Many JBL speakers sport a status light that shines red as they charge / recharge. Sometimes though, this often red light in the JBL speaker stays on. E.g. It does not turn off once charging completes. Further, this concerns many JBL speaker owners, as they wonder if there’s something wrong with their device. So they’d like to resolve the issue. Therefore in this post, we offer reasons that this occurs and possible fixes for this common problem.
Why JBL Speaker Red Light Stays On
For just about all JBL speakers, it’s normal that this red light glows while the charging cable is connected for up to several to six hours, until the battery fully recharges. Then, when all is well, this light should turn white or blue, as shown next.
Or, the light should turn off when recharging is finished, and the speaker is powered OFF, as shown next.
If the red lamp does not change to white or blue, or go dark, this might have several causes.
1.The Power Outlet May Be Defective
The AC or car adapter for the JBL Charge 4 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, Broken, or is the Wrong Version
The charger did work well at one time. But recently, its output power has fallen due to aging parts inside. Most JBL speakers needs at least 1 amp of charging current at 5 volts (5 watts) from the supply to fully recharge the speaker. And the larger ones like the Charge and Xtreme series need much more.
To address this, check the power requirements of your speaker, and then make sure that the charger you select matches or exceeds them.
In the case of USB-C chargers, make sure the version of the one you have is compatible with your speaker. The same holds true for the connecting cable between them.
Charger Not Big Enough
Since many speaker models do not come with a charger adapter, JBL leaves it up to the user to get one that works well. Unfortunately though, many folks pick chargers that are too small (do not offer enough current) to do the job well. This is of particular concern for the speakers that accept USB-C power.
The fix is to replace the power adapter, preferably with a beefier, higher output model. For USB-C speakers, use an adapter that has a USB-C output, Then, use a USB-C to USB-C cable to connect the two for the fastest charging.
3. The USB Charging Cord is Too Long, Thin, or is Defective
The cable can reduce the charging current, even if your power supply is working well. This might occur with extra long, thin, or defective cables.
To solve this issue, use as short a cord as is practical. Or, switch to a thicker, higher current cable. We suggest keeping cord lengths to six feet or less, and to choose a lead that is certified to carry at least 1.0 amps. When in doubt, use a new cord.
For USB-C cables, make sure you have a cable with the power distribution version that your speaker supports. Most JBL speakers will charge well using 60-watt cords.
4. The Battery in the Speaker is Faulty
The Symptoms of a Broken Battery
As lithium ion polymer batteries age, they lose their ability to fully charge. Plus, the characteristics of the charging current they draw changes too.
Now normally, as a battery charges, it draws less and less current as the recharging progresses. It appears that the speaker watches how much current the battery is drawing. Then when that charge current falls to a value that the speaker sees as the battery being full, then it shuts off the red light and also the applied current ceases.
But a defective battery may not behave this way, and continue consuming higher power, even when it reaches full charge. 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 broken battery.
The Fix for an Aging Battery
To fix this, replace the battery. Now you can’t easily get to it in most JBL speakers. So to do this you must take the speaker apart. However, beware that disassembling the unit will likely break the waterproof seal. So this means that the unit will no longer resist damage should you dunk it.
Further, destroying this seal may also change how the unit sounds. Thus battery replacement should be done by someone who knows how to choose the right replacement battery. They must also be able to restore the seal as they reassemble the speaker.
5. The Speaker Might be Defective when the Red Light Stays On
Even if you have a strong enough 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 degrades. Now these circuits watch the battery, regulate the amount of charge, and shut off the charging current when they see that the speaker is fully recharged.
But when these systems fail, 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’re recharging it.
The best answer here, though perhaps not the most affordable one, is to just buy a new speaker. The micro circuits are typically too small for most human hands to work with. So unless you can replace the system board(s) in whole, just buy another speaker to avoid the time and headache of repairs.
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- How to Make JBL Speaker Discoverable
- Factory Resetting a JBL Speaker
- How to Put JBL Speaker in Pairing Mode
- JBL Speaker Button Functions, Meanings
- How to Connect JBL Speaker to Alexa
References for JBL Speaker Red Light Stays On
- 2021-08-08: First posted.