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JBL Charge 5: Popular Waterproof with a new look slightly better sound!


JBL Charge 5 is the most recent addition to the company’s long-running Bluetooth speaker range. JBL is tended to add a little to the Charge’s capabilities with each generation. With Charge 5, it adds a few minor tweaks, particularly to the design, as well as streamlining several functionalities.

As a consequence, you get a simple but durable portable Bluetooth speaker that sounds excellent enough to compete with the top waterproof speakers on the market. It is, nevertheless, more expensive than speakers with even greater quality and additional functionality. 

JBL Charge 5: Price and availability 

JBL Charge 5: Price and availability

A JBL Charge 5 has a suggested price of $179.95, and so as a new product, you won’t be able to get it for any less. You can order it through Amazon, B&H, or Best Buy, or buy it straight through JBL.

It’s also worth noting that there are a variety of color schemes to choose from. There’s a variant with a camouflage finish, as well as solid hues including black, red, teal, grey, as well as the blue version we got.



From the Charge 4, the Charge 5 gets a considerable redesign. The major difference is the JBL branding, which is now much larger, making it clear who built this speaker.

JBL also altered the speaker’s shape and size. It’s somewhat smaller and plumper inside the middle than that of the Charge 4, measuring 8.7 x 3.8 x 3.7 inches. The inactive bass radiator is housed in end caps that are carved at a little slant, similar to a JBL Flip 5. If you want to stand the speaker solely on a single end rather than laying it flat, this gives it a bit more aesthetic flair, but it also causes it to tilt like the Tower of Pisa.

Its Charge 5 is covered in mesh, similar to the JBL Go 3, and features rubber end caps, the same as the previous generations. The fact that there are six colors to pick from is wonderful, but it’s a step down from Charge 4, which had 12 colors to choose from.

On the top, you’ll find the Bluetooth, power, and volume turned-up buttons. The play button could also be used to pause a track or progress to the next song with a double click. To distribute the sound more broadly, the PartyBoost button connects two JBL speakers in stereo mode or many speakers in party mode.

JBL Charge 5: Charging port

JBL Charge 5: Charging port

A USB-C port is on the back for charging a battery, and a USB-A port is hidden beneath a rubber flap for charging other devices. In each version, JBL has preserved the Charge’s namesake characteristic. However, unlike previous generations, the Charge 5 does not contain a 3.5 mm auxiliary connection.

A single LED sits behind the huge JBL logo, indicating the remaining battery power. The light fades even as power declines, making it a slick-looking method to monitor how much battery life is left, albeit it’s not as accurate as of the Charge 4’s five LEDs.

JBL Charge 5: Waterproofing

JBL Charge 5: Waterproofing

With each generation, the Charge series has become tougher. In addition to becoming waterproof, Charge 5 is dust resistant, earning it an IP67 designation. That means you may submerge its speaker for up to 30 minutes in waters up to 1 meter deep.

I dipped the Charge 5 in a sink full of water, and it continued to function normally. Light rain or rain jets will not be a problem at all.

Sound quality

JBL Charge 5: Sound Quality

The JBL Charge 5 has the excellent sound quality for a speaker of its size, with clear vocals and powerful bass. It has a more balanced sound than that of the Charge 4, but it lacks the fullness and breadth of our present Bluetooth speaker top selection, the UE Megaboom 3.

Black Pumas’ “Fire” featured bright and forceful horns, and the vocals shone out against the guitar and synths. The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” featured ominous bass and thumping rhythms, yet they didn’t overpower his voice. Just on Megaboom 3, though, both tracks sounded considerably deeper and richer, even if the vocals weren’t as far front in the mix.

While listening to Fleetwood Mac’s “Never Going Back Again,” the distinction between the 2 speakers was more noticeable; while Lindsey Buckingham’s vocals are clearer just on Charge 5, those fingerpicked the basses just on Megaboom 3 were so much richer.

At maximum volume, the Charge 5 produced roughly 94 decibels, which is incredibly loud, but the music distorted severely. The distortion faded at a more realistic 85 dB. Yet it’s still loud sufficient to be audible over the noise of a party or traffic.

Battery life

Its Charge 5 will last 20 hours, according to JBL, that’s the same as past versions including the Megaboom 3. That appears to be correct; after 15 hours with primarily low-volume use, I had roughly 25% battery left.

Of course, the Charge series’ ability to operate as a power supply for your phone is a crucial feature. However, this uses the very same battery as that of the speaker itself. Expect a reduction in playtime if you’re using the Charge 5 to power other devices.

Wireless and setup

JBL Charge 5: Wireless and Setup

My phone and the Charge 5 linked immediately. With barriers between my phone as well as the speaker. It had a decent signal up to roughly 50 feet indoors.

You can use the JBL Portable application to update the firmware on Charge 5 and check its battery level. The app also controls PartyBoost, which connects to some other JBL speaker in dual or party mode. You can use PartyBoost with Charge 5 as well as a Flip 5. But not with the Charge 4.

There are no sound changes available in the app. There are no sound modes or equalizer presets. The sound that comes out from the box is indeed the sound that you will receive. In comparison, UE’s Boom & Megaboom app has a five-band equalizer with multiple settings. As well as an alarm as well as the ability to create a one-touch playlist.


The JBL Charge 5 Bluetooth speaker is excellent. It doesn’t have many bells and whistles, other than the ability to charge another handheld device. But it provides powerful vocals and bass and is weatherproof.

It has a lower MSRP of $179 than the Megaboom 3. But UE’s speaker has been over for much longer and frequently sells for considerably less than the MSRP. Its Megaboom 3 is indeed a superior all-around speaker in terms of sound and features. The Charge 5 can only accomplish one thing that Megaboom 3 can’t: charge another device.

Also, do not even forget about Sonos Roam. Despite having Wi-Fi connectivity & voice assistant capabilities, this is also less expensive than the Charge 5.

The Charge 5 is a good choice for a portable (& waterproof) Bluetooth speaker. If you like the JBL sound, want the power bank capability, or simply prefer its appearance.

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