JBL 2021 Portable speaker range overview

JBL are a renowned brand when it comes to portable speakers, but with an ever-growing collection, we’re here to help make your decision easier. So we’ll be reviewing the range of JBL portable speakers so you can decide what speaker is right for your needs.

Before we get into the review, if you’re already a JBL lover and looking to add to the collection, it's good to be aware of two popular features, the Connect+ and the new updated PartyBoost. These features allow you to link any compatible speakers together wirelessly and will even give you the ability to stereo pair two speakers together for a more true-to-life experience. Currently, these two features are not compatible, so please double-check the spec on the relevant speaker/s if you want to make the most of these features.

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JBL Portable Speaker  - Quick Overview

Battery Life Weight IP Rating  PartyBoost or Connect+ 
JBL Go 3 5 hours 0.21kg IP67 N/A
JBL Clip 4 10 hours 0.24kg IP67 N/A
JBL Flip 5 12 hours 0.24kg IPX7 PartyBoost
JBL Flip 5 Eco 12 hours 0.54kg IPX7 PartyBoost
JBL Charge 5 20 hours 0.54kg IP67 PartyBoost
JBL Xtreme 3 15 hours 0.96kg IP67 PartyBoost
JBL Boombox 2 24 hours 1.97kg IP67 PartyBoost

JBL Go 3 - For extreme portability

JBL Go 3 Lifestyle JBL GO3 Lifestyle

JBL GO 3 KEY INFO

£ RRP: £34.99 (view latest price)

IP67 rated (water & dustproof)

ϟ 5 hours of battery life

Bluetooth 5.1

PROS

✓ Extremely Lightweight & portable at 0.21kg

✓ Lots of colour options

✓ Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity for added range

CONS

✖ Not all day battery

✖  No PartyBoost or Connect+

✖  Not suitable for larger spaces

 

At just £34, the JBL Go 3 is the most cost-effective speaker in the range and supports a great number of features to boast fantastic value for money. You can take this speaker anywhere with you, as it’s pocket-sized and IP67 weatherproof rating- so it’s both water and dustproof. The colours are inspired by street fashion, so we can see this being a popular speaker amongst teens and young adults. The Go 3 has been praised by the worlds number 1 buying guide What Hi-Fi, stating ‘The JBL Go 3 sounds musically pleasing and surprisingly loud for the money’.

 

Is the JBL Go 3 speaker right for me?

This speaker is an ideal holiday companion, as it’s a budget speaker so you don’t need to worry about carting around expensive equipment for great sound. It’s water and dustproof, so can be taken on the beach without worrying about sand and splashes.

If you’re off on a long adventure with no power source, keep in mind this speaker only has a 5-hour battery life.

SHOP JBL GO 3


JBL Clip 4 - For the Explorers 

CLIP 4 Lifestyle backpack CLIP 4 Lifestyle

JBL Clip 4 KEY SPECS

£ RRP: £49.99 (view latest price)

IP67 rated (water & dustproof)

ϟ 10 hours of battery life

Bluetooth 5.1

PROS

✓Lightweight and portable design

✓ Integrated carabiner clip

✓ Impressive 10hr battery life

CONS

✖ No aux input or microphone

✖  No PartyBoost or Connect+

 

JBL excel in creating big sound in small speakers and the Clip 4 is no exception to this. The innovative design means the Clip 4 doesn’t need to take up any space in your luggage and can be clipped onto the back of a backpack, or even a belt loop. The trio of buttons still promote ease of use without fumbling for a device when out and about and the redesigned carabiner gives extra protection.

 

Is the JBL Clip 4 speaker right for me?

✓  The Clip 4 is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts and casual cyclist’s due to its clever design. You could even hang this speaker in the shower as it’s splash-proof, so there’s nothing to worry about!

✖ As it’s a relatively small speaker, the audio doesn’t get loud enough to power medium-large gatherings or noisy areas.

SHOP JBL CLIP 4

JBL Flip 5 - For the Music Lovers on the go

Flip5 JBL Lifestyle JBL Flip5 pool

JBL Flip 5 KEY SPECS

£ RRP: £119.99 (view latest price)

IPX7 rated (waterproof)

ϟ 12 hours of battery life

Bluetooth 4.2

PROS

✓ The sweet spot for portability & Sound

 IPX7 + Durable fabric and design

✓ JBL PartyBoost

CONS

No aux input or microphone

✖ No Connect+ compatible 

 

A staple of the JBL lineup, the Flip 5 is now in its 5th generation and has been expertly honed to offer precise and impactful audio in a small, portable size. We particularly love its long battery life, IPX7 waterproof rating and ruggedness. The Flip 5 also features a racetrack-shaped driver, which will drive a more powerful bass - this comes in handy, especially when using the speaker outside where there's a lot of external noise.

 

Is JBL Flip 5 speaker for me?

This speaker would make one happy camper as its design means it’s small, lightweight and rugged enough to take just about anywhere. The 12-hour battery life is ideal if you’re travelling without access to a charging point.

✖  It’s doesn't have a dustproof rating, so it wouldn’t be our top choice for taking to the beach.

