JBL Charge 4 vs Flip 5: 6 Key Differences and Full Comparison

JBL Charge 4 vs Flip 5

JBL Charge 4 vs Flip 5: 6 Key Differences and Full Comparison

Whether or not you’ve been shopping for a Bluetooth speaker, you’ve no doubt encountered the JBL brand before. Like Bose or Sony, JBL is one of the most recognizable speaker brands in the industry today.

But how does one begin to parse through their extensive catalog? Let’s begin with two of their most popular portable Bluetooth speaker options: The JBL Charge 4 vs Flip 5. How do the two compare to one another? And which of the two is ultimately the best option for you? Let’s compare and contrast below.

JBL Charge 4 vs Flip 5: Side-by-Side Comparison

JBL Charge 4 vs Flip 5 comparison infographic


JBL Charge 4JBL Flip 5
First ReleasedAugust 30th, 2018August 1st, 2019
Size8.66 in. x 3.74 in. x 3.66 in.7.1 in. x 2.7 in. x 2.9 in.
Weight2.1 lb1.2 lb
Amp Power30 W20 W
Signal-to-Noise Ratio80 dB80 dB
Battery Life20 hours12 hours
Charge Time4.5 hours2.5 hours
ColorsAqua, Black, Blue, Camo, Gray, Red, Sand, Silver, White, YellowBlack, Blue, Carbon, Gray, Night Black, Red, Sand, White, Yellow

JBL Charge 4 vs Flip 5: What’s the Difference?

Both the JBL Charge 4 and the JBL Flip 5 come from the same brand, so they can’t be all that different… right? Well, not quite. As it turns out, these two portable Bluetooth speakers have a great number of factors that set them apart. These are the key differences between the JBL Charge 4 vs Flip 5.


Firstly, let’s consider the size of the JBL Charge 4 vs Flip 5. The Charge 4 is 8.66 inches long. The Flip 5, by comparison, is just 7.1 inches long. Both are pretty skinny by comparison. The Charge 4 is right around 3.7 inches thick, whereas the Flip 5 is under 3 inches thick.

Across the board, we can see that these differences are pretty slight. The Charge 4 is bigger in every regard compared to the Flip 5, but the Flip 5 isn’t all that much smaller. The differences are rarely more than an inch and a half or so. Both are the perfect size for a portable speaker.


Reliable Pick
JBL Charge 4 Waterproof
  • Bluetooth streaming
  • U to 20 hours of playtime
  • IPX7 waterproof
  • Durable
  • Dual passive radiators
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09/27/2023 11:12 pm GMT

Secondly, there’s weight to account for. When shopping for a portable speaker, you’re going to want the lightest one possible. Otherwise, it’s not all that portable, is it? With this in mind, let’s look at the Charge 4.

We know it’s bigger in size, but it turns out it’s bigger in weight, as well. It weighs in at 2.1 pounds — nearly twice that of the Flip 5. This smaller speaker is also lighter, weighing in at just 1.2 pounds. There’s a difference of almost a pound between the two, making the Flip 5 the much more portable option by default.


Enough about size and weight, what about sound? After all, a good Bluetooth speaker should be judged in large part by the quality of its sound. It’s one thing to be portable, but what good is portability if the sound isn’t up to par?

On that note, the Charge 4 is marginally louder than the Flip 5. Its amp power is a good 10 W more than the Flip 5’s. However, both have the same signal-to-noise ratio, which makes the Flip 5 a little better than its total amp power alone would suggest. In the end, though, the Charge 4 is still the one that sounds better overall.


While it might not get the same attention as size or weight or sound quality, battery life and charge time are nevertheless important considerations when weighing the pros and cons of portable speakers. The Charge 4 gives a battery life of 20 hours, which is eight whole hours more than the Flip 5’s 12 hours of battery life.

This comes at a cost, however. The Charge 4 has a charge time of two hours more than the Flip 5: the former is 4.5 hours, while the latter is just 2.5 hours. In other words, the Charge 4 lasts longer, but it takes longer to get the battery there from 0%.


While bonus features alone aren’t typically enough to get someone to buy a product, they definitely play an important part in making an overall decision. The inclusion (or exclusion) of good special features can sometimes be enough to sway a person to buy or walk away.

All things considered, the Charge 4 has many more special features than the Flip 5, including the ability to charge your phone through its charging hub. The Charge 4 gets the advantage here over the Flip 5. (To be expected, as the latter is a much more basic, much more stripped-down speaker overall.)


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09/28/2023 06:52 pm GMT

We haven’t mentioned the price yet, but we definitely should. Think about it: what good is all of this if the speaker you want is out of your price range? The difference in price is quite notable between the Charge 4 vs Flip 5.

As a matter of fact, it’s one of the most prominent distinctions between the two. The JBL Charge 4 retails for $149.95, even though it’s been out for four and a half years now. The JBL Flip 5, by comparison, retails for just $99.95 — cheaper, but still a lot for a speaker three and a half years old. Truthfully, these are both on the higher end of the portable speaker market.

The History of JBL

When JBL began, way back in 1927, they didn’t actually go by JBL. They were better known as the Lansing Manufacturing Company, a speaker driver company founded by business partners James Bullough Lansing and Ken Decker. Under their Lansing Manufacturing name, the two specialized in the production of six-inch and eight-inch drivers for use in radios.

