When it comes to outdoor activities, be it a long road trip, camping, a poolside party, or practicing your favorite pastime like gardening, good music can be your best companion. It plays an active role in refueling your energy and creating a lively ambiance. This means bringing along your mobile devices or tablet. But, what can be more welcoming than a well-performing portable speaker that can accompany you as well as your pursuit and amplify the sound as well as the enjoyment! Another thing that you can check if you need to, is our JBL bar 5.1 review. It is sure to provide you some additional context to make your choice.
Speaking of wireless compact Bluetooth speakers, JBL is a name that always crosses your mind first. Gradually but steadily, the company has picked up a solid pace in bringing out the best of the Bluetooth speakers series, thus becoming one of the leaders in the audio equipment industry. The compact speakers from this brand have proven to be tough competition to the rest of the market on both the design front and delivering a powerful audio experience for their size and price. More or less, all the speakers from JBL below the $150 mark have been doing a great job.
JBL Flip 4 and JBL Flip 5
The Flip series from JBL’s portable speaker lineup is one of the most popular and award-winning compact Bluetooth speakers available in the market, and the company has come up with 5 different versions of it so far. JBL flip speakers are famed for having hard-wearing looks and being outdoor-friendly, making them a versatile option for individuals with an active lifestyle. Every time the company comes up with a new version of the speaker, there is a significant change or upgrade from its predecessor. Is it the same case with JBL Flip speakers 4 and 5? Is JBL Flip 5 worth the upgrade? We will see…
Throughout this article, we will be covering the two latest JBL Flip speakers, a comparison between JBL Flip 4 vs Flip 5 that will include JBL Flip 4 specs, JBL Flip 4 vs Flip 5 dimensions, their features, designs, and more. We will also be sharing various factors that you need to consider before buying a Bluetooth speaker.
What Are the Various Factors That You Need to Consider When Buying a Good Bluetooth Speaker?
Transportable Bluetooth-enabled speakers are a great audio accessory to add to your shelf for several good reasons and the changing lifestyle in the modern-day calls for going wireless. These lightweight speakers are not only easy to integrate with mobile devices- laptops, phones, or tablets, but also have extremely simple user interfaces. You do not need to be a hi-fi technically sound person to use them. And what more? You can carry them anywhere you want! But when it comes to choosing the right one for yourself, it can be a complicated episode.
Speakers can be a very personal choice based on your lifestyle and convenience. There are plenty of choices in lightweight speakers that support Bluetooth, right from a pocket-size to that of a water bottle, different shapes, colors, different kinds of technologies, features, etc. You will also get these types of speakers in a broad pricing spectrum; right from the economic range to the premium ones, there is something out there that can meet every individual preference. If you go to a store to get one, the salesperson does his best to pitch in all different types of products, which can make it even worse. So how do you determine what would be ideal for you?
Here’s are a few parameters that you need to consider when picking up a travel-friendly speaker:
Speaker Sensitivity and Loudness:
One of the most important factors to see in a speaker is speaker sensitivity, meaning, how loud can the speaker go without the sound getting distorted or shaken. The higher the sensitivity rating, the louder the speaker can go flawlessly, delivering a clean sound.
Frequency Response of the Speaker:
You would have heard people saying, “what is the range of your speaker?” Well, they mean the frequency response, which is measured in Hz. Typically, a speaker can have any frequency range between 20Hz to 20,000Hz. The higher the range, the better is the audio capability of a speaker. When you decide on a speaker, you need to first take into account what type of music you are mainly going to listen to.
If you are particular about one that delivers deep and clear bass, you need to look for a speaker starting with the lowest frequency possible (20 to 25 Hz being the best option). This is because the bass responses are best at low frequencies. Later in this JBL Flip 4 vs Flip 5 review, we will share the Frequency responses of both the JBL Flip speakers, so you know whether it is something you would like to go for.
Portability and Size:
If you are searching for a lightweight transportable speaker, then check how portable the speaker is, depending on how and where you are going to use it. Sometimes a speaker is marketed as portable, but it can be quite a burden to take along in your backpack. Look at the ideal size of the speaker and how much space it occupies.
