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JBL Charge 5 Speaker Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed May 10, 2021 at 10:12 am
JBL Charge 5 Picture
6.3
Music
5.8
Videos/Movies
7.4
Podcasts
2.8
Voice Assistant
7.2
Outdoors
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi
No
Speakerphone
No
Voice Assistant
No
Battery Powered
Yes

The JBL Charge 5 is the next generation of the JBL Charge 4. This small and lightweight portable speaker has a neutral sound profile, making it suitable for listening to a wide variety of audio content. It's also very well-built, with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. Unlike the Charge 4, which has a Connect+ function, the Charge 5 comes with a PartyBoost button you can use to connect it to other JBL speakers that feature this function. Unfortunately, it struggles to reproduce the deep thump and rumble typically present in bass-heavy music. It also doesn't come with any sound customization features you can use to adjust its sound to your liking.

Our Verdict

6.3 Music

The JBL Charge 5 is acceptable for music. Its neutral sound profile makes it suitable for a variety of music genres. However, it lacks a thumpy and rumbling low-bass which may disappoint fans of bass-heavy music like EDM. Unfortunately, it doesn't come with any sound customization features, so you can't tweak its sound to your liking. It also requires a second unit to play stereo sound, and has to downmix stereo content to mono when using it on its own, so its soundstage doesn't sound as immersive.

Pros
  • Fantastic battery life.
  • Balanced mid-range.
Cons
  • No graphic EQ.
  • Compression artifacts at max volume.
5.8 Videos/Movies

The JBL Charge 5 is disappointing for watching videos and movies. Its balanced mid-range makes it suitable for listening to dialogue-heavy content. It also has low latency with iOS and Android devices, so there shouldn't be a noticeable delay between your audio and video. However, some apps compensate for latency differently, so your experience may differ. It struggles to reproduce low-bass, which makes it difficult to feel the thump and rumble in action-packed scenes. It also needs to be paired to a second unit to play stereo sound, and downmixes stereo content to mono when using it on its own, which doesn't sound as immersive.

Pros
  • Low Bluetooth latency.
  • Balanced mid-range.
Cons
  • No graphic EQ.
  • Compression artifacts at max volume.
7.4 Podcasts

The JBL Charge 5 is decent for podcasts. This incredibly portable speaker has a well-balanced mid-range that ensures dialogue sounds clear and present in your audio. It also has decent directivity, so your audio should sound clear from most angles. However, there are some compression artifacts at max volume, so your audio may not sound as clean during louder listening sessions.

Pros
  • Incredibly portable.
Cons
  • Compression artifacts at max volume.
2.8 Voice Assistant

The JBL Charge 5 doesn't support voice assistants.

7.2 Outdoors

The JBL Charge 5 is decent for outdoor use. Its long battery life and great build quality make it suitable for long days spent outdoors. It's rated IP67 for dust and water resistance, though we don't currently test this. Its neutral sound profile is also good for listening to a wide variety of audio content. That said, it lacks low-bass, so you can't feel the thump and rumble in bass-heavy music. It also requires two units to play stereo audio, and has to downmix stereo content to mono when using it on its own, which doesn't sound as immersive.

Pros
  • Fantastic battery life.
  • IP67 rating for dust and water resistance.
Cons
  • No graphic EQ.
  • Compression artifacts at max volume.
  • 6.3 Music
  • 5.8 Videos/Movies
  • 7.4 Podcasts
  • 2.8 Voice Assistant
  • 7.2 Outdoors
  1. Updated May 10, 2021: Review published.
  2. Updated May 06, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
RGB Lights No

The JBL Charge 5 is a small speaker that looks similar to the JBL Charge 4. However, the logo on its front is much bigger and looks slightly different than its predecessor. It's meant to sit horizontally on its flat plastic base, and its power, Bluetooth, and battery indicator lights turn on when the speaker is on. This speaker comes in nine different color variants you can choose from, and we tested the 'Black' variant.

9.1
Design
Portability
Volume
121 inยณ (1,982 cmยณ)
Weight
2.0 lbs (0.9 kg)
Power Source
Battery & USB
One-Hand Carry
Yes

The JBL Charge 5 is incredibly portable. This small, lightweight speaker can be carried in one hand, making it easy to take when you're on the move. It's also battery-powered, so you can take it outdoors with you without needing to connect it to an outlet.

