JBL Flip 6 Speaker Review

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Erin Lawrence

JBL Flip 6 review

These days, everyone either has or wants a portable Bluetooth speaker. But there are literally dozens of different brands, sizes and options to choose from. One of the most popular, though, is JBL’s Flip series. These small, well priced speakers have a good reputation, but this is my first review of a JBL speaker in about 4 years. In this review I’ll look at what you get with the JBL Flip 6, model JBLFLIP6BLKAM, the sound quality, and any special features.

Setup was blissfully easy; turn it on and it’s in pairing mode when you take it out of the box. Open your phones’ Bluetooth menu and click to connect.

JBL Flip 6 speaker
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Summary

Overall this is a sweet little portable and party speaker. It’s really small but it cranks, it’s pretty rugged and durable, allows multiple device connections, it comes in a billion colours, sounds great and it’s waterproof. On the downside… the battery life is just meh, there’s no mic for speakerphone, and no smart digital assistant capability, and the app isn’t very useful. For me, though, those downsides don’t take a way from this speaker in a huge way, so I can recommend the JBL Flip 6 if you’re looking for a cool portable Bluetooth speaker.

Pros

  • Great sound, base and powerful
  • Water and dust proof (IP 67)
  • 10 meters of Bluetooth range
  • Ajustable EQ

Cons

  • No microphone
  • App not super useful
  • Battery life could be better

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What you get with JBL Flip 6

The 6th iteration of this massively popular speaker promises some improvements over previous generations so lets take a look at whats new.

In the box you get only the speaker (measuring just 7 x 2.6 x 2.8 inches) and a USB-C charging cable. The speaker, like its predecessors, can be used either vertically or horizontally.

What’s new with Flip 6 compared to Flip 5?

In terms of what’s new the changes are really kind of nominal. The battery life is the same as the Charge 5 (both at 12 hours) as is the speaker power at 20 watts but the Flip 6 now uses Harman audio tuning. There’s now additional ingression protection in the Flip 6; the 5 was only rated against water, and the 6 now keeps out both water and dust, with a rating of IP67.

The JBL Flip 6 is billed as a 2-way speaker system which just means it has both a woofer and a tweeter, which is meant to enhance both low frequencies and midrange (woofer), and deliver crisp, clear high-frequencies (tweeter). Flip 6 also features optimized dual passive radiators for deep bass, fine-tuned with using Harman’s advanced algorithm. (If you want the geeky details: 20 W RMS for woofer, 10 W RMS for tweeter)

Enough with the marketing speak… how does it sound?

JBL Flip 6: Sound quality

JBL consistently gets great ratings on its Flip speakers, and it makes sense the Flip 6 also seems able to deliver on great sound. This speaker is shockingly powerful, and has good rumbling bass. You can actually see the vibration during playback. The thump is absolutely here.

JBL Flip 6 reviewThe speaker is definitely more directional; in that the primary speaker is pointed straight out from the logo; even so, the sound quality doesn’t diminish much if you’re off to the side or the back.

I listened to music from hip hop to jazz, and the JBL Flip 6 ruled it all.

Outdoor sound quality

Important in an outdoor speaker is the ability to fill your outside listening area. Normally it can be tough to keep sound from escaping into oblivion, and keep it where you are. IN my testing with the Flip 6 it was astonishingly good at filling the yard, and I was shocked at how far I could get from the speaker while still hearing things clearly on just a mid-level volume. Even looping around behind the rear of the speaker I was still able to hear clearly though the volume was a touch more muted.

Onboard controls

On top of the speaker are a series of buttons; play/pause, volume up/down and the party boost button which will link other JBL speakers.

JBL Flip 6, reviewConnectivity

Bluetooth range is up to 10m or about 32ft. To ensure a stable connection from the source device, it’s recommended that there’s a clear line of sight between the connected devices. I was able to take the speaker all over the house and even put walls between me and my phone and it stayed connected within its range.

IP67 waterproof and dustproof

Since the JBL Flip 6 is now IP67 waterproof, I decided to test it out by dropping it in a pool. It’s supposed to hold up against 30 minutes of submersion of up to 1 meter. While it doesn’t float, it did withstand the dunking and resumed playback right away, and sounded no worse for the wear.

JBL Flip 6 reviewMultiple connections

I love the fact you can have multiple phones or devices connected to this speaker at one time. It will default to the last connection, but you can tap in your Bluetooth settings menu to reconnect any time. Just push the Bluetooth pairing button to ad a new device.

Party Boost

Party Boost is essentially just speaker pairing, though calling it Party Boost centainly sounds a lot more entertaining. With the Flip 6 you can pair two speakers together for a stereo pair and more speakers to cover a larger area. You can only pair Flip 6 to other Flip 6 speakers or the Flip 5. As I only had the one speaker, I didn’t try this feature out.

No speakerphone or voice assistant

Unlike some competing speakers, there’s no Google or Alexa functionality, nor a microphone in here that would enable speakerphone. I’m not particularly choked about this, since I’d sooner swim in jello than take calls on a speakerphone, and I’ve got other devices with voice assistance.

Battery life

As noted the battery life is about 12 hours, which is just kind of…average. You can see how much you’ve got by checking the light on the back; you kind of have to read it like a gas gauge as it drops down from full to empty and it’s rather imprecise ?

JBL Flip 6 reviewBut in the app you’re supposed to be able to view detailed battery life. Turns out you’re really only getting the same gas gauge type bar.

Recharging takes about two an a half hours.

Since we’re on that topic, the app also offers adjustable EQ and management of Party Boost connections. In app, the app isn’t a must-have for this speaker, unless you want to tweak the EQ.

Overall review: JBL Flip 6

Overall this is a sweet little portable and party speaker. It’s really small but it cranks, it’s pretty rugged and durable, allows multiple device connections, it comes in a billion colours, sounds great and it’s waterproof.

On the downside… the battery life is just meh, there’s no mic for speakerphone, and no smart digital assistant capability, and the app isn’t very useful. For me, though, those downsides don’t take a way from this speaker in a huge way, so I can recommend the JBL Flip 6 if you’re looking for a cool portable Bluetooth speaker.

JBL Flip 6 sells for about $129US/$169CAD and you can get it from Amazon.

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