is the size. The Charge 4 is about a half-inch to an inch larger in every dimension, and it weighs a full pound more than the Flip 5. That may not seem like much in theory, but in practice, it definitely makes one speaker more portable than the other.

The battery capacity and power-sharing feature of the Charge 4 vastly outshine that of the already impressive Flip 5. The Charge 4 has a 20-hour capacity compared to the 12 hours of the Flip 5, and the Charge 4 can also serve as a power bank to charge your other devices — devices like the Flip 5, ironically. If you're planning on partying all-day outdoors, these advantages can make a huge difference. However, the Flip 5 can be recharged in nearly half the time as the Charge 4.

The Charge 4 is also capable of getting much louder than the Flip 5 thanks to its 30W output, though while its bass is powerful, some have complained that it underperforms in the high end. The high-end is where the Flip 5 shines, but as you might expect from a smaller speaker, it's a bit weak in the bass.

JBL Flip 5 vs. JBL Charge 4: Which should you buy?

black jbl charge 4 outdoors

Source: JBL (Image credit: Source: JBL)

Whichever JBL portable Bluetooth speaker you choose, you're going to be getting a great device. It just comes down to which features are more important to you. Power vs. portability is the biggest decision you have to make. For us, it comes down to power. You just get more for your money with the Charge 4, with the louder sound, deeper bass, longer battery life, and power-sharing. That's why it's our pick in this Bluetooth speaker showdown.

The Flip 5 is a wonderful speaker, but there are a lot of comparable alternatives at that price point or cheaper for what you get. Plus, we feel like, despite the addition of a USB-C charging port, the Flip 5 is a bit of a regression from the Flip 4, loosing both voice-assistant and speakerphone integration.

Jeramy is proud to help *Keep Austin Weird* and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand. When he's not writing about smart home gadgets and wearables, he's defending his relationship with his smart voice assistants to his family. You can follow him on Twitter at @jeramyutgw.