Picture of the JBL Xtreme portable Bluetooth speaker, right front corner view.

JBL Bluetooth Speaker Buttons, Combinations

Most every JBL Bluetooth speaker model has several buttons and lights, as well as battery charge status lamps to show speaker power, charging, battery, and pairing status. The power lamp typically lights in either white, blue, or red, to show that status. Most also have a power port access panel, usually on the back or bottom, which is sealed with a semi flexible cover. Some of these speakers also have an auxiliary (AUX) input port as well.  Now here we describe the buttons most often found on the JBL Bluetooth speaker.  We show you where the controls are on the unit, explain the meaning of each button, what any button combination presses do, when to press them, and how to use the buttons to operate the speaker in general.





JBL Bluetooth Speaker Buttons, Their Codes, Functions, Combinations, and Meanings

You’ll often see the buttons in one or two rows, with most buttons having a unique shape.

The Bluetooth Discovery Mode Button

We begin our button guide with the Bluetooth Discovery mode button.  See this in our example speaker pointed out by the green arrow in the next picture. Note its squiggly Bluetooth logo shape of the button.

How to Use the Bluetooth Discovery (Pairing Mode) Button

You press this button anytime you pair the JBL Bluetooth speaker with a never-before-paired source device.  It works like this.  With the speaker turned ON, press the  Bluetooth Discovery  button to start up discovery mode. They often refer to this to as Bluetooth pairing mode. Now when in this mode, the speaker sends out its name and other connection info over the Bluetooth air channels, which allows nearby BT devices to find and connect to it.

Picture of the speaker with the Bluetooth button highlighted and just pressed, showing the Power button blinking blue.
The speaker with the Bluetooth button highlighted and just pressed, showing the Power button blinking blue.

The Volume Down and Volume Up Buttons

The JBL Bluetooth speaker also sports volume controls. Many of these speakers have these buttons near the center, close to the Bluetooth discovery mode button, the volume buttons are shaped like minus and plus symbols on most models.

When pressed, these buttons lower and raise the output volume of the speaker respectively, by reducing or increasing the volume setting on the paired source device. See the Volume Down and  Volume Up  buttons pointed at by the green arrows in the next picture.

How to Raise (Turn Up) and Lower (Turn Down) JBL Bluetooth Speaker Volume

With the speaker paired and playing, press the minus shaped Volume Down button to decrease its audio output level. Press the plus shaped Volume Up button to increase audio output.

Note that these loudness controls have no effect when the speaker is not paired. Also, the volume setting might change from paired device to paired device. That is, each paired device remembers its own volume setting. So you might need to re set the sound output when you unpair the speaker from one source device and pair it to another.

Speaker top view, highlighting the -Volume- buttons.
Speaker top view, highlighting the -Volume- buttons.

The JBL Bluetooth Speaker  Play-Pause and Voice Assistant Buttons

The Play / Pause button typically looks like a right-pointing arrow / triangle.  We find it near the right side of our sample JBL Bluetooth speaker, as pointed at by the green arrow in the next picture.

Top view of the speaker, showing the -Play / Pause- button highlighted.
Top view of the speaker, showing the -Play / Pause- button highlighted.

How to Use the  Play-Pause  Button

Press and release the  Play / Pause  button quickly to pause audio play. Rapidly press it again to reverse the pause action, and resume playback.

Note that the Play / Pause button is not a mute button. That is, pausing play in this way stops playback on the source Bluetooth device to which this speaker is currently paired. It does not merely just cut the speaker volume while the stream continues going.  If streaming, the playing is stopped.  So, you won’t miss any content when you pause the speaker, as the source device (your phone, tablet, or computer) remembers where the content was paused. Then it picks up playback where it left off, when you press the play pause button.





How to Turn the Play / Pause Button into a Voice Assistant Action Button

Some JBL Bluetooth speakers allow you to assign different functions to this button.  On these models, when you pair them with an Apple device, you may press and hold the Play / Pause button to get Siri’s attention. Note that you must enable Siri on the source device (phone, tablet) to use Siri through a JBL Bluetooth speaker.  Further, you must set this button’s function in the JBL Connect app to Voice Assistant. Do this on the speaker’s Settings page in that app, as pictured next. Thus, to get this functionality, your speaker must work with the Connect app (Not all JBL Bluetooth speaker models do).

Screenshot of the Connect app on iPadOS, showing the speaker's -Settings- page, with the -Voice Assistance- button highlighted.
The Connect app on iPadOS, showing the speaker’s -Settings- page, with the -Voice Assistance- button highlighted.

In the previous screenshot, the button we are calling Play / Pause is set to perform the Play / Pause function.  Note the orange colored setting near the bottom of that screenshot.