8.3
Design
Build Quality
Material Quality
Great
Water Resistance
Submersible (IPx7)
Dust Resistance
Dust-Proof (IP6x)
Impact Resistance
Unspecified
Floats In Water
Unspecified

This speaker has an impressive build quality. It's rated IP67 for dust and water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. Its made of materials that feel solid, and there are also two bass radiators on either side of the speaker. On its rear, there's a USB-A port in a sealed compartment and a Type-C charging port.

5.9
Design
Controls
Ease Of Use
Great
Feedback
Good
Music Play/Pause
Yes (Physical)
Call Answer/End
No
Volume Up/Down
Yes (Physical)
Track Next/Previous
No
Microphone On/Off
No
Additional Controls
Yes

The JBL Charge 5 has disappointing controls. It has + and - buttons you can use to adjust the speaker's volume. While there's some audible feedback to indicate when you reach its max volume, there isn't any for when you reach its minimum volume. Its play and pause button can also be double-pressed to skip to your next track. However, there isn't a way to skip to your previous track. You can pair it to your devices via Bluetooth by pressing its designated button. This should trigger a flashing light when it's in pairing mode and a solid blue light once it's paired.

It also has a PartyBoost button you can press when you want to connect it to other PartyBoost-compatible speakers. You can control this feature in its companion app. Lastly, there are horizontal dots at the bottom of the speaker that light up to indicate the speaker's battery level.

Design
In The Box

  • JBL Charge 5 speaker
  • USB-C to USB-A charging cable
  • Quick Start guide

Sound
6.7
Sound
Frequency Response Accuracy
Slope
0.29
Std. Err.
3.90 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
58.2 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
18.5 kHz

The JBL Charge 5's frequency response accuracy is alright. It has a fairly neutral sound profile, suitable for a wide range of audio content. However, it lacks low-bass, so you can't feel the thump and rumble in bass-heavy music like hip-hop and EDM. Unfortunately, it doesn't have any sound customization features you can use to tweak its sound to your liking.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
Binaural Recording @ 1m
Binaural Recording @ 2m
5.7
Sound
Soundstage
Directivity Index
4.27 dB
Stereo
No (mono)

The JBL Charge 5 has a middling soundstage performance. While it has decent directivity, the overemphasis in the treble range can make its soundstage feel a bit uneven. It also needs to be paired to another unit to play stereo sound, and has to downmix stereo content to mono when using it on its own, which doesn't sound as immersive. If you're looking for a speaker with a fantastic soundstage, check out the Sony SRS-RA3000.

6.5
Sound
Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
88.9 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
3.16 dB

The JBL Charge 5's dynamics are adequate. It doesn't get very loud and has many compression artifacts at max volume, so it isn't very suitable to use in large rooms or at parties.

Active Features
8.6
Active Features
Battery
Battery Life
14.5 hrs
Charge Time
3.8 hrs
Power Saving
Yes
Charging Port
USB-C

This speaker has an excellent battery performance. While it's advertised to last around 20 hours from a single 4-hour charge, it lasted over 14 hours in our tests, which is still superb. That said, battery life can vary depending on usage, so your real-world experience may vary. It also has a power-saving feature that shuts the speaker off after it's left inactive for a while.

0
Active Features
Voice Assistant
Alexa
No
Google Assistant
No
Siri
No
Voice Activation
No
Microphone Mute
No
Far-Field Performance
No Microphone
Ambient Noise Performance
No Microphone
6.6
Active Features
App
App Name
JBL Portable
iOS
Yes
Android
Yes
EQ
No
Stereo Pair Mode
Yes
Party Mode
Yes
Multi-Room
No

The JBL Charge 5's companion app is alright. It comes with a Party Mode function you can access by selecting PartyBoost in its main menu, so you can connect it to other PartyBoost-compatible speakers to play music at once. You can also pair two speakers together to create a stereo pair. That said, it doesn't offer a Multi-Room function, so you can't use it to play different content on different speakers in different rooms at once. It also doesn't have any sound customization features like a graphic EQ you can use to tweak the speaker's sound.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Wired
Aux Input
No
USB Audio
No
Other Ports
Yes

Unlike the JBL Charge 4, the JBL Charge 5 doesn't have an AUX input you can use to wire your devices to it. However, you can use its USB-A port to charge your devices.

