Deciding to buy a new Bluetooth speaker depends on many factors. Nobody wants to waste their money on a product that delivers a low-quality sound.
To help you decide the best choice, our team made a JBL Flip 5 vs Flip 4 comparison. Let’s see which one is the better deal.
JBL Flip 4 vs Flip 5 — Which Bluetooth Speaker Performs Better? (2021)
Features of JBL Flip 4 and Flip 5
Design and Build Quality
Let’s begin with a JBL Flip 4 vs Flip 5 design and quality build. At first glance, they look nearly identical. Both speakers use a control panel that doesn’t take much room, and the buttons are covered in a rubberized material that keeps them clean and undamaged. However, that doesn’t mean they have the same design.
So, what does JBL Flip 4 have over JBL Flip 5? Well, it has more details built into it, namely the speakerphone function that a lot of portable Bluetooth speakers have. But this isn’t necessarily an advantage.
The reason for this is that despite its more complex build, JBL Flip 4 has the mini USB-B jack, which is becoming increasingly obsolete now that the USB-C is more and more common.
The USB-B port has a protective flap to keep it safe from liquids and dust, though. JBL Flip 5 is a bit different because the port itself is waterproof, so it doesn’t need a protective flap.
When it comes to size, both speakers have the perfect size for ease of handling, with small differences. Flip 4 has a length of 17.5 cm, a width of 7 cm, and a weight of 0.5 kg, while Flip 5 is 18.1 cm in length, 7.4 cm in width, and a weight of 0.54 kg. Unlike other devices that are heavier like the Blackweb soundbar, the speakers are easy to carry around and won’t take up too much space.
JBL Flip 4 and Flip 5: Sound Quality
JBL Flip 5 is a mono speaker, using a single 44mm audio driver to pump sound outwards in a consistent direction. The disadvantage here is that Flip 5 has no sound separation, while Flip 4 has.
When it comes to frequency, Flip 5 has a better frequency response than its predecessor, and this means that it can use an extra 4 watts of power, all of which translates into a more powerful speaker.
Bass is the most powerful sound that a speaker can create, and it may not surprise you that the JBL Flip 5 beats JBL Flip 4 in this regard. Our sound experts noticed during the JBL Flip 5 vs Flip 4 comparison that Flip 5 has slightly bigger bass and volume.
JBL Flip 4 and Flip 5 Connectivity
The older JBL products used old technology, named Connect+, featured in the past in all types of speakers. The new ones, like JBL Flip 5, are using new technology, PartyBoost. JBL Flip 5 is not compatible with older JBL products and will only communicate with PartyBoost-compatible devices.
As a Bluetooth version, both speakers use Bluetooth 4.2, so you can connect them with all types of phones. Or connect it with multiple Bluetooth speakers to get audio from several devices.
However, the frequency rates are different for both of them. Flip 4 is operating on a 70Hz-20kHz frequency rate, while Flip 5 operates between 65Hz-20kHz, a slightly bigger bandwidth that translates into better audio quality.
Battery Life and Charge Time
Both last about 12 hours at rest or half to two-thirds of that if you use them a lot. The battery life is way impressive compared to Harman Kardon Onyx 2 and Onyx 3 that can only give you 5 on a full charge. Our team tested both products and found that JBL Flip 5 would recharge in about 2.5 hours. On the other hand, the bluetooth speaker JBL Flip 4 will refill its battery in 3.5 hours.
The Flip 4 has a 3,000 mAh rechargeable battery, while the Flip 5 uses a 4,800 mAh battery. Despite the battery upgrade that Flip 5 got, its lifespan is almost identical to its predecessor, Flip 4. The Flip 4 uses 16W during operation, whereas Flip 5 burns 20W, essentially leveling each speaker’s power demands.
Continuously charging and discharging, the batteries can damage the speaker and reduce its lifespan. However, both Flip 4 and Flip 5 batteries are designed to cope with over 500 charge-discharge cycles before they lose much ability to hold power. Even after that, the speaker is usable, but its lifespan will be significantly reduced.
However, our experts have found a method by which you can figure out if you need to change the battery with a new one.
When you raise the volume, particularly on music that has many bass tones, you may hear crackling or other distortion. This isn’t always attributed to low battery, but it’s a good indicator. Another thing that tells you that the battery power isn’t right is when the speaker may cut out or power down when a deep bass drum thump occurs.
This could mean that the battery, even when fully charged, can no longer provide sufficient power for the speaker drivers to play these sounds, and this may indicate that it needs replacing.
Dustproof and Water-Resistance
Both Flip 4 and 5 are waterproof and dustproof. Through their composition, both speakers are protected by rubber fabric housing, and are highly durable. You also don’t have to worry if you drop them into the water or sand by mistake, as they are designed to withstand shocks.
There is not much to say in terms of JBL Flip 5 vs JBL Flip 4 as both Flip speakers are IPX7  waterproof and will last about 30 minutes if submerged underwater.
Even though the Flip 4 is older than the Flip 5, you can access voice assistant Siri or Google Assistant directly through the speaker, without the need for a phone. The Flip 4 also has a speakerphone.
JBL Flip 4 and Flip 5: Price
The Flip 5 is newer than the Flip 4, but it will not put a larger hole in your pocket than its predecessor. Our experts noticed in their research that there is no significant difference in price between these products, although the Flip 4 is slightly cheaper if you search enough.
What is the difference between JBL Flip 4 and flip 5?
The main difference between the JBL Flip 4 and Flip 5 is the wireless technology that they use. Flip 4 uses an older technology, named Connect+, while Flip 5 uses PartyBoost.
Overall winner: Flip 5
Following lab audio tests, our specialists chose Flip 5 as the winner. Using the PartyBoost new technology, this JBL speaker operates on a higher bandwidth and uses up to 20W, which translates into better audio quality.
Flip 5 has a fun design and comes with 11 distinct color options that will brighten your day. Rainy days no longer need to be silent since this speaker has an IPX7 waterproof design. You are also free to carry it anywhere as it is both lightweight and portable.