Hey guys, you’re at Top2Gadget and we are back with another interesting review for you guys. The JBL is a popular name in the audio devices’ market. Recently JBL has updated its Flip series Bluetooth Speaker with the launching of the new JBL Flip 5, which comes in the market as a successor of JBL Flip 4 which is quite popular in the Bluetooth speakers market. So, today we will review the new JBL Flip 5 to know is it worth buying over the other Bluetooth speakers present in the market.
Pros and Cons
|Solid, comfortable build.
|Excellent audio quality.
|Sound Could have been better
|Can be used with consoles.
|JBL Flip 5
|24 July 2019
So first off, the flip 5 comes included with a hard styrofoam carrying case which honestly was an immense surprise because you don’t think you will get the carrying case with such a size of Bluetooth speaker. It is an exceptional touch on JBL’s part cause Flip 5 is one of those speakers you pick up cause you plan on taking it on the go with you for going to the beach.
The Flip 5 still has the same super durable body as the Flip 4. Its fabric and soft-touch plastic body is going to have no problem standing up to constant abuse and it’s still rocking that same IPX7 rating making it waterproof. The only thing you gotta worry about on this speaker is just not pushing in or getting dirt trapped inside those dual passive radiators. So besides that, they build this speaker like a tank. Which makes me doubt you’ll end up using the included carrying just cause the flip 5 is so rugged all on its own. But another thing that comes included with the Flip 5 is this new USB C to USB A charging cable, which means the Flip 5 now charges via a USB C port just like the JBL Charge 4.
But one of the first things that just makes you wonder “But Why” about this speaker is the lack of an audio jack. We don’t think anyone would mind about not having an audio jack on this speaker, but JBL should have included it cause some people want or still need to use a wired connection in certain situations, and it’s not like JBL got rid of the Audio jack on their speaker cause they needed the extra room to cram in other features like what’s happening on phones. And also the USB C port can only be used for charging. You can’t use it as a wired connection, and you also can’t use it to charge your phone. But then also JBL is leaving a lot of functionality on the table.
Honestly, you can not expect a lot of many features with a portable Bluetooth speaker. So talking about the features of the Flip 5, the key feature of the Flip 5 is the IPX7 Waterproof rating that will allow you to fully submersed Flip 5 in the water. Also, the built-in microphone allows you to take calls with the touch of a button which is cool and a convenient feature. Also, it has an auto-off/on feature which works smartly and saves your speaker’s battery. But Flip 5 is still only using the SBC audio codec, so it is a kind of disappointing that there isn’t any AAC or APTX support. But what this means is that this speaker isn’t great for watching movies or podcasts on your phone cause there is a slight latency whenever watching videos on both an Android or Apple device.
But now let’s talk about perhaps the most controversial thing about the JBL Flip 5 which has got to be its new JBL Party Boost speaker pairing protocol. For those who may not be knowledgeable, JBL Connect Plus has been by far many people’s favorite speaker pairing protocol for the last few years cause you literally just press one button on each speaker and the speakers will pair themselves together so you can play your music in sync. You don’t have to open up any other apps and the speakers don’t have to be paired to the same phone it just works. JBL Connect Plus is perhaps the best speaker pairing protocol on the market and it’s available on the JBL Flip 4, Charge 3, Charge 4, Puls 3, Xtreme 2, and JBL Boombox. But now, since the JBL Flip 5 only supports Party Boost, that means that Flip 5 can’t be paired up with any other JBL Speakers using JBL Connect Plus, which is very weird.
|JBL Flip 5
Let’s talk about speaker set-ups’ cause it’s very different from past JBL Speakers. Now the Flip 5 is a 16-watt speaker that’s rocking dual 40-millimeter transducers and dual passive radiators that shoot out the sides. And mostly, this is a very standard speaker set up for most other $100 speakers out there. But ever since the JBL Charge 4, JBL has transitioned from a dual transducer set up to a single transducer set up on their speakers. So now the JBL Flip 5 is a 20-watt speaker rocking a single oval transducer that’s been offset to the left, but you still have those dual passive radiators that shoot out the sides.
Now don’t have to care if the Flip 5 has a single transducer set up or a dual transducer set up cause all that matters is how this speaker sounds. So sound signature wise two of these speakers emphasize the mids and they all have a good amount of bass to them. But with audio fidelity, the Flip 5 outperforms the Flip 4 with those high-pitched sounds. In those small instances where the Flip 4 was distorting, both the Charge 4 and Flip 5 kept everything sounding clear. And JBL’s newer speakers sound a little warmer than Flip 4. The Flip 5 also has slightly more bass than the Flip 4 overall. But also the Flip 5 gets slightly louder than the Flip 4. Again like the bass on Flip 5, it’s not a noticeably huge performance difference between Flip 4 but it is there. But what surprises you here be just how well the Flip 5 keeps up with its larger brother, the Charge 4.
|JBL Flip 5
Flip 5 will be charged with a new USB C to USB A charging the cable which means the Flip 5 now charges via a USB C port just like the JBL Charge 4. But just like the older JBL Flip 4, Flip 5 still has an advertised battery life of 12 hours. So with Flip 5, you will get 12 hours of battery life, which is quite good at this price point.
|JBL Flip 5
Now when we went from JBL Connect to JBL Connect Plus, I guess it was understandable cause JBL’s newer generation of speakers was transitioning from Bluetooth 4.1 to Bluetooth 4.2. And since Charge 3 was equipped with Bluetooth 4.2 you could download a firmware update to upgrade to JBL Connect Plus. Now JBL claims that their new Partyboost feature is better than JBL Connect Plus cause it has better Bluetooth range and sound clarity… which means you’re going to spread your connected speakers out farther. But you will don’t understand why there isn’t any backward compatibility this time in between Partyboost and JBL Connect Plus cause the JBL Flip 5 is still using Bluetooth 4.2 and only supports SBC just like the rest of JBL’s current crop. Of speakers that use JBL Connect Plus. So as someone from the outside looking in you will don’t understand why JBL connected Plus speakers can’t pair to Partyboost speakers since they all use Bluetooth 4.2 they all support the same Bluetooth profiles and they all only support SBC. And as a consumer, this looks and feels like planned obsolescence cause JBL has come out and said that they don’t plan on upgrading any JBL connect Plus speakers to Partyboost.
Flip 5 has some improvements over the Flip 4 like it sounds slightly better, it gets slightly louder; it has slightly more bass, and it now has USB C charging. But like I mentioned earlier, I wish we could do more with that USB C port like to use it as a wired connection and use it to charge your own phone.
It is very hard to understand why they got rid of the audio jack besides being a cost-saving measure cause this speaker still doesn’t support higher quality audio codecs like AAC and or APTX and this speaker has a slight latency when watching videos on your phone. So for those reasons, you will still see a need for an Audio Jack on this speaker. But the biggest offence right now is just PartyBoost not being able to connect JBL connect Plus speakers.
If your someone that currently has JBL connect plus enabled speakers and was thinking about getting the Flip 5 we recommend you hold off and be prepared to be disappointed, here on out cause your speakers are now last gen. But if your someone that just looking into getting a Flip 5 then yeah It’s still a decent speaker to get overall and if you currently don’t have any other JBL speakers, we recommend getting the Flip 5 over the Flip 4 or any other Bluetooth portable speaker at this price range.