Front left view of the JBL Charge 5 BT speaker.

Why Won’t My JBL Charge 5 Charge

Most JBL portable speakers, including the Charge 5, offer truly portable operation via their lithium ion batteries inside. And when said battery dies, you can recharge them with an AC or car adapter. Sometimes though, the question comes up: Why won’t my JBL Charge 5 charge. So to solve that, we offer information here to help.

Why Won’t My JBL Charge 5 Charge: How to Tell

You can tell that the Charge  5 doesn’t charge by reading the battery status gauge on the top.  Now the meter changes from white to pulsing red during play, to alert you that the battery is running low.

But there’s a problem if this flashing keeps going, even when you attach the charger.  Why?  Because the battery gauge should change at this point though, to blinking white, when you apply charger power.  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 occurring.

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 speaker too.  The speaker itself indeed heats up a little during correct recharging also.  But if you detect no warmth, then again, you’ll probably notice that the JBL Charge 5 probably doesn’t charge.

Moreover, the battery gauge normally shows battery recharging status.  So as long as charging continues, one of the progress lights in the meter flashes white.  And, as mentioned, the gauge fully darkens when charging completes.  But if the meter still blinks after several hours on the charge, then chances are, recharging is not working correctly.

Thus when the Charge 5 is not recharging, check out why and figure out how to fix. So here, we offer reasons why the JBL Charge 5 may not charge. Then we give possible solutions to try.

Why Won’t My JBL Charge 5 Charge: Reasons and Fixes

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

Picture of the glowing or flashing red light on the JBL Charge 5.
The glowing or flashing red light on the JBL Charge 5.

Normally though, this gauge stays dark except for just after you press any button when the speaker is ON.  In that case, the gauge lights white when the battery is not near dead.

The battery level meter gauge showing a full charge.
The battery level meter gauge showing a full charge.

Or once recharging finishes, the battery level meter goes dark.

Picture of the dark battery gauge.
The dark battery gauge.

Now the meter light may not change to flashing white when you connect the charger. If it doesn’t, then several things might cause this. We list these below thus.

1.The Power Outlet May Not Be Live

The Problem

The charger may not output any energy, because it is not receiving any to begin with. This can happen due to a defective circuit or  tripped breaker. A blown fuse, faulty wiring, or general power failure may be to blame also.

The Fix

Check that your outlet has power by plugging in a test light or other device.  Then, reset circuit breakers if tripped. And if the outlet has controlling light switch, then flip that switch ON.  Or, simply try a different outlet.

2. The USB Adapter is Defective or Too Small

The Problem

When the JBL Charge 5 doesn’t charge, the adapter is outputting SOME but NOT ENOUGH amperage.

Now as these adapters age, their output energy can fall off over time. So this power supply might not deliver the correct amount if it is very old.   So you may see the speaker’s battery status gauge start flashing white. But it never goes dark, though it should darken when correct charging finishes. Note that this speaker needs 3 amps at 5 volts (15 watts) to get the 2.5 hours spec charge time.  Yet charging will likely go slower if the charger does not deliver on these requirements.

The Fix

Replace the charger. Buy one that has a USB-C plug and delivers at least 5 volts at 3 amps). Most common USB-C power supplies meet these power requirements. But check and be certain that the one you want does.

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

The Problem

The USB-C 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 workable. Or, upgrade to a thicker, higher current cable. We advise keeping cable lengths to six feet or shorter. Also, select a cable certified to carry at least 3 amps for fastest charging.

4. The Battery in the Charge 5 is Defective

The Problem

As lithium ion batteries age, they lose their ability to fully charge. Plus the characteristics of the charge current they pull, changes with advancing years.  Normally, as a battery recharges, it draws less and less amps from the charger as it fills. But in the case of cell failure, it may draw too many or too few amps. This can confuse the charging circuits. They may respond as though the battery is already full.  So the battery meter shows that charging is not happening. It may either never stop its red blinking, or never change to white.

The Fix

To repair this, replace the battery. But understand that you likely will not easily get the old one out of the Charge 5. 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 Charge 5 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 Charge 5 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 3.6 volts at 4.8 amp hours, or 17.28 watt-hours. But we suggest using only JBL certified batteries for this speaker.

5. The Speaker Might be Faulty

The Problem

Even if you have the proper adapter, the current reaching the battery may be too low or high.  This can happen when the battery management system goes amiss. Note that these circuits watch the battery status. And when it’s full, they switch OFF the charging current.

But when they go askew, the battery might see no power at all.  Thus, the speaker never recharges.  Again, the battery gauge might continue blinking white and never stop. You may also see that the speaker doesn’t play as long before dying.  Or it might not play at all, even with the charger.

The Fix

The best answer here, is simply to get a new JBL Charge 5.  Why?  Because the electronics inside are quite small.  So unless you can replace the bad components yourself, just buy another unit. This is the easiest route.

Other JBL Charge 5 Posts

    1. JBL Charge 5 Low Frequency Mode Not Working
    2. Software Update Details
    3. How Long to Charge
    4. The Battery Size
    5. Reset Not Working

References for Why Won’t My JBL Charge 5 Charge

    1. Official JBL Charge 5 Product Page
    2. Where to Buy the JBL Charge 5