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Bose SoundLink Flex vs JBL Charge 5 (2022): Which Bluetooth Speaker Is Better?

There’s no shortage of options when it comes to portable Bluetooth speakers. If you’re in the market for one, you might get overwhelmed with all the choices available. Today, we’ll try to help you narrow down your choices by comparing two popular recently launched speakers—the Bose SoundLink Flex and the JBL Charge 5. Find out which one is better for you.

Bose SoundLink Flex vs JBL Charge 5 Comparison Chart

ModelBose SoundLink Flex JBL Charge 5
 
PriceCheck price at AmazonCheck price at Amazon
Dimensions7.9 x 2.1 x 2.9 inches8.7 x 3.76 x 3.67 inches
Weight1.3lbs2.11lbs
IP RatingIP67IP67
ConnectivityBluetoothBluetooth
Powerbank FunctionNoYes
SpeakerphoneYesNo
Voice AssistantYesNo
Battery12 hours
4 hours charging time
20 hours
4 hours charging time
Companion AppBose ConnectJBL Portable
ColorsBlack, Stone Blue, White SmokeBlack, Blue, Camo, Gray, Red, Teal

Design

Both are portable, but the Bose SoundLink Flex portable Bluetooth speaker is slightly smaller and weighs less.

bose soundlink flex vs jbl charge 5 design
The Bose SoundLink Flex (left) and the JBL Charge 5 (right) are both meant to be placed horizontally, but the former has a built-in strap for suspending on a hook.

These two speakers are designed for portability and they excel at that. The Bose SoundLink Flex measures 7.9 x 2.1 x 2.9 inches and weighs only 1.3lbs while the JBL Charge 5 measures 8.7 x 3.76 x 3.67 inches and weighs 2.1lbs. The JBL Charge 5 is heftier, but not by much, and it is still highly portable. That said, the Bose SoundLink Flex definitely has the advantage here since it is more compact and lightweight, and it has a built-in strap that allows you to suspend it on a hook.

As for build quality, the two are excellent as well. The Bose SoundLink Flex is covered with silicone rubber and the speaker is protected by a metal grille. On the other hand, the JBL Charge 4 are covered with a tight knit fabric that’s highly durable while the bass radiators are protected by rubber. Both speakers feel durable and with their IP67 rating, they are resistant to dust and water as well.

You can get the Bose SoundLink Flex in three colors—black, white smoke and stone blue, while the JBL Charge 5 is available in black, blue, camo, gray, red and teal colors.

Sound Quality

The JBL Charge 5 delivers a fuller and richer sound than the Bose SoundLink Flex.

bose soundlink flex vs jbl charge 5 sound quality
The Bose SoundLink Flex (left) has a thinner build than the JBL Charge 4 (right).

When it comes to sound quality, the JBL Charge 5 wins since it can deliver a fuller and richer sound. They both struggle with low-bass since they are small speakers, so that’s expected. However, in the mid and high bass, they perform similarly, producing a boomy sound.

The highs are underemphasized on both speakers, so there are some lost details and the overall sound is veiled. The advantage of the JBL Charge 5 is in the mids. The mids on the JBL Charge 5 are forward, so you can clearly hear vocals and other instruments in that frequency range. On the Bose SoundLink Flex, the mids are recessed, so vocal tracks suffer. Overall, the JBL Charge 5 produces a more pleasing sound than the Bose SoundLink Flex.

Features and Battery Life

The Bose SoundLink Flex has more features, but the JBL Charge 4 has a longer battery life.

bose soundlink flex vs jbl charge 5 features
Both speakers have an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance.

In terms of features, the Bose SoundLink Flex has a speakerphone function and voice assistant support. It has a built-in mic, so you can take calls with it and you can also make use of the mic for voice controls. However, the voice controls are not built-in, so you’ll need to use the voice assistant on your phone.

The JBL Charge 5 does not have those features, but it does have a powerbank function. It has a single USB-A that can be used to charge compatible devices. In tandem with this feature, the JBL Charge 5 has a long battery life. It is advertised to last up to 20 hours, but your mileage may vary depending on your usage. Realistically, it has a battery life of 14-15 hours, which is still excellent.

Meanwhile, the Bose SoundLink Flex has a battery life of up to 12 hours, which is good, but certainly not better than the battery life of the JBL Charge 5. It takes 4 hours to fully charge both speakers.

Verdict

The JBL Charge 5 is the better speaker, but it is also more expensive while having less features.

Bose SoundLink Flex

Better build quality

JBL Charge 5

Better sound quality

If you want the better sounding speaker, the JBL Charge 5 is the obvious choice. It will give you a fuller and richer sound, making your listening experience better. It also has a longer battery life so you can enjoy listening to music for a longer period. However, you do have to pay more for it. The Bose SoundLink Flex is not a bad speaker, but there are better options around. That said, it excels as a portable speaker due to its rugged build quality that can withstand the elements.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Is JBL Charge 5 or Bose SoundLink Flex better?

The JBL Charge 5 sounds better, but the Bose SoundLink Flex offers more features and better portability.

๐Ÿ“Œ Which is louder, JBL Charge 5 or Bose SoundLink Flex?

The JBL Charge 5 is louder than the Bose SoundLink Flex.

๐Ÿ“Œ Does the JBL Charge 5 have a 3.5mm input?

Unlike the JBL Charge 4, the Charge 5 does not have a 3.5mm audio input.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is there a Bose SoundLink Flex case included with the speaker?

Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a case. You’ll need to buy from a third party seller if you want one.

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Carlo Salvador

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about fitness, gaming and music.