JBL Flip 4 vs JBL Flip 5

JBL Flip 4 vs JBL Flip 5, which is better?

Although discontinued, you can still get the JBL Flip 4 online. What’s more, you can save money by shopping around.

But as a natural upgrade, isn’t it just best to get the JBL Flip 5? After all, the price disparity isn’t huge.

There are many similarities between them. But having tried both, as you’ll find out later, I’ve found discrepancies. These differences will help decide which one’s right for you.

Read on to shed light on the JBL Flip 4 vs JBL Flip 5 debate.

JBL Flip 4 vs JBL Flip 5

JBL Flip 4 vs JBL Flip 5: Which is better?

To understand which is better for you, you’ll need to learn the key differences. Let’s start with quick pros and cons.

JBL Flip 4 vs JBL Flip 5: Pros and Cons

JBL Flip 412 hours battery lifeProtective wire-mesh wrapVoice assistantSignature JBL SoundFlimsy Micro USB portLess bass and high-def sound compared to JBL Flip 5
JBL Flip 512 hours battery lifeProtective wire-mesh wrapImproved sound qualitySturdy buttonsNo voice assistanceBattery indicator difficult to read

JBL Flip 4 vs JBL Flip 5: Price

The price is important when deciding on any speaker. If you’re anything like me, a portable speaker won’t be part of your main system, so don’t bankrupt yourself.

It’s possible to pick up the JBL Flip 5 for around $110. JBL has discontinued the Flip 4, so prices vary. Anyhow, to generalize, you can get one for around $90, but I wouldn’t pay more.

All things being equal, they retail at a reasonable price. Both are portable speakers but could act as an affordable home entertainment system. While they won’t have the same impactful sound as a Bose SoundTouch 30 or Sonos 5, remember these retail at around $500.

JBL Flip 4 vs JBL Flip 5: Dimensions

As portable speakers, size matters. If you plan to travel with the speaker, you’ll want it streamlined to pop into your hand luggage.

The JBL Flip 5 is larger than the Flip 4, but only a touch. We’re talking millimeters. Considering the Flip 5 weighs 1.19lbs compared to the Flip 4, which is 1.14lbs, it’s not enough to make your decision on weight and size alone.

The Flip 4 and Flip 5 JBL are both equally portable.

JBL Flip 4 vs JBL Flip 5: Design & Look

Both Flip 4 and 5 have similar design features. Near identical cylindrical shape, rubber end caps, and wrapped in wire metal mesh, it’s hard to tell them apart.

I’m a fan of the wire metal mesh. It feels sturdy and goes a long way to protect the inner workings of each speaker.

As a discontinued product, there are fewer color options for the Flip 4. But that’s not to say it’s slim pickings. You’ll find seven or so options. These include black, white, blue, red, and even camo.

But this pales in insignificance to the Flip 5. Not only are there fourteen color options, but you can also add your own graphics. So, a picture of your company logo, your dog, whatever you want, you can personalize it so suit.

One standout difference is the LED battery indicator. On the JBL 5, there’s a bar that fades as the battery drains. But, the JBL 4 has five LED lights. The amount of lit LED lights decreases depending on the battery level.

For me, the Flip 4 technique is easier to read. But for sheer options in color, you can’t beat the Flip 5.

JBL Flip 4 vs JBL Flip 5
Photo courtesy jbl.com

JBL Flip 4 vs JBL Flip 5: Battery Life

You won’t separate the two on battery life. Both have a 3000mAH rechargeable Li-ion battery, and both portable speakers will play music for up to twelve hours.

Yet, how each speaker charges differs. You charge the Flip 4 with a Micro USB, while the Flip 5 uses a USB-C. 

What’s the difference between a Micro USB and USB-C?

The USB-C has more power output, so it’ll charge the Flip 5 faster. For a full charge, it’ll take around two and a half hours. Whereas it’ll take three-plus hours to charge the Flip 4.

Both are standard easy to find cables. But to get the most out of charging, use the supplied cable.

