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The 6 Biggest Complaints About the JBL Charge

Biggest Complaints About the JBL Charge

The 6 Biggest Complaints About the JBL Charge

The JBL Charge is widely known and loved as a fantastic portable Bluetooth speaker. From its advertised sound quality to its much-hyped durability to its seemingly great versatility, the JBL Charge is pitched as a true titan of the Bluetooth speaker space.

However, no product is as perfect as it seems in the ad. There are a number of drawbacks that JBL Charge owners have noted over the years. Below, we’ve assembled a number of the biggest complaints about the JBL Charge — from battery life and charging to connectivity and quality, plus everything in between.

JBL Charge: The Basics

Latest ModelCharge 5
ManufacturerJBL
Battery Life20 hours
Charge Time4 hours
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.1
Bluetooth ProfilesA2DP 1.3, AVRCP 1.6
Size8.7 in. x 3.76 in. x 3.67 in.
Weight2.11 lbs.
Price$179.95
ColorsBlue, Red, Grey, Teal, Camo, Black

5 Must-Know Facts About The JBL Charge

  1. The JBL Charge 5 is equipped with PartyBoost. This alluring new feature allows multiple JBL speakers equipped with PartyBoost to connect to each other to create a whole network of speakers. This means that, instead of music coming from just one speaker, you could have multiple speakers playing the same song at the same time.
  2. The “Charge” in the JBL Charge 5 refers to the speaker’s built-in power bank. Fitted with a USB charging port, the speaker allows users to charge their other devices while listening to music on the go. This is a great feature for people who need to keep their phone or tablet charged while listening to music. However, it drains the battery much faster than advertised.
  3. The JBL Charge 5 has been given an IP67 waterproof and dustproof rating. This means the Charge 5 can maintain its quality against all sorts of elements — from outdoor hikes to sweltering beach days to relaxing pool parties and all sorts of environments in between. Plus, the Charge 5 can be dunked in water for up to 30 minutes without taking any damage.
  4. The JBL Charge 5 claims to have an impressive battery life of up to 20 hours. JBL argues their speaker can handle all-day listening sessions without needing a charge. Plus, its charging time is four hours, meaning you’ll be back up and running after only a brief respite. Battery levels can be monitored from the JBL Connect smartphone app.
  5. Unlike previous JBL Charge models, the Charge 5 boasts a new design with a stylish fabric covering. The iconic rubber coating is still present, but it’s combined with this brand-new fabric mesh for added style. With this addition, the JBL Charge 5 not only looks great but also helps protect the speaker from scratches and bumps.

The History of the JBL Charge

Before getting into the biggest complaints about the JBL Charge, let’s look at how it came to be. In the world of wireless Bluetooth speakers, the JBL Charge proves to be one of the most popular. JBL is one of the most well-known brand names in the world of audio equipment.

Likewise, the Charge is one of the brand’s most popular product lines to date. First introduced in 2013, JBL’s portable Bluetooth speaker immediately stunned consumers and critics with its ability to combine high-quality sound with the convenience of a portable charger. Then, the product only got better.

Excellent Pick
JBL Charge 2+ Splashproof
  • 20 hours of playtime
  • Noise- and echo-canceling speakerphone
  • Connect up to 3 smartphones or tablets to the speaker via Bluetooth
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

In the decade since the Charge’s first release, JBL has released a handful of improved models. Each one has built tremendously on the success of its predecessor. The latest of these models, the JBL Charge 5, was released in 2021.

It didn’t take long for it to become one of the most popular portable Bluetooth speakers in the entire market. Featuring a sleek, durable design housed in a rubbery, tactical coating, the Charge 5 is perfect for indoor or outdoor listening. Plus, it claims to have a 20-hour battery life and a Bluetooth range of nearly 100 feet.

Another one of the JBL Charge 5’s advertised features? Exceptional sound. From a new and improved driver to dual passive radiators, the Charge 5 claims to deliver crisp and clear audio with deep bass and a PartyBoost feature (which allows you to pair the speaker with other JBL PartyBoost-enabled speakers for an even bigger sound).

You can’t forget the built-in power bank, either. It has enough power to charge your other devices, even while you continue to listen to music. What’s not to love? As it turns out, there’s plenty. The following are the biggest complaints about the JBL Charge.

The Biggest Complaints About the JBL Charge

Now that we’ve reviewed some basic specs about the Charge and gone over the history of the popular Bluetooth speaker from JBL, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: What are the biggest complaints about the JBL Charge?

From its issues with battery life to its problems with charging, from its iffy Bluetooth connectivity to its less-than-ideal sound quality, not to mention its shortcomings in both durability and physicality, the JBL Charge might not actually be all it’s cracked up to be. Let’s see what the biggest complaints about the JBL Charge are.

1. Battery Life

One of the biggest complaints about the JBL Charge? Its battery life. While JBL claims that the Charge 5 can provide up to 20 hours of playtime on a single charge, many users have reported a battery life much shorter than this. These claims argue that the battery drains quickly, not only while using it but also when the speaker is not even in use.

Our Pick
JBL Charge 3 Waterproof
$129.95
  • 20 hours of playtime
  • IPX7 Waterproof
  • Balanced sound
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/16/2024 10:33 am GMT

Others have complained that the battery life decreases gradually over time, with each charge lasting a shorter time than the one before it. While this is pretty typical of any rechargeable battery, the JBL Charge apparently shows these signs faster than usual.

2. Charging Problems

Going hand in hand with the battery life problems, some JBL Charge owners have reported issues with charging the portable Bluetooth speaker.

