JBL Charge 5 portable speaker review – hear your music and charge your devices

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  • VERDICT

The JBL Charge 5 is an excellent portable Bluetooth speaker that delivers impressive sound  anywhere and with a battery that will last all day – or all night.

If you’re looking for a portable Bluetooth speaker with excellent sound and that can go anywhere and handle the conditions then look no further than the JBL Charge 5.

Priced at $229.95 (we’ve seen it for $199.95), the JBL Charge 5 is a great all-round package – it sounds good, it looks goods, it has good build quality and it has an IP67 rating which makes it waterproof and dustproof.

So whether you’re chilling at home or outside in your yard, beside the pool, at the beach or on a camping trip, the JBL Charge 5 will do the job and do it well.

And not only that, it can also charge your other devices as well.

Design-wise, the JBL Charge 5 (which is available in 7 colours) has a fabric covering and tough endcaps that can handle the daily bumps and wear and tear.

Along the top is the on/off button and the Bluetooth pairing plus the volume controls, play/pause and the Party Boost button which can create a left and right stereo pair of two speaker and group several compatible JBL speakers for a larger sound.

The metal JBL logo is also placed in the centre of the speaker. Below the logo is a power light which also gives you an idea of the battery when you’re charging as well.

On the back is the USB-C port to charge the speaker and, beneath a rubber flap is a regular USB port that be used with a cable to charge your other devices.

On the base are rubber grips so the speaker stays exactly where you leave it.

Pairing to your mobile device couldn’t be simpler and when it powers on it plays a sound to confirm it’s on and ready.

The JBL Charge 5 also remembers any nearby devices it’s been paired to and it makes a sound when it reconnects so you can start playing your music.

And you can actually have two devices paired to the speaker at once.

This is a fun feature for you and a friend or your partner to take turns playing songs on the JBL Charge 5.

Sound quality is top shelf with JBL’s Original Pro Sound that offers solid volume and scale and with impressive clarity.

And the bass is something you have to hear for yourself to appreciate. For such a relatively small speaker, the bass really punches above its weight.

Output power is 30W RMS for woofer and 10W RMS for tweeter.

Another cool feature is JBL PartyBoost which means you can pair the Charge 5 to other compatible JBL portable speakers or set up a left and right stereo pair.

Another standout feature of the JBL Charge 5 portable Bluetooth speaker is the battery life which runs for up to 20 hours on a single charge.

That single charge can take a while to reach full capacity so the best option would be to charge the speaker overnight.

And you can also claim some of that battery life by charging your smartphone or tablet on the move.

There is a companion app – JBL Portable – but this allows users update the speakers firmware and that’s about it.  There are no EQ pre-sets to be found.

The JBL Charge 5 is also lacking an AUX IN port. Most people wouldn’t miss this feature because they are streaming music wirelessly via Bluetooth so the fact it’s not there is not a dealbreaker.

The JBL Charge 5 is available now and is priced at $229.95.

VERDICT

The JBL Charge 5 is an excellent portable Bluetooth speaker that delivers impressive sound  anywhere and with a battery that will last all day – or all night.

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