JBL Charge 4 vs. Charge 5 – Which is Better? (2022)


Looking for the best speaker to play your tracks? Some of the greatest Bluetooth speakers are found in the JBL Charge line, and the JBL Charge 5 is the latest addition to the family.

In fact, the JBL Charge 5 has a more robust build and higher sound quality than the Charge 4, but is the extra price tag justified? Or would it be preferable to save money and get a Charge 4? In this article, we’re going to find out.

Check out our comparison of the JBL Charge 4 vs. Charge 5.

The Charge 5 only features a few enhancements over the Charge 4, which may be considered modest. However, many people believe they are more than the sum of their parts, resulting in a compelling package among the best Bluetooth speakers available. If you’re on a limited budget, the Charge 4’s reduced price can tempt you, and it’ll most likely suffice. Whichever option you select, you’ll have a terrific time listening to music in the great outdoors.

JBL Charge 4 

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JBL Charge 4

The JBL Charge 4 features a strong full-spectrum sound and a built-in power bank to charge your gadgets. It has two JBL bass radiators and a custom-designed driver that boost sound quality with deep bass.

Its rechargeable Li-ion battery has a capacity of 7500mAh that can last up to 20 hours. A USB charging connector on the speaker allows you to charge your devices, such as your smartphone, quickly, so you never run out of energy.

The Charge 4 comes in various beautiful colors and has an IPX7 waterproof rating. When used in conjunction with JBL Link+, it can wirelessly connect more than 100 JBL Connect+ equipped speakers to improve your listening experience.

If you want to check out the JBL Charge 4 for yourself, you can visit the JBL website for more information.

What’s in the box?

When you order a JBL Charge 4, you’ll also receive the following additional items:

  • JBL Charge 4.
  • Type C USB cable.
  • Quick-Start Guide.
  • Safety Sheet.
  • Warranty Card.

Sound quality 

It has a frequency response of 60 Hz to 20 kHz and a signal-to-noise ratio of more than 80dB. The sound quality of this speaker is surprising because many people anticipated it to be better than the Charge 3, but it looks to be comparable with other users.

This time around, JBL chose a single driver over dual drivers, but many people who buy this speaker would not notice this feature aside from a few minor issues. 

The JBL Charge 4 boasts a powerful low end for its size, undoubtedly boosted by the passive radiators, much like the previous generation. 

Because bass loses strength over distance faster than higher-pitched sounds, this model, like the earlier Charge 3, will sound better in bigger rooms and open settings. 

Build quality 

The JBL Charge 4 is identical in appearance to the Charge 3. It’s a mid-size portable speaker that rests on its side rather than upright, unlike other models. These aren’t the kind of speaker cones that break easily. Surely, the JBL Charge 4 is tough in every way. 

There’s a thick rubber foot on the bottom, and the front and back are coated in a tough, water-resistant fabric. JBL’s Charge 4 has IPX7 certification, allowing it to be immersed in a meter of water for up to 30 minutes.

If you drop it in the water, it floats for a while, so you don’t have to worry about losing it if it goes off a boat or a deck. Like most new JBL speakers in recent years, they have exposed twin passive radiators on each end.

Key Features

  • 3.5 mm audio cable Input.
  • Bluetooth.
  • Charging cable.
  • JBL Connect+
  • Powerbank.
  • Waterproof.
  • Wireless.
  • Rechargeable battery.

Setting Up 

1. Turn It ON

To start, press the power button on your JBL Speaker. The LED light on the power button will be lit to let you know that the power is on.

2. Turn On Bluetooth

Next, press the Bluetooth button. It should be beside the power button. Once the Bluetooth button is on, you should notice it flashing. And in addition to that, it will play a notification sound to let you know that your JBL speaker is searching for devices to connect to.

3. Set up your Device

Make sure Bluetooth is enabled on your device. You can typically find your Bluetooth settings in your system connectivity settings. 

If you don’t know where to find it, go to “settings” and press “connectivity” or “connections” to open a list of settings like Wifi and Bluetooth. You’d want to turn on your Bluetooth to connect to the speaker.

4. Connect Your Device

To connect your device, you should see a list of devices you’ve previously connected to. Once you start scanning, you should see your JBL Charge 4 within the list of new devices. 

Finally, tap on its name to connect to it, and you’re done. If you’re having trouble following along, you can watch this video tutorial on Youtube.

Pros and Cons 

Below are the different pros and cons of the JBL Charge 4 to help you decide if this Bluetooth speaker is worthy of your attention.

Pros 

  • Good build.
  • High maximum volume.
  • Long battery life.
  • Can charge your portable devices.
  • USB-C charging.
  • Plenty of color options.

Cons

  • Similar sound quality as the Charge 3.
  • Slightly more robust than the previous model.
  • Non-back-lit buttons are hard to see in the dark.
  • Mid frequencies can get masked by bass.
  • No microphone for phone calls.

JBL Charge 5

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JBL Charge 5

The Charge 5 is the newest addition to JBL’s popular portable, outdoor-friendly Bluetooth speakers. This receives just enough enhancements to keep it at the top of the pack. 

Its dust-tight waterproof design means you can pack it in a bag and take it to the beach without worry. If you already own a JBL Charge 4 or Charge 3, the JBL Charge 5 might not be worth the money.

