Many JBL speakers, including the Charge 5, have a light that glows or blinks red when the battery is almost out of power. In the case of the Charge 5, we find this lamp in the battery level meter bar on the front of the speaker. Sometimes though, this red light stays on or flashes for long periods as you play the speaker. E.g. It starts blinking during play and does not stop, even when you connect a charger. Thus in this post, we offer reasons that this might occur, and give some fixes for this common problem.
Why JBL Charge 4 Red Light Stays On
It’s normal that the battery gauge displays a blinking red light near the bottom of the battery status bar, when the battery is quite low. But this red light should go out when you connect the speaker to a charger, and battery recharging begins.
Normally though, this gauge bar only shows white. The amount of this bar that glows 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 completes, the entire battery level bar goes out. See this in the next picture.
If the red portion of this meter does not change to white 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 AC or car adapter for the JBL Charge 5 may not deliver any “juice” because it is not receiving any to begin with. This can occur due to a defective AC or car circuit, tripped circuit breaker, blown fuse, faulty wiring, power failure, or the like.
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 JBL Charge 5 red light stays on or continues blinking perhaps because the AC or car adapter you’re using provides SOME but not ENOUGH recharging current, even though its getting the right power input. Its output current can fall over time. So it might not deliver the correct amount presently. Do note that this speaker needs 3 amps of charging current at 5 volts (15 watts) from the supply to fully recharge in the specified time of 4 hours.
The solution is to replace the adapter, preferably with a higher output model. We recommend chargers from Key Power, Belkin, and Anker, that can deliver at least 15 watts of USB-C power to this speaker.
3. The USB-C Charging Cable is Too Long, Too Thin, or is Broken
The USB-C cord can limit the charging current too much, even if your power supply is working well. This might happen with very long or thin cables.
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 3 amps. When charging this speaker, we further suggest that you use a USB-C to USB-C cable, instead of a USB-C to USB-A one, as this will limit the charge current to well under 3.0 amps. And finally, you’ll also need a charger with a USB-C port for the cable just mentioned to fit.
4. The Battery in the Charge 5 is Bad
As lithium ion batteries age, they lose their ability to fully recharge, and the characteristics of the charging current they draw can lessen as they get older. Normally, as a battery recharges, it draws less and less charging current. But in the case of battery failure, the cells may drain too little amperage, thus confusing the charging circuits into behaving like no charging is occurring. So, the red lamp stays on.
To fix this, replace the battery. But keep in mind that you can’t easily get to it in the JBL Charge 5. Indeed, changing the battery means that you must take apart the speaker.
But note that doing this likely breaks the moisture seal. Thus this seal will not longer protect the speaker, should you get the unit wet.
Furthermore, breaking this seal may also change the sound quality too. 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 battery assemblies for this speaker.
5. The Speaker Could be Defective when the JBL Charge 5 Red Light Stays On
Even if you have enough power supply, and cable with a working battery, the charging current that actually gets to the cells may be too low or too high. This can happen when the battery management circuits inside the Charge 5 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 best solution here, given the relatively low cost of the Charge 5 JBL speaker, is simply to buy a new one. Plus, the circuits in this model are quite small. So unless you can swap out the system board(s) yourself, or know a skilled tech who will do it for you, your best bet is to just buy another speaker.
Other Posts About the JBL Charge 5 Power Bank Speaker
- JBL Charge 5 Pairing Instructions
- How to Turn On the JBL Charge 5
- How to Turn Off the JBL Charge 5
- JBL Charge 5 Hard Reset Instructions
- How to Turn On JBL Charge 5 Bass Mode
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References for JBL Charge 5 Red Light Stays On
- 2022-07-24: First posted.