Picture of the JBL Charge 3 portable wireless speaker. Showing the front right end view. The Bluetooth speaker is powered on and paired.

Updating Firmware on JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth Speaker, How To, Via JBL Connect Plus App




Here, we demonstrate updating firmware on JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker.  The process can take up to thirty minutes depending on the speed of your Wi-Fi internet connection.  Plus, it’s irreversible once done.  You won’t be able to return to the previous firmware version once you complete this software upgrade.  So, be sure that you indeed wish the upgrade and have considered all of its ramifications before proceeding.




Prepare for Firmware Updating

You’ll need and internet connection, a Bluetooth enabled mobile or desktop computer device, and the JBL Connect Plus (Connect+) app, as well as the JBL Charge 3 speaker itself.

So, get your mobile device connected to the internet and install the Connect+ app if you haven’t already.

Connect your JBL Charge 3 to AC power.  Why?  Because we don’t want its battery power bank going dead during the update.  This sort of mishap could leave a corrupted version of the firmware in the speaker’s memory, and brick the speaker, rendering it useless and not repairable.

Then, pair your mobile device with the JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker.

You are now ready to begin the firmware updating process on that JBL Bluetooth speaker.




Updating Firmware on JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth Speaker, How To

1. Find the JBL Connect+ App on your Mobile Device

We found ours on the fourth home page in our Apple iPad Air, as shown next.

Updating firmware on JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker. Screenshot of the iOS 11 home screen, showing the JBL Connect app highlighted.
Updating firmware on JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker. iOS 11 home screen, showing the JBL Connect app highlighted.

2. Run the JBL Connect+ (JBL Connect Plus) App

The app takes a few seconds to show you some pretty animations when you first start it.  But then it locates your paired JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker and shows you its status screen, as pictured next.

Note the explanation point inside the orange circle in the top right corner of the speaker’s picture, as pointed at by the dark green arrow.  This means that there are important messages about this speaker pending for your to read and act upon.

Updating firmware on JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker. Screenshot of the JBL Connect Plus app on iOS. Showing the JBL Charge 3 speaker, needing a firmware update. Notification symbol for that is highlighted.
Updating firmware on JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker. JBL Connect Plus app on iOS. Showing the JBL Charge 3 speaker, needing a firmware update. Notification symbol for that is highlighted.

Note that if there are no current messages or firmware updates available for this particular wireless speaker, then you will see no explanation point.

3. Tap the Orange Circled Explanation Point (!)

Tapping the Important Messages (!) circle brings up the first IMPORTANT NOTICE screen about the available firmware upgrade, as shown next.

Updating firmware on JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker. Screenshot of the JBL Connect Plus app on iOS. Connected to a JBL Charge 3 speaker. Displaying first important notice about upgrading the firmware on this connected Bluetooth speaker.
Updating firmware on JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker. JBL Connect Plus app on iOS. Connected to a JBL Charge 3 speaker. Displaying first important notice about upgrading the firmware on this connected Bluetooth speaker.

This screen gives details about the available firmware update.  In our case here, it tells us that we need this upgrade to enable JBL Connect+ functionality on our Charge 3 speaker.  Specifically, this software upgrade enhances the speaker operation by allowing it to connect into a group of up to a hundred JBL Connect+ compatible wireless speakers, such that they all stream the same content, in synchronization with each other.  You would do this when you wish to blanket a large area with music for dancing for example.




4. Flick to the Left to See the Next IMPORTANT NOTICE Page

Updating firmware on JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker. Screenshot of the JBL Connect Plus app on iOS, paired with a JBL Charge 3 speaker. Displaying the 2nd important notice, warning about this firmware update being permanent and thus, not reversible.
Updating firmware on JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker. JBL Connect Plus app on iOS, paired with a JBL Charge 3 speaker. Displaying the 2nd important notice, warning about this firmware update being permanent and thus, not reversible.

This page warns us that this particular JBL speaker firmware cannot be undone, and that once done, this software upgrade is permanent in the speaker.  It also says that after this upgrade, the speaker we’re updating will no longer be able to connect with other JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speakers that are running older versions of the firmware. You will also lose connectivity with older speakers such as the JBL Flip 3, JBL Pulse 2, JBL Xtreme, JBL Boost, and Cinema 5B450.

5. Flick Once More to the Left to See the Next IMPORTANT NOTICE Page

Another left flick brings up the JBL Charge 3 firmware upgrade confirmation prompt screen, as shown next.

Updating firmware on JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker. Screenshot of the JBL Connect Plus app on iOS, paired with a JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker. Prompting for firmware update confirmation. You must tap the Install button to go ahead with the firmware installation.
Updating firmware on JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker. JBL Connect Plus app on iOS, paired with a JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker. Prompting for firmware update confirmation. You must tap the Install button to go ahead with the firmware installation.

This prompt again warns us that we won’t be able to fall back to the old firmware version once this upgrade is complete.  It then asks us to decide whether to install the new software or to cancel out.  We’re going ahead, in the next step.

6. Tap the INSTALL Button

Touching the INSTALL button brings up the Upgrade Speaker screen as shown next.

Updating firmware on JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker. Screenshot of the JBL Connect Plus app on iOS, connected with a JBL Charge 3 speaker. Prompting to plug in the speaker to AC power to update its firmware.
Updating firmware on JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker. JBL Connect Plus app on iOS, connected with a JBL Charge 3 speaker. Prompting to plug in the speaker to AC power to update its firmware.

This page tells us to connect our Charge 3 speaker to AC power if we’ve not done so already (You would have already done this if you were following the instructions in the preliminaries section above).

7. Connect the JBL Charge 3 to AC Power if Not Done Already

We connected our JBL Charge 3 to an AC outlet via the included power adapter and cable, as shown in the next picture.

