In the world of portable Bluetooth speakers, JBL and Ultimate Ears are two brands known to deliver excellent products. Both of them offer great sounding speakers, and in this article, we’ll be comparing two of their top models—the UE WONDERBOOM 2 and the JBL Flip 5. These two portable Bluetooth speakers are great for outdoor listening, they are both compact and they are waterproof as well. So, which one is better? We compare the two to find out.
Power Playback/Skip Bluetooth Volume up/down Outdoor Boost
Power Bluetooth Playback/Skip Volume up/down PartyBoost
13 hours 2.6 hours charging time
12 hours 2.5 hours charging time
The UE WONDERBOOM 2 is smaller and lighter than the JBL Flip 5, but both are compact and very portable.
Both of these speakers are very portable due to their compact and light design. Measuring 4.09 x 3.75 inches and weighing 0.93 lbs., the UE WONDERBOOM 2 is smaller and more lightweight than the JBL Flip 5, which is measured at 7.1 x 2.7 x 2.9 inches and weighs 1.19 lbs. Contributing to their excellent portability are their fabric handles/straps, which make them easier to carry around.
When it comes to build quality, these two speakers won’t disappoint. While both are made from mostly plastic parts, they still feel solid due to the tightly knit fabrics that surround the speakers. The UE WONDERBOOM 2 has an IP67 rating, which means that it is water and dust resistant, while the JBL Flip 5 has an IPX7 rating, so it is resistant to water as well, but not dust. A cool feature of the UE WONDERBOOM 2 is that it floats when dropped into the pool, something that the JBL Flip 5 is incapable of.
The UE WONDERBOOM 2 is available in deep space black, crushed ice grey, radical red, bermuda blue and just peach. On the other hand, the JBL Flip 5 is available in 14 color options that include black, black camo, eco blue, camo, white, yellow, teal and more.
Features and Connectivity
The JBL Flip 5 has a wider Bluetooth range than the UE WONDERBOOM 2, but both have reliable connections when in range.
To set up the UE WONDERBOOM 2, you have access to physical buttons that are located at the top, bottom and the front of the speakers. There’s a power button, a Bluetooth pairing button, a playback/pause/skip button, volume up/down and at the bottom, it has a button for its Outdoor Boost feature. The Outdoor Boost feature simply boosts the volume of the speaker for better clarity when outside. You can pair the UE WONDERBOOM 2 with another WONDERBOOM or WONDERBOOM 2 speaker for true stereo output.
Setting up the JBL Flip 5 is equally as easy since it has almost the same controls as the UE WONDERBOOM 2. It doesn’t have the Outdoor Boost button since that is a feature that is exclusive to the UE speaker. Instead, the JBL Flip 5 has a PartyBoost button that allows you to pair it with other JBL speakers that also have the PartyBoost feature. As of this writing, only the JBL Flip 5 and JBL Pulse 4 have this feature.
Both speakers can only be used with Bluetooth enabled devices since they don’t have any analog inputs. They have reliable Bluetooth connections but we give the edge to the JBL Flip 5 in this area since it has a wider Bluetooth range. You can connect these speakers to up to two devices as they support multi-device pairing.
The JBL Flip 5 is louder and delivers better sound than the UE WONDERBOOM 2.
These speakers sound good, as long as you don’t have unrealistic expectations. That said, we prefer the overall sound quality of the JBL Flip 5 over the UE WONDERBOOM 2. The JBL Flip 5 has clearer mids and highs, as opposed to the recessed mids and highs of the UE WONDERBOOM 2. The bass on the JBL Flip 5 is also cleaner and tighter while the low frequency sound on the UE WONDERBOOM 2 is punchier.
When it comes to loudness, the JBL Flip 5 has the edge. It can get louder without sacrificing audio quality. The UE WONDERBOOM 2 can also get loud, but you have to enable its Outdoor Boost feature if you want it to match the volume of the JBL Flip 5. One thing we didn’t like about the UE’s Outdoor Boost feature is that when it is enabled, the sound quality of the WONDERBOOM 2 takes a hit, specifically, its bass output.
While we prefer the overall sound of the JBL Flip 5, the UE WONDERBOOM 2 does offer something that you can’t get with the JBL speaker, which is 360-degree audio. The UE WONDERBOOM 2 has speakers on two sides, while the JBL Flip 5 only has speakers on the front. With the UE WONDERBOOM 2, you can listen to stereo music, while with the JBL Flip 5, everything is downmixed to mono. As a result, the UE WONDERBOOM 2 has a wider soundstage.
They have pretty much the same battery life.
The UE WONDERBOOM 2 has a battery life of up to 13 hours while the JBL Flip 5 can last up to 12 hours, so they are quite similar in that regard. Charging time for both is not far off from each other as well, with the UE WONDERBOOM 2 needing 2.5 hours for a full charge and the JBL Flip 5 needing 2.5 hours. However, they differ when it comes to their charging ports. The UE WONDERBOOM 2 has a micro USB charging port while the JBL Flip 5 comes with a USB-C port.
If you want the better sounding speaker, the JBL Flip 5 is the right choice for you, however, if you prefer a more compact design and a cheaper price, you should get the UE WONDERBOOM 2.
Capable of delivering clearer and cleaner sound at max volume, we prefer the JBL Flip 5 over the UE WONDERBOOM 2. Although it is a bit more expensive, we think that the improvement in sound quality is worth the difference in price. That said, the UE WONDERBOOM 2 is still a great choice if you prefer a speaker with a smaller footprint and a cheaper price.
📌 Which is better, the UE WONDERBOOM 2 or JBL Flip 5?
While it’s close, we prefer the JBL Flip 5 over the UE WONDERBOOM 2 since it delivers better sound. However, if budget is a major factor, then the UE WONDERBOOM 2 is still a good portable speaker that is worth buying.
📌 Does the UE WONDERBOOM 2 have a 3.5mm audio input?
No, it is a strictly Bluetooth speaker.
📌 How long does the JBL Flip 5 last?
It has a runtime of up to 12 hours.
📌 Can I pair the UE WONDERBOOM 2 with UE BOOM speakers?
No, the UE WONDERBOOM can only pair with other WONDERBOOM speakers.
Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API