Most JBL Bluetooth speakers, including the Charge 3, offer off-grid operation via an internal battery. And when that portable power goes dead, 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 notice that the JBL Charge 3 is not charging fully, or at all, even when you connect the adapter to power, and then to the speaker.
How to Tell that the JBL Charge 3 is Not Charging
Among the ways you can tell that this speaker is not recharging, 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 power adapter’s surfaces ten or fifteen minutes into the charge cycle. The Charge 3 itself warms slightly as well during correct charging. But if you sense no warmth, then again, the JBL Charge 3 is 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 up white. But if you don’t see more lights coming on after a couple hours of recharging, then chances are, charging is not going well.
Thus when you notice that the Charge 3 is not recharging, even though it should be charging, you’ll want to find out what’s wrong and how to solve the problem. So in this post, we offer reasons why the speaker may not recharge. Then we give possible fixes for this typical difficulty.
JBL Charge 3 Not Charging, 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 speaker to the charger, and the charger to a suitable power outlet, and battery recharging begins.
Normally though, this meter only displays white lights. 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 gauge 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 defective 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 JBL Charge 3 Adapter is Broken
The Charge 3 not charging can also occur because the AC or car adapter is providing 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 adapter 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 4.5 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 is Faulty
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 recharges, 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 address 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 consuming 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 22 watt-hours. But we suggest using only JBL certified batteries for this speaker.
4. The Speaker Might be Defective when the JBL Charge 3 Does Not Charge
Even if you have the proper power supply, with a functioning 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 inside the speaker develop defects. Note that these charging systems read the battery status, and shut off the charging current when they deem the battery as full.
But when they break, the battery might not get any 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 JBL 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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References for JBL Charge 3 Speaker Not Charging
- 2022-12-02: Updated links.
- 2022-07-31: First posted.