For example, if you are looking for a speaker to use while you are trekking or in your restroom, clearly you will need one like JBL Clip 4 that can be tagged along with your backpack or in the door handle of your restroom for ease of use. If you are looking for something for a poolside party, beach, or camping, you can go for the JBL Flip speaker series. When it comes to the JBL Flip 4 vs Flip 5 dimensions, they are pretty much similar and good enough to take it anywhere you want. Read the JBL Flip 4 vs Flip 5 comparison in the next section for more information.
Wireless Connection- Bluetooth or Wi-fi:
Easy-to-carry compact speakers come in two different types, and you need to be careful when choosing one. One is a Bluetooth speaker and the other is a Wi-Fi-enabled speaker. While the wifi-enabled speakers are partially handy and can be connected to your home’s network or a Wi-Fi connection anywhere, it is not as compact as the Bluetooth versions. Bluetooth speakers can be connected to any mobile device, so you can use these speakers anywhere you go.
The Bluetooth version determines the quality of the sound transmitted and how far you can keep your main audio source from the speaker. Most portable speakers come with wireless connectivity ranging between 15 and 60 feet from the main audio source. If you want one that delivers smooth audio flow even if you take your main audio source device to another room or beyond 60 feet, look for one that supports the latest Bluetooth version 4 or 5. Another important feature to look at here is the multiple speaker setups. See that your speaker can be synced with other speakers for a louder and stereo sound.
Battery Life and Battery Back Up:
The whole point of buying a portable speaker is it can give you long hours of run time without a break. This way you can use it for the whole day during your excursion or at a party, and it will constantly keep you entertained. Now, what’s the point if the battery doesn’t support for long hours, right? Go for a portable speaker that has a good battery life (at least a 12-hour run time) on a single charge, so you can take it to places where there is no charging facility. Also, look for one that can charge other devices as well.
This is again a personal choice. Many people want a modern-style C-type charging port that is compatible with their latest charging cable. Some on the other hand prefer to have Micro USB ports, so they can fit into most of the power banks if you are on the go. What kind of charging style is most convenient for you?
Durability and Waterproof Capabilities:
You do not want to invest in a speaker that wouldn’t last long, right? If you have an active lifestyle, then look for a speaker that has damage or shock-resistant construction and proper protections that can resist accidental falls. You can also look for one that has an IPX7 rating for being 100% waterproof. This will give you peace of mind when you are using it near a pool or other moisture-prone areas.
There are a series of speakers that are specifically meant for outdoor use where more activities are involved. For example, both the 4th and the 5th generation JBL Flip speakers are IPX7 waterproof rated, making them ideal for water-prone areas.
Speaker With Bass Radiators:
You do not need to compromise on that pounding sound that can give you goosebumps even if your speaker is small. Most of the high-quality portable speakers have separate bass radiators apart from the primary drivers. The passive bass radiators give that extra thumping effect on the bass-heavy lows, while the primary drivers focus on delivering flawless mids and highs.
Another reason why the manufacturers add separated bass radiators to mobile speakers is because of their compact size, which cannot accommodate a subwoofer inside. When you buy a speaker, make sure that it has passive radiators for that extra bass enhanced effect when you are listening to the bass-forward tracks.
These are the main components in a speaker that determines most of its performance. The size and the number of drivers make a significant impact on the audio output. The bigger the drivers are, the better sound you can expect. However, do remember that a distinctively large driver needs a bigger outer body, so the speaker size automatically increases.
With that said, while most of the lightweight speakers are incorporated with a 40 mm driver, some have a 44 mm driver as well. If you are looking for something that is not too big and can easily slide into your bag, you need to consider the overall size of the speaker. More on JBL Flip 4 vs Flip 5 concerning this in the next section.
Is It a Smart Speaker?
Modern-day transportable speakers are more than just streaming songs. They come with integrated voice assistants such as Google Assistant, Alexa, or Siri that can take commands from you and navigate accordingly, making your work much easier. Do JBL Flip speakers have voice assistants? Yes, Flip 4 has it in the speaker.