The thirty-minute difference didn’t affect me because it’s easy enough to charge overnight. However, if you’re living a hectic life, it can sway your decision.

JBL Flip 4 vs JBL Flip 5: Sound

JBL has got an excellent reputation, true to form, both portable speakers sound killer. But… the Flip 5 edges it. 

Although fine margins, it’s louder, reaching around 96 decibels compared to the 90 of the Flip 4.

Beyond volume, the Flip 5 offers a more rounded tone. JBL has also improved the bass response with the more recent Flip 5.

But, for equilibrium, here’s something you need to be aware of.

JBL Connect+ allows for connection to up to 100 other JBL speakers. This feature is present on the JBL Flip 4. 

Yet, JBL has faded out Connect + and replaced it with PartyBoost. Like Connect+, you can connect to up to 100 JBL devices with PartyBoost. But, if you’ve got a series of JBL speakers with Connect +, then the Flip 5 isn’t compatible. 

JBL Flip 4 vs JBL Flip 5: Features

For a pool party or beach days, each portable speaker is IPX7 waterproof up to 3ft. So the party needn’t stop if it comes into contact with water.

For connecting music sources, each uses Bluetooth 4.2. As an update, it would’ve been nice to see the Flip 5 have Bluetooth 5.0. Despite that, the connection is strong. 

You can also connect the Flip 4 with a 3.5mm Aux cable. This isn’t an option on the Flip 5, so consider this if you’d like to connect older systems without BlueTooth.

Unlike the Flip 5, the Flip 4 has a microphone. So, the Flip 4 has a voice assistant for integration with Siri or Google Assistant.

JBL Flip 4 vs JBL Flip 5
Photo courtesy jbl.com

JBL Flip 4 vs JBL Flip 5: Buttons & Dials

Let’s have a look at button access. Both have four buttons on the wire mesh and two in the plastic bar on the back. The crucial difference being the four buttons are more accessible on the Flip 5. I found this position and the general performance of the buttons more robust.

The layout is slightly different. On the wire mesh, the volume up and down buttons are in a similar position, but the Bluetooth button on the Flip 4 is next to the volume down control. On the other hand, the JBL Flip 5 has the PartyBoost button situated where the Flip 4 has the Bluetooth button.

The play button is self-explanatory on Flip 5. But, on the Flip 4, it doesn’t just start and stop the music, it also activates Google Assistant, Siri and even allows you to accept calls.

Photo courtesy amazon.com

On the plastic bar, there’s a power button on both. While the Flip 4 has a Connect + button, this is where JBL places the Bluetooth button on the Flip 5.

Next to the back buttons is the USB port. It’s covered on the Flip 4 with a rubber flap, while the Flip 5 is open for easy access and overall stronger.


JBL Flip 4JBL Flip 5
Driver Size42mm44mm
Power Output16W20W
Power Charge SourceMicro-USBUSB-C
ConnectionBluetooth 4.2, 3.5mm AuxBluetooth 4.2
DimensionsLength: 6.89″Width:  2.68″Depth 2.76Length 7.10”Width: 2.70″Depth: 2.90″


Speakers come in many shapes and sizes, moreover, for different purposes. If you want higher grade speakers for an audiophile setup, then check out the Top Speakers Under $300.

But Flip 4 & 5 are all about portability. So, for parties, travel, and outside use, they’re ideal.

While the price may seem expensive, the Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20 retails nearly five times more. Although the JBL Flip 4 & 5 won’t meet the sound quality of a speaker priced at $500, they still offer prominent sound.

So,  JBL Flip 4 vs JBL Flip 5, which is better? 

Both are great portable speakers. That said, the JBL Flip 5 offers better sound quality. However, there are features that’ll make the Flip 4 more suitable for your need such as voice assistance, aux lead connectivity, and Connect +.

If you find these features outdated, then the Flip 5 is going to be better for you. All things considered and when remembering there’s little price difference… It’s the Flip 5 for me on sheer sound quality alone.