Picture of the JBL Flip 5 powered ON, held in hand.

JBL Flip 5 Review of this Portable Bluetooth Speaker

In this piece, we review the JBL Flip 5 portable Bluetooth speaker.  We cover this waterproof speaker’s performance, and accessories.  Indeed, this speaker sounds great and can play quite loud. Plus, even when playing at max volume, the built-in lithium ion battery lasts up to twelve hours per charge.

The only major drawback we found, is that the bass drivers are exposed at each end, although it appears that they’ve strengthened them since the last version of the flip series. So this isn’t as much of a concern for us in this model.

Other than that though, the 5 is a decent buy for under a hundred and twenty US dollars.  So, we explore its great and not-so-great points below.  And we think that after that, you’ll also believe that the JBL Flip 5 is an excellent portable Bluetooth speaker over all.  Get one this summer for your poolside parties.

Front view of the JBL Flip 5 speaker package box.
Front view of the JBL Flip 5 speaker package box.

JBL Flip 5 Review: Advantages, Benefits, Pros, and Features

As we’d expect from JBL, the Flip 5 has way more advantages than disadvantages.  Next, we list just some of the many impressive features.

Picture of the JBL Flip 5 powered ON, held in hand.
JBL Flip 5 powered ON, held in hand.
Picture of the side panel buttons on the JBL Flip 5 Bluetooth speaker.
Side panel buttons on the JBL Flip 5 Bluetooth speaker.

Lots of Useful Controls

This fifth version of the  JBL flip BT speaker has six buttons.  These include Power, Play-Pause, Volume, Connect, and Pairing.  

Lighted Power Button

Top view of the speaker, powered ON, not paired, showing the glowing Power button highlighted.
Top view of the speaker, powered ON, not paired, showing the glowing Power button highlighted.

Note the glowing white power button on this Flip JBL 5 speaker in the picture above.  When you turn the speaker on, this button lights white, meaning that the speaker is running.

Splash Proof and Waterproof

Back view of the speaker package box.
Back view of the Jspeaker package box.

This JBL splash proof speaker can take a few drops of water, and can even be submerged in water for short periods without damage.  Just be sure you have the charge port door completely snapped shut.  Otherwise, water might get inside and damage BT speaker electronics. IPX7 rated. Rain will not hurt it.  If you drop it into a chlorinated swimming pool, just rinse the speaker off in fresh tap water when the party is over.  

JBL Flip 5 Review: Built in Rechargeable Battery

The 4,800 MaH battery inside fully charges in under three hours with an adequate charger.  And using medium play volumes, it lasts roughly twelve hours per charge.  

Upgraded USB-C Charge Port

Top view of the JBL Flip 5 speaker, showing the USB-C charging port highlighted.
Top view of the JBL Flip 5 speaker, showing the USB-C charging port highlighted.

This speaker has a USB-C charge port, as pictured above.  This port is not covered, unlike in the earlier versions of this speaker. Apparently, JBL feels that this port is water tight enough on its own, that they need not place it behind a sealed port door in this model.   So, no need any longer to fuss with prying open stuck port doors just so you can charge the speaker.

Connect the Flip 5 JBL with any 3.0 amp or higher USB charger with the included charging cord.  (USB 2 chargers will still work, but you may notice longer times to full charge with them).

Then, plug the adapter into AC power, and let charge for about two and a half hours, which is roughly an hour less than its predecessor speaker, the Flip 4.

Charging Cable Included

The JBL Flip 5 comes with a short USB-C charging cable.  The cord we received is black in color, is about forty inches long, and is quite flexible.

High Excursion Speaker Radiators

You can actually see the ends of this speaker (the passive radiators) moving while playing high-bass music and spoken word recordings. And this speaker’s bass is somewhat deeper and fuller than the last version, due to the larger single driver inside. This thing really pumps !

Right side view of the speaker, showing one of the passive radiators.
Right side view of the speaker, showing one of the passive radiators.

JBL Flip 5 Review: Monophonic Sound

You get 20 watts of audio power from the single audio channel.  But you can also connect this unit to other compatible JBL speakers to form a stereo pair with the JBL Connect+ app.

PartyBoost Mode

Or, connect them in party mode so that each speaker plays the same content (mono sound from up to many of these speakers at the same time).

Auto Power OFF

When the music from the source Bluetooth device stops, or pairing between that device and the speaker is broken, the speaker shuts off after a short time, to conserve battery power.

Multiple Bluetooth Sources

Supports as many as two streaming mobile devices paired at the same time. This allows quick playing music from two different libraries.  Or, two people can take turns playing their favorite songs over this JBL 4 wireless speaker.

JBL Connect+ Support

You can stream to more than one speaker at the same time with speakers that support the JBL Connect+ protocol.  This is like Google Chromecast or Amazon’s Multi Room Music feature.  Both of these allow streaming the same content to multiple speakers together.

