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JBL FLIP 6 Review Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker With Deep Bass

 

Nine years after the release of the first JBL Flip bluetooth speaker comes JBL's 6th Flip generation - the JBL Flip 6 - a robust portable bluetooth speaker with IP67 dust protection and waterproof protection up to 1 meter under water for 30 minutes.


The JBL Flip 6 is equipped with a 20 watt RMS 80mm woofer and a 10 watt RMS 16mm tweeter, giving the speaker a total combined RMS of 30 watts. Powering the speaker is a 4800mAh lithium ion polymer rechargeable battery, which supports fast charging (up to 15 watts) via USB-C connection. When using a 15 watt charger (5V/3A), the charging time for the JBL FLIP 6 is just 2.5 hours with a runtime of up to 10 hours at max volume.


Wireless connectivity is via a Bluetooth 5.1 chip, which supports absolutely bluetooth volume, meaning you can control the volume of the speaker remotely from the device you connect the speaker to. The bluetooth chip does not support multipoint connection so, you cannot connect the JBL FLIP 6 bluetooth speaker to multiple devices at the same time.


The JBL FLIP 6 enclosure is made of hard plastic and covered with thickly woven grille fabric cloth all around. There is a small rubber stopper at the bottom designed to prevent the speaker from rolling off on the ground or desk. The rubber stopper also helps position the speaker at an angle, which is great when sitting at a desk as this allows the drivers to fire sound at your head rather than straight ahead.

On top of the FLIP 6 speaker, there are four physical tactile buttons made of metal alloy. The buttons are nicely spaced out and raised. On the rear side of the JBL FLIP 6 bluetooth speaker, there is a rubberized face plate, housing two rear buttons (bluetooth and power), a USB-C port and a battery led indicator. These two rear buttons have leds built-in to them to feedback status. On the front of the speaker, there is a large eye-catchy JBL plastic 2D logo glued onto the fabric.

 

The rim edges of the FLIP 6 speaker are rubberized and protect the passive radiator speaker cones, which are recessed inside. Like all passive radiators, they look like mini subwoofers but without magnets on the back nor voice coils; hence the passive cones don't generate any sound. Instead, they move with the air inside the enclosure, increasing the low frequencies and making the low bass response a lot louder. The JBL FLIP 6 passive cones have a unique design with groove line markings and a large exclamation mark symbol in the centre.



The JBL FLIP 6 measures 18cm long, 6cm in diameter and weighs 546 grams. You can easily carry the speaker in the wrist or attach it to a backpack via the included detachable 11cm long fabric lanyard, which is integrates a nice rubber cinch to adjust the lanyard. The lanyard cinch has been designed well so, it sits snugly on the cord making it usable.


The JBL FLIP 6 speaker comes with a useful mobile app (JBL Portable), which works flawlessly, has a clean user interface and it is not very intrusive. The app does not require an account registration and only requires to grant the phone's location permission. The JBL Portable app features a basic treble/mid/bass slider equalizer (EQ) and lets you enable/disable feedback tone and PartyBoost, which is a feature that allows you to synchronize up to 100 FLIP 6 speakers together. The PartyBoost feature is a pretty neat way to turn the FLIP 6 into a proper stereo speaker. The mobile app does not support button remapping.
The mobile app's EQ feature is not supported in PartyBoost mode.


As far as drawbacks, the JBL FLIP 6 has some. It has no built-in microphone for calls, no USB or SD card slot to playback from, no previous track control and no 3.5mm auxiliary (aux) audio port. The USB-C port is dual purpose though (for charging and audio) so, you can still hardwire the FLIP 6 speaker to a portable audio device (e.g. phone) and play audio that way. That said, two separate ports for charging and audio would have been a better integration. The current connectivity options limit the potential of the FLIP 6 speaker, making it less versatile than the competition. With the FLIP 6, you cannot listen to audio whilst charging. Another drawback with the single port design is increased "wear and tear" of the USB-C port.


The FLIP 6 integrates PartyBoost - same as the JBL Flip 5 and JBL Pulse 4 - which means the FLIP 6 is not cross compatible with JBL Connect+ (e.g.  JBL Charge 3) and JBL Connect speaker line up. This is likely to be a potential deal breaker (for existing JBL owners) as this forces to upgrade. That said, there is a workaround for this. If you own a smartphone with a feature similar to Samsung's Dual audio you are still able to stream audio to a JBL Connect and PartyBoost speaker at the same time.


The JBL FLIP 6 is, certainly, not the cheapest or loudest portable bluetooth speaker you can get but it is well made and looks the business. The Flip 6 is available is 9 different good-looking colorways and it is a hard wearing bluetooth speaker with superior sound quality. The bass is deep and rich without taking away from the mids and highs. The FLIP 6 comes inside an eye catchy hard cardboard box alongside a JBL branded 1.2 meter long charging cable made with black rubber and orange accents. You can buy the JBL FLIP 6 bluetooth speaker from amazon.


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