Picture of the glowing red light on the JBL Charge 3.

JBL Charge 3 Red Light Stays On, How to Fix

Many JBL speakers, including the Charge 3, feature a status light that glows red while charging / recharging them. In this case, we find it as part of the battery gauge on the front of the speaker’s base. Sometimes though, this red light stays on or blinks incessantly.  E.g. It starts flashing during play and does not stop.  Thus in this post, we propose reasons that this occurs, and possible fixes for this common problem.

Why JBL Charge 3 Red Light Stays On

It’s normal that the battery gauge gives off a blinking red light when the battery is critically low.  But this red light should go out when you connect the speaker to a charger, and battery recharging begins.

Picture of the glowing red light on the JBL Charge 3.
JBL Charge 3 red light glowing.

Normally though, this gauge only shows white lights.  The number of these glowing lamps tells you how full the battery is. It can appear as follows.

Picture of the JBL Charge 3 battery status gauge, showing roughly eighty percent charge.
The JBL Charge 3 battery status gauge, showing roughly eighty percent charge.

Or, if the speaker is OFF when charging begins, and you don’t turn it ON during charging, then once charging finishes, all lights in this gauge go out. See this in the next picture.

Picture of the speaker front, as it appears when the unit is fully charged. All battery gauge lamps OFF and are circled.
Front view of the speaker, as it appears when the unit is fully charged. All battery gauge lamps OFF and are circled.

If the red lamp does not change to white or go dark, several things might cause this. We list these below thus.

1.The Power Outlet May Be Dead

The Problem

The AC or car adapter for the JBL Charge 3 may not deliver any power because it is not receiving any to begin with. This can happen due to a defective AC or car circuit, tripped circuit breaker, blown fuse, faulty wiring, power failure, and the like.

The Fix

Check that your outlet has power by testing it 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 sure that that switch is in the ON position.

2. Power Supply is Not Working Well

The Problem

The JBL Charge 3 red light stays on or continues blinking perhaps because the power adapter you’re using provides SOME but not ENOUGH charging current. Or, its output power fell over time. So it no longer can deliver the correct amount.  Please note that this speaker requires 2.3 amps of charging current at 5 volts from the supply to fully recharge in the specified time of 4.5 hours.

The Fix

The fix is to replace the adapter, preferably with a higher output model. We recommend chargers from JBL and Key Power, that deliver full USB 2.0 power levels.

3. The USB Charging Cord is Too Long, Thin, or is Broken

The Problem

The USB cable can reduce the charging current even if your power supply is working well.  This might happen with very long or thin cables.

The Fix

To solve this, use as short a cord as practical. Or, upgrade to a thicker, higher current handling cable. We suggest keeping cable lengths to six feet or less, and to choose a cable that is certified to carry at least 2.3 amps.

4. The Internal Battery is Bad

The Problem

As lithium ion batteries age, they lose their ability to fully recharge, and the characteristics of the charging current they draw changes as they get older.  Normally, as a battery recharges, it draws less and less charging current. But in the case of battery failure, the battery may draw too much or too little current, thus confusing the charging circuits into behaving like no charging is occurring.  So, the red lamp stays on.

The Fix

To fix this, replace the battery. But keep in mind that you can’t easily get to it in the JBL Charge 3. Indeed, changing the battery means that you must take the speaker apart.

But note that doing this likely breaks the waterproof seal.  Thus the speaker will no longer resist damage should you get it wet.

Breaking this seal may also change the sound quality too. So battery replacement should be done by someone who can 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 3.7 volts and at least 4,500 mAh (17 watt-hours). But we suggest using only JBL certified batteries for this speaker.

5. The Speaker Might be Defective when the JBL Charge 3 Red Light Stays On

The Problem

Even if you have enough power supply, and cable with a working battery, the charging current that actually reaches the battery may be too low or too high.  The can happen when the battery management electronics inside the Charge 3 fail.  Note that these circuits watch the battery and shut off the charging current when they deem the battery to be fully recharged.  But when they go bad, the battery might get no charging current at all.  Thus, it never recharges.  Again, in this case, the red light might never turn off even with the charger connected. You may also see that the speaker doesn’t play as long before going dead. Or it might not play at all, except when you’re charging it.

The Fix

The best solution here, given the relatively low cost of the JBL Charge 3, is simply to get a new speaker.  Furthermore, the circuits in this model are highly miniaturized.  So unless you can replace the system board(s), or know someone who can and is willing, just buy another speaker.

Other Posts About the JBL Charge 3 

    1. How to Turn On Bass Boost on JBL Charge 3
    2. How to Pair JBL Charge 3 to iPhone
    3. JBL Charge 3 Power Adapter Specs and Details
    4. How to Charge JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth Speaker
    5. JBL Charge 3 Charger Type and Description

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References for JBL Charge 3 Red Light Stays On

    1. Where to Buy the JBL Charge 3 Speaker

Revision History

    • 2022-12-02: Updated links.
    • 2022-07-23: First posted.