After a few weeks to test the product, we have concluded that JBL Flip 6 is one of our favorite bluetooth speakers under $150.
The Flip 6 has excellent sound quality with a balanced profile. The speaker is well-designed, stylish, durable, and waterproof.
It loses points for battery life, which falls short of 8 hours at normal listening volumes. Software and features are also limited, even when using the JBL Portable app.
Overall, the Flip 6 is one of our top-rated portable speakers, especially considering the price. It provides an upgrade to the previous version (Flip 5), and now offers similar performance to the more-expensive JBL Charge 5.
For the price, sound quality on the JBL Flip 6 is excellent.
It has an authentic, balanced sound profile. Unlike some of the “party speakers” we have tested, bass on the Flip 6 is not overpowering.
Total output is 30 watts (a 20 watt woofer and 10 watt tweeter), but the speaker’s performance easily beat our expectations. The speaker doesn’t get quite as loud as a JBL Charge 5, but the volume is impressive considering the smaller size and price than the Charge 5.
Bass isn’t thumping, but the mid-ranges have great clarity. Highs are crisp, also, without the distortion or static that you get with many speakers.
Despite the lack of distortion, some high notes still sound jarring and rough. This isn’t the greatest hi-fi speaker on the planet, but the clarity is exceptional for the sub-$150 price of the speaker.
The JBL Connect app, which is unimpressive, at least provides a rudimentary equalizer on the Flip 6. In fact, the Flip 6 is the first JBL speaker that provides an EQ via the JBL Portable app. The equalizer is simple, but better than nothing.
Relative to expectations, Flip 6 rates incredibly well. But if you are expecting a premium, hi-fi product in this price range, you may be disappointed.
Flip 6 is lightweight (~1.2 pounds), portable, and small enough to throw in a backpack or purse.
The esthetics of the device have improved tremendously from the Flip 5, which had a simple, unspectacular cylindrical design. The JBL logo is now incorporated into the design of the speaker, which adds visual interest and really improves the look of the speaker.
The build quality is sturdy, and the device is easy to grip and comfortable to grab. Because of the cylindrical shape and location of the speakers, the device can be played from a horizontal or vertical orientation. And sound quality is good whether the speaker is sitting on its base or on its end.
The base isn’t especially wide or flat, so the speaker is prone to rolling and tipping if it gets bumped. But the grip is good enough that it should have no problems when sitting on a solid surface. The Flip 6 also adds a small rubber stand which further stabilizes the base. The device includes a strap which makes it easier to carry.
The Flip 6 has Bluetooth 5.1, which is a recent bluetooth version that functions well. The connection tests as well as most modern, quality bluetooth speakers. The device lacks an aux port and doesn’t have a built-in microphone.
Buttons on top of the device control the volume, PartyBoost pairing, and the play/pause function. These buttons aren’t backlit, but they are raised and large enough that you can find them without the need for backlighting. Buttons are easy to press, and function perfectly.
On the lower back side of the device, there are buttons for power and bluetooth pairing. There is also a battery status light and USB-C port.
The battery status is a simple light bar, which shortens as battery life decreases. As the battery approaches zero, the light turns red and flashes. This will be noticeable in a dark room, but since it is on the lower backside of the device, you might not see the flashing light. Still, this is preferable to the obnoxious “low battery” beep that other portable speakers have.
Flip 6 is IP67 rated, which is an upgrade from its IPX7 rated predecessor.
The speaker is dust-proof and waterproof. Although the speaker is waterproof, it doesn’t float. Additionally, the fabric coating takes a long time to dry after it gets wet. The fabric carrying strap also dries slowly. So, even though the speaker will continue to play when wet, it will take many hours to dry out, so you won’t just be able to towel it off and throw it back in a gym bag.
The end-facing speakers are a source of vulnerability, but the device holds up well to drops from moderate heights. The JBL badge is prone to scratches, and the corners get dinged, but the device is able to avoid damage. We didn’t test the durability to any large degree, but this speaker should last as well as (or better than) previous generations.
As mentioned above, the Flip 6 is easily knocked over due to an unstable base. This is true whether it is used in a horizontal or vertical orientation. However, the rubber grips on the base are an improvement over the previous generation Flip 5, which had a similar base without any grips.
Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the Flip 6 is the battery life.
JBL markets the device as having a 12 hour runtime, but in our testing the device fell short of 8 hours, even at moderate volumes (50-70%). Flip 6 has a 4,800 mAh battery that lacks a power bank feature.
We liked that the device doesn’t have a loud “low battery” warning, or flashing lights that are too distracting. However, because the flashing low battery indicator is subtle and located on the back of the device, you may not be able to see the indicator at all.
Device software still isn’t great, but JBL has finally addressed a long-standing complaint we have. Unlike previous iterations, which lack an equalizer, the Flip 6 now includes a simple EQ on the JBL Portable app.
The equalizer still isn’t flashy, but you finally have the ability to adjust bass, mid, and treble on the Flip 6. There are no presets, which would have been a nice addition.
Other than the equalizer, the app really doesn’t provide any value. JBL scores points for the simple interface, but the simplicity is a result of a lack of features. In addition to the EQ, you can update software, rename your device, access PartyBoost, and read a PDF that contains information about your device.
The app also has a battery status display, but it wasn’t accurate during our testing. Immediately before the device ran out of battery, the app still showed roughly 20% battery life. The app doesn’t provide the ability to change songs or volume, either.
Although the device is lacking in features, it functions smoothly. Some competitors are more feature-rich but don’t function as well. Bluetooth pairing (via Bluetooth 5.1) is reliable and the connection strength is better than most portable speakers we have tested.
