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Portable Bluetooth speakers are handy for travel and backyard afternoons, alike. One of the most popular at the moment is JBL Flip. These compact, budget-friendly speakers have a great reputation. In this review, I’ll look at what you get from the JBL Flip 6 speaker, the audio quality, and any cool features. Read on for my full JBL Flip 6 review.
Getting going was thankfully simple; power it on and it’s in pairing mode when you take it out of the package. Pull up the Bluetooth menu on your smartphone and tap to connect. That’s it! If you’ve ever used a portable Bluetooth speaker before this, the setup here won’t surprise you.
The 6th version of this very popular speaker, which can be used vertically or horizontally, offers some improvements over previous generations. Let’s take a look at what’s changed.
The changes to the JBL Flip 6 are kind of nominal. Battery life is the same as the Charge 5 (both 12 hours) and speaker power is still 20 watts. That said, the Flip 6 now has Harman audio tuning. They’ve also beefed up the dust protection in the Flip 6; the 5 was only rated against water, and the 6 keeps out water and dust, with a rating of IP67.
Worth noting for some: there’s no built-in Google or Alexa for voice assistance.
This speaker is surprisingly powerful and has solid bass. You can see the vibration as it plays. The speaker is certainly more directional, with the primary speaker pointed straight out from the logo; though you’ll find that the performance is still there from the side or behind.
It’s tricky to find a speaker that can give you enough performance without filling the neighborhood. In my testing with the Flip 6, it was easily able to fill the yard, and I was shocked at how far the sound carried on just a mid-level volume. The connectivity is also solid; you can get about 10m or about 32ft from the speaker without breakup.
Since the JBL Flip 6 is now IP67 waterproof, I decided to test it out by dropping it in a pool. It’s supposed to hold up against 30 minutes of submersion of up to 1 meter. I can confirm that while the music stopped after dropping it in the pool, I was able to reconnect and play music again with no sound or speaker distortion.
JBL Flip 6 allows multiple phones or devices to be connected at one time. It defaults to the last connection but tapping your Bluetooth settings menu allows you to reconnect at any time.
The Flip 6 allows for pairing two speakers together to create stereo sound, and you can add more speakers to cover a larger area. Having said that, it will only pair with other Flip 6 speakers or the Flip 5. As I only had one speaker, I didn’t get a chance to test this feature.
Battery Life and App
The battery life on the Flip 6 is about 12 hours, which is just average. There’s an indicator light on the back that reduces as the battery drains (like a gas gauge) and it’s rather imprecise. A full recharge takes about two and a half hours.
The JBL app also offers adjustable EQ and the ability to manage Party Boost connections.
Overall this is an awesome little portable party speaker. It’s small but has power, is rugged and durable, and allows you to connect multiple devices. It comes in a billion colors, sounds great and is waterproof.
On the downside, the battery life isn’t great, there’s no mic for speakerphone, no voice assistant capability and the app isn’t that useful.
So Should You Buy It?
For me, the downsides don’t take away from this speaker, so I recommend the JBL Flip 6 if you’re looking for a great portable Bluetooth speaker.
- Very portable
- Sounds great
- Rugged, durable
- Withstands water well / IP67 rating
- Multiple device connections
- Battery life is just average
- App is just OK
- No Voice Assistant built-in
- Battery indicator is imprecise
How Long Will It Last?
Owners continue to love their JBL flip speakers. These consistently get great ratings and are made to be built to last. The speaker seems solid and durable, and while I will want some additional time to be certain, it seems like it should last a while.
What Are Some of the Alternatives?
Not exactly feeling our JBL Flip 6 review? Not to worry! There are countless Bluetooth speakers out these days. Here are a few that are similar to the JBL 6 Flip.
Bang & Olufsen Explore
Bang & Olufsen Explore is another battery-powered portable Bluetooth speaker, designed for 360-degree sound. It’s waterproof and dustproof at IP67, meaning it can hold up to the elements and even withstand being submerged.
A cousin to the JBL, at least in terms of looks, this speaker aims for deep resonant sound and Sony’s EXTRA BASS power gives the XB43 a crisper fuller sound. It’s also IP67 waterproof and dustproof rated, but this one has 24 hours of battery life.
Tribit StormBox Pro
Punching above its weight in terms of volume and sound quality, the Tribit StormBox has full, 360-degree sound, and it’s IP67 water and dust rated.