From claims the speaker will not charge at all to complaints about the speaker charging slowly (or flat-out not holding a charge at all), the speaker clearly has some battery problems in desperate need of addressing in a future JBL Charge release.

Beyond this, other users have seen their speaker’s charging port become loose or damaged after a number of uses — making charging next to impossible.

3. Bluetooth Connection

Another one of the biggest complaints about the JBL Charge has to do with its Bluetooth connectivity. In the speaker’s official specs, JBL claims a Bluetooth range of nearly 100 feet. However, in practice, users have found their speaker coming up a lot shorter than this.

Reliable Pick
JBL Charge 4 Waterproof
$104.95
  • Bluetooth streaming
  • U to 20 hours of playtime
  • IPX7 waterproof
  • Durable
  • Dual passive radiators
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/16/2024 10:33 am GMT

And, when they can get it to connect, the speaker will often drop its connection or switch to another connected device without warning. When a Bluetooth speaker can’t even hold a Bluetooth connection, you know you’ve got a real problem on your hands.

4. Quality of Sound

Is there anything as important to a Bluetooth speaker as its sound quality? After connectivity and battery life, it’s unlikely anything could top the importance of a good sound from a Bluetooth speaker. Unfortunately, some are less than satisfied with the quality of the Charge 5.

A decent number of users have reported issues with sound distortion — especially at higher volumes. Some users also complain that the speaker’s bass is much too strong and far too overpowering. Others have said that the sound is even worse at low volume, describing it as flat and lacking in depth.

5. Durability

We’ve touched on battery, connectivity, and sound, but what is to be said about the biggest complaints about the JBL Charge pertaining to its durability? Even though the speaker is marketed as being both waterproof and shockproof, some Charge owners have reported that the speaker is not nearly as durable as advertised.

Best Battery Life
JBL Charge 5
$179.95
  • Features a long excursion driver, separate tweeter, and dual JBL bass radiators
  • Up to 20 hours of playtime
  • IP67 waterproof and dust-proof rating
  • PartyBoost feature
  • Built-in power bank
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/16/2024 10:47 am GMT

Some users have reported that the speaker is incredibly prone to damage. Others have said the speaker can’t even survive a basic drop test.

The most surprising of these complaints pertain to the waterproof rating. Some JBL Charge 5 users have tried to put the speaker’s waterproof specs to the test, only to end up with a ruined speaker that was barely even wet.

6. Physicality

Last but not least, we have complaints about the size and weight of the JBL Charge 5. At eight inches in length and a weight of over two pounds, the JBL Charge is considered by some to be far too big and much too heavy to actually be as portable as it claims to be.

JBL says this Bluetooth speaker can be taken on the go with you wherever you’re headed, but its physicality says otherwise. The JBL Charge 5 is not the kind of thing you can lug around with ease, and anyone who has held one for a prolonged period of time can attest to this complaint.

  1. JBL Charge 2+ Splashproof
    • 20 hours of playtime
    • Noise- and echo-canceling speakerphone
    • Connect up to 3 smartphones or tablets to the speaker via Bluetooth
    Buy Now on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

  2. JBL Charge 3 Waterproof
    $129.95
    • 20 hours of playtime
    • IPX7 Waterproof
    • Balanced sound
    Buy Now on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    01/16/2024 10:33 am GMT
  3. JBL Charge 4 Waterproof
    $104.95
    • Bluetooth streaming
    • U to 20 hours of playtime
    • IPX7 waterproof
    • Durable
    • Dual passive radiators
    Buy Now on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    01/16/2024 10:33 am GMT
  4. JBL Charge 5
    $179.95
    • Features a long excursion driver, separate tweeter, and dual JBL bass radiators
    • Up to 20 hours of playtime
    • IP67 waterproof and dust-proof rating
    • PartyBoost feature
    • Built-in power bank
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    01/16/2024 10:47 am GMT

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the JBL Charge 5 compare to previous models?

All in all, the JBL Charge 5 has several upgrades compared to previous models. These include improved sound quality, longer battery life, and an upgraded PartyBoost feature. The JBL Charge 5 also has a sleek new design with a fabric covering that helps protect the speaker from scratches and bumps.

How waterproof is the JBL Charge 5?

The JBL Charge 5 has an IP67 waterproof and dustproof rating. This means that the speaker can be submerged in water for up to 30 minutes without any damage.

However, there are drawbacks to this: The water cannot be any deeper than a meter, or else damage becomes much more likely. That’s only about three feet of water in all — far deeper than the deep end of the pool.

What is the JBL Charge 5's battery like?

The JBL Charge 5 has an impressive battery life of up to 20 hours on a single charge. Additionally, it only takes four hours to charge the JBL Charge 5 back to 100%. However, depending on the volume level and the speaker usage, the battery may drain much faster than 20 hours.

This is particularly true when using the portable charging bank inside the speaker. To check the battery level indicator, you can use the JBL Connect app on your smartphone.

What kind of devices can be charged by the JBL Charge 5?

The JBL Charge 5 is equipped with a built-in power bank that allows you to charge other devices while on the go. This is a convenient feature that ensures you never run out of battery on your phone or tablet.

However, only devices that can support the USB-A charge type. If your device charges with USB-C, you’ll need a compatible charger with a USB-A end.

Can you connect multiple JBL Charge speakers together?

With the new PartyBoost feature on the JBL Charge 5, you’re able to connect multiple speakers together to create a speaker network. This allows you to create a more immersive listening experience with multiple speakers playing the same song at the same time. This feature is meant to rival similar connectivity offered by Amazon’s Alexa speakers and Apple’s HomePod speakers.

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