But if we want that button to get Siri’s attention, instead of pausing our music, we could touch the  Voice Assistant  screen item.  Doing this changes the Play / Pause button into a Voice Assistant Action button.  In this mode, pressing this button alerts the voice assistant on your source Bluetooth device that you wish to ask or command something of it.

The JBL Bluetooth Speaker Power Button

The Power button not only switches the speaker ON and OFF, but on some models also sports a multi-colored light to display speaker status when turned on.

How to Read and Use the Power Button Signals

Quickly press and release the Power button to switch the speaker ON or OFF.

Also, the Power button or a separate status lamp glows in various ways to telegraph speaker states.  First, it might flash blue when the speaker has not yet been paired, and is in Bluetooth discovery mode. It glows a solid color when the speaker is paired with a source device. See this blue glow in the next picture.

Top view of a common JBL Bluetooth speaker, showing the -Power- button highlighted and glowing blue, meaning that the unit is ON and paired.
Top view of a common JBL Bluetooth speaker, showing the -Power- button highlighted and glowing blue, meaning that the unit is ON and paired.

On our example speaker, the Power button glows solid white when the speaker powered on but not currently paired.  This means that it is awaiting a pairing request from a source BT device. But it is not in discovery mode.  So while waiting for pairing, the speaker is not broadcasting its connection data for nearby Bluetooth devices to discover.  See this button glowing white in the next picture.

Top view of the speaker powered ON, but not paired, with its -Power- button highlighted.
Top view of the speaker, powered ON, but not paired, with its -Power- button highlighted.

Finally, the Power button glows a pale blue-white while the speaker is resetting to factory default settings.





The Connect+ Button

The Connect Plus button, found on later models of the JBL Bluetooth speaker, is used to connect two or more Connect+ compatible speakers together, in “party mode”, such that they all play the same audio content. Similar to speakers playing in Amazon’s multi room music groups, all speakers connected together via Connect+ are synced. That is, they all play the same audio at the same time.

How to Use the Connect Plus Button

You press this button on each JBL Bluetooth speaker you wish to add to the Connect+ group.

Top view of the speaker, showing the -Connect- button highlighted.
The speaker, top view, showing the -Connect- button highlighted.

The picture above shows the JBL Bluetooth speaker not joined in a Connect+ group, because the Connect+ button is dark. But this button lights when the speaker is joined to a Connect+ group.

JBL Bluetooth Speaker Buttons –  Combinations, Codes

All Lights On Test Mode

Entering the All Lights ON mode briefly lights all lamps on the control panel, and then powers down the unit after two seconds.  Note though that here, the JBL Bluetooth speaker makes no falling guitar sound when it shuts off.  Also during this test, all the lights on the panel light up as shown next, including the battery gauge, as well as the Volume Down  and Play-Pause buttons.

Top view of the speaker, showing the -Power- and -Connect- buttons glowing .
Top view of the speaker, showing the -Power- and -Connect- buttons glowing.

Note that all battery gauge lamps also come on during this test, as shown next on our example speaker.

Picture of the front bottom of the speaker, showing all battery gauge lights glowing.
Front bottom view of the speaker, showing all battery gauge lights glowing.

How to Turn All Lights On

To enter this mode, press and hold the Volume Down and Play-Pause buttons that are highlighted in the next picture, for around ten seconds, until you see the lights all come on, as shown in the last picture.

Picture of the -Volume Down- and -Play-Pause- buttons highlighted.
Showing the -Volume Down- and -Play-Pause- buttons highlighted.

Once you enter All Lights ON, the lights remain ON for a short period before they all shut off.  Then, the JBL Bluetooth speaker returns to normal working order once the lamps go back to their pretest state.





Firmware Version Button Combination Code

Pressing the Volume DOWN and Connect+ buttons together, for at least two seconds make the Bluetooth speaker say its current firmware version.  It says  two or more numbers that comprise this version, in a female voice.

Top view picture of a typical Bluetooth speaker, showing the -Volume Down- and -Connect- buttons highlighted.
Top view of a typical JBL Bluetooth speaker, showing the -Volume Down- and -Connect- buttons highlighted.

Low Frequency Mode Button Code Combination

You can change how loud the bass is on most later models of the JBL Bluetooth speaker, by turning on and off its low frequency mode. When switched on, this super bass mode makes the passive bass radiators vibrate much more, and adds a low rumble quality to the playing program, that travels pretty far from the speaker.





How to Turn Off Low Frequency Mode

By default, the JBL Bluetooth speaker has this extra bass mode turned ON.  This adds some treble and lots of deep bass to the audio output.

Top view of this wireless speaker, showing the -Bluetooth- and -Volume Down- buttons highlighted.
Top view of this wireless speaker, showing the -Bluetooth- and -Volume Down- buttons highlighted.

You can turn low frequency mode OFF by depressing the Volume Down (-) and Bluetooth buttons for about ten seconds, until the Power and Connect lamps light up briefly.

