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JBL Flip 6 vs Flip 5 (2022): Is It Time To Upgrade Your Portable Speaker?

Few waterproof Bluetooth speakers are as recommended as JBL’s Flip series. Whether it’s for a beachside party or simply for singing in the shower, these durable portable speakers are the go-to when talking about music and splashes. Since the release of the JBL Flip 5, however, the lineup has not seen any upgrade โ€” until last December 2021. Over two years in the making, the JBL Flip 6 hopes to reignite fanfare over the Flip series. But is it a worthy successor to the Flip 5? Below, we find out if it’s time to upgrade your waterproof Bluetooth speaker.

JBL Flip 6 vs Flip 5 Comparison Chart

ModelJBL Flip 6JBL Flip 5
 
Price
TypePortable Bluetooth speakerPortable Bluetooth speaker
FormCylindricalCylindrical
Frequency Response63 Hz – 20k Hz65 Hz – 20k Hz
Output Power20 W RMS (woofer)
10 W RMS for (tweeter)
20 W (woofer)
Bluetooth Version5.14.2
Battery Life12 hours12 hours
Charging Time2.5 hours2.5 hours
DurabilityIP67IPX7
JBL PartyboostYesYes
Customizable EQYesNo
Mobile AppYes, JBL PortableYes, JBL Portable
Dimensions7 x 2.6 x 2.8 in.7.12 x 2.91 x 2.71 in.
Weight1.21 lb1.2 lb

Design

JBL’s Flip 6 offers a design refinement of the Flip 6 rather than a massive overhaul.

JBL Flip 6 vs Flip 5 Design
An obvious change of the Flip 6 from the Flip 5 is a more refined power, connectivity, and charging interface.

The JBL Flip 6 and Flip 5 aren’t too different design-wise. Both come in the cylindrical shape that has defined the Flip series. They’re fairly lightweight, carry the same dimensions, and are wrapped in a similar tight-knit fabric, too. While they’re usually set horizontally, the rubber ends of the speakers allow for them to be placed vertically โ€” thus the Flip monicker.

One of the most noticeable changes to the new Flip is the branding. On the Flip 5, you get a small logo wedged into the speaker. Although it’s inconspicuous, the styling is also uninspired. With the Flip 6, JBL has embossed a much larger logo on the speaker grille. The Flip 6 also ditches the full-name branding on the passive radiators in exchange for a simple JBL exclamation mark.

The top of the speakers is where you’ll find the controls. Like the Flip 5, the Flip 6 uses four raised buttons โ€” one for play/pause, two for volume control, and an infinity button to connect the speaker to other JBL-compatible speakers. Meanwhile, the back of the devices is for the power, Bluetooth control, and USB charging port. Here, the Flip 6 has refined the design by removing the wrap-around plastic and using a small rubber stand to keep it from rolling.

Like other Flip speakers, the JBL Flip 6 and Flip 5 are waterproof. However, the latest iteration also comes with a dust-proof rating. Still, both models have a sturdy built quality. They’re also easy to hang and carry around thanks to a built-in shoelace-like wrist strap.

Sound Performance

The JBL Flip 6 delivers a better sound performance than its predecessor.

JBL Flip 6 vs Flip 5 Sound Performance
You’re getting a deeper bass on the JBL Flip 6 (left) than the Flip 5 (right).

While the exterior of the Flip 6 is a mere refinement of the Flip 5, the functional components enjoy a redesign. JBL’s Flip 5 came with a 20-watt woofer that’s largely unchanged on the latest iteration. Now, the Flip 6 also adds a separate 10-watt tweeter. As a result, higher frequency sounds are more smoothed out on the Flip 6 than on the Flip 5.

The latest JBL Flip also supports a slightly wider range compared to the model. On the Flip 5, you’re getting a 65 Hz to 20 kHz range. In contrast, the Flip 6 goes from 63 Hz to 20 kHz. Nonetheless, both wireless speakers deliver a clean, crisp, and balanced sound profile. If you want something boomy, the Flip 6 and Flip 5 deliver.

