JBL’s upgrades to its portable Bluetooth speaker array are predictable, but given their constantly outstanding quality, we have no complaints. The JBL Flip 6 ($129.95) looks and sounds a lot like its predecessor, the Flip 5, and it performs admirably; few speakers in this price range can produce as much bass.
A certified dustproof rating and a new companion app with customizable EQ are the most notable enhancements to this outdoor-friendly speaker. While it doesn’t necessarily stand out, the $99.99 Sony SRS-XB23 and the $179.95 JBL Charge 5, it’s a worthwhile alternative depending on how much you’re wanting to spend.
What you will see here?
Price and release date
The JBL Flip 6 was launched in December 2021 and is now available for $129.95 / £129.99 (about AU$175), while Australian pricing has yet to be determined.
That’s a little more pricey than the JBL Flip 5, which cost $119.95 / £119.99 / AU$149.95 when it launched in August 2019 – but not by much.
JBL’s latest speaker is far less expensive than our favorite Bluetooth speaker, the Sonos Roam – however, the Flip 6 lacks capabilities like Wi-Fi connectivity, which would have increased the Roam’s price.
There are less expensive Bluetooth speakers on the market; if you’re on a budget, consider the Anker Soundcore Flare 2 or the 1More Portable BT Speaker.
JBL Flip 6 Design
The JBL Flip 6 has a cylindrical structure, wraparound grille, and bass radiators on either side that pulse while you play your music, and it looks remarkably comparable to the Flip 5. Its avaialble in vibrant red, ,white,green,pink,aqua green,blue,black, blue, grey and camouflage. The Flip 5 comes in a wider range of colors, including a camo pattern, but we wouldn’t be surprised if JBL expanded the Flip 6’s color palette in the future.
The Flip 6 is effortlessly portable and comes with a sporty strap that you fit over your wrist. It’s small enough to carry in one hand and weighs 550g.
Rubberized end caps
Rubberized end caps on each side of the speaker protect the bass radiators from bumps and scratches, and a rubber foot at the bottom of the speaker keeps it will slide off whatever surface you put it on.
The JBL logo is in large, strong letters in the middle of the grille, and all of your controls are immediately above it: PartyBoost, volume down, volume up, and play. We like how these controls are raised and tactile; they’re easy to find in dim light or by feeling for them if you don’t want to look.
The power and Bluetooth pairing buttons, as well as a USB-C charging port, are located on the bottom of the speaker and light up when pressed. Unlike the JBL Charge 4, there is no port for charging your phone, so make sure it’s fully charged before leaving the house.
The Flip 6 is exactly as tough as the Flip 5, but JBL has added dust resistance in addition to water resistance, giving it an IP67 designation. That means you can confidently take the Flip 6 to the beach without fear of it being damaged by sand or a splash of seawater.
Compact and Durable of JBL Flip 6
The Flip 6 is a cylindrical device with dimensions of 7.0 by 2.6 by 2.8 inches (HWD) and a weight of just over 1 pound. It has passive radiators on both ends. A JBL logo on the front, and a speaker grille that wraps around the body, similar to prior Flip speakers. The speaker is easy to hang and carry thanks to a sporty, shoelace-like adjustable strap on the rear.
On the inside, a 1.7-by-3.0-inch, 20-watt woofer, and a 0.6-inch, 10-watt tweeter deliver a frequency range of 63Hz to 20kHz. The Flip 6 has Bluetooth 5.1 compatibility and supports AAC and SBC codecs, but not AptX.
There are volume control buttons and a multi-function button for playback and track navigation on the top panel. Surprisingly, the latter just allows you to skip forward rather than backward. On the far left, there’s a PartyBoost button for connecting the Flip 6 to other JBL speakers.
The back of the speaker has power and Bluetooth buttons (which light up when the speaker turns on and pairs). As well as a USB-C port that includes a (lengthy) USB-C-to-USB-A charging cable. The Flip 6’s battery life is estimated to be around 12 hours by JBL, however, your mileage may vary depending on your volume levels.
The speaker’s IP67 designation ensures that it is both dust- and water-resistant. Although you can immerse it for 30 minutes up to 1 meter. The speaker also floats (and Bluetooth doesn’t operate properly underwater). In any event, you won’t have to bother about cleaning the speaker by spraying it or submerging it in water.
The Flip 6 doesn’t have a speakerphone or an aux input, which is a bummer. Although these omissions aren’t deal-breakers, we’d want to see them incorporated nonetheless.
JBL Portable app
For Android and iOS users, the JBL Portable (previously JBL Connect) app offers a one-size-fits-all solution for JBL’s many portable speakers. When you pair the Flip 6 with the app, you get a basic three-band EQ. Access to the user guide and firmware upgrades, PartyBoost controls, and a few more features. The app isn’t particularly engaging, but the EQ is great for adjusting the sound signature.
JBL Flip 6 Audio Performance
The Flip 6 produces strong low-frequency depth on tunes with intense sub-bass content, such as The Knife’s “Silent Shout.” The bass does not distort even at maximum volume, while the digital signal processing (DSP) significantly thins down the lows. The speaker still produces plenty of loudness at lower volumes, and the bass is more solid. For the size and price of this speaker, subwoofer-like bass isn’t a realistic expectation—it shines at conveying lows and low-mids, but not a thundering roar.
The acoustic strums and percussive hits in the higher registers sound bright and crisp. Mono portable speakers frequently use this style of sculpted mix.
The loop’s attack remains punchy, but it now has some extra bottom thump. The loop sounds greatly beefed up in the lows at moderate volumes; increase the volume to the maximum level, and the drum loop noticeably thins out. The DSP prevents the woofer from distorting as intended. If you require tremendous bass, save your money for a physically larger speaker.
Battery life and connectivity
JBL claims that the Flip 6 can play for 12 hours, which we found to be true. With a USB-C connector, you can charge the battery in two and a half hours.
Bluetooth 5.1 provides connectivity, and pairing the speaker with our iPhone 13 Mini was simple and speedy. We didn’t have any unpleasant connectivity issues when using the Flip 6. It pairs with two devices at the same time, allowing you to take turns DJing with your pals.
The JBL Portable app comes with the speaker. It allows you to check for software updates, alter equalizer settings via sliders for bass, mid, and treble frequencies. Turn on and off the feedback tone, and read the user handbook. You can also use this software to enable the PartyBoost feature.
The JBL Flip 6 is a simple Bluetooth speaker that will make your music sound amazing no matter where you are. Its tough and durable design makes it easy to transport, and the two bass radiators ensure that the low frequencies sound powerful without getting bloated. Sure, a phone charging port would be nice, but it’s easy to overlook when the Flip 6 checks all of our other boxes.