JBL Flip 5 - Flip gets even better
4.8Overall Score
Name: JBL Flip 5
Price (RRP): $149.95
Manufacturer: JBL

The JBL Flip 5 is the next iteration in its Flip portable BT waterproof speakers – the logical successor to the Flip 4 that impressed us enough to get 4.6-out-of-5. What will Flip 5 get?

The JBL Flip 5 has the JBL pedigree and sound signature, and that is not easy to produce from a waterproof, IPX7 (1 metre) sealed device. You see there is simply not enough air volume in the 181 x 69 x 74 (round) mm x 540g cylinder to pump bass. Yet it does bass with aplomb.

JBL Flip 5 has a secret secret – it’s the single mono ‘racetrack’ 80 x 40mm, 20W RMS transducer and rubber passive radiators at each end (that we have seen on other JBL speakers) that expand to pump bass.

JBL Flip 5 X-ray
X-Ray

JBL Flip 5

Price: $149.95 from JBL (here) or major retailers.

Battery

It has a 12-hour,4800mAh, 17.28Wh battery.

As it is USB-C and PD compliant, it can use a 5V/3A charger (not supplied), and the battery fills in about 2.5 hours. It can also charge, albeit slowly from a 5V/1A port.

And unlike many portable speakers, you can charge and play at the same time. We tested at 70% volume, and it met claimed battery life.

JBL Flip 5 camo

BT

BT is 4.2, so that means a maximum range of 20-03M. It also supports JBL Party Boost for stereo pairing or multiple JBL compatible speakers.

Note: It is just a BT SBC speaker – no hands-free calling, voice assistant etc.

Volume

It will reach over 82dB. Comfortable listening is at 50%, and you can drive it as hard as you like with minimal distortion.

Sound signature

The test is with its native signature – no EQ or app to connect to a BT source. Not that it has an app which is good!

  • Deep Bass: 20-40Hz – none
  • Middle Bass: 40-100Hz – building nicely
  • High Bass: 100 to 200Hz – flat (good)
  • Low-mid: 200-400Hz – flat
  • Mid: 400-1000Hz – building – flat
  • High-mid: 1-2kHz – flat
  • Low-treble: 2-4kHz – flat
  • Treble:4-6kHz – flat
  • High Treble: 6-10kHz – flat with a slight dip to remove harshness at this level
  • Dog whistle: 10-20 – flat to 18Hz

This is JBL’s typical Warm and Sweet (bass/mid boosted, treble recessed) and it’s a delight to listen to.

JBL Flip 5 frequency response

Build

IPX7 – an accidental drop is a pool or water splash won’t kill it.  It comes in eleven colours and has a faux woven pattern nylon exterior and a lanyard.

JBL: Flip 5 colours

Note that while it can sit on its end (like a can of coke) the full bass needs in landscape mode. It can also fit a standard bike water bottle holder.

Oh, and it has a carry case – very interesting.