Through the JBL Portable app, the Flip 6 supports customizable EQ, too. The settings are still limited, and again, customizations to the low bass aren’t compelling enough. However, you can accentuate the mids and highs, a big upgrade to what the Flip 5 offered.

Overall, the Flip 6 offers a stronger bass and better clarity. You’re also getting slightly more volume from the new model and above-average directivity. Given the price tag, the audio performance is realistic and one that should please a broad demographic.

Mobile App

The Dell Latitude 5400 provides slightly better performance than the Dell Latitude 7400.

JBL Flip 6 vs Flip 5 Mobile
Here’s a look at the JBL Flip 6 in grey (left) and the JBL Flip 5 in black (right).

A key component of the JBL speaker experience is the mobile app. JBL renamed theirs from JBL Connect to JBL Portable, putting more emphasis on the main draw of its devices. Despite the rebranding, you’re more or less getting the same features โ€” which isn’t a lot. The upside to this is that the app is easy to navigate.

JBL Portable is available on both Android and iOS devices. As mentioned in sound performance, the app gives Flip 6 users access to EQ customization. Outside of that, the platform is also where users can look for guides and firmware updates. If you want to improve the soundstage, the JBL Portable is the place to control the PartyBoost as well.

Click here to read more JBL product reviews.

Battery Life and Connectivity

Although battery life and charging time is the same, the JBL Flip 6’s Bluetooth connectivity is more reliable than the JBL Flip 5.

JBL Flip 6 vs Flip 5 Battery Life and Connectivity
Play music the whole day with the JBL Flip series and control your playlist and settings via the JBL Portable mobile app.

There are no changes offered by the Flip 6 when it comes to battery life. Similar to its predecessor, the Flip 6 has a maximum playtime of 12 hours. Actual performance will, of course, vary according to usage and if PartyBoost is enabled. Charging time is the same, too, at 2.5 hours. Unfortunately, quick-charging is not yet available on the Flip series.

However, the Flip 6 does get an upgrade in connectivity. JBL’s latest waterproof wireless speaker now comes with Bluetooth 5.1. This means the sixth-gen speaker should have a stabler Bluetooth connection with minimal to zero lags. In addition, the JBL 6 now supports connectivity to two devices simultaneously.

Verdict

While the upgrades on the JBL Flip 6 are few, they’re enough to make it a better speaker than the JBL Flip 5.

If you’re in the market for a portable speaker, the JBL Flip series is worth considering. With the JBL Flip 6, JBL improves upon its predecessor even though the upgrades are not as in-your-face. Design-wise, the latest iteration only offers some refinements in form and aesthetics. Under the hood, however, changes in the functional components make the Flip 6 a better speaker than the JBL Flip 5.

The result is a portable speaker that delivers better sound, directivity, and customization. Upgrades in connectivity make the Flip 6 a more reliable audio companion, too. While current Flip 5 owners may want to wait for bigger changes, those looking to get their hands on their first waterproof portable speaker will benefit more from the Flip 6.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ When is the JBL Flip 6 release date?

The JBL Flip 6 was released in December 2021, over two years after the launch of the JBL Flip 5.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the JBL Flip 6 worth getting?

JBL’s latest portable waterproof speaker is a great purchase. While it doesn’t have the bells and whistles of ‘smarter’ speakers, the JBL Flip 6 price, design, and audio performance should appeal to a broad demographic.

๐Ÿ“Œ What’s the main difference between the JBL Flip 5 vs Flip 6?

The JBL Flip 6 boasts better audio performance and Bluetooth connectivity than the JBL Flip 5. Through the JBL Portable app, the Flip 6 also enjoys customizable EQ.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the JBL Flip 5 dustproof?

JBL’s Flip 5 speaker is not dustproof. It only comes with an IPX7 rating, which only refers to it being waterproof.

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Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.