The JBL Flip series has been a long-time favorite of ours. With the release of the Flip 6, JBL finally addressed our #1 complaint — the lack of an adjustable equalizer!
Previous versions of the Flip, all the way up through the Flip 5, lacked an adjustable EQ. For many users (myself included), this wasn’t a problem because the sound quality was impressive right out of the box.
With a nicely balanced sound profile, the Flip series provides a sound that is pleasing to almost any ear without adjustments. However, there are some users that feel certain models, including the Flip 5, are bass-heavy at times.
And some people simply prefer the “party speaker” sound profile to the balanced sound of the JBL Flip. In other words, lots of bass, even at the expense of clear mids.
*Although this article focuses on the JBL Flip specifically, much of this information will apply to other JBL portable speakers. The JBL Charge and Xtreme series are other JBL bluetooth speakers with similar software, so the same methods that work on Flip will generally work on Charge or Xtreme.
*And while this article focuses on adjusting bass, the same methods can be used to adjust other aspects of the equalizer. So, if you are looking to adjust treble or mids rather than bass, follow the same steps except adjust the “treble” slider rather than “bass.”
For anyone wishing to adjust the bass on JBL Flip, there are a few ways to do so. But we should warn you that no method is perfect, even the equalizer on the newest generation Flip 6.
Adjusting Bass on JBL Flip 6
Adjusting bass on the JBL Flip 6 is the easiest by far. On this version, JBL finally included an equalizer.
To adjust the equalizer, you first need to download the JBL Portable app. This app was formerly called “JBL Connect,” but has now been re-branded to “JBL Portable.” This app can be downloaded through the App Store or Play Store.
Although the app is also compatible with the Flip 3, Flip 4, and Flip 5, only the Flip 6 has an adjustable equalizer through JBL Portable.
Once you have downloaded the app, simply search for your Flip 6 device. Once connected, you can adjust the bass right from the home screen on the app.
There is a simple EQ that has a slider for Bass, Mid, and Treble. On the far-left side of the screen, you will see the slider for “Bass.” This slider has 5 “notches,” and will be set to the middle (3rd) notch by default.
To increase the bass, simply drag the slider higher. Moving the slider by one notch increases bass moderately, while moving the slider by two notches increases bass to the maximum.
Although it isn’t truly a bass adjustment, you may find that changing the Mid and Treble sliders also increases your ear’s perception of bass.
Adjusting Bass on Source Device
“Source device” refers to the audio device that is connected via bluetooth to your JBL Flip.
For most of us, this is a phone. But it could be a computer, TV, record player, MP3 player, or any other bluetooth-enabled audio source.
Although you can’t officially adjust the bass on any JBL Flip other than Flip 6, you can still adjust the settings of the sound that is being relayed to the speaker via bluetooth.
Some devices, like Mac computers, have an adjustable equalizer. Using the sliders on the device, or choosing from presets, you can modify the sound profile of the audio that is playing through your JBL Flip. Simply adjust the bass settings on the equalizer until you find the bass level you want.
Most smart phones, including many Android phones, have adjustable sound settings. For example, most Motorola phones will have the “Moto Audio by Dolby” which allows you to customize your sound settings any way you please.
Usually, these settings can be adjusted by accessing “Settings” on your device, then “Sound.” Other devices (like Macs) have a “Music” app.
For most iPhones running a recent iOS, you can select “Settings” then “Music” then “EQ,” and from there you can adjust audio including bass.
Adjusting Bass via Third-Party Equalizer
If your device has a built-in equalizer that can be accessed through the “Settings” menu, the above method is probably the simplest and most reliable way to adjust bass.
But if you are using an audio source without an EQ, there are other options for adjusting the bass on your JBL Flip.
An easy way to adjust bass is by downloading a 3rd-party equalizer app.
“Bass Booster & Equalizer” is a reliable app that has over 10 million downloads with an average 4.5-star rating. There are numerous apps available for download that can be used to adjust audio settings on your phone, computer, or other source device.
Once you have downloaded the app, adjustments are simple. On the above-mentioned Bass Boost app, you can use a full equalizer with slider adjustment, choose from presets (Classical, Heavy Metal, Acoustic, etc.), or just adjust a scroll wheel that is labelled “Bass Boost” (adjustable from 0 to 100).
The advantage of using a third-party EQ, rather than adjusting the sound settings on your phone or other source device, is that many third-party EQs have better controls and more customization. For serious audiophiles, you can spend hours fine-tuning sound settings to your exact specifications. Often, the sound settings on your phone are simple and more limited.
For Flip 6 users, the advantage of using a third-party EQ rather than the JBL Portable app is that you have much more customization. On the JBL Portable app, all you can adjust is Bass, Mid, and Treble. And each of these has only 5 levels. Compare this to the Bass Booster & Equalizer app, which has dozens of presets, 5 different sliders each with 31 levels, and a Bass Boost that goes from 0 to 100.
Adjusting Bass via Music-Listening Apps
Some music-listening apps have built-in equalizers. There is a wide range in functionality and user-friendliness depending on the app you use, as well as whether you are using an Apple or Android operating system.
Apple Music has a built-in EQ but it is limited to presets rather than being fully adjustable (this was true the last time I checked, anyway). Spotify has a built-in EQ on iOS, but the EQ on Android is actually just a link back to your device’s “Settings” tab. I don’t subscribe to Pandora, but I am fairly certain that Pandora lacks an equalizer on either operating system.
Even if your music subscription service doesn’t have a built-in equalizer, it is likely compatible with third-party equalizers. In fact, downloading a third-party app is usually the better choice. But for anyone that is hesitant to download another app, be sure to first check your music listening app to see if it already has an EQ included.
Adjusting Bass via Low Frequency Mode
For previous generations of the JBL Flip, which lack the app-based equalizer, you still may have a way to adjust bass on the device itself.
One way to alter the bass on a JBL Flip 5 (or earlier) is to turn off the “extra bass” mode. To begin, press and hold the “volume down” and “bluetooth” buttons. These buttons must be pressed at the same time and held for a few seconds.
When you have turned off the extra bass mode, the buttons will light up, including the oval ring light on the bottom of the device. To turn Low Frequency Mode back on, just repeat the process.
Although this method is simple, it still has its flaws. Most importantly, you will notice the sound is very flat when the extra bass is turned off. In other words, bass is reduced almost to zero.
The other big downside to this method is that the mode can be turned On/Off but there are no settings in the middle. For certain talk shows or podcasts, it may be beneficial. But if you are listening to music, turning this extra bass off is only going to worsen your audio experience.
*One final note: this will work on some — but not all — JBL portables.
JBL made it easy for us to adjust bass on the Flip 6 with a built-in equalizer on the app. For previous generations, there is a little more work required.
The first, and easiest way, to adjust bass on a JBL Flip is by adjusting the equalizer on your source device’s settings. For a smart phone, this is usually as simple as clicking “Settings” > “Sound.”
Even if your source device doesn’t have an adjustable EQ, there are a number of third-party apps that allow for adjustment. “Bass Booster & Equalizer” (also referred to as the “Bass Boost” app) is the most common and we found it very simple to use. Just download the app and adjust the equalizer to your heart’s content.
Some music apps (Spotify, Apple Music, etc.) already have a built-in equalizer. Since you already have your music app open, this will be a simple way to adjust bass on your speaker if the app allows you to do it.
Finally, some versions of JBL portable speakers have a “Low Frequency Mode” that essentially turns the bass setting to zero. We don’t recommend this method if you have access to any of the other methods, since the sound quality will be compromised. But it can still work in a pinch.