JBL - JBL Flip 5


JBL Flip 5 portable speaker: a recipe that always works

Aprox. 89€

See specifications

6 years after the launch in 2013 of the first Flip of the name, here is already the fifth iteration of JBL's most adventurous nomad speaker, at the same time compact, powerful and very resistant.

Positive points

Balanced restitution.

Its powerful and ample, well extended bass.

Robust construction, water resistance (IPX7 certification).

Multipoint Bluetooth connection.

Good autonomy.

Bad points

A little imprecision at high volume.

No mini-jack input.

No hands-free kit.

Our review


The Flip range has made a name for itself by being just compact enough to be carried easily in just about any bag, and powerful and robust enough to be used outdoors.

The Flip 5 differs from the Flip 4 by the revision of its connectors - goodbye to the mini-jack input, hello charging via USB-C - and its new acoustic configuration: more mono reproduction, but a single oblong speaker 4.4 x 8 cm.

It was launched at the end of summer 2019 at an indicative price of € 129, and is available in a multitude of different colors - the copy that was used for this test was the "Ocean Blue" variant.



The Flip 5 has hardly seen any modification in its design since the Flip 4, neither in its forms nor in its materials. She is therefore always dressed in an extremely robust nylon mesh, and in a rubbery plastic which we also readily believe capable of withstanding much ill-treatment. The manufacturer also certifies that the water at least is perfectly harmless for the enclosure, IPX7 certified (resistance to immersion in one meter of water for 30 minutes).

However, it should be noted that this time the manufacturer has succeeded in obtaining this certification without using any hatch protecting the connectors. This is certainly a good point, but perhaps also the cause of the disappearance of the mini-jack input, leaving only the Bluetooth interface. However, we console ourselves by noting that the Flip 5 is capable of multipoint connections to two sources simultaneously; it is for example possible to connect two telephones there, the speaker then automatically broadcasting the stream from the device on which a reading has just been launched.

The Flip 5 also retains the JBL Connect functionality, allowing two or more speakers to be combined in stereo or simultaneous broadcast, thanks to the dedicated button. The mobile application of the same name offers you step-by-step guidance in the maneuver - and is also used to modify the name of the speaker, or even to deactivate the sound indications. This last option is particularly welcome, since the said indications are sent at an invariant and very high volume, which can be irritating.

Small regression compared to the Flip 4, the Flip 5 does not have a microphone, and therefore cannot be used as a hands-free kit.

The broadcasting latency in Bluetooth is 233 ms, a value too high in absolute terms to allow the viewing of videos without being hindered by the audio / image shift. Fortunately, this lag is automatically compensated for when used with certain mobile apps, including YouTube and Netflix. The rest of the time, you will have to make up your mind to compensate for the delay manually - if your favorite video playback application allows it.

Finally, the autonomy is unchanged compared to that of the Flip 4 and reaches 12 hours with the volume set to half of its maximum value; it is in the very good average of speakers of this dimension.



As we said, the JBL Flip 5 abandons the stereophonic reproduction of its elders (which does not bring much in any case on a speaker of this size, especially when it is designed to be positioned also vertically), in favor of a single oblong speaker . As usual with the American manufacturer, it is assisted by two passive bass radiators on the sides of the enclosure.

All of this produces a typical JBL tone, which could be summed up in one adjective: muscular. The Flip 5 impresses above all by its power, and by the extent of its restitution. The very wide range of passive radiators allows it not only to offer a fairly generous bass extension, but also to maintain this extension at high volume. In return, it must be recognized, however, that these same bass is not a model of precision. On the richest mixes, some confusion can settle there. Things are not perfect either at the other end of the spectrum: the treble extremes indulge in a touch of acidity, especially audible when you place yourself right in the axis of the speaker - consequence of the slightly too high directivity of the high frequencies (this is the cause of the peak between 10 and 11 kHz on the frequency response measurement, carried out in the axis of the loudspeaker).

Despite everything, there remains a fairly remarkable sound control and overall balance for a speaker of this category. The Flip 5 only really shows its sound limits on very dense songs, and only when you approach the maximum volume - which you don't often feel the need to do, so generous. The rest of the time, we especially appreciate the beautiful clarity of the scene produced and the excellent separation of sound sources in the midrange and treble. Let us underline in particular the very pleasant reproduction of the voices, slightly highlighted and very nicely defined. It will therefore not delight lovers of trance or death metal, but will be perfectly at ease to sound a quiet evening in the garden or on a terrace.



The Flip 5 is a simple and very efficient speaker, which stands out from its competitors like the UE Boom 3 by the balance and the extent of its sound reproduction. Its extremely robust construction completes making it one of the most recommendable portable outdoor speakers on the market.