While some speakers come with a built-in mic, some do not. Now, lack of a mic can be a deal-breaker for some, especially if you are looking forward to using a speaker for taking conference calls at work. You also need to know whether the mic has a noise-canceling feature or not. This will make you more audible to the person on the other end.
Does Your Speaker Have Aux-in?
Having an AUX input can be useful in many ways, even if your speaker supports Bluetooth. An aux port lets you link your speaker through a cable to any audio source when your mobile device’s Bluetooth range is underperforming for some reason. With an Aux cable, you can also link to older smartphones or other older devices that do not have a great functional Bluetooth connection, or the connection is lost after a short range.
The list of parameters mentioned above may seem pretty long, but believe it or not, these are some things you will have to take into account if you want to have a speaker that meets all your expectations. With that, let us move on to the comparison between JBL Flip 4 vs Flip 5, so you know which one is worth investing in.
JBL Flip 4 Vs Flip 5: What Are the Similarities and Differences Between JBL Flip 4 and 5?
If you are a true admirer of JBL speakers, then you would know what they specialize in and how they give a makeover to their speakers in terms of looks and features every time they release a new version of the already existing speaker line. JBL Flip 4 vs Flip 5 comparison in this section will give you a detailed overview of both the JBL Flip speakers, what has been added or eliminated from the latest Flip model, how it makes a difference to the user, and more.
To start with, JBL Flip 4 has undergone some significant changes from its previous version, Flip 3. The company has touched on some key areas of improvement like the battery life, audio quality, and water-resistance capabilities. Flip 4 comes with 12-hour battery life (which is 2 hours more than its predecessor), improved bass with incredible audio experience, 100% waterproof, and a shockproof design.
When it comes to JBL Flip 5, this 5th generation speaker has undergone significant changes in terms of sound quality and battery performance. The speaker offers some real depth when compared with Flip 4 when it comes to the bass, the mids, and the highs. The battery has 1.6X higher power with the modern-day C-type USB charging port. If you want to learn more about the Flip Series, I suggest that you take a look at our JBL flip 3 portable bluetooth speaker review.
Let’s move on to see the difference between JBL flip 4 and 5 speakers and see how they compete with each other- JBL Flip 4 vs Flip 5 in detail:
JBL Flip 4 Specs and Flip 5 Specs in a Nutshell:
|Key features||JBL Flip 4||JBL Flip 5|
|Battery capacity||3000 mAh||4800 mAh|
|Battery Life||12 hours||12 hours|
|Charging time||3.5 hours to charge completely||2.5 hours to charge completely|
|Frequency response||70 Hz to 20,000 Hz||65 Hz to 20,000 Hz (5 Hz lower than Flip 4)|
|Weight||510 gms||540 gms|
|Speakerphone and Noise Cancelling feature||Yes||No|
|Integrated Voice Assistant||Yes||No|
|Waterproof Capabilities||IPX7 rated for waterproof and dustproof||IPX7 rated for waterproof and dustproof|
|Auto power off||Yes||Yes|
|No. of drivers||2 (Stereo)||1 (mono)|
|Power output||2 X 8 watts||1 X 20 watts (4 watts more power)|
|Sync with multiple units||Can sync with any other JBL Connect + compatible speakers||Can sync with other JBL PartyBoost compatible speakers|
|Charger type||Micro USB charging port||C Type charging port|
JBL Flip 4 Vs Flip 5 : Sound Quality
JBL Flip 4 Vs Flip 5: Design and Make:
When it comes to the overall construction and the design, both the JBL Flip speakers go hand in hand with marginal differences in the height and weight between the two. Both the versions of JBL Flip speakers are cylindrical with a similar sturdy design. However, when it comes to the JBL Flip 4 vs Flip 5 dimensions, Flip 4 is a bit smaller, 6.9 inches, than Flip 5 which has a height of 7.1 inches.