However, if you don’t already own a previous model, the Charge 5 is an excellent pick. Its music quality is excellent for a Bluetooth speaker, and its loudness output is impressive. 

It’s a touch hefty, so if you’re looking for a portable speaker, consider the JBL Flip 5. It’s effectively a downsized version of the Charge 5.

What’s in the box? 

When you order a JBL Charge 5, you will also receive the following included in the box:

  • JBL Charge 5.
  • Type C USB Cable.
  • Quick-Start Guide.
  • Safety Sheet.
  • Warranty Card.

Sound quality 

The Charge 5 has a lot of gain or high maximum volume. It sounds great no matter where you put it, making it excellent for parties. Even from 30 meters away, it still sounds good.

Its driver configuration inside the speaker allows for clean vocals. Also, it has a long-excursion driver, a separate tweeter, and a passive bass radiator on either side. JBL’s bass response is undoubtedly more robust, making sense since the speaker is bigger.

Build quality 

The build quality of the JBL Charge 5 is dust and water-resistant to IP67 standards, which means it’s certified to be completely dust-tight and submersible in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes. 

There are two bass radiators on either side of the speaker, and it’s composed of solid materials. Additionally, there’s a USB-A port in a sealed chamber on the back, as well as a Type-C charging port.

The JBL Charge 5 has excellent battery life. While it promises to last over 20 hours on a single 4-hour charge, based on other customers’ experiences, it often lasts over 14 hours, which is still excellent.

However, because battery life varies based on usage, your experience may differ. It also contains a power-saving function that turns off the speaker after a period of inactivity.

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JBL Charge 5

Key Features 

  • Bluetooth.
  • Pair up to Two Mobile Devices Simultaneously.
  • Rechargeable Battery.
  • Dual Passive Bass Radiators.
  • USB Type-C Charging Port.
  • IP67 Waterproof and Dustproof Rating.
  • Pair with Other JBL PartyBoost Speakers.

Setting Up

1. Power It Up

Press the power button on your JBL Speaker to turn it on. The LED indicator on the power button will light up to let you know that it’s powered and charged. If your JBL speaker does not turn on, its battery must be low.

2. Press The Bluetooth Button

Next, press the Bluetooth button. It’s beside the power button that looks like the letter B. After pressing it, it should play a sound. If the Bluetooth indicator is flashing, it means your JBL speaker is searching for devices to pair with. 

3. Ready Your Device

Ensure that the Bluetooth on your device is enabled. You can find your Bluetooth switch in your system connectivity settings or your status bar.

To enable Bluetooth from your status bar, drag from the top of the screen on your phone to reveal it, and you should see a Bluetooth icon. If you tap on it, it will be highlighted to indicate that it’s on. 

On the other hand, to enable Bluetooth from your settings, go to your phone’s settings and tap on connectivity to open a list of settings like Wifi, Data usage, and Bluetooth.

4. Connect to The Speaker

To connect your device, tap on Scan for devices on your Bluetooth settings. You’ll find your JBL Charge 4 within the list. Tap on it then you will be connected to your wireless speaker in a few moments.

Pros and Cons

The pros and drawbacks of the JBL Charge 4 are listed below to help you decide if this Bluetooth speaker is worth buying.

Pros 

  • Superior sound quality.
  • IP67 rating.
  • Bluetooth multipoint.
  • Can charge your mobile devices.

Cons

  • No microphone.
  • Bulky.
  • No wired listening.

Which is better? 

The Charge 5 was just launched for £159 ($180), which is somewhat more than the Charge 4’s initial pricing of £140 ($150). In comparison, the Charge 4 is a few years old and can be acquired for approximately £100 (roughly $140).

There isn’t much to differentiate between their designs. The Charge 5’s logo is bigger, but it’s also more elegant, looking less like a badge and more like a block frame with simple metallic highlights around the letters.

As a result, the Charge 5 is somewhat larger but far more durable. We’re willing to make the trade-off.

The Charge 4’s sound is surprisingly sophisticated for a speaker in its class, with constant substance and feel across the mids and treble, as well as better-than-average midrange clarity.

Additionally, the Charge 5 excels at extending this sound profile. Tracks have a little advantage in terms of impact, resulting in a more agile performance. Vocals are also more energetic and feel well-placed in a large mix for such a little portable speaker.

If you want to check out a side-by-side comparison of these two speakers, you can check out this website.

Can you pair Charge 4 and Charge 5?

The Charge 4 connects to any (earlier model) JBL speaker with Connect+, whereas the Charge 5 connects to the (newer model) JBL speakers with PartyBoost. Because these two JBL systems are incompatible, you cannot pair them.

Conclusion

You can base your final decision on your current situation. If you’re on a budget, the Charge 4 will suffice. It has decent sound quality and a reliable build. But if you’re going for superior overall quality, set your sights on the Charge 5.

Shawn Shepherd

Hi, I'm the owner of the Hifi Guide and have been an audio lover enthusiast for over 16 years. I have a Bachelor's degree in Sound Engineering and I work on producing content for the Hifi Guide in my spare time. My love for audio stemmed from my Dad who was an audio technician, and now I share my knowledge here on this website!

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