Updating firmware on JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker. Picture of the JBL Charge 3 wireless speaker, charging. Showing all connections for recharging this power bank speaker. The AC adapter is plugged Into wall, and connected to the speaker via the USB A to micro USB male charge cable.
Updating firmware on JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker. JBL Charge 3 wireless speaker, charging. Showing all connections for recharging this power bank speaker. The AC adapter is plugged Into wall, and connected to the speaker via the USB A to micro USB male charge cable.




8. Tap the   OK   Button

Next, go back to the JBL Connect+ app running on your mobile device, and tap the OK button.  See this button in the last screenshot picture.

The firmware update then begins, with the download of the firmware update file from the internet, through your mobile device, to the speaker via the Bluetooth connection, as shown in the next screenshots.

Updating firmware on JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker. Screenshot of the JBL Connect Plus app on iOS, connected with a JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker. Displaying the -Transferring Firmware Update File- page as the new firmware file is copied from the mobile device to the speaker.
Updating firmware on JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker. JBL Connect Plus app on iOS, connected with a JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker. Displaying the -Transferring Firmware Update File- page as the new firmware file is copied from the mobile device to the speaker.

8a. Firmware Update Begins

Copying the file from the internet to the speaker is the slowest part of the firmware upgrade process.  But as shown in these screenshots, the JBL Connect+ app shows you a progress pie-chart picture, that gradually becomes more orange as the firmware file transfer proceeds.

Updating firmware on JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker. Screenshot of the JBL Connect Plus app on iOS, paired with a JBL Charge 3 waterproof speaker. Transferring update firmware file to that speaker, 40 percent done.
Updating firmware on JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker. JBL Connect Plus app on iOS, paired with a JBL Charge 3 waterproof speaker. Transferring update firmware file to that speaker, 40 percent done.

8b. Firmware Update at Forty Percent Complete

We’re probably about fifteen minutes into the firmware update at this point in the process.

Updating firmware on JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker. Screenshot of the JBL Connect Plus app on iOS, linked via Bluetooth with a JBL Charge 3 splashproof speaker. Transferring new firmware file, 65 percent complete.
Updating firmware on JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker. JBL Connect Plus app on iOS, linked via Bluetooth with a JBL Charge 3 splashproof speaker. Transferring new firmware file, 65 percent complete.

8c. Firmware Update at 65.7 Percent Done

The next screen shows that the firmware file transfer to the speaker has finished (100 percent done). The pie chart is completely orange now.

Updating firmware on JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker. Screenshot of the JBL Connect Plus app on iOS, paired with a JBL Charge 3 portable speaker. Transferring new firmware update file to that speaker, 100 percent done.
Updating firmware on JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker. JBL Connect Plus app on iOS, paired with a JBL Charge 3 portable speaker. Transferring new firmware update file to that speaker, 100 percent done.

8d. Firmware Upgrade File Transfer 100 Percent Complete

Once the app copies the upgrade file to the JBL Charge 3, you get the  Upgrade Successful  screen, as shown next.  However, note that the speaker is still in the process of installing the new firmware for nearly a minute after you first see this green and white screen. Thus, this screen warns us that our speaker will restart automatically, and it asks us not to unplug the speaker while it’s running the upgrade.

Updating firmware on JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker. Screenshot of the JBL Connect Plus app on iOS, paired with a JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker and power bank. The new firmware update to the speaker is successful. Done button highlighted.
Updating firmware on JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker. JBL Connect Plus app on iOS, paired with a JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker and power bank. The new firmware update to the speaker is successful. Done button highlighted.




9. Wait for the JBL Charge 3 to Shut Off

Watch the power light on the speaker, as shown next.  Eventually it will go dark, as shown next, pointed at by the green arrow.

Updating firmware on JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker. Picture of the JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker, powered off. Showing the Power button highlighted.
Updating firmware on JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker. JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker, powered off. Showing the Power button highlighted.

The speaker may or may not turn itself back on again.  Ours did not.  If, like ours, yours did not come back up after the firmware upgrade, then go ahead with the next step (Step 10).  But if yours did come back online though, then skip Step 10 and pick up with Step 11.

10. Power On the JBL Charge 3

Press the dark Power button to turn this Bluetooth speaker on again.  It should again pair with your mobile device where you’re running the JBL Connect Plus app.  The Power button turns solid blue with your speaker has successfully paired again with your tablet or phone, as shown next.

Updating firmware on JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker. Picture of the JBL Charge 3 IPX7 certified portable Bluetooth speaker, powered on and paired. Power button is glowing blue and highlighted.
Updating firmware on JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker. JBL Charge 3 IPX7 certified portable Bluetooth speaker, powered on and paired. Power button is glowing blue and highlighted.

11. Press the Done Button

With your speaker successfully paired to the JBL Connect+ app again, press the green Done button, as shown in the last screenshot.

The app then displays the JBL Charge 3 status screen once again.  However, this time, note that there’s no longer the orange circled explanation point (!), as shown next.  This indicates that the firmware update succeeded and that the speaker is now running the current firmware version.

Updating firmware on JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker. Screenshot of the JBL Connect Plus app on iOS, linked with a JBL Charge 3 splashproof speaker. The firmware update to that Bluetooth speaker is done. No newer firmware version available.
Updating firmware on JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker. JBL Connect Plus app on iOS, linked with a JBL Charge 3 splashproof speaker. The firmware update to that Bluetooth speaker is done. No newer firmware version available.

12. Done!

You’re now successfully updated the firmware to the current version in your JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker.  Enjoy the new multi speaker connectivity features.




Related Posts

References

Revision History

  • 2018-07-14: First published.