Picture of the glowing party lights on the JBL Pulse 3 speaker.

JBL Pulse 3 Not Charging, How to Fix

Most JBL Bluetooth speakers, including the Pulse 3, offer portable operation via their lithium ion batteries inside. And when said battery dies, you can recharge the speaker with an AC or car adapter. Sometimes though, the JBL Pulse 3 is not charging fully, or at all. So to solve that, we offer information here to help.

How to Tell that the JBL Pulse 3 is Not Charging

Read the Battery Meter

You can tell that the speaker is not charging, by reading the battery status gauge on the front.

Now the meter changes from white to pulsing red during play, to show that the battery is almost empty. But there’s a problem if this flashing keeps going, even when you attach the charger.  Why?  Because the gauge should change at this point to blinking white. When the gauge stops flashing red, this means that the speaker is getting some power from the adapter. But if the red blinking continues, then correct recharging is likely not happening.

Moreover, the battery gauge normally shows battery recharging status.  I.e. As long as charging continues, one of the progress lights in the meter flashes white.  And the gauge fully darkens when charging completes.  But if the meter still blinks after several hours, then chances are, charging will not complete.

Feel the Heat

You can also feel the power supply’s case ten or fifteen minutes after connecting it to the speaker.  Then, it should feel warm.

The same with the JBL Pulse 3 too. Indeed, the speaker itself heats up a little also during recharging.  But you might have trouble feeling this heat. Why? Because after the Pulse 3 has been playing a while, it warms, even when not charging.  So you may be using your speaker, especially with the party lights. In that situation, you may not be able to detect charging by feeling it.  But if you feel no warmth from the charger, then again, this is a sign that charging is not working.

Thus when you notice this, you’ll want to determine why, and how to fix this problem.  So in this piece, we offer reasons why the JBL Pulse 3 may not charge  Then we give possible fixes.

 JBL Pulse 3 Not Charging: Reasons and Fixes

As we stated above, it’s normal that the battery status gauge pulses red when the battery inside is almost dead.  But again, the light should switch to a blinking white when you connect a charger.

Picture of the flashing red battery meter on the JBL Pulse 3 speaker.
The flashing red battery meter on the JBL Pulse 3 speaker.

Normally though, this gauge glows white when the battery is not getting near dead or when it is charging.  It can look as follows thus.

Picture of the white glowing battery gauge, showing 60 percent full.
The white glowing battery gauge, showing 60 percent full.

Then the battery meter normally goes dark when charging completes, and the speaker is OFF.

Picture of the dark battery meter.
The dark battery meter.

Now the meter may flash red. Yet it does not change to flashing white when you connect a charger. If not, then several things might cause this, and we list these below thus.

1.The Power Outlet May Not Be ON

The Problem

The adapter may not output any energy because it is not receiving any to begin with. This might occur due to a defective circuit or flipped breaker. Or a blown fuse, faulty wiring, or general power failure could be to blame.

The Fix

Check that your outlet has power by plugging in a lamp or other device.  Then, reset circuit breakers if tripped. And if the outlet has a light switch that controls it, then flick that switch ON.  Or simply, just try a different outlet.

2. The USB Adapter is Defective or Too Small

The Problem

The JBL Pulse 3 not charging can also happen because the adapter is outputting SOME but not ENOUGH amperage.

Now as these adapters age, their output energy can fall off over time. So yours might not deliver the correct amount if very old.   So the speaker’s battery fullness gauge may flash white. But it never goes dark, as you would expect at the end of charging.

Now this speaker needs 2.3 amps at 5 volts (11.5 watts) to fully recharge in4.5 hours.  Yet charging will likely go slower than we hope if the charger does not at least meet these requirements.

The Fix

Get a new adapter. Choose one that has a USB-A plug and delivers the 5 volts at 2.4 amp (12 watts). Many typical supplies meet these power requirements. But double check the one you plan to buy, to be sure.

3. The USB Charging Cable is Too Long, Too Thin, or is Defective

The Problem

The USB cable can limit the charging current too much, even if your power supply is working well.  This might happen with very long or thin cables.

The Fix

To resolve this, use as short a cord as will still work. Or, upgrade to a thicker, higher current cable. We advise keeping cord lengths to six feet or less. Also, pick a cable certified to carry at least 2.4 amps.

4. The Battery in the Pulse 3 is Defective

The Problem

As lithium ion batteries age, they lose their ability to fully recharge. And the particulars of the current they draw changes as well.  Normally, as a battery recharges, it draws less amps as it fills. But in the case of cell failure, it may draw too many or too few amps. This can thus confuse the charging circuits. They might react as though no charging is occurring.  So the status lamp shows that not charging state. It either never stops its white blinking. Or it never changes to white at all.

The Fix

To repair this, replace the battery. But understand that you likely will not easily get the old one out of the Pulse 3. Indeed, changing the battery means that you must take the speaker apart, and this can be a daunting effort.

Also note that doing this likely breaks the moisture seal.  So the Pulse 3 will no longer be safe to use, should you expose it to water afterwards.

Breaking this seal may alter the sound quality as well. So get someone to replace the battery who knows how to pick the right Pulse 3 replacement. They should also be able to restore the seal to as it was, as they reassemble the speaker.

A good battery should fit well inside the speaker and provide 3.7 volts at 6 amp hours, or 22.2 watt-hours. But we suggest using only JBL certified batteries for this speaker.

5. The Speaker Might be Defective when the JBL Pulse 3 Is Not Charging

The Problem

Now you may have the proper AC adapter. Yet the current that actually gets to the battery may be insufficient or excessive.  This can happen when the battery management system inside the speaker goes awry.  Note that these circuits read the battery status. Then they switch off the charging current when they read that the battery is full.

But when they go off kilter, the battery might see no power whatsoever.  Thus, the speaker never recharges.  Again, the battery gauge might continue blinking white in this case. And the speaker may also not play as long before running dead. Or it might not play at all, even with the charger present.

The Fix

The best answer here, is simply to get a new JBL Pulse 3.  Why?  Because the electronics in this unit are quite small.  So unless you can replace the electronics yourself, we suggest just buying another speaker.

Other Posts About the JBL Pulse 3

    1. JBL Pulse 3 Reset Directions
    2. How to Connect This Speaker to iPhone
    3. Updating the Firmware
    4. Charging Time
    5. How to Pair


    1. JBL Pulse 3 Official Product Page
    2. Where to Buy the JBL Pulse 3