The overall build of Flip 4 makes it slightly lighter (510 gms) than the latter, which is 540 gms. Now, although the Flip 4 is 30 gms less than Flip 5 which makes it a better option to slot it in a bag and bring it along, only Flip 5 can float in water. This means that when your Flip 5 drops off in a pool, you do not have to dive into the water and go behind it to get a hold of it. This makes this model a great option for poolside use or a beach party.
The 4th and the 5th generation portable speakers from JBL have a mesh covering on most of the body with rubberized edges which also act like a grip or a stand, preventing the speakers from crawling around due to the vibration of the bass radiators. Needless to say, owing to their construction material, both the JBL Flip speakers have an IPX7 rating which means that they can remain submerged in a meter deep water for about 30 minutes without getting damaged or broken. Their tough build also makes them dustproof and shock-resistant, protecting the speaker from defacement due to accidental falls.
JBL Flip 4 vs Flip 5: Controls:
When it comes to the control buttons on the body of the speaker, they have similar arrangements like the power on/off, volume controls, and Bluetooth pairing. What is different here is the multi speaker’s synchronization app used by the two. As mentioned in the JBL Flip 4 specs, this speaker uses the Connect+ app to link other similar app-compatible JBL speakers. Meanwhile, the latest flip model 5 uses JBL’s PartyBoost Technology to connect to party boost compatible speakers for an amplified listening experience.
What’s worth noting here is both the speakers cannot be synced with each other because of the different sync apps they use.
If you are picky about the colors and style over anything else, then Flip 5 will probably be the best option for you. The speaker comes with 11 different color variations (from vibrant solids to camouflage) to choose from when compared with Flip 4 which has 6 selections in total. What more? You can also customize your speaker with your designs by going to the “Design your own” section on the JBL website.
JBL Flip 4 vs Flip 5: Attributes:
In most cases, there is an upgrade in terms of the features and new additions, in the successor model, but, surprisingly, in this case, Flip 5 has lesser features when compared to its predecessor. Unlike Flip 4, the 5th generation JBL Flip speaker lacks a built-in speakerphone and an Auxiliary port. Elimination of both features can be a deal-breaker to some. While a noise-canceling microphone can enable you to take calls hands-free or take conference calls when at work, the aux port is especially useful when you want to play from an older version of an audio device or one that does not support Bluetooth.
Another setback in the case of Flip 5 is the lack of an integrated voice assistant feature. Most of the speakers today facilitate you to summon Siri, Google Assistant, or Alexa through the speakers directly, but it sounds a bit off that Flip 5’s predecessor has it but not this model.
Flip 4 can sync with two devices concurrently, which means you and another person can connect to the mobile at the same time and the music is played from two mobiles while switching your devices. On the other hand, the 5th-Gen JBL Flip speaker can pair with just one audio source at one given time.
Flip 5 is engineered with a single driver, making it a mono speaker, whereas Flip 4 offers stereo sound due to the presence of dual drivers. This has some impact on the quality of sound that each of them delivers, but we are going to discuss them under the Audio quality section.
JBL Flip 4 vs Flip 5: Battery Life:
One of the main things that people look for in a speaker is the battery, or rather how long the battery lasts if you charge it fully once. After all, you would want something that can last an entire party or throughout the day when you are in a place with limited access to the charging points.
With both the JBL Flip speakers, the battery life is average. As mentioned earlier in the JBL Flip 4 specs, the Flip 5 has a higher battery capacity of 4800mAh than Flip 4 which is powered by a 3000mAh battery. Now, you might think that Flip 5 gives you long hours of runtime, but in reality that is not the case.
When it comes to the battery performance there isn’t any difference as such which is rather disappointing considering there is quite a significant difference in the battery size. Both the speakers last for about 12 hours with the difference being Flip 5 takes about 2.5 hours to get charged fully which is an hour quicker than Flip 4 that takes 3.5 hours. This is because of the fast charging C-type USB charger used in the case of Flip 5. But the good thing is Flip 5 has a 1 hour shorter waiting time for it to get topped up with charge fully which makes it more convenient.
