Many JBL speakers, including the Go 1, sport a status light that blinks red when the battery is low, and continuously shines red while charging / recharging . Sometimes though, this light stays on. E.g. It does not turn off once charging is done, and this is concerning for many JBL Go owners. So in this post, we offer reasons that this occurs and possible fixes for this common problem. Note that we’ve used pictures from our Go 2 here, but the Go 1 behaves essentially the same way. So we hope you can still learn how to solve the red light problem on your Go 1.
Why JBL Go Red Light Stays On
It’s normal that this red light glows while the charging cable is connected to the Go speaker for up to a few hours, until the battery completely fills up. Then, when all is well, this light should glow when the speaker is ON.
Or, the light should turn off when recharging is done, and the speaker is OFF, as we see next.
If the red lamp does not change to blue or go dark, this might have several causes.
1.The Power Outlet May Be Defective
The AC or car adapter for the JBL Go 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 Broken
The JBL Go red light stays on, maybe because the recharging adapter you have provides SOME but not ENOUGH power. Or, it did at one time work well. But recently, its output power has decreased due to aging components inside. The speaker requires at least 1.0 amps of charging current at 5 volts (5 watts) from the supply to fully recharge in the specified time of 2.5 hours.
The fix is to replace the power adapter, preferably with a beefier, higher output model.
3. The USB Charging Cord is Too Long, Thin, or is Defective
The USB cable can cut the charging current, even if your power supply is working correctly. This might happen with extra long, thin, or defective cables.
To solve this, use as short a cord as you can. Or, upgrade to a thicker, higher current wire. 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. When in doubt, use a new cord.
4. The Battery Needs Replaced
As lithium ion batteries age, they lose their ability to fully charge, and the characteristics of the charging current they draw changes as they “mature”. Normally, as a battery charges, it draws less and less current as the recharging progresses. We believe that the speaker monitors this, and when the charge current falls to a value that it sees as the battery being full, then it shuts off the red light and also the charging current. But a faulty battery may not behave this way, and continue consuming higher power. So in this case, the current never falls to the fully charged value, and so the red lamp never turns off. Instead, it stays on as the system continues pumping more charge into the defective battery.
To fix this, replace the battery. Now you can’t easily get to it in the JBL Go. So you disassemble the speaker. Note that taking apart the unit will likely break the waterproof seal, which means that the unit will no longer resist damage should you dunk it. Destroying this seal may also change how the unit sounds as well. So battery replacement should be done by someone who knows how to choose the right replacement battery, and can restore the seal as they put the speaker back together.
A good battery should fit inside and provide 3.7 volts and at least 730 mAh (2.7 watt-hours). But we suggest using only JBL certified replacement batteries for the Go 2.
5. The Speaker Might be Defective when the JBL Go 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 system inside becomes faulty. Now these circuits watch the battery, and shut off the charging current when they deem it fully recharged. But when they fail, 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 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’re recharging it.
The best solution here, given the low cost of the JBL Go, is simply to purchase a new speaker. The miniaturized circuits in this model are indeed quite small. So unless you can replace the system board(s), just buy another speaker to avoid the time and headache of repairs.
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References for JBL Go Red Light Stays On
- 2022-08-08: First posted.