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. 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 is connected to the Clip 4 for up to a few hours, until the battery completely fills up. Then, under normal conditions, this light should switch off, or 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
The auto or home adapter you’re using may not deliver any power because it is not receiving any in the first place. This can happen due to a broken 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 to it, to see if it works. 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 4 red light stays on perhaps because the charging adapter you have provides SOME but not ENOUGH recharging energy. Or, the output power has weakened over time. The speaker requires at least 0.5 amps of charging current at 5 volts (2.5 watts) from the supply to fully recharge in the specified time of 3 hours.
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, and to choose a cable that is certified 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, and the characteristics of the charging current they draw changes as they get older. Normally, as a battery recharges, it draws less and less charge current. We believe that the JBL Clip 4 monitors this. Then when the charge current falls to a value that it interprets as the battery being fully charged, then it shuts off the red light. 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 so that the speaker no longer resists damage if you get it wet. Breaking this seal may also change how the speaker sounds as well. So battery replacement should be done by 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 3.85 watt-hours at least. But we suggest using only JBL approved replacement batteries for this speaker.
5. The Speaker Might be Defective when the JBL Clip 4 Red Light Stays On
Even if you have a large enough power supply and cable with a working battery, the charging current that actually reaches the battery 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 connected. 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, given the relatively low cost of the JBL Clip 4, is simply to get a new speaker. The circuits in this model are highly miniaturized. So unless you can replace the system board(s), just buy another speaker.
Other Posts About the JBL Clip 4 Speaker
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References for JBL Clip 4 Red Light Stays On
- 2022-07-28: First posted.