JBL Charge 4 vs Charge 5 – Battle of the Bluetooth Heavyweights
At first glance, the JBL Charge 4 vs JBL Charge 5 look nearly identical. But JBL has packed some key upgrades into the latest Charge that make it a tempting upgrade for both new buyers and existing Charge 4 owners.
JBL Charge 4
JBL Charge 5
JBL Charge 4 – Rating
JBL Charge 5 – Rating
JBL Charge 4 Pros
JBL Charge 5 Pros
JBL Charge 4 Cons
JBL Charge 5 Cons
When it comes to portable Bluetooth speakers, few names carry as much clout as JBL. The company has long been an industry leader, churning out speaker after speaker that delivers powerful audio in a rugged, waterproof form. Two of JBL’s most popular portable models are the Charge 4 and the recently released Charge 5.
In this in-depth comparison, we’ll examine what’s new and improved in the JBL Charge 5 versus its predecessor. You’ll learn how they stack up across critical categories like sound quality, battery life, durability, features, and value. Let’s dive in and see which Bluetooth speaker reigns supreme!
JBL Charge 5 vs Charge 4: at a glance
|JBL Charge 4
|JBL Charge 5
|Good audio quality with powerful bass and clear sound
|Improved audio performance with more powerful drivers and improved frequency response
|IP67 rating (waterproof and dustproof)
|IP67 rating (waterproof and dustproof)
|Bluetooth, JBL Connect+ to connect over 100 JBL speakers
|Bluetooth, JBL PartyBoost to connect multiple PartyBoost-compatible speakers
|USB-C charging port
|USB-C charging port with Powerbank feature to charge devices
|Dedicated tweeter and woofer, customizable EQ through app
To summarize the key differences:
- The JBL Charge 5 has improved sound quality with more powerful drivers and better frequency response compared to the Charge 4
- Both speakers have 20 hours of battery life
- They have the same IP67 dustproof and waterproof rating
- The Charge 5 uses JBL’s newer PartyBoost technology instead of Connect+ for connecting multiple speakers
- The Charge 5 has more power output at 40W vs 30W on the Charge 4
- Only the Charge 4 has an Aux-in port
- The Charge 5 adds features like a dedicated tweeter and woofer, customizable EQ through the JBL Portable app, and can charge devices via its USB-C port.
So, in terms of audio quality and features, the JBL Charge 5 is the upgraded model. But the Charge 4 still offers great sound at a more affordable price point.
Our Full Review on – JBL Charge 5 vs JBL Flip 6: Comparison of Features and Performance
Sound Quality and Volume
Let’s start where it matters most – how these portable speakers actually sound. When it comes to audio, JBL consistently brings bold, vibrant sound to the table. Thankfully, the Charge 5 steps things up even further with legit improvements to driver design and tuning.
The Charge 5’s newly developed driver and tweaked frequency response provide a noticeable boost over its predecessor. It simply outputs louder and clearer sound that’s specially tuned to accentuate thumping bass and sparkling highs.
In back-to-back testing, the Charge 5 generates deeper low-end punch and reaches higher volumes without distortion. Listening to genres like EDM, hip hop, and rock truly comes alive with its lively sound profile.
That’s not to say the Charge 4 sounds bad – far from it. It still impresses with clean mids and plenty of kicks. But place them side-by-side and the Charge 5 pulls ahead where it counts. Its vibrant sound fills larger spaces with ease and adds an extra dose of energy.
One area that remains unchanged is battery life, with both the Charge 4 and Charge 5 rated for an excellent 20 hours of constant playback per charge. Real-world testing confirms this claim holds up nicely for both models.
At moderate volumes, you can expect even longer runtimes. Crank them up loud for a backyard party, and you’ll still get all-day juice without interruption. Most competitors in this price range tap out well short of the 20-hour mark.
Faster charging gives a slight edge to the Charge 5, needing only 4 hours to reach full capacity compared to 6 hours for the Charge 4. But in terms of total play time, it’s effectively a draw.
Durability and Water Resistance
Durability takes on heightened importance for portable Bluetooth speakers meant to tag along on life’s adventures. Here again, both models deliver the goods, but the Charge 5 manages to inch ahead.
JBL assigns an IP67 rating to the Charge 5, meaning it is both dustproof and waterproof. By contrast, the Charge 4 gets an IPX7 rating that leaves out protection from dust ingress.
What does that mean in practical terms? Both speakers can be submerged in water and will withstand heavy splashes or rain with no problem. However, the Charge 5 offers an extra layer of defence if grit, sand, or mud enters the equation.