8.4
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.1
Bluetooth iOS Latency
125 ms
Bluetooth Android Latency
102 ms
Bluetooth Range
328.1 ft (100.0 m)
Multi-Device Pairing
2 Devices

The JBL Charge 5 has a great Bluetooth performance. You can connect it to two devices at once, which can come in handy when you need to switch between audio sources quickly. It also has low latency with iOS and Android devices, making it suitable for watching movies and videos. However, some apps compensate for latency differently, so your experience may differ.

0
Connectivity
Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi Version
No Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi Frequency Band
No Wi-Fi
Apple AirPlay
No
AirPlay Latency
N/A
Google Chromecast
No
Chromecast Latency
N/A

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The JBL Charge 5 comes in nine color variants: 'Black', 'Red', 'Blue', 'Teal', 'Grey', 'White', 'Pink', 'Khaki' and 'Squad'. We tested the 'Black' variant, and you can find its label here. We expect all variants to perform similarly.

If you come across any other variants of this speaker, let us know in the discussions and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Speakers

The JBL Charge 5 is a portable Bluetooth speaker that's similar to the JBL Charge 4. The Charge 5 has a more neutral sound profile than its predecessor and is rated IP67 for dust and water resistance, though we don't currently test this. It also comes with a PartyBoost button you can use to pair it to other PartyBoost-compatible JBL speakers, as opposed to the Charge 4, which features a Connect+ button.

See also our recommendations for the best JBL speakers, the best Bluetooth speakers, and the best outdoor speakers.

JBL Charge 4

The JBL Charge 5 is a better speaker than the JBL Charge 4 overall. The Charge 5 has a more balanced sound profile. It's also better-built, with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't currently test this. That said, while the Charge 5 can connect to PartyBoost-compatible JBL speakers, it can't connect to those with the Connect+ feature like its predecessor. The Charge 4 also has lower latency with iOS and Android devices, though some apps compensate for latency differently, so your experience may vary.

JBL FLIP 5

The JBL Charge 5 is a better speaker than the JBL FLIP 5. The Charge 5 has a more neutral sound profile, and longer battery life, though the latter can vary depending on your usage habits. It's also better built and is rated IP67 for dust and water resistance, though we don't test for this. However, while the Charge 5 can get louder with slightly fewer compression artifacts at max volume, the FLIP 5 has a somewhat wider-sounding soundstage.

JBL Xtreme 3

The JBL Xtreme 3 and the JBL Charge 5 are very similar speakers. While they both have very similar designs, the Charge 5 is smaller, lighter, and more portable. It also has a slightly better-balanced sound profile. That said, the Xtreme 3 can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono, which sounds more immersive. It also uses the JBL Connect app, as opposed to the Charge 5 that uses the JBL Portable app.

Sonos Roam

The Sonos Roam and the JBL Charge 5 are similar speakers, though they have different strengths. The Sonos is smaller and more portable than the JBL. It has outstanding voice assistant performance and comes with bass and treble sliders you can use to tweak its sound to your liking. However, the JBL can get louder than the Sonos with fewer compression artifacts at max volume. It can be paired to two devices at once via Bluetooth and has outstanding battery life, though this can vary depending on your usage habits, so your real-world experience may differ.

JBL Xtreme 2

The JBL Xtreme 2 is a better speaker than the JBL Charge 5 overall. While the Charge 5 has a more balanced sound profile, the Xtreme 2 can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono. It can also get louder than the Charge 5, with fewer compression artifacts at max volume, and supports voice assistants through your smartphone.

Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 is a better speaker than the JBL Charge 5 overall. The Ultimate Ears can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono and has an outstanding soundstage thanks to its 360-degree design. Its companion app features a graphic EQ and presets you can use to tweak its sound to your liking. The JBL has a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box. You can also connect it to two devices at once, which can come in handy when you need to switch between two audio sources quickly.

