JBL charge 5 vs Bose Soundlink Flex – Which Should You Buy?

The JBL charge 5 and Bose Soundlink Flex are both portable speakers with quality sound. But which one should you buy? The Big JBL Charge 5 or the compact Bose Soundlink Flex. Let’s find out in this head-to-head comparison of JBL Charge 5 vs Bose Soundlink Flex. Read the whole article to make an informed decision about your next party buddy.

jbl charge 5 vs bose soundlink flex which should you buy
SpecificationsJBL Charge 5Bose Soundlink Flex
Dimensions(WHD)22.3cm x 9.7cm x 9.4cm9cm x 20.1cm x 5.2cm
MaterialFabric jacket on the circular surface, Rubber edges and ports areaSilicone back and Steel powder-coated grille
Water ProofYes (IP67)Yes (IP67)
Dust ProofYes (IP67)Yes (IP67)
Color optionsPink
Forest Green
White Stone
Stone Blue
Limited edition Crimson Red
Battery backup2012
Charging time44
Charging cable USB-CUSB-C
Output power(Watt)4030
Internal Drives1 x (52 X 90)mm driver(30W) , 1 x 20mm tweeter(10W), 2x passive radiators1 x 60mm, 2 x 76.2mm passive radiators
Speaker sound channel configurationN/A2.1
Auxiliary input/OutputNoNo
MicrophonesNot IncludedIncluded
Sound QualityNeutral soundBetter Bass
Bluetooth version5.14.2
Bluetooth range40 meters approx.9 meters approx.
Bluetooth multipoint supportYes, up to 2 devicesNo
Audio Codec SupportSBC OnlySBC Only
Application SupportJBL Portable appBose Connect app
Advance TechnologyN/APositionIQ Technology
More extra featuresUSB-A charging
JBL PartyBoost
physical battery indicator
Party Mode
Check PriceJBL Charge 5Bose Soundlink Flex
JBL charge 5 vs Bose Soundlink Flex


Design-wise at first glance, it can be seen that the JBL Charge 5 is bigger and bulkier than the Bose Soundlink Flex. The charge 5 is 22.3 cm wide compared to the 20 cm of the Soundlink Flex. The size difference isn’t enough but the Charge 5 is also bulkier. Standing at 2.1 pounds the Charge 5 is difficult to put in your bag and move around as flexibly as the Soundlink Flex which is only 1.3 pounds. We have to carry the Charge 5 with the strap on our shoulders rather than keeping it in the bag. Also, it significantly takes up more bag space.

The material on the Charge 5 feels solid and the fabric jacket on the entire surface feels premium. The rubber material on either side of the speaker looks good and stylish. The Charge 5 also has a rubber mesh on the bottom so that it can be kept steadily on surfaces and won’t roll away easily given the cylindrical design of the speaker.


The material on the Soundlink Flex is also premium with Silicon back and Steel-powder coated grille. The speaker is rectangular and so keeping it anywhere won’t cause any problems. Now, the durability of the Soundlink Flex is better than the Charge 5. The bulky body of the JBL Charge 5 cannot withstand much force and will damage the speaker if it falls from much height. This isn’t the case with the Bose Soundlink Flex. We dropped the Soundlink Flex from 5 feet and it didn’t take any damage, though some scratches can be noticed on the Silicon back.

Both the speakers are IP67 rated, therefore waterproof and dustproof. They can be submerged up to a meter underwater for 30 minutes. The Soundlink Flex even has a buoyant design which prevents it from sinking in the water.


The JBL Charge 5 and the Bose Soundlink Flex are available in 8 colors and 4 colors respectively. You will get enough freedom to choose. The Bose Soundlink Flex is the winner in the build section because of its compact size and less bulky design. Also, a rectangular shape is better than a cylindrical shape. Moreover, you get a durable speaker that does not sink easily.

Battery and Power

In terms of charging time both the JBL Charge 5 and the Bose Soundlink Flex can charge completely within 4 hours but the battery backup is very different. The Charge 5 can keep you grooving for up to 20 hours which is really good for a portable speaker. The Soundlink on the other hand can only play music for up to 12 hours on a single charge. In terms of battery backup, the JBL Charge 5 is easily the winner.

Remember these results are obtained only when the volume level is between 50% to 60%. We tested and found that the battery backup is close to what is mentioned also when we played at 100% volume then the Soundlink Flex can hold up to 5 hours and the Charge 5 can hold up to 10 hours which is fairly good at this price point.

Now, both these speakers come with USB-C charging ports, so you won’t have problems charging it with the same power cord you charge your android phone. The Charge 5 has an additional USB-A output port that makes it a power bank. You can use the Charge 5 to charge your smartphone and other peripherals. The Charge 5 has a 7500 mAh battery which makes it a small power bank as well.


Regarding the power output, the Charge 5 has a 40W output. The Soundlink Flex isn’t mentioned in the official site and also no third party noted the power output. We suspect the power output on the Soundlink Flex can be around 20W. You will surely receive more power from the Charge 5 than the Soundlink Flex, which makes the Charge 5 winner in the Battery and Power section.

Sound Output

This is very different in both speakers. The Charge 5 has a 30W 52mm X 90mm racetrack main driver with a 10W 20mm tweeter. The tweeter was not present in the earlier Charge models. Along with these the speaker also provides 2 passive radiators on either side of the cylindrical design. These radiators give a cool look to the speaker when they vibrate.

[Image of the highlighted circular driver and dual passive radiators in the internal components of Soundlink Flex]

The Soundlink Flex has a single 60mm circular driver and two 76.2mm passive radiators. The passive radiators are responsible for enhancing the sound by using the air pressure from the main driver. They don’t use electricity so they are a hefty addition to the portable speakers.

