Today in our JBL Charge 5 Bluetooth Speaker review, we’re going to focus on JBL’s newest speaker – The Charge 5. It’s designed for people who want a rugged, no-nonsense Bluetooth speaker that’s portable and convenient.
Its predecessor featured an IPX-7 rating which meant that it could be submerged in water until 1.5m deep. But the Charge 5’s IP-67 rating builds on this specific feature by also being entirely dust-proof.
The speaker comes in eight different colours you can choose from. However, we got the grey-coloured one for our JBL Charge 5 Bluetooth Speaker review.
JBL Charge 5 Bluetooth Speaker Packaging
This section of our JBL Charge 5 Bluetooth Speaker review is all about the presentation and contents of the box. It’s specifically for people who want to familiarise themselves with the box’s appearance. This is essential when purchasing from physical shops.
When our Charge 5 came, it arrived in the usual-looking JBL box that sports the orange and white theme. Of course, an image of the speaker is in front, while JBL’s logo is found in the upper left corner.
To the right of the image, “Charge 5” is written, while “Bluetooth” is on the lower-left corner of the box. Opposite this is the total music play time.
On the sides, another image of the JBL Charge 5 is present, but it displays a different angle.
Inside, the Charge 5 Bluetooth Speaker is safely packed together with other items. These include a type-C USB cable, one safety sheet and quick start guide, plus the warranty card.
JBL Charge 5 Bluetooth Speaker Review – Design and Functionality
This time, our JBL Charge 5 Bluetooth Speaker review will discuss the speaker’s functions and design.
Starting off with its design, the speaker is an iteration of the cylindrical style it sported for years. Previously, the solo power LEDs were on the base of the speaker. But now, these were changed into LED strips positioned beneath the JBL logo. In all honesty, it looks much sleeker and we prefer this compared to its earlier design.
The speaker is entirely wrapped in woven fabric accompanied by silicone accents. Plus, it sports a silicone foot beneath the speaker which helps in keeping the Charge 5 stay in place.
These are still the same with slightly elevated buttons positioned at the top of the Charge 5. There are buttons used for playback, power, volume, Party Boost, and Bluetooth pairing.
Along its rear, the speaker features a waterproof type-C charging port and a flap that hides the USB-A port. The latter can be used to charge your smartphones.
If you have legacy devices that you want to connect to the Charge 5, you’re out of luck. That’s because JBL dropped the 3.5mm aux jack support for this specific speaker.
However, the company retained the speaker’s exposed bass drivers on the left and right sections. These allow you to see the woofers shifting in and out. For the drivers, they’re secured by a lip along the speaker, though you can still touch them safely.
Our JBL Charge 5 Bluetooth Speaker review will now focus on the different features of the speaker.
Key Features of the JBL Charge 5 Bluetooth Speaker
Bold JBL Original Pro Sound
This speaker comes with a boosted excursion driver, dual JBL bass radiators, and a separate tweeter. All these are integrated to deliver excellent, clear, and rich audio.
It’s a great feature that will allow you to achieve the big room sound even when you’re outdoors.
20 Hours of Play Time
With its 20-hour battery life, you can have non-stop fun while listening to your favourite tunes. Party all day and throughout the night without having to worry about your charge draining out fast.
Asde from long hours of playtime, you can even charge other devices using the speaker. That’s because the Charge 5 has an integrated powerbank that can be used without stopping the music.
The company’s optimised daisy-chaining technology lets you enhance your portable sounds. You can do this by connecting the Charge 5 Bluetooth speaker with up to a hundred PartyBoost-enabled JBL Bluetooth speakers. To note, you can only do this with the Pulse 4, Boombox 2, and the Flip 5 models.
IP-67 Water and Dustproof
You can take the Charge 5 anywhere you go since it’s IP-67-rated. Basically, it’s water and dust-proof, so it can take dust and withstand getting submerged under 1m of tap water.
