Many JBL speakers, including the Clip 3, feature a status light that glows red while charging / recharging the speakers. Sometimes though, this red light stays on. E.g. It does not turn off once charging completes. In this post, we propose reasons that this happens and possible fixes for this common problem.
Why JBL Clip 3 Red Light Stays On
It’s normal that this red light glows while the speaker charges. Recharging can take up to a few hours, until the battery completely fills up. Then, under normal circumstances, this light should switch off, or turn to white if the speaker is running.
If the red lamp does not change to white or go dark, a couple things might cause this.
1.The AC or Car Outlet May Not Have Power
The AC or car adapter for the JBL Clip 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.
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 Too Weak or Defective
The JBL Clip 3 red light stays on perhaps because the charging adapter you’re using provides SOME but not ENOUGH charging current. Or, the output power has weakened over time. The speaker requires at least 0.6 amps of charging current at 5 volts (3 watts) from the supply to fully recharge in the specified time.
The fix is to replace the adapter, preferably with a higher output model.
3. The USB Charging Cord is Too Long, Thin, or is Defective
The USB cable can reduce the charging current even if your power supply is working correctly. This might happen with excessively long or thin cables.
To solve this, use as short a cord as is 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 1.0 amps.
4. The Internal Battery Needs Replaced
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 charges, it draws less and less charging current. We suspect that the speaker monitors this. And when the charge current falls to a value that it interprets as battery fullness, then it shuts off the red light. But a faulty battery may not behave this way, and continue drawing higher current. So in this case, the current never falls to the fully charged value, and so the red lamp never turns off.
To fix this, replace the battery, although you can’t easily get to it in the JBL Clip 3. Changing the battery requires that you disassemble the speaker. Note that doing this likely breaks the waterproof seal. So the speaker no longer resists damage due to wetness.
Breaking this seal may also change the sound characteristics as well. Thus, we suggest that you leave battery replacement to someone who can pick the right replacement battery, and is able to restore the seal as they reassemble the speaker. A good battery should fit inside and provide 3.7 volts and at least 1,000 mAh (3.7 watt-hours). But we suggest using only JBL certified replacement batteries for this speaker.
5. The Speaker Might be Defective when the JBL Clip 3 Red Light Stays On
Even if you have an adequate 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 Clip 3 fail. These circuits monitor the battery and shut off the charging current when they deem the battery to be full. But when they go bad, the battery might receive no charging current at all, and thus never recharge. Again, in this case, the red light might never turn off while charging. You would also notice 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 most practical solution here, given the relatively low cost of the JBL Clip 3, is simply to get a new speaker. Why? Because the circuits in this model are quite small. So unless you can replace the system board(s), or know of a cheap way to do it, just buy another speaker.
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- 2020-08-28: First posted.