We'll give you the honest truth
The latest JBL Flip 6 portable speaker looks almost identical to the Flip 5. That’s certainly true for the outside appearance and design. However, JBL has a tradition of making small but powerful improvements that make their speakers some of the best Bluetooth speakers on the market.
We’ve used the new Flip 6 for a month to see what has improved and if it’s worth paying the $130 for the new model. Read our complete JBL Flip 6 review to find out.
JBL Flip 6: First Impressions and Specs
As you can see from the pictures, the Flip 6 isn’t a groundbreaking invention but instead a solid addition to the JBL’s lineup of portable Bluetooth speakers. In addition to its beautiful design, the Flip 6 boasts dual bass radiators that ensure outstanding bass performance. You can feel them pulsing on each side of the speaker when you play music.
One significant improvement that every outdoor enthusiast will appreciate is the official IP67 waterproof and dustproof rating. This makes JBL Flip 6 water-resistant and dust-resistant and a perfect companion for any beach trip or a pool party (the speaker also floats). Speaking of parties, there’s also a new companion app that allows you to adjust the equalizer settings to take the sound to the next level.
- Dimensions: 17.8 x 6.8 x 7.2cm
- Weight: 0.5kg
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.1, USB-C port
- Water & dust resistance rating: IP67
- Outer power: 20W RMS for woofer & 10W RMS for tweeter
- Battery life: 12hrs of music playing time
- Colors: black, gray, blue, light blue, red
- Price: $130.
The Flip 6 is another excellent example of portable JBL speakers capable of blasting loud and high-quality sound while also not taking a lot of space. You can put it on any surface and don’t have to worry about dust, sand, or water, thanks to the IP67 rating. It’s worth mentioning that Flip 6 is still just a wireless speaker. There’s no voice assistant integration, no mics for conducting phone calls, or an aux input for wired listening. However, the Flip 6 makes up for it by providing powerful audio performance and robust bass.
Design and Unpacking
The Flip 6’s design is on-brand, with the JBL logo now in all big letters, centered on the speaker’s body. When you feel the speaker, you’ll notice the textured accents here and there: for example, both the logo and the passive bass radiators now have a metallic feel.
The power button, Bluetooth button, and the USB-C charging port are all in the same places as the Flip 5. However, the panel that they’re on is now smaller compared to the predecessor.
There’s an adjustable strap that makes it easier to pick up the speaker, hang it or carry it with you. There’s also a small added rubber foot underneath the main panel that ensures your speaker’s stability so it won’t roll off your desk. It’s a more elegant solution than the larger rubber panel on the Flip 5.
The rubber Partyboost button, buttons to control volume levels, and the multifunction button for playback and track navigation are located in a separate line on the speaker’s fabric jacket. The multifunction button only allows you to skip tracks forward and not backward. Other than that, you have all the functionality you need on this control panel.
What’s in the Box
JBL Flip 6 comes in a stylish signature box with a magnet lock. Here’s what you’ll find inside the box:
- JBL Flip 6 Bluetooth portable speaker
- A silicone wrist strap
- USB-C charging cable
- Quick Start Guide
- Safety instruction
- Warranty card
In the quick start guide, you’ll find all the information you need about setting up and using your Flip 6. If you have a specific question about the functioning of Flip 6, you can address the Support on the official JBL website about it.
Audio Quality & Features
Don’t be fooled by the Flip 6’s compact size. This speaker can deliver volumes loud enough to fill not just your living room but even an outdoor space where there are no walls for the soundwaves to bounce from. The Flip 6 achieves this thanks to the dual passive radiators and a racetrack-shaped woofer—responsible for the low frequencies and midrange—they help deliver decent bass and mids. At the same time, a separate tweeter—responsible for the high frequencies—ensures there’s no sound distortion at high volumes.
If we’re talking numbers, the dynamic frequency response range of JBL Flip 6 is 63-20k Hz, with the output power of 20 W RMS for the woofer and 10 W RMS for the tweeter.
If you don’t know how to read those numbers, no worries. Here’s the takeaway: JBL Flip 6 performs equally pleasant no matter what kind of music you throw at it. You can expect strong bass lines, rich vocals, clear rap sequences, and smooth but clear instrumental melodies from this speaker.
If you want to step it up and boost the sound even more, you can use the JBL Partyboost feature to pair your Flip 6 to a compatible speaker (or several speakers, up to 100 actually) in a party (or mono) mode to create a wall of sound. So if you have any of the compatible JBL speakers like JBL Charge 5, a Flip 5, or an Xtreme 3, you can sync them together and truly get that party started.
You can enter the Partyboost mode by pressing the Partyboost button on the control panel or via the JBL Portable mobile app. And if you have 2 Flip 6 speakers, you can use the same button to pair them and play your music in stereo mode.
App and Connectivity
The JBL Portable app (previously JBL Connect) for Android and iOS unlocks more features that allow you to control your JBL speaker. Turn on your Flip 6 and run the app to pair your devices. From the app, you can turn on the Partyboost mode, access the user guide, turn the feedback tone on and off, use the Equalizer, and install software updates to ensure your speaker’s stable performance and long lifespan.
The app is simple and user-friendly, just like the speaker itself. In the Equalizer, you get to tweak Bass, Mid, and Treble. You can also use the app to change the name of your Flip 6 to a custom one.
Pairing your Flip 6 with a smartphone or other speakers is quick and easy, thanks to the Bluetooth version 5.1. You can also pair the speaker with two devices at once and take turns playing music with your friends.
JBL claims that the Flp 6 lasts for 12 hours of playback, which we found accurate during testing. When you want to top up the battery, the charging time from zero to full is about 2.5hrs, and you can use the included USB-C charging cable.
Flip 6 vs. Flip 5
If you’re a JBL user looking to upgrade your portable speaker from Flip 5 to Flip 6, you’re probably wondering if it’s worth it since the speakers look alike. Here are the main differences between the two speakers that will help you decide.
- Flip 6 uses a more recent Bluetooth version (5.1 over 4.2 in Flip 5) and provides better connectivity.
- IP67 is a stronger waterproof and dustproof rating than the IPX7 in Flip 5.
- Flip 6 features a significant improvement in sound quality, making it a more suitable speaker for big outdoor gatherings.
- Flip 5 is cheaper than Flip 6 ($110 vs. $130).
Should You Buy the JBL Flip 6?
The Flip 6 is an excellent addition to the JBL lineup. It lacks some features that people expect from modern wireless speakers, including voice assistant, speakerphone, AUX port, and Wi-Fi connectivity. JBL Flip 6 is a portable speaker that you can take with you on any adventure, and it’ll deliver excellent quality music no matter what environment you put it in.
If you already own a Flip 5, you might want to wait for the next generation to make the upgrade feel more substantial. However, the Flip 6 will make for a great pairing speaker for your Flip 5 if you want to use them in Partyboost mode.