JBL Charge 3 vs JBL Flip 5 | Which One is Worth Buying?

by Michael Dwain

JBL has been dishing out some amazing portable speakers over the years and each year they upgrade their existing top models. Today we are going to compare their most recent releases, in JBL Charge 3 vs JBL Flip 5.

JBL has been refining the sound of these speakers by upgrading sound quality by increasing driver size, improved noise cancellation, and build quality. Today we are going to be comparing all this and more to help you make the right decision between the two heavyweights. 

One thing I’ve noticed about the more recent models is that the brand is focusing on reducing some functions that the previous versions had and focusing more on simplicity and product quality. 

I’ve had a chance to test both speakers out in terms of sound quality, battery life, waterproofing, and connectivity. I’m amazed at how far the brand has come and I’m sure you will be as well, so let’s get started with JBL Charge 3 vs JBL Flip 5.

Recommended Read: JBL Charge 4 vs JBL Xtreme 3

Overview

Key SpecificationsJBL Charge 3 JBL Flip 5
Power Bank Build-inYesNo
Voice Assistant IntegrationCompatible with Siri and Google AssistantNo Voice Assistant
Waterproof RatingIPX7IPX7
JBL Connect PlusYes N/A
Build QualityThick Rubber made durable to last longerSame material as JBL Charge 3
Weight798g540g
Battery6000mAh4000mAh
Playback20-hours12-hours
Driver watts20 watts Stereo Driver16 watts Single Driver
Party BoostYes

JBL Charge 3 vs JBL Flip 5

What’s in the box

The JBL Charge 3 comes with fairly simple packaging and feels well-insulated with no shakes or loose packing. 

Once the box is opened you will find a cushion upper lid that covers the speaker and keeps it in place. The speaker is covered in a protective material avoiding any moisture damage when sent from the supplier. 

JBL Charge 3 vs JBL Flip 5

Beneath the speaker, you will find a cardboard pull-out that holds a bright orange USB charging cable and the original adapter for the speaker to be charged which is also in orange. At the bottom, you have the user manual with all the instructions and features. 

Whereas, the JBL Flip 5 has a box that is much smaller when compared to the JBL Charge 3. Once opened you have the user manual along with the charging cable of the speaker. 

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JBL Charge 3 vs JBL Flip 5

Beneath the manual, you will find this solid JBL shell that holds the speaker in place which feels quite rugged. Inside the shell you find the JBL Flip 5 tucked safely ready to get the party started. 

The overall boxing of both speakers is done quite well, but the charge 3 has a power adapter provided that helps with fast charging the speaker as well as protecting the battery life from variable voltages from other chargers. The JBL Flip 5 comes with only a USB charging cable.

Design

The JBL charge 3 is adored by its users for its large size and with this large size does come louder and fatter sound but this also means it weighs more than the JBL Flip 5 and also might take a bit more space when traveling with it.

The JBL Charge 3 felt more rugged and protected when compared to the JBL flip 5 as the flip 5 has more plastic shown which might get damaged from a fall. Charge 3 is completely covered with sturdy durable rubber as well as waterproof charging ports. This gave me a sense of durability and made me feel the Charge 3 had an overall better design and feel compared to the Flip 5. 

When it comes to protection against water and splashes you can boldly take both speakers to your poolside party as both speakers are IPX7 rated. You can submerge both speakers fully underwater up to a depth of 1 meter for close to about 30 mins without facing any water damage. 

The Charge 3 comes with six different color options to choose from with the Camo color combination to be most alluring. The Flip 5 comes with 11 colors to choose from including the Camo combination. Clearly, Flip 5 takes the cake here.

Now that we’ve understood the design aspect of both these speakers, it’s safe to say that the Flip 5 has a more comfortable design to travel with and comes with attractive colors to match your personality. The Charge 3 stands out for its rugged design and powerful sound, so you can decide which suits you best but for me, the JBL Charge 3 wins for a more durable design with less plastic shown on the exterior. 

Verdict: JBL Charge 3 for the complete rugged exterior to handle falls and any wear and tear while carrying it with you. 

Connectivity

The Charge 3 comes with Bluetooth 4.1 and Flip 5 comes with the latest Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity, the added feature of both speakers is being able to interconnect to other JBL speakers using the PartyBoost feature or Connect+.

