JBL Flip 5 vs. JBL Flip Essential: Which Is Better?

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JBL is an American company based on audio production hardware. They are known to be the best in the market for portable Bluetooth speakers as well as the most qualitative headphones in the current market.

JBL serves customers in any matter by producing loudspeakers for DJs, cinemas, and cars.

JBL users know that the main focus of the sound is bass production. The professional-grade bass is booming. Besides, the long-lasting battery life makes the portable speaker more enjoyable for long travel distances or any other activity. Most of the products are waterproof, so feel free to take those hardware audio devices anywhere you desire.

As proof, today we will be comparing the two most adored speakers JBL Flip 5 vs. JBL Flip Essential. So let’s begin and see which one is better.

JBL Flip 5 in General

JBL Flip 5 was first released back on April 9, 2019. The design is compact and portable which is something expected from the JBL. The colorful life of the brand this time is emphasized by giving a wide range of color options such as black camo, dark blue, eco blue, eco-green, green, gray, pink, red, sand, teal, white and yellow. So, it’s your time to show off your style.

Product Dimensions7.1 x 2.7 x 2.9 inches
Item Weight1.2 pounds

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JBL Flip Essential in General

JBL Flip Essential is one of the newest releases. It was brought into the market not long ago on  January 9, 2021. The durable rugged design is a real survivor and very suitable for outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and beach as well. Maybe, JBL Flip, Essential doesn’t offer any color options besides gray, instead, it offers great sound quality and price tag.  

Product Dimensions8.31 x 4.25 x 3.66 inches
Item Weight1.65 pounds

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JBL Flip 5 vs. JBL Flip Essential: Sound Profile and Quality

JBL Flip 5 has 1 x 20W vs2 x 8W output power which seems like the Flip Essential has 4W less power.

The sound profile in both models as you may already know is bass concentrated. Both have a booming and punchy bass production.

JBL Flip Essential has quality sound production with a balance between vocals and trebles giving enough details to the song. The distortion is slightly noticeable.

JBL Flip 5 gives deeper low ends notes, the sound quality is emphasized in smoothness and clarity. The sound profile is also balanced but has more power and loudness.

The frequency response is better in Flip 5 and you can hear frequencies a little bit higher or lower. It depends on the size of the environment and the standing distance between you and the speaker.


JBL Flip 5

JBL Flip Essential

Output Power

1 x 20W

2 x 8W RMS




Frequency Response

65 Hz – 20k Hz

80Hz – 20kHz

Signal-to-Noise Ratio



3,5 mm Audio



Smartphone Charging


Not Specified

Sound Profile 

Balance+ Bass Concentrate

Balance+ Bass Concentrate

JBL Flip 5 vs. JBL Flip Essential: Features

The JBL Flip 5 has the newer version 4.2 Bluetooth connectivity and the JBL Flip Essential is supplied with 4.1. That doesn’t make a huge difference though.

If you don’t like the sound profile, both Flip 5 and Flip Essential have an EQ (equalizer) so you can adjust accordingly.

The waterproof feature in JBL Flip 5 and Flip Essential is rated IPX7, so both can withstand water, dust, and dirt. It is tested to be durable three feet deep in the outdoor environment. 

JBL Connect Plus which you can connect with another JBL technology accessory is only available in Flip 5, Flip Essential is left out from that feature. So, if you’re planning to connect with other devices, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t.

JBL Essential has a voice assistant, so it can function by using your voice without the need to press anything. Unfortunately, the JBL Flip 5 does not have that feature


JBL Flip 5

JBL Flip Essential

Bluetooth Version






JBL Connect Plus


Not Available

Voice Assistant

Not Available

Not Available

JBL Flip 5 vs. JBL Flip Essential: Battery Life

JBL Flip Essential offers great 10 hours of playtime whereas the JBL Flip 5 offers 12 hours. It seems like the winner is again Flip 5 providing 2 more hours of battery life, but Flip Essential has 2 USB ports.

As for the battery charging, both speakers use rechargeable USB-C type, the difference is again on charging time. JBL Flip 5 can fully charge in just 2.5 hours whereas the Flip Essential charges 3.5 hours. The difference is not much but it’s not less either.  

The battery capacity is another difference. It seems like again the JBL Flip 5 has more power with 4800 mah while the Flip Essential has 3000 mah. 


JBL Flip 5

JBL Flip Essential

Charging Time

2,5 Hours

3,5 Hours

Battery Life

12 Hours

10 Hours

Battery Capacity

4800 mah

3000 mah




JBL Flip 5 vs. JBL Flip Essential: Which one to Pick?

If you had to pick between, no doubt go for JBL Flip 5 because it has better sound quality and loudness at 1 x 20W output power and Flip Essential has 2 x 8W RMS. The battery life is great for both models, but Flip 5 lasts 12 hours and Flip Essential lasts 10 hours, with 2 hours difference and battery capacity Flip 5 is a winner.

Flip 5 has JBL Connect Plus, but doesn’t have a voice assistant, while JBL Essential is vice versa, with no JBL Connect Plus and has a voice assistant.

The difference in price range isn’t very noticeable. Yes, JBL Essential is cheaper but you can add extra bucks to get better quality. 

If design plays an important role, then again JBL Flip 5 is for you. It has 14 color options while Flip Essential only offers dark gray color.

A Brief Summary

JBL in general is known to be one of the most reliable brands out there and no matter which product you choose, the quality is provided. The sound profile in these models JBL Flip 5 vs. JBL Flip Essential differs in power and durability.

So, our pick is JBL Flip 5. If you’re low on budget and voice command is important to you, feel free to go for JBL Flip Essential, otherwise, pick Flip 5. 

Further Reading

If you want to keep reading something related to JBL, then check how long do JBL headphones take to charge, Or you can check a few comparisons, such as JBL Boombox 1 vs Boombox 2 or JBL 9.1 vs Sonos Arc.

Whether you’re looking for information on audio equipment, looking to learn more about how things work in the music field, or looking for reviews of products, we got you covered!



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