Picture of the red light on the JBL Charge 4 glowing.

JBL Charge 4 Red Light Stays On, How to Fix

Many JBL speakers, including the Charge 4, have a light that glows or blinks red when the battery is almost out of power. In the case of the Charge 4, we find this lamp in the battery gauge on the front of the speaker’s base. Sometimes though, this red light stays on or blinks for long periods as you play the speaker.  E.g. It starts flashing during play and does not stop, even when you connect a charger.  Thus in this post, we offer reasons that this can occur, and give possible fixes for this common problem.

Why JBL Charge 4 Red Light Stays On

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

Picture of the red light on the JBL Charge 4 glowing.
JBL Charge 4 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 4 portable speaker, its battery gauge showing 80 percent full, highlighted.
JBL Charge 4 portable speaker, its battery gauge showing 80 percent full, highlighted.

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 out. See this in the next picture.

Picture of the JBL Charge 4 battery meter with all lights dark.
JBL Charge 4 battery meter with all lights dark.

If the red lamp in this meter does not change to white or go dark when you plug the charger into the speaker, then several things might cause this. We list these below thus.

1.The Power Outlet May Not Be Live

The Problem

The AC or car adapter for the JBL Charge 4 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 4 red light stays on or continues blinking perhaps because the AC or car adapter you’re using provides SOME but not ENOUGH charging current, even though its getting the correct power input. Its output energy can fall over time. So it might not deliver the correct amount presently.  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 hours.

The Fix

The solution is to replace the adapter, preferably with a higher output model. We recommend chargers from Key Power, Belkin, and Anker, that deliver full USB power levels for this speaker.

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

The Problem

The USB cable can limit the charging current too much, 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 Battery in the Charge 4 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 amperage, 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 4. Indeed, changing the battery means that you must take the speaker apart.

But note that doing this likely breaks the water resistant seal.  Thus the speaker will no longer be safe, should you get it wet.

Breaking this seal may also change the sound quality as well. So get someone to replace the battery 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 and at least 7,500 mAh (27 watt-hours). But we suggest using only JBL certified batteries for this speaker.

5. The Speaker Might be Defective when the JBL Charge 4 Red Light Stays On

The Problem

Even if you have enough power supply, and cable with a working battery, 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 Charge 4 fail.  Note that these systems read the battery status, and shut off the charging current when they deem the battery to be full.

But when they fail, the battery might get no power 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 4, is simply to get a new one.  Also, the circuits 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.

Other Posts About the JBL Charge 4 Speaker

    1. JBL Charge 4 Pairing Instructions
    2. Bass Boosting the JBL Charge 4 Speaker
    3. How to Turn Off the JBL Charge 4
    4. How to Turn On JBL Charge 4
    5. JBL Charge 4 Battery Life

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References for JBL Charge 4 Red Light Stays On

    1. JBL Charge 4 Official Support Page at JBL.com
    2. Where to Buy the JBL Charge 4

Revision History

    • 2022-07-24: First posted.
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