Here, we give software update instructions for the JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker. This upgrade can take up to thirty minutes depending on the speed of your internet connection. Plus, you cannot easily undo it. That is, you won’t be able to return to the previous software version once you complete this update. So, be sure that you indeed want the new software and have considered all of its ramifications before going ahead.
Prepare for JBL Charge 3 Software Update
You’ll need and internet connection, a Bluetooth enabled mobile or desktop computer device, and the JBL Connect Plus (Connect+) app, as well as the JBL Charge 3 speaker itself. So, connect your mobile device to the internet and install the Connect+ app if you haven’t already.
Next connect your JBL Charge 3 to AC power. Why? Because we don’t want its battery power bank going dead during this process, which could leave a corrupted version of the software in the speaker’s memory. This could brick the speaker, rendering it useless and not repairable.
Then, pair your mobile device with the JBL Charge 3.
You are now ready to begin the software updating process on that JBL Bluetooth speaker.
Charge 3 Software Update Instructions, Step by Step
1. Find the JBL Connect+ App on your Mobile Device
We found ours on the fourth home page in our Apple iPad Air, as shown next.
2. Run the JBL Connect+ (JBL Connect Plus) App
The app takes a few seconds to show you some cute animations when you first start it. But then it finds your paired JBL speaker and displays for you its status screen, as shown next.
Note the explanation point inside the orange circle in the top right corner of the speaker’s picture, as pointed at by the dark green arrow. This means that there are important messages about this speaker pending for your to read and act upon.
Note that if there are no current messages or software updates available for this particular speaker, then you will see no explanation point.
3. Tap the Orange Circled Explanation Point (!), to Continue with JBL Charge 3 Software Update
Tapping the Important Messages (!) circle brings up the first IMPORTANT NOTICE screen about the available firmware upgrade, as shown next.
This screen gives details about the available software update. In our case here, it tells us that we need this upgrade to enable JBL Connect+ functionality on our Charge III speaker. Specifically, this upgrade enhances the speaker operation by allowing it to connect into a group of up to a hundred JBL Connect+ compatible wireless speakers, such that they all stream the same content, in sync with each other. E.g. You would do this to blanket a large area with music for dancing and partying.
4. Flick to the Left to See the Next IMPORTANT NOTICE Page
This page warns that you cannot uninstall the new software once you update it. It says that once done, this software upgrade is permanent. Further, it says that after this upgrade, our speaker will no longer connect with other JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speakers that are running older software versions. You will also lose connectivity with older speakers such as the JBL Flip 3, JBL Pulse 2, JBL Xtreme, JBL Boost, and Cinema 5B450.
5. Flick Once More to the Left to See the Next IMPORTANT NOTICE Page
Another left flick brings up the JBL Charge 3 software upgrade confirmation prompt screen, as shown next.
This prompt again warns us that we won’t be able to fall back to the old software version after the update. It then asks us to decide whether to install the new software or bail out. We go ahead with the update in the next step.
6. Tap the INSTALL Button to Continue with these JBL Charge 3 Software Update Instructions
Touching the INSTALL button brings up the Upgrade Speaker screen as shown next.
This page tells us to connect our Charge Three to AC power if we’ve not done so already. Note that you would have already done this if you followed the instructions in the preliminaries section above.
7. Connect the Charge 3 JBL to AC Power
We connected our speaker into an AC outlet via the included power adapter and cable, as shown in the next picture.
8. Tap the OK Button
Next, go back to the JBL Connect+ app running on your mobile device, and tap the OK button. See this button in the last pic.
The software update then starts. The download of the update file from the internet begins. It flows first through your mobile device, and then onto the speaker via the Bluetooth connection, as shown in the next screenshots.
8a. JBL Charge 3 Software Update Begins
Copying the file from the internet to the speaker is the slowest part of the software update process. These screenshots show the progress pie-chart picture. The “pie” gradually fills in with more orange as the software file transfer proceeds.
8b. Software Update at Forty Percent Complete
We’re probably about fifteen minutes into the update process at this point.
8c. Firmware Update at 65.7 Percent Done
The next screen shows that the firmware file transfer to the speaker has finished (100 percent done). The pie chart is completely orange now.
8d. Software Upgrade File Transfer 100 Percent Complete
Once the app copies the upgrade file to the JBL Charge 3, you get the Upgrade Successful screen, as shown next. But note that the speaker is still upgrading to the new software, and that this goes on for nearly a minute after you first see this green and white page. Thus, this screen warns us that our speaker will restart automatically afterwards. Further, it asks us not to unplug the 3 while it runs the update.
9. Wait for the JBL Charge 3 to Shut Off to Continue with the JBL Charge 3 Software Update
Watch the power light on the speaker, as shown next. Eventually it goes dark, as shown next, pointed at by the green arrow.
The speaker may or may not turn itself back on again. The one we tried this on did not. Now if, like ours, yours did not come back up after the update, then go ahead with the next step (Step 10). But if yours did come back online, then skip Step 10 and pick up with Step 11.
10. Power On the BT Speaker
Press the dark Power button to turn the speaker on. It should again pair with your mobile device where you’re running the JBL Connect Plus app. The Power button turns solid blue when your speaker has successfully paired again with your tablet or phone, as shown next.
11. Press the Done Button
With your speaker successfully paired to the JBL Connect+ app again, press the green Done button, as shown in the last screenshot.
The app then displays the JBL Charge 3 status screen once again. But this time, note that there’s no longer the orange circled explanation point (!), as shown next. This means that the software update succeeded and that the speaker is now running the current software version.
12. Done with JBL Charge 3 Software Update !
You’re now successfully updated the software to the current version in your JBL Charge 3 BT speaker. Enjoy all the new features and improved reliability.
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References for JBL Charge 3 Software Update Instructions
- 2020-11-18: First posted.