It can last up to 30 minutes of submersion, which is pretty neat.
This time, our JBL Charge 5 Bluetooth Speaker review will discuss the speaker’s specifications.
The Charge 5 has Bluetooth 5.1 with a frequency of 2,400MHz to 2,484MHz. When it comes to its power, the speaker has a total music play time of 20 hours. Its output power is 30W RMS (woofer) and 10W RMS (tweeter).
JBL utilised a Li-ion polymer 27Wh battery for the Charge 5. It needs 4 hours of charging time to get a full battery. When it comes to the dynamic frequency response of the Charge 5, it ranges from 65Hz to 20kHz.
Lastly, the speaker measures 22 x 9.6 x 9.3cm and weighs a total of 0.96kg.
Now that we’ve tackled the specifications, let’s focus on the speaker’s performance on the next part of our JBL Charge 5 Bluetooth Speaker review
Hands-on with the JBL Charge 5 Bluetooth Speaker
Setting up the JBL Charge 5 is easy, and it lets you enjoy music listening immediately.
When we first tried out the speaker, it automatically entered pairing mode. We simply pressed then held the power button to switch on the Charge 5.
For pairing, you simply need to choose the speaker from your device’s Bluetooth settings. Once you have, you’ll hear JBL’s signature sounds when the speaker’s connected. Let’s talk a bit about the JBL Portable app before continuing with our JBL Charge 5 Bluetooth Speaker review.
The JBL Portable App was formerly JBL Connect, and you can download this to access firmware updates and JBL PartyBoost. When you open the JBL Portable App, it will prompt you to pair the speakers.
Do note that the application doesn’t offer much tweaking for the Charge 5. However, you can utilise it to manage the PartyBoost function, download firmware updates, and switch audio feedback sounds on/off.
The updates alone are worth downloading, yet we think the app could’ve been better if it offered adjustable EQ. Luckily, its interface is user-friendly and provides helpful information regarding each component.
When it comes to its overall sound quality, the JBL Charge 5 hasn’t changed much from its predecessor. It has an extra tweeter that boosts clarity, while its bass has more impact than the Charge 4.
When on low to medium volume, the Charge 5 produces balanced sounds. Its bass is deep with a lot of impact which is quite surprising for this type of speaker.
The mids are clear and the vocals have good presence, while highs have a warmer presentation. That’s until you push up the volume.
Both the Charge 5 and 4 produce clean sounds at regular volume. But when you go high, things get distorted.
So to get the best-sounding speakers, we recommend keeping the Charge 5 at around 50 to 60% volume. If you need to go higher than this range, it’s possible to hear ambient noise.
Like the earlier Charge speakers, this one is directional where its woofers and tweeters are positioned along its rear. So, you shouldn’t expect 360-degrees of enveloping sounds like with the JBL Pulse 4.
Pairing the speakers is easy: just press then hold the Bluetooth symbol at the top of the speaker. Then, choose it from the Bluetooth menu of your device. Since it makes use of Bluetooth 5.1, it’s more energy-efficient compared to the 5.0 version.
We like its Bluetooth multipoint functions a lot. Why? Because we were able to take turns playing our tunes through the speaker without switching source devices every time.
The Charge 5 was able to connect over a good range. However, thick walls can cause stuttering and can limit the connection range.
JBL Charge 5 Bluetooth Speaker Review Summary
JBL’s Charge series is known for its speakers with high volume, balanced audio, and long battery life. And nothing has changed with the series’ fifth generation. In our tests, it performed excellently and we didn’t have any issues with it.
It has the same features of the previous Charge speakers, but enhanced. These make it a great Bluetooth speaker that’s easy to recommend. Aside from high-quality audio and long battery life, it also has a user-friendly app for adjusting its settings.
Overall, we highly recommend this Bluetooth speaker especially for party and outdoor use. To purchase the JBL Charge 5, it’s available from the company’s official website.