Flip 6 has PartyBoost, which is the updated version of Connect+. You can use the app to sync multiple speakers together, but only if both speakers are JBL branded, PartyBoost devices. This means that older JBL speakers, like the Charge 3 or Flip 4, won’t be able to sync with Flip 6.
The device lacks a built-in microphone, and relies on bluetooth syncing exclusively since JBL has done away with the aux input.
Flip 6 scores points for ease-of-use, but it feels like it is lacking in “smarts” considering the quality of the speaker and the ~$130 MSRP.
JBL Flip 6 is a significant upgrade from the previous iteration, and offers one of the best values among bluetooth speakers under $150.
The sound profile is balanced, with clear mids and authentic bass that doesn’t overpower. The redesign looks great and the build quality is solid. JBL also (finally!) added a simple equalizer that allows for bass, mid, and treble adjustments.
We wish the device had a power bank to charge phones. And the battery life fell short of the 12 hour rating.
If you want a hi-fi speaker with world class sound, the Flip 6 will fall short.
But for anyone with realistic expectations and a $100-$150 budget, it is almost impossible to beat the portability, quality, and user-friendliness of the Flip 6.
Frequently Asked Questions
When does the JBL Flip 6 come out?
Flip 6 was released late in 2021, with a November or December 2021 release date in numerous countries. It is available directly from the JBL website, as well as third party marketplaces.
Which is better, the JBL Flip or Charge?
JBL Charge 5 provides more volume and better battery life than JBL Flip 6, and also adds the power bank feature to charge a cell phone from your speaker’s battery. Sound quality is similar, with Charge having stronger bass and Flip having more balance. Flip 6 is smaller and less expensive, and arguably a better value for the money.
How many watts is a Flip 6?
Flip 6 has total output power of 30 watts (20 watts RMS for the woofer, and 10 watts RMS for the tweeter).
How long is the battery life on JBL Flip 6?
JBL markets the Flip 6 as having up to 12 hours of battery life. In our testing, a new Flip 6 lasted almost 8 hours when playing at volumes between 50% and 70%.
How big is the battery on JBL Flip 6?
JBL Flip 6 has a 4,800 mAh battery. JBL lists its product specifications in watt hours (Wh) rather than mAh, but the 17.28 Wh Li-ion polymer battery (confirmed by JBL) is the equivalent of a 4,800 mAh battery.
The Flip 5 also had a 4,800 mAh battery, which is an upgrade from the Flip 4, which had a 3,000 mAh battery.
Does the JBL Flip 6 float?
JBL Flip 6 does not float when dropped in water, but will continue to play music. However, music will sound muffled until the speaker is allowed to dry.
Additionally, the fabric coating takes a long time to dry after it gets wet. The fabric carrying strap also dries slowly. So, even though the speaker will continue to play when wet, it will take many hours to dry out, so you won’t just be able to towel it off and throw it back in a gym back.
Can I use JBL Flip 6 as a soundbar?
JBL Flip 6 can be used as a soundbar with a smart TV that has a bluetooth connection. However, audio lag is common, and thus it is not recommended to use Flip 6 as a soundbar.
Does JBL Flip 6 have a 3.5 mm aux port?
No, Flip 6 does not have a 3.5 mm aux port. Previous generations of the Flip featured an aux port, but most new JBL portable speakers (such as the Flip 6 and Charge 5) have eliminated this input.
What version of bluetooth does Flip 6 have?
JBL Flip 6 has Bluetooth 5.1. The previous generation Flip 5 featured Bluetooth 4.2.
Which JBL Flip is the best?
The redesigned Flip 6 was released in late 2021 and features numerous improvements on earlier generations. The esthetics of the design are enhanced, and sound quality is superior to Flip 5 and previous versions. An equalizer is available, the bluetooth version is updated, audio output is increased, the battery is larger than the Flip 1 through Flip 4, and rubber grips have been added to the base for stability.
Does Flip 6 have a microphone?
Flip 6 does not have a built-in microphone. Previous generations (such as the Flip 4) had a microphone, but this feature has been eliminated from the newest versions.
Does JBL Flip have USB-C or micro USB charging?
JBL Flip 6 has USB-C charging. The USB-C charging cable is included with the product, but the power adapter (wall plug-in) is not included. USB-C charging is considered preferable to micro-USB charging, because the older micro USB ports frequently became damaged and caused device failure.
Is JBL Flip 6 waterproof?
Flip 6 is IP67 rated, meaning it is both waterproof and dustproof. More specifically, this rating means that the speaker can be immersed in water up to 3 feet deep for a period of up to 30 minutes.
Does Flip 6 come with a warranty?
The JBL Flip 6, like other JBL portable speakers, comes with a 1 year limited warranty from the manufacturer.
Can you pair JBL Flip 6 to Flip 5?
Yes, the Flip 6 can be paired to a Flip 5. Both speakers have JBL PartyBoost, and can be paired via a button on the speaker or via the JBL Portable app. However, all versions prior to the Flip 5 lack PartyBoost, and thus cannot be paired to the Flip 5 or Flip 6.
What is the difference between the JBL Flip 6 and Charge 5?
JBL Flip 6 is smaller and less expensive than JBL Charge 5. However, Charge 5 provides higher decibel output, more powerful bass, and longer battery life. Charge 5 also has a power bank feature that allows you to charge a cell phone from the speaker’s built-in battery.
Does JBL Flip 6 have an equalizer?
Unlike previous versions, the JBL Flip 6 features an adjustable equalizer. In order to access the equalizer, you need to download the JBL Portable app. The equalizer is simple, with no preset options and no adjustments possible other than to modify bass, mid, and treble. Still, this is a significant upgrade from previous generations that had no EQ whatsoever.