Most JBL Bluetooth speakers, including the Charge 3, offer off-grid sound via an internal battery. And when that portable power runs out, you can recharge it via an AC or car adapter. To facilitate recharging this speaker, you can use a USB 2 charger with the speaker, that delivers 5 volts at 2.3 amps. Sometimes though, you may experience charging problems on the JBL Charge 3, where it does not charge fully, or at all, even when you connect the adapter to power, and then to the speaker.
How to Know That You Have JBL Charge 3 Charging Problems
Among the ways you can tell that this speaker has charging problems, is by reading the battery status gauge on the front lower portion of the unit. Now this meter starts blinking red during play to let you know that the battery is running pretty low on power. And the flashing dot does not stop, even when you attach the charger. The light should change at this point though, to blinking white. When things are working correctly, this indicates that the speaker is getting some power from the adapter. But if it continues red, then recharging is not happening.
You can also feel the AC adapter’s surfaces fifteen minutes or so into the charge cycle. The Charge 3 itself may warm a bit as well as correct charging occurs. But if you sense no warmth, then again, the speaker is probably not charging.
Also, the battery gauge normally shows battery recharging progress. I.e. as the Charge 3 recharges, more and more of the lamps light white. But if you don’t see more lights coming on after a couple hours of recharging, then chances are, again, you have charging problems with this speaker.
Thus when you realize this, even though it should be charging, you’ll want to see what’s wrong and how to solve the problem. So in this piece, we offer solutions to address common charging problems on the JBL Charge 3. Then we give possible fixes for this common occurrence.
JBL Charge 3 Charging Problems, Reasons and Fixes
As we said above, it’s normal that the battery status meter flashes red when the speaker is about dead. But this meter should turn to a blinking white when you attach the Charge 3 to the charger, and the charger to a suitable power outlet, and battery recharging begins.
Normally, this meter displays white lights when the speaker is charging, as we see next. The number of these lamps glowing tells you how full the battery is. It can appear as follows.
Or, if the speaker is OFF when charging starts, and you don’t turn it ON during charging, then once recharging finishes, all lights in this meter go dark. See this in the next picture.
If the gauge does not change to white when you plug the charger into the discharged speaker, then several things might cause this. We list these below thus.
1.The Power Outlet May Not Be Live
The AC or car adapter for the JBL Charge 3 may not output any power because it is not receiving any to begin with. This can happen due to a broken AC or car circuit, tripped breaker, blown fuse, faulty wiring, power failure, and the like.
Check that your receptacle has power by plugging in a lamp or other device. Reset circuit breakers if tripped, and if the outlet has a light switch that controls it, then be certain that that switch is in the ON position.
2. The Power Adapter is Broken
The Charge 3 not charging can also occur because the AC or car adapter is giving SOME but not ENOUGH charging current to completely recharge the speaker, even though its getting the correct power input. Now as the unit ages, its output energy can fall over time. So the power supply might not deliver the correct amount presently.
When this happens, you may notice the gauge turn to a flashing white light, but not gradually advance toward full charge, or advance more slowly than usual. Please note that this speaker needs 2.3 amps at 5 volts from the USB adapter to fully recharge in the specified time of 4 hours. But charging may not work as we expect, and likely be slower, if the charger does not deliver on these requirements.
The solution is to replace the power adapter, preferably a USB supply that delivers at least 5 volts at 2.3 amps.
3. The Battery in the Charge 3 Has Expired
As lithium ion batteries like the one in this speaker age, they lose their ability to fully charge, and the characteristics of the charging current they draw changes as they get older. Normally, as this type of battery charges, it draws less and less charging current as it fills. But in the case of cell failure, it may draw too many or too few amps, thus confusing the charging circuits into behaving like no charging is occurring. So the gauge shows that charging is not happening.
To solve this, replace the battery. But keep in mind that you can’t easily get the old one out of the Charge 3. Indeed, changing the battery means that you must take the speaker apart, and this is delicate and potentially time intensive work.
Also note that doing this breaks the water resistant seal. So the speaker may no longer be safe to use, should you expose it to water.
Breaking this seal may well change the sound quality also. So get someone to replace the battery who knows how to pick the right replacement. They should also be able to restore the seal to as it was, as they reassemble the speaker. A good battery should fit well inside and provide 3.6 volts at 7,500 mAh (27 watt-hours). But we suggest using only JBL certified batteries for this speaker.
4. The Speaker Might be Defective When You Have Charging Problems on the JBL Charge 3
Even if you have the proper power supply, with a working battery in the speaker, the charging current that actually gets to the battery may be too low or too high. This can happen when the battery management circuits in the Charge 3 develop defects.
Note that these charging systems read the battery status, and shut off the charging current when they deem the battery full. But when they break, the battery might get no power at all. Thus, it never recharges. Again, in this case, the battery gauge might never stop flashing, even with the charger connected. You may also see that the speaker doesn’t play as long before going dead, if at all, until you connect the charger. Or it might not play at all.
The best answer here, is simply to get a new Charge 3. Why? Because the electronic parts in this model are quite small. So unless you can replace the system board(s) yourself, or know someone who will do it for you, just buy another speaker to save a dump of aggravation.
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- 2023-02-07: First posted.