JBL Flip 5 Review: Comes in Many Attractive Colors

You gen buy the JBL Flip 5 Bluetooth speaker in aqua, red, cyan, yellow, and numerous other colors.  Plus, if you buy direct from the JBL web site, you can customize the colors and art patterns imprinted on the speaker or a modest extra charge.

Left front view of the JBL Flip 5 Bluetooth speaker.
Left front view of the JBL Flip 5 Bluetooth speaker.

Comes with a Minimal Case

JBL Flip 5 Review: Disadvantages, Cons, Problems, Drawbacks, and Limitations

Cannot Act as a Speakerphone

When paired with a smart phone, you can answer calls with buttons on the JBL Flip 5.  They’re quite clear too, owing to the built in noise reduction circuits.

Does Not Support Siri and Google Assistants

When paired with phones that support these voice assistants, you can access them through the speaker with a button press.

Cloth Grill can Easily get Dirty

No Stand

The Flip 4, when laid horizontally, can roll.  The button panel on it often does not stop this rolling.  Plus, the fabric covering can get dirty resting right on the ground.  JBL might attach feet to future Flip series models, to keep the speaker more clean and to prevent rolling.

No USB Charger Included

No AC power supply included, although they do provide a short USB-A to USB-C charging cord.

Does Not Have an Auxiliary (AUX) Input Port

Unlike earlier versions, the JBL Flip 5 has no 3.5mm stereo input.  So the only way to send audio content to play on this speaker, is via Bluetooth.

Our Rating, to Wrap Up this JBL Flip 5 Review

We find the JBL Flip 5 Bluetooth speaker a decent value.  You get a bit more audio output watts than the last version and heavier bass.  Yet this is a quite solid wireless speaker. It never crashes or goes out, has a lot of range, and works well even when nearby radio sources are strong.

Over all, we like the workmanship and thoughtful designing that went into this product. Its wide excursion radiators and acoustic design make it a high fidelity speaker in spite of its small size and mono output.  So we rate it at 94 out of 100.

Where to Buy the JBL Flip 5 Bluetooth Speaker

We picked up ours at Walmart for roughly $120.  But you can also find it for sale on Amazon, eBay, and Best Buy among other outlets. The price ranges from around $100 to $130.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Does the JBL Flip 5 charge your phone?

No.

Is JBL Flip 5 compatible with iPhone?

Yes.  You can pair the speaker to an iPhone just as you would pair any other Bluetooth speaker to that Apple mobile phone.

Does the JBL Flip 5 come with a USB charger?

No.

Can you connect JBL Flip 5 to Charge 3?

Yes.  In fact, you can charge your Flip 5 from the Charge 3 by connecting a micro USB to A cable from the A connector on the Charge 3 to the USB-C power input port on the Flip 5.  Then, if the battery in the Charge 3 has enough power, your Flip 5 will charge.

Does the JBL Flip 5 Turn off automatically?

Yes.  When not paired with any device, or when paired by with no audio coming through for several minutes, the unit does indeed power down.

Does JBL Flip 5 work with Alexa?

Yes.  This speaker can pair with all Bluetooth capable Amazon Alexa Echo products.

Why is my JBL Flip 5 cutting out, or making crackling noises?

Try moving the speaker closer to the paired Bluetooth source device (your phone, tablet, or other mobile device).  This broken up play can occur due to weak signal from the source device.  Or, interference from other Bluetooth or WiFi devices can create cracking sounds through the speaker.  To solve this, try moving your speaker and mobile device to a different location.

Why won’t my JBL Flip 5 turn on?

The speaker’s internal battery may be dead.  Try recharging it for several hours.   Be sure that the charger used is working.

Why does my JBL Flip 5 die so fast?   

This speaker can go dead quickly if either it was not fully charged the last time you charged it, its battery needs replaced, or you play the speaker at very loud volumes.  The louder you play it, the shorter the battery life per recharge will be.

Other Posts About the JBL Flip 5 Portable Speaker

  1. How to Rename JBL Flip 5 Bluetooth Speaker
  2. JBL Flip 5 Battery Life, How Long the Battery Should Last
  3. How to Hard Reset JBL Flip 5 Speaker
  4. JBL Flip 5 Specs, Bluetooth Speaker Specifications
  5. How to Restart JBL Flip 5 Bluetooth Speaker
  6. JBL Flip 5 Buttons Explained, Codes, Meaning, Functions
  7. How to Connect JBL Flip 5 to Alexa
  8. JBL Flip 5 Charge Time, How Long for Full Charging
  9. How to Factory Reset JBL Flip 5 Bluetooth Speaker
  10. JBL Flip 5 Charger Type, Replacement
  11. How to Reset JBL Flip 5 Speaker, Reset Bluetooth

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References for this JBL Flip 5 Review

  1. JBL Flip 5 Bluetooth Speaker Official Product Page, from JBL
  2. Where to Buy the JBL Flip 5 Waterproof Speaker, on Google.com

Revision History

  • 2020-07-31: First published.