JBL Charge 5

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Editor’s Conclusion
With summer approaching quickly, you will want to have a portable speaker that can stand up to the beach, camping trips, fishing trips and more. The JBL Charge 5 Portable Speaker may be your knight in shining armor. It is waterproof, dustproof, and impressively durable! Not to mention the battery lasts a whopping twenty hours.

While it does lack a few features such as EQ control and an aux input, it’s a great product for the price. Is it the absolute best portable speaker? Well, that’s subjective. Keep reading to see if the Charge 5 is the end-all-be-all for you.
JBL Charge 5 Review Facts
Editor's Pros & Cons

Waterproof and dustproof

20-hour battery life

Can be used as a portable charger

Can be paired with another speaker with PartyBoost


No EQ controls


Some connection issues with Android devices

Slightly bulky/heavy

No aux input

Key Features

Sound Quality

You can expect great sound from the Charge 5. Many songs, podcasts, and videos sound clearer through the speaker than on other devices. The long-excursion driver, dual passive bass radiators, and the 20mm, 10 watts tweeter work together harmoniously.

If you want to really enhance the party vibe, you can pair two compatible JBL speakers together using PartyBoost. A few compatible speakers include the JBL Boombox 2, Flip 5, and Pulse 4. This provides doubly loud music and more of a surround sound, with the correct positioning of the speakers.

This device pairs with your phone using Bluetooth 5.1. This provides a fast and reliable pairing with most phones. A few Android users (specifically Samsung) have had issues, but were able to connect with time. However, it seems to pair seamlessly with iPhones. Unfortunately, there is no aux input so the only pairing option is through Bluetooth.

In the JBL Portable App, you will not find any EQ features. You can only pair speakers, adjust audio feedback, and update firmware. I hope that in the future they will improve the app and include the EQ adjustability.


I have no doubts about the durability of this product. It has an IP67 rating. IP, or Ingress Protection, rates the number of particles or liquid that can penetrate the item without ruining it.

The first number, in this case 6, is the intrusion protection. This rating goes from zero to six. As you can see, this product is fully protected from dust, sand, or other particles.

The second number, in this case 7, is moisture protection. This rating goes from zero to nine. A product with a rating of seven can be submerged in liquid up to three feet deep for up to thirty minutes without damage. The tests are performed with tap water. If your speaker is submerged in chlorinated water or saltwater, you should rinse it with tap water and do your best to dry it off.

On the outside of this outdoor Bluetooth speaker, you will be pleased with a textured exterior that is easy to grip, as well as silicon bumpers on each end and rubber feet to keep the cylindrical device from rolling around. In the case that you accidentally drop the Charge 5, it will most likely survive unscathed.


If you’re thinking about carrying this speaker in a purse, it’s big. If you’re thinking about carrying it in a hiking backpack or suitcase, it’s manageable. The speaker itself measures 8.7” by 3.76” by 3.67”. It weighs 2.11 pounds. In my opinion, it’s a little bit bulky, but the sound quality is impressive compared to the size.

Unfortunately, there is no carrying/travel case included. However, it is delivered in a nice, sturdy box with a magnetic closure. If space is not an issue for you, this makes a decent carrying case.


One of the most impressive features of the Charge 5 is its battery life. It provides up to twenty hours of playtime. To fully charge the device, it takes 4 hours. In even better news, the speaker can be used while it is charging. The battery life is clearly indicated on the speaker, below the JBL logo. If the device is idle for fifteen minutes, it will automatically turn off. Of course, the battery life depends on the volume of the music and if you are using the other great feature - the power bank.

That’s right, this device also doubles as a portable charger. It has a USB outlet that allows you to charge your phone or any other device that uses a USB cable. To charge the device itself, there is a USB-C cord (but no wall plug) included with your purchase.

If you want to, you can download the JBL Portable App, but honestly, it isn’t necessary. It makes it easier to pair speakers but most of the controls you need are located along the top of the speaker. There you’ll find buttons to control power, Bluetooth, volume, pause, and skip. It should be noted that the app is only available for mobile use, not PC.

Lastly, there are multiple color options available. Depending on where you shop, you can choose from black, blue, red, gray, teal, or camo. Unlike other JBL speakers, you can not customize your own design for this device.

Comparison to Similar Bluetooth Speakers

We all know that the portable speaker market is quite saturated. These next two products are comparable to the JBL Charge 5. Some features of these devices are better and some are less desirable.

Starting out with the Ultimate Ears Boom 3, off the bat, you’ll notice that it is priced similarly to the Charge 5. It is equally as durable with an IP67 rating and a strong two-tone exterior fabric. One exceptional feature about the Boom 3 is that it floats. Even if it does hit the water, it will survive and it will not be lost.

The battery life of the Boom 3 is slightly less than of the Charge 5, but still impressive. You can expect this speaker to play music for fifteen hours. Even better, you can customize the EQ of the music in the Boom App. In this app, you can also pair this device with other compatible devices. The Boom 3 weighs 1.34.

Next up is the Bose Soundlink Color 2. This speaker comes from a very popular brand and is slightly cheaper than the Charge 5. Starting with the impressive features, the Soundlink Color 2 has a built-in mic for calls, weighs 1.2 pounds and has great sound quality. It boasts dual passive radiators which provide you with big bass sound without the shaky vibration.

However, this device can only play music for up to eight hours. Perhaps the extra features are what takes away from the battery life. You can connect using an aux cord or Bluetooth and stay connected within a thirty-foot range.


As you may have gathered, the JBL Charge 5 Portable Speaker is a pretty great device with a few impressive features. It’s incredibly durable, has a very long battery life, great color options, and is able to be used in many different environments.

I would have liked to see a built-in speaker or EQ controls in the app, but those features would likely raise the price considerably. Speaking of, the features compared to the price are comparable. With the opportunity to return the item within thirty days of purchasing it, there’s no reason to not try it out.