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JBL Flip 5 vs Flip 4 (2020): A Comparison of Key Features

When it comes to portable Bluetooth speakers, JBL is on a league of its own. The brand’s Flip models are among the most popular and superior mid-sized speakers in the market. In this category, both the Flip 4 and the Flip 5 are great selections worth considering. The Flip 5 was released in 2019 with all-new features as an upgrade to 2017’s Flip 4 model.

However, because of the significant difference in price points, choosing between the two very similar models can be difficult. Is it worth cashing out a bit more for the latest upgrade? Or should you opt for the previous model to save some buck? Leave the guesswork behind as we take a look at the key features of the JBL Flip 5  and the JBL Flip 4 including design, sound quality, connectivity, and key differences.

JBL Flip 5 vs Flip 4 Portable Speakers Comparison Chart

ModelJBL Flip 5JBL Flip 4
JBL Flip 5JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth speaker
PriceCheck Price

at Walmart.com

Check Price

at Walmart.com

Dimensions7.10 x 2.70 x 2.90 inches2.76 x 6.89 x 2.68 inches
Weight1.20 pounds1.14 pounds
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.2 Bluetooth 4.2
WaterproofIPX7 waterproofIPX7 waterproof
Battery Life 12 hours12 hours
Battery Capacity 4,800 mAh3,000 mAh
Charging Time2.5 hours3.5 hours
Powerbank FeatureNoNo
Frequency Range65Hz–20kHz70Hz – 20kHz
Wireless PairingJBL PartyBoost JBL Connect+
Color Options116
Year of Release20192017

Sound Quality

The JBL Flip 5 prevails over the JBL Flip 4 when it comes to overall sound quality.

JBL Flip 5 sound quality
With rich bass tones and less exaggerated high notes, the Flip 5 (seen above) proved that it’s a worthy successor to the Flip 4.

For any music lover, choosing a speaker ultimately comes down to sound quality, and the Flip 5 outperforms its predecessor in this department. Its low-frequency response at 65Hz indicates stronger bass tones compared to the Flip 4 at 70 Hz.

The mids of both models have no significant difference. So it’s safe to say that the Flip 4 is on par with its updated counterpart in this aspect. But for controlled highs that are easy on the ears, the Flip 5 has a slight advantage. The Flip 4’s highs tend to sound harsher in comparison.

The Flip 5 is worth checking out if you’re after an immersive sound experience. But for those looking for a budget-friendly option, the Flip 4 won’t fail to deliver.

Design

The Flip 5 and the Flip 4 look identical at first glance but, a closer look will highlight the former’s straightforward design.

Flip speakers design comparison

The JBL Flip 5 (left) and the JBL Flip 4 (right) compared side-by-side in the photo above.

JBL is known for producing highly durable portable speakers, and both the Flip 4 and the Flip 5 are no exception. These speakers come in a slender cylindrical shape with durable rubber fabric housing that provides impressive impact resistance. Because of this, you don’t have to worry about accidentally dropping these from moderate heights. Both have similar power, Bluetooth pairing, and volume control buttons. The only difference is in their connectivity buttons, with the Flip 4’s JBL Connect+ compared to the Flip 5’s JBL PartyBoost.

The Flip 5 has an advantage over the Flip 4 when it comes to color selection. The former has a wide range of 11 color variations, while the latter has only 6 color variations.

There is a relative difference between the weight of the two portable speaker models. The Flip 4 is on the lighter side weighing 510 grams, while the Flip 5 is slightly heavier at 540 grams. The latter is also taller with dimensions of 7.1 x 2.7 x 2.9 inches. On the other hand, the Flip 4 has dimensions of 6.88 x 2.67 x 2.75.

The Flip 5 has a major drawback for those who own non-Bluetooth gadgets. Unlike the Flip 4, it doesn’t have a 3.5mm aux jack. But the Flip 5 makes up for it with a waterproof USB-C port as an upgrade to the Flip 4’s micro-USB port. As a result, the newest model does away with a cover flap present in its predecessor.