Find all these buttons on the top of the speaker, as shown in the picture above, pointed at by the green arrows.

How to Turn On Low Frequency Mode

To turn low frequency mode back on, again, press and hold the Volume Down (-) and Bluetooth buttons in until the Power and Connect lamps light.  Then release the buttons.  Finally, when the buttons inside the circled area above light up, the low frequency mode has resumed once more.

Warning

The speakers inside most JBL Bluetooth speakers really thump when you switch on the low frequency mode.  So use caution in how loudly you play this speaker, to avoid damaging  the drivers. If the bass is crackling, tapping, or otherwise distorting, turn it down !

JBL Bluetooth Speaker Reset Buttons Code Combination

You can reset the speaker to factory default settings and state by pressing the  Volume UP  and   Play / Pause  buttons at the same time and holding them in until the hard factory reset begins. See these buttons pointed at by the green arrows n the next picture.

Top view of this portable speaker, with the -Volume UP- and -Play Pause- buttons highlighted.
Top view of this portable speaker, with the -Volume UP- and -Play Pause- buttons highlighted.

You may wish to reset the speaker to correct any weird behaviors you notice from it such as failing to pair, sound distortion, failure to power off when you press the  Power  button, and so on. Note that resetting invalidates any saved connection info about the JBL Bluetooth speaker on your source Bluetooth devices. So you’ll have to forget those connections on these devices, and re pair the speaker after a reset in order to play your audio content through it once again.





JBL Bluetooth Speaker Service Mode Buttons Combination

When in this (often called ‘weird’) mode, the speaker does not power ON unless you connect the external power source. Thus, it will not run on the internal battery while in Service mode.  And then, it powers up without you pressing the Power button.  I.e. It comes on as soon as you apply outside power.  Further, you cannot turn it off in Service mode unless you disconnect the external power source. And then, it powers off without pressing the Power button.

Also, none of the buttons seem to work in Service mode.  E.g. The JBL Bluetooth speaker won’t pair with any devices or other speakers when you press the Pairing button, and as mentioned, the Power button does not switch it off either.

How to Turn On Service Mode

To turn on this Service mode on the speaker, power it up first, and then press the Connect and Volume UP buttons at the same time. Hold these in until the speaker powers OFF, which usually takes ten seconds or so.  Find these buttons pointed out in the next picture. Note that you can enter this mode as long as the speaker is ON, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s connected to external power or not.

Top view picture of the speaker, showing the -Connect- and -Volume Up- buttons highlighted.
Top view of the speaker, showing the -Connect- and -Volume Up- buttons highlighted.

How to Turn Off Service Mode

But once you switch into this Service mode, then to switch it back off, you must connect external power again. Why?  Because the speaker won’t come on without outside power, and you can’t change modes without the unit being powered UP.

So, with the speaker Power button glowing, you press and hold the Connect and Volume UP button combination for ten seconds or so, until the unit powers off.  Then, normal speaker operation returns.





The JBL Bluetooth Speaker Battery Status Meter Gauge Indicator

Finally, to round out our JBL Bluetooth Speaker buttons guide, most units also have five lights that show the amount of charge left currently in the built in power bank battery. The smaller speakers such as those in the JBL Flip series, have this gauge on a raised plastic strip, close to the buttons. On the bigger models like the Charge, Xtreme, and Boombox offerings, these lamps are on the front, near the bottom of the speaker.

How to Read the Battery Meter

When the internal battery is fully charged, all five battery charge level LEDs glow.  As the battery runs down, fewer of the lamps light. In the next picture, the speaker is shown at eighty percent charge. Note that four of the five lamps are lit in this case.

Battery gauge on the speaker, showing 80 percent charge, highlighted.
Battery gauge on the speaker, showing 80 percent charge, highlighted.

As the battery further discharges, more battery level lights go out, until the charge amount reaches between 0 and 20 percent. In this case, only one lamp, the one on the far left, glows.

Finally, when the battery discharges to nearly dead levels, the far left battery light blinks red. Speaker shutdown happens soon after this.  So, recharge it immediately for continued uninterrupted musical enjoyment.

To save power, this meter shuts off after a bit, even though the speaker continues to run.  So to see the battery level again, quickly press and release one of the volume buttons.

Other Posts About the JBL Bluetooth Speaker

  1. JBL Bluetooth Speaker Reset Instructions
  2. How to Connect JBL Bluetooth Speaker to Alexa
  3. JBL Bluetooth Speaker Volume Control Described
  4. How to Restart JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth Speaker
  5. How to Adjust Volume on JBL Flip 3 Bluetooth Speaker




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References for JBL Bluetooth Speaker Buttons

  1. JBL Bluetooth Speaker Product Page, on JBL.com

Revision History

  • 2020-12-01: First posted.

 

 

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