Many JBL speakers, including the Clip 4, 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 when you connect the charger. Nor does it turn off after way more then the specified charging time. So in this post thus, we propose reasons that this happens and possible fixes for this common problem.
Why JBL Clip 4 Red Light Stays On
It’s normal that this red light glows while the charger cable supplies power to the Clip 4. The light should glow red until the battery completely fills. Then, under normal conditions, this light should switch off. Or it should turn to white if the speaker is ON.
But if the red lamp does not change to white or go dark, a couple things might cause this.
1. Your AC or Car Outlet May Not Have Power
Now your adapter may not deliver any power at all. That could be because it is not receiving any in the first place. This can happen due to a broken AC or car circuit or circuit breaker that’s off. A blown fuse, faulty wiring, or power failure can cause this as well.
Check that your outlet has power. E.g. Test it by plugging in a lamp or other device to it, to see if that device works. Then reset circuit breakers if any are OFF. Also if a light switch controls the outlet, then flip that switch ON.
2. Power Supply is Too Weak or Defective
The red light stays on perhaps, because the adapter you have provides SOME but not ENOUGH power. Or, the output power is weaker than when this adapter was new. The speaker needs 0.5 amps at 5 volts (2.5 watts) to fully recharge in the shortest time.
The fix in this case is to replace the adapter. Note that practically all USB adapters can deliver this amount of current. So you needn’t be overly choosy about which adapter to buy… At least not in terms of its power delivery specs. Nonetheless though, get a well-known brand for reliability.
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. Furthermore, choose a cable that its maker certifies to carry at least 1.0 amps.
4. The Speaker’s Battery Might Need Replaced
As lithium ion batteries age, they can spoil. That is, they lose their ability to fully recharge. Plus, the characteristics of the charging current changes as they age. Normally, during recharging, a battery draws less and less charge current as charging progresses. We believe that the JBL Clip 4 monitors this. Then when the charge current falls to the “full” value, then the red light shuts off. But faulty battery cells may not behave this way, and instead, continue drawing higher current. Therefore, 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 4. Changing the battery requires that you disassemble the speaker. Note that doing this likely breaks the waterproof seal. And without that, the speaker no longer resists damage if moisture gets in. Breaking this seal may also change how the speaker sounds as well. So only qualified personnel should replace the battery. They should also be able to restore the seal as they reassemble the speaker.
Now a good battery should fit inside, and provide 3.7 volts and 3.85 watt-hours at least. But we suggest using only JBL approved batteries here.
5. The Speaker Might be Defective when the JBL Clip 4 Red Light Stays On
Even if you have a large enough power supply, the charging current may be too high or too low. The can happen when the battery management electronics inside the Clip 4 fail. These circuits monitor the battery and shut off the charging current when they deem the battery as fully recharged. But when they malfunction, the battery might get no charging current at all, and thus never recharge. Again, in this case, the red light might never turn off while the charger is working. 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 have the adapter connected.
The most practical solution here, is simply to get a new speaker. The circuits in this model are very small and hard to work with without advanced skills. So unless you can replace the system board(s), just buy another speaker.