Connectivity

JBL rolled out the Flip 5 with the new PartyBoost system to replace the Connect+ wireless protocol.

JBL's previous Flip speaker model

The Flip 4 (seen above) can be linked to other Connect+ speakers, but the Flip 5’s PartyBoost system makes it incompatible with most models.

With the Flip 4’s Connect+ technology, you’ll be able to set up a stereo system with most JBL speakers. This is an advantage that the Flip 5 doesn’t offer. The new model’s PartyBoost system makes it incompatible with most previous generations of JBL speakers. That might be a dealbreaker for customers who previously purchased non-compatible speakers from the brand. One other model currently comes with the PartyBoost connectivity feature — the JBL Pulse 4.

The JBL Flip 4 is ideal for those with other JBL speakers in terms of compatibility.

As mentioned earlier, JBL removed wired connection support in its Flip 5 speaker. The move is in line with the growing trend of devices gearing towards wireless connectivity. Many might find this as another dealbreaker. In which case, the Flip 4’s 3.5mm aux jack is an advantage.

Key Differences

In place of the Flip 4’s aux jack and built-in microphone, the Flip 5 boasts enhanced charging speed and sound quality.

side by side of JBL's latest flip speakers

JBL’s Flip 5 (left, seen beside the Flip 4) favors performance over features in a bold minimalist move from the brand.

JBL takes a “less is more” approach with its latest Flip speaker model. As a result, you’ll be missing out on an aux jack as well as a built-in microphone — both of which are notable features of the Flip 4. But if you can look past that, the Flip 5’s enhanced charging speed and sound quality is quite a treat.

The Flip 5 only takes 2.5 hours to be fully charged because of its USB-C quick charge port. That’s an hour less than its predecessor’s 3.5 hours of charging time.

The Flip 5’s lack of a microphone might be a disadvantage for some, but not for those who want to purchase a speaker for its essential purpose of bringing high-quality sound. Without the noise-canceling microphone feature, JBL shifted its focus on improved sound quality.

So if you don’t mind missing out on a couple of features for better performance, the Flip 5 is a clear choice.

Verdict

The latest Flip model is an upgraded and minimalist version of the Flip 4 and is highly recommended for those who prioritize performance over anything else.

Both the JBL Flip 5 and the JBL Flip 4 are excellent Bluetooth speaker options. These two share the same water-resistant technology and dust-proof features. But which of these is the most cost-effective option for you? The answer depends on your preference between additional features and superior performance.

If you’re willing to shell out for premium sound quality, then the Flip 5 is worth every penny. It delivers bass that packs a punch — balanced out by highs that are easy on the ears. You’ll also notice minimal distortion as you crank up the volume. And without the added extras, you’ll enjoy significantly faster charging time. The Flip 5 also has a slight advantage in the aesthetics department with its wide range of color selections.

But if you prefer a budget-friendly option with great additional features, then the Flip 4 is right up your alley. This is especially true if you already own other Connect+ speakers for stereo set-up integration. The Flip 4 is also ideal for users residing in areas with limited WiFi and Bluetooth access, thanks to its auxiliary analog device support. And with its noise-canceling in-built microphone, the Flip 4 definitely gives value for your money.

FAQs

📌 Which is better JBL Flip 4 or 5?

It depends on the features and your budget. If you want a more budget option the JBL Flip 4 is the better choice. However, if you want more features and better sound, the JBL Flip 5 is the one you should be looking at.

📌 Is JBL Flip 5 worth buying?

Yes, if you have the money and you are willing to pay for premium sound quality, the JBL Flip 5 is worth it.

📌 Is JBL Flip 5 loud?

It won’t beat a real sound system but for small outdoor activities, the JBL Flip 5 is loud enough.

📌 Is the JBL Flip 4 loud?

Same with the JBL Flip 5, it’s plenty loud for smaller outdoor activities such as picnics, poolside parties and the like.

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Andy Mathews
Andy Mathews

Lead Editor at Compare Before Buying. Product researcher and tech enthusiast passionate about consumer products, comparison charts and surfing.