Some of the greatest Bluetooth speakers are found in the JBL Charge lineup. The JBL Charge 5 is the latest addition to the family.
With a more durable build and higher sound quality than the JBL Charge 4, it’s a significant upgrade. Is the extra price tag, however, justified? Or would it be preferable to save money and get a Charge 4?
Let’s have a look at the differences between the two and determine which one is a better buy.
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JBL charge 4 vs charge 5: Comparison Chart
JBL Charge 5 vs Charge 4: A Quick Comparison
The JBL Charge 5 comes with a few extra features than the Charge 4
In case you are in a hurry, here is a quick summary of what’s new in the JBL Charge 5 Bluetooth.
- The Charge 5 improves on the Charge 4’s waterproof certification by adding dust proofing.
- It also boasts a broader soundstage and better, more detailed music.
- The Charge 5 is also more durable, having rubberized portions that can handle more impacts.
- It’s also got a new design, with a bigger JBL logo and eight different color schemes.
JBL Charge 5 vs. Charge 4: cost comparison
As you might expect, charge 5 costs more than Charge 4.
The Charge 5 was just released at a price of £159 ($180), which is slightly higher than the Charge 4’s debut price of £140 ($150). The Charge 4, on the other hand, is a few years old and can be obtained for around £100 (approximately $140) if you know where to search.
That’s a little less than the Charge 5. Though, as we’ll see, the benefits may be well worth the investment.
JBL Charge 4 vs Charge 5: Design
In terms of design, there are no major differences
Because the Charge collection is designed for use in the great outdoors, it features a solid, hefty build quality.
There isn’t much to choose between the two in terms of design. The Charge 5’s logo is bigger, but it’s also more elegant, looking less like a badge and more like a block frame with simple metallic accents around the letters rather than a block frame.
Instead of a block of opaque rubber, the rubberized underbody now has appealing diagonal lines for traction when you place it down (as seen on the Go 3).
The 3.5mm headphone jack has been removed, and the new USB-C charging connector has been exposed. The handy USB-A port is hidden beneath a tiny rubber cap, allowing you to charge your gadgets with the Charge 5.
The Charge 5’s signature barrel-like chassis has a somewhat more durable rubberized reinforcement at the ends, and the speaker itself is 1mm higher, 2mm deeper, 3mm wider, and 5g heavier than its older brother – though there’s no difference to the human eye.
As a result, the Charge 5 is slightly larger but significantly more durable. We’re willing to make the trade-off.
JBL Charge 5 vs Charge 4: Features
The Charge 5 comes with more features
At this budget, Bluetooth speakers aren’t normally packed with capabilities – there’s no wi-fi, and no support for voice assistants, for instance. However, the Charge 5 boasts some excellent features for a portable device.
To begin with, its sonic skills have been improved. The 52 x 90mm bass driver is a few millimeters wider than the Charge 4’s, and a new 20mm tweeter is included. Both of these speakers have dedicated power amplification, with the woofer receiving 30W and the highs receiving 10W.
In addition, instead of Bluetooth 4.2, there is Bluetooth 5.1, which increases the wireless range from 10m to around 40m. That’s excellent news because the Charge 5 includes JBL’s PartyBoost mode.
This is an improvement over the Charge 4’s Connect+ feature, which allows you to wirelessly daisy chain the Charge 5 with up to 100 other PartyBoost-enabled JBL Bluetooth products, but it’s currently limited to the Boombox 2, Flip 5, and Pulse 4. However, you can’t connect the Charge 5 to the previous Charge 4 or any other older Connect+-enabled JBL speakers unless they’re running PartyBoost. Shame.
Both Charge 4 and 5 can withstand a half-hour submersion in up to 1.5 meters of water, but the 5 is also dustproof. They both have the same 7500mAh battery, which gives them the same 20 hours of playback on a single charge, and they can both be used to charge your phone while you’re out and about.
JBL Charge 4 Vs Charge 5: Sound Quality
The charge 5 has a better sound than the Charge 4
The Charge 4’s sound was surprisingly sophisticated for a speaker in its class, with continuous substance and feel across the mids and treble, and better-than-average midrange clarity. The bass was particularly impressive; while it isn’t as theatrical as its appearance suggests, its low-end is copious and well-balanced, with plenty of punch and depth.
The Charge 5 excels at extending this sound profile. Tracks have a little advantage in terms of impact, resulting in a more agile performance. Vocals are also more energetic and feel well-placed in what is a large mix for such a little portable speaker.
The Charge 4 struggled at high volumes, with the bass diminished and the upper-mids taking on a harsher tone. However, once the Charge 5’s new tweeter has been broken in, any brightness fades away, leaving only cleaner, clearer treble frequencies to enjoy.
JBL Charge 4 vs Charge 5: Verdict
Which of these two portable Bluetooth speakers should you buy?
The Charge 5 only features a few enhancements over the Charge 4, and they may be considered modest. However, we believe they are greater than the sum of their parts, resulting in a compelling package that is among the best Bluetooth speakers available.
Of again, if you’re on a limited budget, the Charge 4’s reduced price can tempt you, and it’ll most likely suffice. Whichever option you select, you’ll have a terrific time listening in the great outdoors.
Last update on 2023-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API