Meanwhile, a man by the name of Douglas Shearer was up to something else at the famed Hollywood production studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. His work would play a major part in the future of JBL.

Shearer had a problem: he was hugely unsatisfied with the loudspeaker technology available at the time. In the 1930s, you really had just two options: RCA or Western Electric. Shearer didn’t like either one. His solution? To create his own loudspeakers instead.

Alongside a trio of electrical and sound engineers, Shearer created a brand new kind of loudspeaker: the Shearer Horn. Shearer & Co. chose none other than the Lansing Manufacturing Company to manufacture their newfangled invention. The product was a hit, and the rest was history.

After the success of the Shearer Horn, Lansing Manufacturing naturally entered into the cinema speaker business. Their aptly named Iconic System loudspeaker was quickly adopted in movie theaters the world over, further elevating this once-small speaker driver manufacturer into a bona fide brand.

But, after a series of troubles and untimely deaths in the late 1930s and early 1940s, Lansing had to be bought out. Altec Service Corporation took over and changed the name to Altec Lansing. When James Bullough Lansing retired in 1946, the name officially changed to JBL Sound.

JBL Continues to Grow

At this time — still in 1946 — the newly renamed JBL Sound saw the potential to be found in the consumer electronics sphere. While their cinema speakers were still seeing plenty of success, the company took a chance and broadened its horizons to in-home speaker systems.

The most prominent offerings available? The model D101, a 15-inch loudspeaker, and the model D175, a high-frequency driver. Alongside a couple of other, more minor products, this new path for JBL proved quite successful. The D175 even remained a part of their catalog for 30 more years.

Not everything was as sunny and perfect as it sounds, however. JBL Sound was struggling without its former founders at the helm. Facing potential closure, the Marquardt Corporation — the larger manufacturer that allowed JBL Sound to operate out of their factories — saw an opportunity to step in and take control in 1948.

This was the best possible move for the company, and JBL Sound was effectively saved from the brink of extinction. The Marquardt Corporation is largely credited with growing JBL into the successful speaker and audio brand we know it as today.

After reviving JBL over a period of about 20 years, Marquardt sold the thriving company to Harman International (then known as the Jervis Corporation). They further improved JBL throughout the 1970s, introducing new products for both the consumer and professional audio markets. (This time saw the invention of the L-100, perhaps JBL’s most iconic product.)

Today, JBL remains a popular and trusted brand for sound systems, headphones, cinema speakers, and more. Parent company Harman International is still in charge, operating as a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics.

JBL Charge 4 vs Flip 5: Pros and Cons

Pros of JBL Charge 4Cons of JBL Charge 4
Great sound for a portable speakerLacks speakerphone support
Long battery lifeNo wireless charging
Offers a charging hub for phonesQuite expensive
Supports USB-C chargingLong charging time
Pros of JBL Flip 5Cons of JBL Flip 5
Cheaper than the Charge 4Somewhat pricy for a portable speaker
Small and lightweightLess battery life than competitors
Fast charging timeA bit heavy for its size
Loud for its sizeLimited special features

5 Must-Know Facts About JBL

  1. JBL speakers serve as the framework for the popular THX cinema speaker standard. This makes JBL one of the most notable movie theater sound system manufacturers in the industry.
  2. At one time, JBL speakers were considered Ford’s go-to audio brand for its top-of-the-line vehicles. (Compare this to Bose, which was used in Nissan vehicles.)
  3. The JBL brand falls under Harman International’s ownership, which is in turn owned by Samsung Electronics.
  4. JBL gets its name from James Bullough Lansing, the man who originally co-founded the company with his business partner Ken Decker in 1927.
  5. In addition to the Charge and the Flip names, JBL has several other portable Bluetooth speaker lines including the Go, the Clip, the Pulse, and the Xtreme.

JBL Charge 4 vs Flip 5: Which One Is Better?

So, let’s think about this: which JBL portable speaker is truly the best between the Charge 4 vs Flip 5? We know that the Flip 5 is smaller in size and weight, making it more portable. Conversely, we know that the Charge 4 has a longer battery and a louder sound.

We also know the Flip 5 has a cheaper price, but the Charge 4 has better bonus features. All in all, the winner seems pretty obvious. It has to go to the JBL Charge 4. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the Flip 5, especially if it’s better for your price range, but the Charge 4 is definitely the better of the two.

JBL Charge 4 vs Flip 5: 6 Key Differences and Full Comparison FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Who owns JBL?

JBL is owned by Harman International which is, in turn, owned by Samsung Electronics.

What does JBL stand for?

JBL gets its name from James Bullough Lansing, an audio engineer who co-founded the company in 1927.

Is JBL a good speaker brand?

JBL remains one of the most prominent speaker brands in the country, serving as a trusted source for portable Bluetooth speakers and setting the standard for cinema sound with their support of THX standards.

What's better, the JBL Charge or the JBL Flip?

The JBL Charge line tends to be better than the JBL Flip line on the whole. However, the Charge speakers are definitely more expensive than the Flip speakers.

Does Ford still use JBL speakers?

Ford and JBL had a longstanding partnership for the manufacturer’s top-of-the-line vehicles. But, in recent years, Ford has begun using B&O speakers instead.

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