SHOP JBL FLIP 5

JBL Flip 5 Eco - For the Eco-Conscious

Flip 5 Eco JBL FLIP5Eco Lifestyle

JBL Flip 5 ECO KEY SPECS

£ RRP: £119.99 (view latest price)

IPX7 rated (waterproof)

ϟ 12 hours of battery life

Bluetooth 4.2

PROS

✓ The sweet spot for portability & Sound

IPX7 + Durable fabric and design

Made from 90% recycled plastic

✓ JBL PartyBoost

CONS

No aux input or microphone

✖ No Connect+ compatibility 

 

Like the sound of the Flip 5 but also want to do your bit for the planet? Then look no further than the Flip 5 Eco. With all the same great features as the Flip 5, the Eco edition is made using 90% recycled plastic and is packaged using environmentally-friendly, recyclable materials.

 

Is the JBL Flip 5 ECO this speaker for me?

This speaker is for anyone who wants sustainable sound without compromising on the audio quality. The Flip 5 Eco still comes with all the great features the Flip 5 supports - it's just more economical.

✖  It doesn't have a dustproof rating, so it wouldn’t be our top choice for taking to the beach.

SHOP JBL FLIP 5

JBL Flip 6  - New in!

JBL Flip 6 KEY SPECS

£ RRP: £129.99 (view latest price)

IPX67 rated (water and dustproof)

ϟ 12 hours of battery life

Bluetooth 5.1

PROS

✓2-way speaker system engineered to deliver louder, clearer sound.

✓ Optimised by dual passive radiators for deep bass

✓ Supported by PartyBoost to pump up the party!

CONS

 

For the Beach Days and Trips Away - Charge 5

Charge 5 JBL JBL Charge5 Lifestyle

JBL Charge 5 KEY SPECS

£ RRP: £179.99 (view latest price)

IPX67 rated (water and dustproof)

ϟ 20 hours of battery life

Bluetooth 5.1

PROS

✓ Impressive sound output for the size

✓ Powerbank for charging devices

✓ JBL PartyBoost

CONS

No Connect+ compatibility 

 

 

Think of the Charge 5 as the Flip 5s older brother, boasting a larger long-excursion driver, separate tweeters and a pair of JBL bass radiators. As well as offering a bolder sound, the Charge 5 features a built-in power bank for your phone and other devices, along with an IP67 weather rating that protects against dust ingress as well as exposure to water. Think days lounging around on the beach or next to the pool!

What Hi-Fi - ‘The Charge 5 is currently as good a sound as you can get in a portable speaker.' ★★★★★

 

Is the JBL Charge 5 speaker for me?

For its size, this speaker is still pretty lightweight, which is really impressive seeing as it gives a BIG sound. This speaker is versatile enough to be used pretty much anywhere, from beach days to trips away. But we’d definitely recommend this speaker to people who can’t live without their phone, as the built-in power bank can be a lifesaver!

✖ As it’s more of a medium-sized speaker, it won’t be as easy to fit into small luggage as say the Flip 5 would be.

SHOP JBL CHARGE 5

JBL Xtreme 3 - For the Thrill-Seekers

JBL Xtreme3 beach Xtreme3 JBL Lifestle

JBL Xtreme 3 KEY SPECS

£ RRP: £299.99 (view latest price)

IPX67 rated (water and dustproof)

ϟ 15 hours of battery life

Bluetooth 5.1

PROS

✓ JBL PartyBoost

Powerbank for charging devices

✓ Bottle opener

CONS

No Connect+ compatibility 

No speakerphone function

✖ Heavier design

 

Powerful sound for poolsides - picnics and parties, the Xtreme 3 is a superb summer speaker for any occasion. The Xtreme 3 masterfully delivers powerful engaging sound for everyone to enjoy. I have to say, my favourite feature is the handy carrying strap with a built-in bottle opener, because who ever remembers to bring one?

 

Is the JBL Xtreme 3 speaker for me?

This is the perfect speaker to keep any party going through the day and most of the night with the impressive battery life. If you want to power large open spaces and you’re also conscious about battery, this is definitely the speaker for you.

✖ Due to its size, it’s not the sort of speaker you want to be carrying around if you have other luggage. Unless it’s all you’re carrying, in which case, you can use the carry strap.

SHOP JBL XTREME 3

 

JBL Boombox 2 - For the Bass Hunters

Boombox2 JBL Lifestyle Boombox2 JBL Park

JBL Boombox 2 KEY SPECS

£ RRP: £479.99 (view latest price)

IPX7 rated (waterproof)

ϟ 24 hours of battery life

Bluetooth 5.1

PROS

✓ Monstrous’ bass

Powerbank for charging devices

✓ 24 hour battery life

✓ JBL PartyBoost

CONS

No Connect+ compatibility 

Could annoy neighbours 🙂

 

 

The clue is in the name - the Boombox 2 is a robust, powerful speaker, ready to bring the bass to any party - providing you with epic all-day rich deep sound. We’re really impressed by the 24-hour battery life which can double up as a power bank too.

 

Is the JBL Boombox 2 speaker for me?

✓ This speaker is the ultimate bass lovers dream. Hosting a party with no finish time? Don’t worry the 24-hour battery life will see you through!

✖ IPX7 rated so doesn't have a dustproof rating.

SHOP JBL BOOMBOX 2


Verdict

We love this range of portable speakers from JBL and there really is a speaker for any occasion. It's amazing how much power you can get from even their smallest speaker and they definitely haven't been any compromises on the quality.

Check out the full range here - JBL PORTABLE SPEAKERS

Hopefully, this blog will help you choose the right speaker for you, based on your needs! If you do have any questions, please feel free to get get in touch with us via chat, email info@smarthomesounds.co.uk or phone 08006771100.