Differences between JBL Flip 5 and JBL Flip EssentialAs the name suggests, the Essential is the small version. But that doesn't mean that the JBL Flip 5* is necessarily better for you.
Briefly described, the JBL Flip Essential* is a mixture of the two predecessors JBL Flip 3 and 4. The look corresponds to the third generation. The loudspeaker of the fourth generation.
Size, weight and appearanceVisually, the JBL Flip Essential naturally has a lot in common with the JBL Flip 5. You see the classic JBL Flip design.
Overall, however, the JBL Flip Essential is considerably smaller and also a good deal lighter in weight:
BluetoothBoth loudspeakers are of course equipped with Bluetooth and can therefore play music wirelessly. However, there are differences in the version. The JBL Flip 5 has the newer version 4.2 and the JBL Flip Essential is supplied with Bluetooth 4.1. In my opinion, this is not a significant difference for use.
Battery lifeWith the battery we have the next difference. The JBL Flip 5 has 4800 mAh and a battery life of up to 12 hours. The JBL Flip Essential is behind with 3000 mAh and a battery life of up to 10 hours.
WaterproofBoth JBL speakers are advertised with the identical certification: IPX7. This means that both speakers are waterproof up to 1 meter. This is not a particularly high classification. Even the use in the pool can be problematic afterwards. Nevertheless, the manufacturer advertises the products with it.
Sound qualityThe JBL Flip Essential has 2 x 8 watts built in. The JBL Flip 5 has 1 x 20 Watt. The total power of the JBL Flip 5 is therefore slightly higher.
JBL Connect PlusAn important difference between the two speakers is JBL Connect Plus. This only exists in the 5th generation. The JBL Flip Essential does not offer this function. So the Flip Essential cannot be connected to other speakers. A function which, in my opinion, but for many people is not relevant.
Which speaker is better?Let's get to the crucial question: Which JBL Flip is the better choice for you? Of course it depends a little on your situation. Is it a new purchase or do you want to change? So I subdivide this question. It also depends a little on your needs.
New purchaseThe JBL Flip 5 is the better speaker. But it also costs a little more. If you don't need JBL Connect Plus and can work with a slightly lower performance and battery life, then buy the JBL Flip Essential*. I even see the smaller form as positive for transport.
Upgrade from JBL Flip 4Especially if you own a JBL Flip 4, the question arises as to which model you should switch to. In terms of performance, the JBL Flip 4 is not much worse than the JBL Essential. It therefore makes sense to switch to the JBL Flip 5* in the first line. You can look at the comparison between JBL Flip 4 and 5.
A big difference is the form factor and the weight. Both devices have 2 x 8 watts built in. Otherwise both are IPX7 certified. A small difference is the Bluetooth version. The JBL Flip 4 has version 4.2, the JBL Flip Essential version 4.1.