Differences between JBL Flip 4 and 5Let's take a look at the two JBL loudspeakers. At the end you will find my opinion as well as a recommendation for your new purchase or change.
Size, Weight and OpticsIn size the JBL Flip 5 has grown a little compared to the Flip 4:
- JBL Flip 4: 68 x 175 x 70 mm
- JBL Flip 5: 69 x 181 x 74 mm
The weight of the Flip 5 with 540 grams is a bit higher. The predecessor Flip 4 weighs in at 515 grams. In general, however, both weights are close together.
At first glance, both speakers look quite similar. Both have the classic design. However, the JBL Flip 5* looks a bit more elegant overall.
Both models have a battery level indicator. On the JBL Flip 5 this is a bar, on the Flip 4 there are several LEDs next to each other.
The USB port of the Flip 4 is hidden under a lid. With the newer JBL Flip 5 the connector is open. In addition, it is a USB-C port, which again is a difference to the Flip 4. There the loudspeaker has a MicroUSB connector.
BluetoothJBL didn't change the Bluetooth version of the Flip 5. Both models have Bluetooth 4.2 installed. With it up to 3 devices can be paired at the same time. Only one device can play music at a time.
Battery lifeThe battery of the JBL Flip 5 with 4800 mAh is a good deal bigger than that of the JBL Flip 4, where the capacity is 3000 mAh.
Nevertheless, the battery life of the speakers is identical with up to 12 hours. However, the sound quality is better at higher volume with the newer model.
The Flip 5's charging time of 2.5 hours is a lot shorter. The JBL Flip 4 takes 3.5 hours to fully charge.
WaterproofBoth the Flip 4 and the Flip 5 are IPX7 rated. The loudspeakers are waterproof up to 1 meter. Personally, I find the term waterproof in IPX7 a bit high, but JBL himself chooses it in his advertising. This may be sufficient for use in the pool, but it doesn't offer a lot of safety.
Sound qualityJBL has improved the sound quality of the Flip 5 a bit. At full volume, the sound is clearer and better than with the JBL Flip 4. This is a crucial point for the new purchase. The quality of the JBL Flip 4 is not bad either.
The JBL Flip 5 has an output power of 20 watts. With the JBL Flip 4 the manufacturer indicates 2 x 8 watts.
JBL Connect PlusWith the Flip 4, JBL has introduced the JBL Connect Plus function. Several loudspeakers can be connected together. In combination, the speakers can then be used in stereo or party mode.
The function is still available with the JBL Flip 5, but in a different form. There it is called Party Mode. Only JBL Flip 5 speakers can be connected to each other. A JBL Flip 4 cannot be connected to a JBL Flip 5. I don't think this function will be very important for most people.
Which JBL speaker is better?The JBL Flip 5 performs a bit better in comparison. In terms of sound quality, JBL has added to the list. The fifth generation of the JBL Flip is a little more convincing when it comes to loud music.
In addition, the Flip 5 convinces with USB-C, which corresponds to the current standard and also allows faster charging. Although the battery capacity has grown well, the maximum operating time of 12 hours remains the same for both models.
The JBL Flip 5 is therefore recommended for new purchases. If you want to save some money, you can also buy the JBL Flip 4*. You're willing to accept a small loss in sound quality. Both speakers are waterproof and have the same shape.
Should you upgrade to the JBL Flip 5?In my opinion, it is not absolutely necessary to upgrade from the JBL Flip 4 to the JBL Flip 5. If you don't get enough performance from the Flip 4 when listening to loud music, then upgrading to the Flip 5 makes sense.
If you are satisfied with the sound quality of the Flip 4, you can stay with the older model with a clear conscience. With the Flip 5, you won't get a new Bluetooth version or a better rating for use in the water. There's also no longer battery life. Only an upgrade to the USB version is offered. Instead of MicroUSB you get USB-C. In my opinion this is no upgrade value.