JBL Charge 5: Wireless speaker with a built-in power bank (review, opinions)

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JBL Charge 5 is the latest version of the popular wireless speaker. What changed? Is it worth buying? Find out in this review.

JBL Charge 5 – first impressions

JBL Charge 5 - przód głośnika otrzymał duże i metaliczne logo
JBL Charge 5 – the front of the speaker got a large and metallic logo

JBL Charge 5 is the next generation of wireless speaker equipped with a built-in powerbank. It came to me for review in a characteristic white-orange box with a large photo of the device itself. Inside the box there is a cardboard protective form, which additionally protects speaker during transport. The box also included a paper case in which the manufacturer added a user manual and a USB type C cable. However, there was no charger.

For a portable device, the JBL Charge 5 is quite large and not very light. Its weight is almost a kilogram. In turn, its longer side is 22.5 cm long, and the diagonal is almost 9.5 cm. When taking it with us on a journey, we have to reserve a place for it or buy an additional case with a pendant, because we will not find anything like that in the set.

The speaker has a built-in battery with a capacity of 7500 mAh. The manufacturer ensures that it is enough for 20 hours of listening. However, in reality, with normal playback at half the volume, we can confidently divide this result in half. Full charging takes less than 4 hours. It is worth noting that the Charge 5 has an IP67 class. It means that it is fully resistant to dust and flooding. It can even survive being dropped into water to a depth of 1.5 meters.

JBL Charge 5 – how it looks?

JBL Charge 5 - membrany z obu stron mają charakterystyczny symbol wykrzyknika
JBL Charge 5 – diaphragms on both sides have a distinctive exclamation mark symbol

The device is available in several colors – camouflage, green, turquoise, gray, pink, red or black. I received the blue version for review. A characteristic element of the speaker is the braid, which covers a large part of it. It is made very carefully without any fraying or protruding fragments. It just looks nice and is pleasant to the touch. The housing narrows at the sides and the braid gives way to large elements made of rubber. They are additionally cut on the sides and have a special shape, which has two big advantages. First of all, you can stablely place the speaker vertically. In addition – the side cuts allow the diaphragm to work freely, so the music is not additionally muffled and the speaker is covered. In the housing, we will not find any element to which we could attach a pendant to facilitate carrying.

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The buttons here are slightly protruding from the housing, which makes them easier to use in low light. The centrally placed switch and BT button are additionally illuminated and covered with rubber. During the operation of the device, the switch symbol and the battery status are lit.

JBL Charge 4 vs Charge 5

JBL Charge 5 - gniazdo ładowania z tyłu urządzenia
JBL Charge 5 – charging port on the back of the device

What has changed in the speaker? Its front is decorated with a large, metal JBL logo without a background (in Charge 4 we had a small rectangular logo sticker on an orange background). A grid of rubber strips known from other models of JBL wireless speakers went to the bottom. I must admit that this is a good solution, because they have a fairly large surface, solidly stabilizing the device on various surfaces, or when listening to music loudly and vibrations transmitted by bass.

Among the changes is the way to display the state of charge of the battery. Instead of separate LEDs, a uniform strip appeared. The manufacturer gave up the 3.5mm input, which was in the previous generation of this speaker. Charge 5 supports the new Bluetooth 5.1 standard with the SBC codec (previously it was BT 4.2). It allows you to save some battery and allows you to connect two devices to the speaker at once.

JBL Charge 5 Sound quality 

JBL Charge 5 w pionie
JBL Charge 5 vertical

The JBL Charge 5 has 40 watts of music power, which is 10 watts more than its predecessor. However, this is not the end of the changes. Charge 5 has a 52×90 mm passive diaphragm woofer, and a new thing is the use of a 20 mm tweeter on the other side of the housing. How does all this work in practice?

I have to admit that I like the sound that JBL Charge 5 produces. Passive diaphragms work very well, despite the tonal range starting from 65 Hz. The bass is well audible, not rumbling and not the typical flat tapping characteristic of many wireless speakers. You can hear and feel a slight pressure and you don’t need to place the speaker in the corner of the room to amplify the bass.

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A very good solution was the use of a tweeter. Its mounting on the opposite side of the woofer adds a bit of space to the whole thing, even though it is still a mono speaker. The highs are very well audible, high quality, but sometimes they seem too loud. The midrange is clearly less audible. The reception of the whole depends to a large extent on the genre of music we are currently listening to. On average, I was very pleased with the speaker.

JBL Portable app

A dedicated application from JBL is used to update the speaker’s firmware, Party Boost settings. Thanks to support for the new BT standard, it is also possible to pair two speakers into one stereo system. In recent updates, the manufacturer has added a long-awaited equalizer that allows you to configure the sound. However, the application itself works quite randomly and has its whims.

 

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Summary

JBL Charge 5 is a quite successful refreshment of the generation of the popular wireless speaker. It sounds pretty good and looks great. When deciding to buy this model, you have to be careful, because there are a lot of fakes of these speakers online. This also results in numerous and negative opinions of the users themselves, who, when buying a loudspeaker from an unreliable source, receive a counterfeit that does not even have a fraction of the parameters of the original.

final verdict

Price
7.5
Functionality
8
Ease of use
9
Build quality
10
Sound quality
8.5
Would I buy again
8
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Jakub Markiewicz
Jakub Markiewiczhttps://jotem.in
Hi, I am the author of the Jotem.in blog and series of thematic portals since 2013. I have nearly 15 years of experience in working in the media, marketing, public relations and IT. If you are interested in cooperation, you would like me to write about something or test a product - let me know.
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JBL Charge 5 is a quite successful refreshment of the generation of the popular wireless speaker. It sounds pretty good and looks great. When deciding to buy this model, you have to be careful, because there are a lot of fakes of these speakers online. This also results in numerous and negative opinions of the users themselves, who, when buying a loudspeaker from an unreliable source, receive a counterfeit that does not even have a fraction of the parameters of the original.JBL Charge 5: Wireless speaker with a built-in power bank (review, opinions)