The JBL Charge is one of the brand’s most popular and best Bluetooth portable speakers. He’s got a powerful sound, a big battery, and can recharge other equipment. The manufacturer recently introduced the fifth edition of the hit accessory. In this JBL Charge 5 review, we’ll find out what this new product is capable of.
The portable speaker is available in nine colors: from classic black to pale pink. Although the design has been slightly refreshed, it is difficult to confuse the JBL speaker with models from other manufacturers – the corporate identity is immediately read. Almost the entire surface of the case is covered with a dense, pleasant-to-the-touch, wear-resistant fabric, thanks to which the Charge 5 does not slip in your hands.
Unlike the previous version, it got five smaller rubber feet in the form of stripes. They help the gadget stay securely on the surface. The JBL waterproof speaker can be safely placed on the tile of the pool. Among other notable changes – the charging port is removed from under the rubber plug while maintaining moisture protection, the battery indicator is made as a stripe and not a circle. The rear latch is now easier to open. The control buttons have received a clearer and more pleasant touch.
Water protection has also been improved: the JBL Charge 5 is IP67 certified. The Bluetooth speaker system can work during heavy rains, can withstand an accidental fall in a pool to a depth of one meter, and is not afraid of sand and dust. In case of contamination, it is easy to wash it under the tap. During this JBL Charge 5 review, our unit was submerged several times, but that didn’t affect its performance.
The wireless speaker cannot be called compact: it weighs about a kilogram. The JBL waterproof speaker, on the other hand, easily fits into a small bag or backpack and takes up minimal shelf space. A good choice for picnics, workouts, and similar activities.
The control keys are placed on top, they can be felt even with your eyes closed. The power and pairing buttons are centered and highlighted. On either side of them are Volume, Play, and Pause keys as well as Party Boost. The Charge 5 is installed both vertically and horizontally. The rubber cover protects only the USB-A port for recharging gadgets. To prevent the column from getting wet, the lid must be tightly closed.
The major improvement on the Charge 5 is the tweeter. It now functions in conjunction with a full-range speaker and pair of passive radiators. For comparison, let us clarify that the JBL Charge 4 had only one driver.
Rated power is 40W, which is 25% higher than the previous version. The volume reserve is huge: already in a small apartment at an average level, neighbors begin to strain. However, it’s not for nothing that the Charge 5 enjoys the status of portable technology. Its main purpose is to play music outside.
Like other JBL wireless Bluetooth speakers, the Charge 5 reproduces tracks with clear and powerful bass. However, the engineers worked harder at the higher frequencies, which previously had many complaints from audiophiles. Now the sound is better balanced: The low frequencies work in full force, and the mids and highs don’t get overwhelmed by the extra dynamics. JBL Charge 5 makes it easy to listen to rhythm electronics, hip-hop, and even heavy rock.
There is no point in saying once again that this is not a professional model aimed at selected Hi-Fi connoisseurs. For its category, the Charge 5 has an impressive sound. We liked that even at maximum volume, JBL Charge 5 pleases with clear sound without wheezing.
The Charge 5 has lost the AUX connector. Now you can listen to tracks exclusively via Bluetooth 5.1 using the SBC codec – this is enough for many streaming audio services. Connecting to the smartphone is elementary: you need to press the power button and wait a few seconds until the Bluetooth logo flashes. Then it is enough to find the Charge 5 in the list of devices and connect to it.
Separately, we note the JBL Party Boost function. It connects speakers together to produce loud and surround sound. Party Boost brings together an unlimited number of accessories – just find a compatible speaker and press the corresponding button on the case.
The new technology is not compatible with the mode that was used in previous versions of JBL speakers – Connect+. The fact that Party Boost runs on a fresh chip offers lower power consumption, increased range, and stability.
Claimed battery life is up to 20 hours. In this JBL Charge 5 review, we kept the speaker volume at medium level, so we got about 18 hours of battery life – a good figure for a portable Bluetooth speaker. The 7,500mAh battery charges via USB-C in 4 hours.
Apart from this, the Charge 5 also supports power bank function, i.e. it charges other devices. For this, a full-fledged USB-A port has been given. It is convenient to connect conventional wired chargers to it. For similar purposes, the USB-C input is also suitable, the main thing is to find the right cable. The battery is enough to charge an average smartphone with juice one and a half or two times. And the tablet can be charged up once.
JBL Charge 5 is a successful update of the popular model. The manufacturer has significantly improved and amplified the sound with the help of an additional tweeter, increased the level of protection against water and dirt, and also slightly refreshed the design. The portable Bluetooth speaker will be an excellent option for those who cannot imagine outdoor entertainment without their favorite music.
It’s quite easily the best you can buy at $179.95 on Amazon.com and Bhphotovideo.com websites. At its price, the Charge 5 Portable Bluetooth Speaker is excellent value for money and is worth checking out if you’re looking for an affordable wireless speaker right now.
What do you think about this JBL Charge 5 review? Please let us know in the comment section below.
If you’re looking for something different and elegant, recently, we also reviewed the Sony SRS-RA5000 wireless speaker with 360 Reality Audio Technology and has quite an unusual design that attracts your attention first.