The exposed passive radiators flanking each speaker remain vulnerable to drops. But the metal speaker housings and rubberized exterior absorb serious shock impressively. The bottom line is that these are two very rugged speakers suitable for outdoor excursions.
Connectivity and Features
With each new release, JBL tends to bake in the latest wireless tech and special features. The Charge 5 follows suit with the addition of Bluetooth 5.1 and the new PartyBoost multi-speaker pairing.
Bluetooth 5.1 provides faster connection times, an extended range of up to 800 ft, and better stability compared to the dated 4.2 version in the Charge 4. Owners can expect a more reliable wireless listening experience as a result.
PartyBoost introduces a fresh way for JBL owners to sync multiple speakers together. Using PartyBoost, you can pair over 100 compatible JBL speakers to fill even larger areas with sound. It’s a definite upgrade over the older Connect+ system in the Charge 4.
Unfortunately, JBL decided to remove the handy 3.5 mm aux input from the Charge 5. So the only wired option left is USB-C charging. It’s an odd omission that may disappoint some users.
As a newer model packed with upgrades, the JBL Charge 5 retails for around $180 USD, a step up from the $150 MSRP of the Charge 4. But street prices for the Charge 4 have since dropped closer to $120.
Given the improved audio and features the Charge 5 brings to the table, some buyers will consider it worth the extra money. But if budget is a concern, the Charge 4 remains a stellar option at a more affordable cost.
Frequent sales and discounts can also make the Charge 4 an even better bargain for smart shoppers. Ultimately, it still delivers the core JBL experience of bold sound and ruggedness at a compelling value.
The Verdict: Your Best Bet?
So when all’s said and done, which speaker should you throw your money at? Here’s a quick recap of the key differences:
- Sound quality – Charge 5 for the win with louder, deeper bass and clearer mids/highs
- Battery life – Both last over 20 hours per charge
- Durability – Slight edge to Charge 5 thanks to official dustproof rating
- Features – Charge 5 adds Bluetooth 5.1 and PartyBoost
- Value – Charge 4 remains a fantastic deal at lower prices
The Charge 5 builds impressively on the foundation laid by the Charge 4. For new buyers or those seeking the best possible audio, the Charge 5 warrants serious consideration.
But the Charge 4 is no slouch. Unless you need bleeding-edge upgrades, it’s still pound-for-pound, one of the best rugged Bluetooth speakers money can buy. And cheaper pricing makes it even more compelling.
As always, choosing what’s “best” comes down to personal taste. Do you crave loud, vibrant sound with the latest features? Go Charge 5. Is an affordable workhorse speaker more your style? The Charge 4 awaits. Either way, your music is in good hands.
JBL Charge 4 vs JBL Charge 5 Specs
1. What are the main differences between JBL Charge 4 and JBL Charge 5?
The JBL Charge 5 is the newer model, and it offers improved battery life, with up to battery capacity and better sound quality compared to the JBL Charge 4. Additionally, it features Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity, while the JBL Charge 4 uses Bluetooth 4.2.
2. How does the sound quality of JBL Charge 5 compare to JBL Charge 4?
The JBL Charge 5 delivers a more enhanced sound with its watt output compared to the JBL Charge 4, providing a richer listening experience.
3. Can JBL Charge 5 be used to charge other devices like JBL Charge 4?
Yes, similar to the JBL Charge 4, the JBL Charge 5 also has the capability to charge other devices using its built-in battery.
4. Does JBL Charge 5 have compatibility with JBL Connect and JBL PartyBoost?
While the JBL Charge 4 is compatible with JBL Connect, the JBL Charge 5 utilizes JBL PartyBoost for connecting multiple speakers for a synchronized listening experience.
5. How does the battery life of JBL Charge 5 stack up against JBL Charge 4?
The JBL Charge 5 is rated to have a longer-lasting battery compared to the JBL Charge 4, ensuring extended playback time for your music.
6. Can JBL Charge 4 and JBL Charge 5 be compared to the Charge 3 or Xtreme 3?
Both the JBL Charge 4 and JBL Charge 5 can be compared to the JBL Charge 3 and Xtreme 3, as they are all portable Bluetooth speakers in the same product line.
The Charge 4 and Charge 5 both offer improvements in sound quality, battery life, and connectivity compared to the Charge 3. The Charge 4 has a better battery life and is waterproof, while the Charge 5 offers even better sound quality and a higher IPX7 waterproof rating.
Comparing the Charge 4 and Charge 5 to the Xtreme 3, both offer similar portability and connectivity options, but the Xtreme 3 is designed for larger, more powerful sound with its larger size and dual bass radiators.
Overall, all four speakers have their own unique features and strengths, so the best choice will depend on individual preferences and intended usage.