The Flip 5 may not be feature-packed, but it sounds great.
JBL’s Flip 5 is a straightforward soul with Bluetooth-only playback and modest features; however, you want a rugged, incredible sounding portable speaker and can sacrifice voice control or hands-free call functionality; you won’t be disappointed.
Bluetooth speakers have never been progressively prevalent in our homes or at get-togethers. Driver-bearing cylinders, oblongs, and cuboids presently hop from idea to factory lines to our laps with expanding regularity – and even more noteworthy spec sheets.
So we’re astonished to discover that JBL’s Flip 5 shows up with fewer highlights than its previous version, the Flip 4. Gone is the simple aux-in port for wired listening, for instance. That is not a huge issue – wireless is the way forward in 2020 – however, JBL has also axed the mic utilized for voice control and hands-free calls.
That makes the Flip 5 only a Bluetooth (4.2) speaker – yet one with a USB-C charging port and cable. This port helps bring down the charging time to merely 2.5 hours from flat to fully juiced. That is an hour snappier than the Flip 4 regardless of the Flip 5’s battery is a lot greater (4800mAh contrasted with 3000mAh).
Interestingly, the additional juice doesn’t lend any more endurance to the new model – battery life remains guaranteed 12 hours.
The latest version is a whole new design, too, tweaking the form with some advances, while maintaining the format that makes this small-scale speaker easy to carry around.
The unit’s fundamental front is material clad, with a rubberized edging and strip that goes around the back. It’s inside this area that there’s a USB-C port used for reviving – yet it’s not hidden behind any flap so is extremely simple to access
Despite the exposed port, Flip 5 is still IPX7 waterproof, meaning it can be submerged in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes. That’s handy for poolside parties, picnics in the rain, and many more.
The company likes to go quite strict with its logo presence. There are the orange logo front and center, along with an embossed one to one side, where the main driver tube is located.
On/off and Bluetooth pairing buttons likewise highlight on the elastic strip, which enlightens when the speaker is turned on. Pairing is effortless, and the signal has remained stable in our testing, with no drop-outs. Extra buttons for volume up/down, play/interruption, and PartyMode additionally include brought up in the material section of the design.
It’s that infinity style image that speaks to PartyMode, making it possible to combine two speakers in stereo sound or up to 100 good speakers as once a huge mob inside the JBL Connect application.
We begin listening to Fontaines DC’s Too Real on Tidal from our phone. Pairing is effortless, and the connection never falters. Brian Chatten’s vocal comes in halfway amid the tight, beating bass drum, lithe driving electric bass riff and far-reaching guitar chords. It’s an impressively heavy performance through the bass for a speaker somewhat smaller than the Ultimate Ears Boom 3.
Post-punk is one of the harder genres we could have chosen. Still, all melodic strands are kept ably under control, from the hyper high cap to the furious bass to Chatten’s vocal in huge, given stylish due diligence, quality, and design.
Throughout Sha Sha Sha, we came to know of the JBL Flip 5’s ability not just to relay the material it’s given, but also to layer and enjoy it. During the route of the track, the guitar solo and accompanying reverb are provided ample space to shine through the treble and midrange, but not at the expense of the zealous bass.
The delicate piano that pre-empts Neil Young’s 2009-remastered vocal in After The Gold Rush feels both three-dimensional and emotive. When the French horn participates, there’s a genuine feeling of transparency, acoustics, and position on offer that the Award-winning Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 can’t precisely coordinate. However, the last is somewhat less expensive.
Moving to Stormzy’s Heavy Is The Head collection, the spoken, raspy solicitation toward the beginning of Big Michael comes through with both energy and a fantastic point of interest. When Stormzy counters, we feel the force and scorn in his very much picked words. The album continues to Audacity, where the JBL Flip 5 confirms it can handle a heavy rap track seemingly without exertion. JBL Flip 5 is better than the competition – and, remember, that competition is Award-winning.
The JBL Flip 5 is a pure soul – perhaps too simple for some in this world – but that minimalist approach has allowed JBL to focus on performance and create one of the best-sounding budget portable speakers around.
Thanks to its neat design and an IPX7 rating, it’s suitable for use outside and in, making it an ideal outdoor speaker.
And so, JBL’s track record with excellent Bluetooth speakers persists. On behalf of everyone who loves good-quality music on the move, long may it continue.