Household & Living

JBL Flip 5 review: compact all-rounder Bluetooth speaker with bass

Review: JBL Flip 5 - Despite the rather high price the box unfortunately only has the Bluetooth 4.2 standard with better quality and connection range

Summer is here and it is teeming with new Bluetooth speakers. Any size, color or function is available. Now with the JBL Flip 5, a new competitor of the long-established company JBL is jumping into the race. We test the compact model and tell you what the mid-range Bluetooth speaker can do for an RRP of 129 euros.

The Flip 5 is not the first product from the traditional manufacturer JBL that we were allowed to test. We recently published our JBL Club 950NC review . But today, with the JBL Flip 5, everything revolves around the Bluetooth speaker category .

The scope of delivery at a glance: This is what awaits you in the box of the Flip 5

Those who opt for a JBL Flip 5 are currently spoiled for choice with ten different colors . From classic colors such as red or yellow, unusual camouflage patterns are also possible. Our test device is kept in a plain black . The selected color is printed on the box along with some information about the loudspeaker. If you open the packaging of the Flip 5, the following scope of delivery appears:

  • JBL Flip 5 speakers
  • Hard case
  • USB-A to USB-C charging cable
  • operation manual
  • Quick Start Guide

Everything is well and securely packaged . The actual scope of delivery is not really special compared to other models. However, the included hard case cannot be taken for granted. The styrofoam mix makes a robust impression and protects the Flip 5 completely, as it can be stowed firmly inside. So if you travel a lot and want to protect your Bluetooth speakers, you have a suitable case included.

At just 181x69x74 millimeters, the box is clearly one of the smaller models . However, thanks to its 540 grams, the Flip 5 looks extremely high quality. The robust outer garment made of hard rubber and fabric also contributes to this impression. Based on experience with various previous models, it can be said that the materials used have long-lasting properties and are also robustly protected against falls, scratches, water and other  external influences  .

We would describe the general look of the Flip 5 as t aff and at the same time simple . On the top there are four buttons for control (play / pause, volume up, down, PartyBoost), we will come to the latter in a moment. The back is occupied with the USB-C charging connection, an LED strip for battery indicator , the on / off switch and a Bluetooth button. JBL also integrated a bracket on top of this, with a cord as standard. Thanks to this, the JBL Flip 5 can be caught almost anywhere. The JBL logo can be seen on one of the side membranes , the opposite side bears the manufacturer’s typical exclamation mark.

An overview: commissioning, functions and the JBL Connect app

If you want to use the Bluetooth speaker from JBL for the first time, all you need to do is press the on / off switch. The typical JBL sound can already be heard. Then go to the Bluetooth setting of the smartphone, tablet or laptop and connect to the “JBL Flip 5” device, done. If you want additional setting options, you should download the JBL Connect app, which is available for iOS and Android. For example, the name of the Flip 5 can be changed there, which is a real blessing for iPhone users, because Apple does not allow the devices to be renamed .

Now we would like to say a few words about the most important feature of the JBL Flip 5, the sound. Anyone who has ever heard other mobile speakers from JBL will find themselves in a familiar sound with the Flip 5 . The frequency range covered is decent. Regardless of whether the tones are very quiet or extremely loud, the box does not rustle or distort. The existing bass is above average when you consider the small size of the case. JBL could only improve a bit in the middle , but the grumbling is at the highest level.

In our opinion, the Flip 5 is suitable for mainstream users. Whether charts, pop, house, RnB, rap, Latin, rock or even jazz – the Bluetooth speaker delivers a full and, if required, loud sound experience. Only all fans of classical music should look for a different model.

Criticism and praise: A brief comparison of advantages and disadvantages

In this section we would like to briefly address a few points that we noticed in our test. Let’s start with a couple of negative aspects . Despite the rather high price of the JBL Flip 5, the box unfortunately only has the Bluetooth 4.2 standard , other manufacturers with inexpensive models are already with Bluetooth 5.0. However, we have to admit that the connection quality and range of the Flip 5 are still excellent. Furthermore, the app could be upgraded with a few functions ; for example, an equalizer could give many users more freedom. Maybe JBL will upgrade this function with an update .

Woman with a backpack has a JBL box hanging on it

It would also be desirable to be able to see the remaining battery capacity of the box in the iPhone, unfortunately that is currently not possible. This means that you only have to look at the practical LED strip or the app. Various Bluetooth speakers from other brands offer this function. We would describe pressing the On / Off button and the Bluetooth button as neutral. These are quite stiff , but this means that the box does not switch off or decouple if you accidentally come across it.

We would like to positively highlight the quick and easy coupling process . Several devices can also be connected to a box quickly and easily using the Bluetooth button. In addition, JBL is the only manufacturer to offer the option of connecting up to 100 boxes at the same time. If you have several Flip 5 Bluetooth speakers, you can pair them with a simple push of the PartyBoost button. If only two devices are paired at the same time, a full-fledged stereo sound is created automatically . Since the Flip 5 cannot currently be coupled with older devices such as a Charge 4 or Flip 4, we hope for new devices from the American manufacturer soon. The specified  battery life of 12 hours we even slightly exceeded it at medium volume, the Flip 5 scores here.

What we haven’t mentioned so far is the Flip 5’s good water resistance . Anyone looking for a loudspeaker for the next pool party is well advised here. All in all, JBL offers a complete package with the Flip 5 for a current price of just under 90 euros . The sound as well as the bass is more than decent for the compact size, the scope of delivery is just as positive due to the included case. As is typical for JBL, feel, workmanship and outdoor properties are above average. JBL could only improve something in terms of app functionality . Otherwise we are completely satisfied and can recommend the JBL Flip 5. Who a compact bluetooth speaker for on the go is looking for, gets its money’s worth here.