The extra tweeter on the Soundlink Flex manages the low frequencies, and the mids and highs are managed by the main driver. Because of this, you get a balanced sound on the Charge 5 than on the Soundlink Flex. We played different songs and found that the mids and highs on the Soundlink flex are much bright than the bass. The bass on the JBL Charge 5 is stronger than the Soundlink flex.

The JBL Charge 5 is even louder than the Bose Soundlink Flex because of its size and output wattage. You can easily enjoy music at your house party and DJ with your friends. A beach party can also be attended with both of the speakers but the Charge 5 will be better. The speaker configuration as mentioned by Bose in the Soundlink Flex is 2.1 but JBL didn’t mention anything regarding this.

Surprisingly, you get an additional microphone on the Bose Soundlink Flex. This microphone can be used to attend calls and chats. Voice assistants such as Google Assistant, Siri, and Alexa are all supported by Soundlink Flex.

In the Sound quality section, the JBL Charge 5 turns out to be the winner, because of its neutral sound profile and loud volume. The microphone isn’t a great addition for me so personally, I will be choosing the Charge 5 over Soundlink Flex simply for its loudness and sound quality.


The JBL Charge 5 has Bluetooth 5.1 support which was fairly new considering its release date. The Bose Soundlink Flex though only contains Bluetooth 4.2. The 5.1 version has the significant advantage of increased Bluetooth range and Bluetooth multipoint support. The Soundlink Flex does not support either of them.

We tested both speakers in long ranges and really the Charge 5 was impressive with over 30 meters range. The Soundlink Flex only supported 9 meters. This is because of an older Bluetooth version of the Soundlink Flex.

You can connect two source devices simultaneously with both speakers but on the JBL Charge 5 you can play music with both the source and the speaker will switch music control automatically this is called Bluetooth multipoint. This does not happen with the Bose Soundlink Flex as it cannot switch on its own, you have to manually change controls.

Both speakers don’t support any advanced audio codec. The Charge 5 as well as the Soundlink Flex supports only the SBC codec which is the most common Bluetooth codec. But you won’t get any noticeable lag in signal transmissions.

In terms of connectivity, the JBL Charge 5 is the clear winner because of a newer Bluetooth version, Bluetooth multipoint support, and more Bluetooth range.

Extra features

The speakers from JBL and Bose bring some extra features along with their devices that help them stand out in the crowd and these devices are not any exceptions. The Bose Soundlink Flex comes with advanced technology – PositionIQ Technology. According to Bose, this technology helps the speaker in delivering equal sound quality at any given angle. So, no matter where you keep your speaker you will receive the same sound quality. This feature is really noticeable because we played with it and the speaker was able to maintain the same sound quality while we can hear varying sound qualities from different angles from the JBL Charge 5.


Both companies have their own app. The Bose Soundlink Flex comes with a Bose Connect app that helps you to toggle feedback voice, install firmware updates and use the Party Mode with other Bose Party Mode-supported speakers. With this mode, you can connect two Bose speakers and then simultaneously play the same music on them.

On the JBL Charge 5, we get a JBL Portable app that lets you tweak the Equalizer which is helpful, install firmware updates and use the PartyBoost feature. The PartyBoost on JBL is better than the Part Mode on Bose because the PartBoost helps you connect up to 100 JBL PartyBoost-supported devices and play the same music simultaneously. This is insane as with 4 or 5 JBL Charge 5 you can steal the house party. Also, if you connect two JBL Portable devices you can get Mono output from them.

The JBL Charge 5 also has a physical battery indicator that helps you know when your battery is full and you should plug it in. The JBL Charge 5 doesn’t have a previous button which is very annoying as for changing to your next track, you can do that from the speaker but if you want to listen to the same track or go to the previous one you have to do that with your source device.

The Charge 5 thus provides more extra features than the Soundlink Flex. Bose’s PositionIQ is excellent but PartyBoost, USB-A charging and a physical battery indicator on the Charge 5 is a tough competition for the Soundlink Flex.

JBL Charge 5 vs Bose Soundlink Flex – Verdict

Both devices offer pretty solid performance. The premium feel, compact design, and light weight of the Soundlink Flex are a plus but 20 hours of battery backup with a balanced and loud sound in the JBL Charge 5 is promising. Microphones on the Soundlink Flex are an amazing addon but Bluetooth 5.1 with its advantages on the JBL Charge is more convincing than the Soundlink Flex.

SpecificationsJBL Charge 5Bose Soundlink Flex
Battery and Power
Sound Output
Extra Features
JBL Charge 5 and Bose Soundlink Flex configurations

Beatmentors recommend JBL Charge 5

Bottom Line

The JBL Charge 5 is the clear winner here. Both the speakers cost almost the same but you get better sound quality, more wattage, more battery life, USB-A charging, and the JBL Portable app that also offers an equalizer, with JBL Charge 5.

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Is JBL Charge 5 worth buying?

If you have an older JBL Charge model then the Charge 5 doesn’t have any significant upgrades other than the addition of a tweeter. If you don’t have a portable speaker then the JBL Charge 5 is amazing as it offers considerable loud volume with a balanced sound profile.

How loud is JBL Charge 5?

The JBL Charge 5 has a peak volume of 94db – much louder than a portable speaker.

Does JBL Charge 5 have an equalizer?

The JBL Charge 5 has equalizer support on the JBL portable app. You can tweak the bass, mid, and trebles on the EQ.