Sony SRS-XB33

The Sony SRS-XB33 is a slightly better speaker than JBL Charge 5. The JBL has a better-balanced sound profile and slightly longer battery life, though battery life can vary depending on usage, so your experience may differ. However, the Sony's companion app comes with a graphic EQ you can use to adjust its sound to your liking. It comes with a ClearAudio+ feature that's advertised to automatically adjust its sound according to your audio. It also supports voice assistants through your smartphone, though its performance isn't very good.

Bose SoundLink Revolve

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Bose SoundLink Revolve, or the JBL Charge 5. The Bose has a better directivity thanks to its 360-degree design, so its soundstage is perceived to sound wider and more open than that of the JBL. It also supports voice assistants through your smartphone, and does a good job of understanding your commands from far and in noisier environments. That said, the JBL is rated IP67 for dust and water resistance, though we don't test for this. It can also get louder, and produce a more extended low-bass than the Bose.

JBL Pulse 4

The JBL Charge 5 is a slightly better speaker than the JBL Pulse 4. The Charge 5 is better-built, with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't test for this. It can also get louder and offers a better-balanced sound profile that can produce deeper bass than the Pulse 4. That said, the Pulse 4 comes with customizable RGB lights and offers a more natural-sounding soundstage, thanks to its 360-degree design.

Sony SRS-XB43

The Sony SRS-XB43 is a better speaker than the JBL Charge 5 overall. While the JBL has a better-balanced sound profile, the Sony comes with a graphic EQ, so you can customize its sound to better suit your preferences. It has a ClearAudio+ feature advertised to adjust the speaker's sound according to your audio content and can get louder than the JBL. Additionally, it supports voice assistants through your smartphone, though its performance isn't great.

JBL Boombox 2

The JBL Boombox 2 is a better overall speaker than the JBL Charge 5. The Boombox 2 can produce a deeper bass, and can get louder than the Charge 5. It can also play stereo content without downmixing it to mono. That said, the Charge 5 is smaller, and more portable than the Boombox 2. It's also better built with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't test for this. 

Marshall Emberton

You may prefer either the Marshall Emberton or the JBL Charge 5, depending on your preferences. The Marshall is smaller and offers a soundstage that can be perceived as open and spacious. It can also play stereo content without downmixing it to mono, which sounds more immersive. That said, the JBL can get louder with less compression at max volume, resulting in cleaner audio at louder volume levels. It also has a longer battery life, lasting over 14 hours from a single charge, though this can depend on your usage. Additionally, you can connect the JBL to other PartyBoost-compatible speakers to create a stereo pair or when you want your audio to fill a large room.

Ultimate Ears BOOM 3

The Ultimate Ears BOOM 3 is a slightly better speaker than the JBL Charge 5. The Ultimate Ears is better built and comes with a graphic EQ and presets you can use to customize its sound. It also has a wider and more open-sounding soundstage thanks to its 360-degree design and can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono. That said, the JBL has a better-balanced sound profile and can produce deeper bass than the Ultimate Ears out-of-the-box. It can also get slightly louder, though there's some compression at max volume that may affect the clarity of your audio at louder volumes.

Bose SoundLink Revolve II

The Bose SoundLink Revolve II is a slightly better speaker than the JBL Charge 5. The Bose offers a wider and more natural-sounding soundstage thanks to its 360-degree design. It also has a slightly better-balanced sound profile than that of the JBL. Additionally, it supports voice assistants through your smartphone and does an excellent job of understanding you from far and in noisy environments. That said, the JBL is better-built, with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't test for this. It can also get slightly louder than the Bose with less compression at max volume, resulting in cleaner audio.

Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II

The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II is a better speaker than the JBL Charge 5 overall. It has a slightly better-balanced sound profile out-of-the-box and offers a wider-sounding soundstage thanks to its 360-degree design. It also supports voice assistants through your smartphone. That said, the JBL has a longer battery life, though this can vary depending on your usage habits.

Harman/Kardon Onyx Studio 6

The JBL Charge 5 is a slightly better speaker than the Harman/Kardon Onyx Studio 6 overall. The JBL is better-built with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance though we don't currently test for this. It's smaller, more portable, and has a longer-lasting battery life than the Harman, though battery life can depend on your usage habits and your experience may differ. That said, the Harman can produce a slightly more extended low-bass than the JBL. 