So what does Flip 5 do with large battery power? Well, Flip 5 has a powerful sound owing to the high power output (20 watts) which is more than Flip 4. To produce that much sound, it needs more battery power, which is why despite having a larger battery, the runtime of Flip 5 is the same as the 4th generation JBL Flip speaker. We will discuss more on this in the next section, JBL Flip 4 vs Flip 5: Audio Performance.
JBL Flip 4 vs Flip 5: Audio Performance:
The main element responsible for the sound quality in a speaker are the drivers. Talking about the JBL Flip speakers, Flip 5 has one driver which is 44 mm large, whereas Flip 4 has two of them with 40 mm size. However, the power output of Flip 5 is 20 Watt, which is 4 watts more than its previous model.
Owing to these attributes, the sound quality of Flip 5 is impressively superior to Flip 4 and more futuristic. While Flip 4 delivers pretty good and high-end sound quality for its size. When differentiated between the two, Flip 5 takes away the trophy for sounding more powerful and energetic.
If you also notice in the JBL Flip 4 specs mentioned above, the frequency range is a little lesser than flip 5. Where the lowest frequency that the 4th generation JBL Flip speaker can go is 70 Hz, Flip 5 can go 5Hz lower at 65Hz. While the difference is not huge, it still makes a significantly big difference in the listening experience. Flip 5 can reproduce a more thumping, clearer, and dynamic bass than Flip 4 without any distortion.
Meanwhile, the mids are pretty much similar sounding in both the speakers, with no clear distinction that you can make out. They are smooth and crisp and pretty good sounding. If you compare the highs, however, Flip 5 tends to perform more flawlessly than the previous model when the volume is maximized. You can listen to the highs in Flip 5 for a decently long period without your ear getting stressed out. Flip 4 on the other hand, turns a bit rough and cracks up when the volume is turned high. It performs well at around 60 to 70% volume.
So, considering all the facts, if you are expecting the best audio experience and the overall sound quality is your priority, Flip 5 is your go-to speaker between the two. For a mono speaker, it delivers an incredible audio output when compared with Flip 4 with stereo speakers.
JBL Flip 4 vs Flip 5: Price:
JBL has done a great job coming up with the Flip series and most importantly their pricing points. Both the speakers are pretty competitively priced for their design, features, and how they deliver when compared with some other speakers in competition. The only thing that may prick your eye is the lack of some of the features in the latest JBL model, which makes it slightly more expensive than Flip 4.
You will find Flip 4 on the JBL website at $99.00 and Flip 5 with a price tag of $119.00.
A look at the latest versions of the flip series may well be the domino that allows you to click on the “BUY” button, but If you are looking for more, check out our JBL wireless speakers review. So which JBL Flip speaker ultimately is the best? Well, before we let you know which one we pick as the winner, here are a few things worth mentioning. Both the speakers have their unique selling points, even though the number of features in Flip 4 is more. Flip 5 seems to be a stronger speaker with its floating ability in the water, and loftier sound quality over anything else. So this may be a great option for audio enthusiasts or other critical listeners to whom sound is the topmost priority.
Flip 4 on the other hand, has an Aux port, a speakerphone, and an integrated voice assistant to go hands-free when needed. The audio performance of Flip 4 is also rock-solid, but when compared with Flip 5, it is slightly less pure when played at maximized volumes. So, if you are willing to compromise on that aspect, at the cost where you are getting a whole package, then we recommend Flip 4 to you.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ’s)
JBL’s official website sometimes offers these speakers at a discounted price, especially on their refurbished products. You might also want to check out eCommerce websites like Amazon, Walmart, etc. for bigger offers on these products.
Yes, absolutely. Flip 5 is designed with water repellent materials and has an IPX7 rating for waterproof and dustproof. This means that the speaker can stay immersed in water for about 30 minutes without damage. So, yes, you can use it anywhere, shower, kitchen, poolside, beaches, boat ride, etc.
While Flip 4 is a great choice within the Flip series, there are some minor drawbacks in the speaker. The first is the sound quality, which is pretty good within itself, but not better than Flip 5 if you compare. Another thing is the micro USB charging port. While it can be convenient to some in a few ways, it is an older version. Most of the present-day gadgets use a C-type port with fast charging ability.