JBL Flip 5 Eco Edition – Test and Review
The smallest and most affordable speaker in the classic JBL design is the Flip 5. We have tested it in the JBL Flip 5 Eco Edition, and tell you everything you need to know.
Technical specifications of the JBL Flip 5 Eco
First of all, before we take a look at how the JBL Flip 5 performs in the test, let’s take a look at the technical specifications. The JBL Flip 5 came onto the market in the summer of 2019, we tested the Eco Edition, which also came onto the market at the beginning of 2020.
The Flip 5 completes the Bluetooth speakers from JBL at the bottom. The small speaker still has a lot to offer, though.
The Flip 5 Eco is just as powerful as the JBL Charge 3 with a power level of 20 watts. Like the Charge 4, the speaker owes this leap in performance to a completely new development of the speaker design. So, like its big brother, we now also find only one speaker in the Flip 5. In both cases, the respective predecessors still had two speakers, which at least allows stereo sound. The Flip 5 no longer offers this, but it is much more powerful.
The Flip Essential still has the same old speaker design.
In addition to changes to the design, which could also be observed throughout JBL’s entire product range, you will now also find more modern ports on the Flip 5. In fact, there is only one port left, and it is a USB Type-C input for charging. However, it is not possible to charge a smartphone. It is also no longer possible to play sound in an analog way since there is now also no jack port.
The USB Type-C port is exposed, which eliminates a potentially delicate rubber cover on the one hand. On the other hand, sand or dirt can get into the port. However, Type-C makes it possible to completely waterproof the speaker even with an exposed port.
The JBL Flip 5 is completely waterproof, with IPX7. This is nothing special today, but still a nice feature, of course. Still, the note, here again, the X stands for a lack of certification against dirt.
The battery is 4800 mAh, can be recharged for 2 1/2 hours on a 15-watt power supply, and is then sufficient for 12 hours of music playback at medium volume.
There is also an indicator for the current charge in addition to the connection for the power. This is an LED light that shows the battery status depending on how full the bar is. This display method replaces the previous variant with several small LEDs and is found on all new JBL products like this.
The dimensions are 3.64 x 3.6 x 8.5 inches (181 x 69 x 74 mm) and at 1.19 pounds (540 gr.) it is pleasantly light. For comparison, the JBL Charge 4 weighs almost double that.
Included in the package are:
- 1 x JBL Flip 5
- 1 x Type-C USB cable
- 1 x quick start guide
- 1 x warranty certificate
- 1 x safety data sheet
No power supply, but nothing else should be missing.
JBL Eco Edition
There is also an Eco Edition of the JBL Flip 5 in addition to the “normal” version, but what exactly does that mean?
The device itself does not differ from the normal version, at least visually and also in terms of quality. The performance data is also exactly the same. However, according to the manufacturer, the plastic in the Eco Edition is 90% recycled. Whether this also applies to the battery’s inner workings, we do not believe, since the recycling of batteries, for example, is only in the testing stages.
Besides the device itself, the packaging is also supposed to be more environmentally friendly than that of the normal version. Thus, we do not find any foam inserts here, as would normally be the case, but a box that is also made from recycled materials.
There are also two exclusive colors, the already mentioned Forest Green and Ocean Blue.
Although we don’t think you’ll be saving the planet by buying the Eco Edition, it can be seen as a test run for JBL on how to deal with recycled materials, whether and how customers accept the products, and whether there are differences in production. So in the long run, we can hope that JBL will offer more products as Eco Editions, and in the best case, replace them with the normal versions.
What is JBL Partyboost?
The JBL Flip 5 is the first speaker from JBL to have the new Partyboost standard built-in. When the speaker was launched, it was a pretty disappointing experience. With JBL Partyboost, you can connect multiple speakers together. Once again, there is no backward compatibility with the previously existing standards. The result is that you can once again only pair the speaker with the latest models from JBL.
If you have two speakers with JBL Partyboost, you can pair them together as a stereo pair. If there are more speakers, they all play the same sound, but more than 100 speakers can be connected to each other.
Current speakers with JBL Partyboost are the Flip 5, Xtreme 3, Boombox 2, and the new upcoming JBL Charge 5. All speaker generations before the mentioned are not compatible.
Although JBL Partyboost is of course a good thing again, this can’t really be called an advantage anymore by now. JBL once again manages to simply replace the previous standard every few years, making old speakers obsolete faster. Why JBL Partyboost does not work with JBL Connect or Connect+ is still a mystery to us.
The sound of the JBL Flip 5
Let’s get to the most important part, the sound. As already described, JBL has fundamentally revised the speaker design for the Flip 5. No more stereo, but a performance increase of almost 25% and thus also a more voluminous and detailed sound. In the meantime, the 20 W RMS power is on par with the Charge 3, while the Charge 4 offers a much more intensive sound with 10 watts more.
However, the Flip 5 is completely sufficient! For relaxed background music, fun in the shower, at the barbecue, bathing, hiking, etc., the relatively light and compact speaker offers just the right thing. Thanks to small fabric loops, you can also easily attach the Flip to a backpack. Thus, you can flexibly take good sound to any place.
Conclusion about the JBL Flip 5
The JBL Flip 5 offers amazing sound in a very compact package. At just over 500g, the speaker also weighs extremely little, which can be very handy, especially for mobile purposes.
Considered on its own, the Flip 5 is therefore a super speaker that can definitely be recommended.
However, if you look at the Flip 5 in comparison to the other JBL speakers, then you have to consider whether the Flip or rather the Charge is the right choice. The prices of the two are usually a few dollars apart, but that can change thanks to special offers. The JBL Charge offers a louder and better sound, but weighs almost twice as much and has almost twice the volume. Thus, those who pay particular attention to the sound should rather go for the Charge, but those who need good sound with much better mobility will find the Flip 5 to be just right.
If you like the colors of the Eco Edition, you can also buy this version without restrictions; there are no noticeable differences from the normal version.