Beats Pill+

The JBL Charge 5 is a better speaker than the Beats Pill+ overall. The JBL offers a better-balanced sound profile that can produce a more extended low-bass than that of the Beats. It's better-built, with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't test for this. It also has a longer-lasting battery life, though this can depend on your usage, and your experience may differ. That said, the Beats can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono, which is more immersive. 

JBL GO 3

The JBL Charge 5 is a better speaker than the JBL GO 3, though you may prefer one over the other depending on your listening habits. The Charge 5 can produce a deeper bass than the GO 3. It can get louder, and has a longer-lasting battery life, though this can depend on your usage. You can also pair it to other PartyBoost-compatible speakers when you want your audio to fill a large space without increasing the volume. That said, the GO 3 is a more compact speaker with a built-in carrying strap, so you can easily take it on the go with you. It also offers a slightly wider-sounding soundstage.

Anker Soundcore Motion+

The Anker Soundcore Motion+ is a better overall speaker than the JBL Charge 5. The JBL is better-built, with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't test for this. It also has a better-balanced sound profile than the Anker. However, the Anker features a graphic EQ and presets, so you can adjust its sound to your liking. It can also play stereo content without downmixing it to mono. Additionally, it supports voice assistants through your smartphone, though it doesn't do a good job of hearing you from far and in noisy settings.

Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2

The Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2 is a better overall speaker than the JBL Charge 5, though they have different strengths. The Ultimate Ears is smaller, more portable, and has much better directivity resulting in a more open and natural-sounding soundstage. It can also play stereo content without downmixing it to mono and has fewer compression artifacts at max volume. That said, the JBL can produce a deeper bass than the Ultimate Ears and can be paired to multiple PartyBoost-compatible speakers which can come in handy when you want your audio to fill a large room.

Anker Soundcore Flare 2

You may prefer either the Anker Soundcore Flare 2 or the JBL Charge 5 depending on your listening habits. The JBL has a better-balanced sound profile out-of-the-box, that can produce a slightly more extended low-bass than the Anker. It's better-built with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. It can also get a bit louder. That said, the Anker can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono, and offers a wider-sounding soundstage. It also comes with a graphic EQ and presets you can use to tweak its sound to your liking. 

Sony SRS-XB23

The Sony SRS-XB23 and the JBL Charge 5 are similar speakers. The Sony offers a wider-sounding soundstage thanks to its 360-degree design, and can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono. It also comes with a graphic EQ you can use to tweak its sound to your liking. However, the JBL offers a better-balanced sound profile out-of-the-box, and can produce a more extended low-bass than the Sony. It can also get a bit louder with less compression present at max volume, resulting in cleaner audio during louder listening sessions. Additionally, it has a longer-lasting battery life, though this can depend on your usage, and your experience may vary.

Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Gen 2

The Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Gen 2 is a slightly better speaker than the JBL Charge 5 overall. The Bang & Olufsen has better directivity, resulting in a wider-sounding soundstage. It's more customizable thanks to its EQ presets and 'Beosonic' sound customization feature. It also offers outstanding voice assistant support through your smartphone. That said, the JBL has a better-balanced sound profile that can produce a more extended low-bass out-of-the-box. It can also get louder with slightly less compression at max volume, so your audio sounds cleaner at louder volumes. Additionally, it has a much longer-lasting battery life, though this can depend on your usage and your experience may vary. 

Sonos Move

The Sonos Move is a better speaker than the JBL Charge 5 overall. The Sonos has a better-balanced sound profile that can produce a more extended low-bass than the JBL. Its sound profile is also more customizable thanks to the bass and treble adjustments featured on its companion app. It even offers outstanding voice assistant support with Alexa and Google Assistant built-in. That said, the JBL is smaller than the Sonos, making it easier to transport with you when you're on the go.

JBL PartyBox 310

The JBL PartyBox 310 is a better speaker than the JBL Charge 5 overall, though they have different strengths. The PartyBox 310 can produce a much more extended low-bass, so you can feel the deep thump and rumble in bass-heavy music like EDM. It can get significantly louder with less compression at max volume, so your audio sounds cleaner at louder volume levels. It even features a 'Mic', and a 'Mic or Guitar' input. That said, the Charge 5's smaller size makes it much more portable. It's also better built with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't test for this.