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JBL Charge 3 vs JBL Flip 5

But the Flip 5 will not be able to connect to older versions of JBL speakers as it uses the latest PartyBoost option whereas the Charge 3 uses Connect+ to sync with older JBLs as well as the present release from JBL. 

Verdict: Charge 3 – I would probably choose the Flip 5 in a few months if all my friends upgrade their JBL’s as well. But the fact is that Charge 3 supports the past and the future, the answer is clear here. 

Sound Quality

JBL has given both speakers a good range of frequency response from 65Hz – 20kHz, so you get good low-end characters to add that thump to the tracks with nice crisp highs. Charge 3 overrules the Flip 5 with a louder and bolder sound.   

When it comes to drivers the Charge 3 dominates with stereo drivers in the front of the speaker as well as the back. Each driver can put out 10W of audio power each which sounds really nice compared to the single mono driver of 20W total maximum output power.

The JBL Flip 5 uses the latest 4.2 Bluetooth that provides better sync of the speaker to the phone or multi-media device. With lower latency issues it eliminates the chance of any distortion when listening to your favorite tunes. I’ve faced issues when I’ve moved a little away from the speaker the music would whine up and increases the tempo and then suddenly normalize, this issue will not occur on Flip 5.

Verdict: The Charge 3 still has a good Bluetooth receiver of 4.1 but just not as good as the Flip 5. 

Noise Cancellation/ANC

The Noise Cancellation and ANC features kick in when you are answering a call on the speaker. The Charge 3 stands out here again with the OG speakerphone feature, this allows you to answer calls through the speaker itself, once answered it eliminates any surrounding noise in the ambiance you’re around and provides the listener with clear audio.

The Flip 5 lacks this feature but can still answer calls on louder speakers but it’s not going to be pleasant for you or the listener. 

Verdict: Charge 3 – for the speakerphone feature with ANC.

Battery

The battery life is a key part of any Bluetooth speaker, No power No life. With that said, the Charge 3 has enough life and more to offer with a whopping 20 hours of playtime from a 6000mAh battery.

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The Flip 5 on the other hand has a 4500mAh battery that lasts for 12 good hours, not much of a competition here as you can see, with an added advantage of power bank support to charge your phone with the Charge 3.

Verdict: Charge 3 dominates here with a 6000mAh Battery with 20 hours of playtime and power back capabilities. 

Price

On Amazon you will be able to pick up the JBL Charge 3 for a little under USD $120 whereas the JBL Flip 5 is currently priced at USD $130.

Pros and Cons of the JBL Charge 3 vs the JBL Flip 5

  1. JBL Charge 3
ProsCons
Stereo DriversWeighs 700 gram
6000 mAh BatteryConsumes more space than the Flip 5 
Original Speakerphone Feature
Rugged and Durable Body
Connect+ to Older Models and new
Powerbank Capabilities 
IPX7

2. JBL Flip 5

Pros Cons
New Button Alignment4500 mAh Battery (12 Hours Playtime)
Small and Portable Plastic exposed exterior design 
20W RMS OutputNo ANC
IPX7No Connect+ 
C-type charging
4500 mAh Battery
PartyBoost

JBL Charge 3 vs JBL Flip 5: Which Is Better 

It is without a doubt that JBL Charge 3 wins hands down for excellent build quality over the Flip 5, the overall durability leans towards the Charge 3. A large 6000mAh battery provides 20 long hours of backup with phone charging capability. Let’s not forget 2 X 10W stereo drivers front and back to rock through your party like a star.

FAQ’s

Which is better, JBL charge 3 or JBL Flip 5?

The JBL Charge 3 has the better build quality to last years before it gives in with 20 hours of playtime and two solid stereo drivers that will make you the life of the party. The JBL Flip 5 does not match up to the Charge 3.

Can Charge 3 connect with Flip 5?

The Charge 3 can connect to the flip 5 but the flip 5 cannot connect to the charge as the main connection as it has only party boost connectivity to interlink speakers. Charge 3 uses connect+.

Is JBL Charge 3 stereo or mono?

The JBL Charge 3 has Stereo Drivers that provide a Stereo output from 10W drivers front and back of the speaker.

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Author Profile

Greetings! My name is Michael and this is my website.

I've been specializing in audio equipment and accessories for a while and have a little something in store for every kind of hi-fi enthusiast.

Based in California, I keep attending special launch events across the globe. This has helped me understand the products better, and with a unique hands-on experience I'm able to provide you with easy to understand reviews about the best in audio tech from around the world.

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