Bose SoundLink Color II

The JBL Charge 5 is a slightly better speaker than the Bose SoundLink Color II. The JBL has a better-balanced sound profile that can produce a deeper and more extended low-bass than that of the Bose. It's also better-built with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. However, the Bose is slightly smaller and therefore more portable than the JBL. It can also play stereo content without downmixing it to mono, resulting in a more immersive soundstage.

Anker Soundcore 3

The JBL Charge 5 is a slightly better speaker than the Anker Soundcore 3. The JBL offers a better-balanced sound profile, that can produce a deeper bass than that of the Anker. It can also get louder, and has a wider-sounding soundstage. That said, the Anker's sound profile is more customizable thanks to the graphic EQ and presets featured on its companion app. It can also play stereo content without downmixing it to mono, which is more immersive.

Bose Portable Smart Speaker

The Bose Portable Smart Speaker is a better speaker than the JBL Charge 5 overall. The Bose offers fantastic voice assistant support with Alexa and Google Assistant built-in, and has no trouble understanding your commands from far or in noisier environments. It's more customizable thanks to the bass and treble adjustments featured in its companion app, so you can tweak its sound to your liking. It also offers a wider-sounding soundstage, so your audio sounds clearer from most angles. That said, the JBL has a much longer-lasting battery life, though this can vary depending on your usage. It's also rated IP67 for dust and water resistance, though we don't currently test for this.

JBL Clip 4

The JBL Charge 5 is a better speaker than the JBL Clip 4 overall, though you may prefer one over the other depending on your listening habits. The Charge 5 offers a better-balanced sound profile that can produce deeper bass than the Clip 4. It can also get louder and can last over 14 hours from a single charge, though this can depend on your usage. That said, the Clip 4 is smaller and more portable thanks to its built-in carabiner hook. It also offers a wider-sounding soundstage.

Apple HomePod

The Apple HomePod is a slightly better speaker than the JBL Charge 5. The Apple has fantastic directivity thanks to its 360-degree design, so your audio sounds clear from all angles. It can produce a more extended low-bass, and has less compression present at max volume, resulting in cleaner audio at louder volume levels. It also offers excellent voice assistant support with Siri built-in. That said, the JBL is smaller and is battery-powered, making it more portable. It also supports Bluetooth connectivity, while the Apple mainly supports Wi-Fi.

Apple HomePod mini

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Apple HomePod mini or the JBL Charge 5. The Apple is a wired speaker designed for home use. It offers good voice assistant support with Siri built-in. It also has better directivity, resulting in a more open-sounding soundstage. That said, the JBL is battery-powered making it portable. It can also get louder, and has a better-balanced sound profile that can produce a more extended low-bass than that of the Apple.

Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM

The Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM is a better speaker than the JBL Charge 5 overall. The Ultimate Ears can get much louder with much less compression present at max volume, resulting in cleaner audio at louder volumes. It can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono, and its sound profile is more customizable thanks to the graphic EQ featured on its companion app. That said, the JBL is smaller and more portable. It's also better-built with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't currently test for this.

JBL PartyBox 100

The JBL PartyBox 100 is a better speaker than the JBL Charge 5 overall. It can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono which is more immersive. It can get significantly louder than the Charge 5 with less compression at max volume, resulting in cleaner audio at louder volumes. When set to 'Bass Boost 1', it can also produce a more extended low-bass. That said, the Charge 5 is smaller and more portable. It's also better-built with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't currently test for this.

Ultimate Ears MEGABLAST

The Ultimate Ears MEGABLAST is a better speaker than the JBL Charge 5 overall. The Ultimate Ears has better directivity, resulting in a more open-sounding soundstage. It can get louder with less compression present at max volume, and there's a graphic EQ and presets in its companion app that you can use to tweak its sound to your liking. It even offers incredible voice assistant support with Alexa built-in. That said, the JBL has a longer-lasting battery life, though this can depend on your usage and your experience may differ. It can also be paired to up to two devices at once, so you can easily switch between audio sources. 

Anker Soundcore 2

The JBL Charge 5 is a better speaker than the Anker Soundcore 2 overall. The JBL has a better-balanced sound profile that can produce a much more extended low-bass than that of the Anker. It can be paired to up to two devices at once, which can come in handy when you need to quickly switch between audio sources. You can also use its PartyBoost feature to connect it to other PartyBoost-compatible speakers when you want your audio to fill a large room. That said, the Anker can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono, which is more immersive. It also supports voice assistants through your smartphone, though its performance isn't great.

Bose Home Speaker 500

The Bose Home Speaker 500 is a better speaker than the JBL Charge 5 overall, though they have different strengths. The Bose can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono, and has better directivity resulting in a wider and more immersive-sounding soundstage. Its companion app features bass and treble adjustments you can use to tweak its sound to your liking. It also offers incredible voice assistant support with Alexa and Google Assistant built-in. That said, the JBL is battery-powered, making it easier to take with you when you're on the move. It can also be paired to up to two devices at once, so you can easily switch between audio sources. 

Alpine Corporation QLP542SLR-GR

The JBL Charge 5 is a better speaker than the Alpine Corporation QLP542SLR-GR. The JBL has a better-balanced sound profile that can produce a significantly more extended low-bass. It can get a bit louder and offers a somewhat wider-sounding soundstage. Also, it's smaller, making it more portable and easier to take with you on the go. That said, the Alpine's rock-like design and built-in solar panel give it a more outdoor-friendly look. It also has less compression present at max volume, resulting in cleaner audio at louder volume levels.

Sonos Five

The Sonos Five is a better overall speaker than the JBL Charge 5, though they have different strengths. The Sonos can produce the deep thump and rumble in low-bass that fans of bass-heavy music tend to enjoy. It comes with bass and treble adjustments, so you can tweak its sound to your liking. You can also place it horizontally to listen to stereo content, and vertically for mono. However, the JBL has less compression present at max volume, resulting in cleaner audio during louder listening sessions. It's also battery-powered, making it more portable. Also, you can pair up to two devices to it at once, so you can easily switch between audio sources. 

Bose Home Speaker 300

You may prefer either the Bose Home Speaker 300, or the JBL Charge 5 depending on your listening habits. The Bose is a wired speaker designed for home use, that offers outstanding voice assistant support with Alexa and Google Assistant built-in. It comes with bass and treble adjustments to customize its sound. It also has better directivity, so its soundstage is perceived as more wide and spacious. However, the JBL is smaller, and is battery-powered, making it easier to take with you when you're on the go. It can also be paired to up to two devices at once, so you can easily switch between audio sources. 

Yamaha MusicCast 50

The Yamaha MusicCast 50 is a better speaker than the JBL Charge 5 overall, though you may prefer one over the other depending on your listening habits. The Yamaha can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono and can get louder than the JBL with less compression at max volume, so your audio sounds cleaner at louder volumes. It's also more customizable thanks to the graphic EQ and presets featured in its companion app. That said, the JBL is battery-powered, making it more portable than the Yamaha. It's also better-built with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't currently test for this.

Sony XG500

The Sony XG500 is a better speaker than the JBL Charge 5. The Sony can produce deeper bass than that of the JBL and can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono. It can get louder and is more customizable thanks to the graphic EQ and presets available on its companion app. That said, the JBL is smaller and more portable than the Sony. It's also better-built, with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't test for this.

Klipsch The Three II

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Klipsch The Three II or the JBL Charge 5. The Klipsch can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono, resulting in a more immersive soundstage, and it can also get significantly louder than the JBL. That said, the JBL is battery-powered, making it more portable. It's rated IP67 for dust and water resistance, though we don't test for this. It also has a better-balanced, and more neutral sound profile, making it suitable for listening to a wide variety of audio content.

Sony SRS-RA5000

The Sony SRS-RA5000 is a better speaker than the JBL Charge 5. The Sony has a wider-sounding soundstage and can get louder than the JBL. Its companion app also features a graphic EQ and presets, so you can adjust its sound to your liking. That said, the JBL is more portable than the Sony and is better built, with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't test for this.

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