JBL’s Flip 6 portable speaker is a familiar speaker that doesn’t do a lot to mix up the market. However, it does introduce some welcome improvements over the JBL Flip 5.
Boasting the same sporty aesthetic as its predecessor, this is a speaker you can take almost anywhere. This time around, though, the Flip 6 has an IP67 resistance rating, meaning you can take it to the beach without worrying about sand damaging it.
It has an improved two-way speaker system that delivers good room-filling sound. It’s easily portable and has a good 12-hour battery life. Connect your device via Bluetooth, and away you go. It’s a simplicity that JBL does well, and the Flip 6 continues that winning trend.
Design & Build Quality
Like the Flip 5 before it, JBL’s Flip 6 has a rugged and durable design that allows it to be used almost anywhere. On the outside, it looks identical to its predecessor. It’s a cylindrical speaker with the same wraparound grille and the same bass radiators on the sides. It’s functional and looks good.
It comes in a range of colours, red, blue, black and grey. We were given the black version to review, so nice and subtle compared to the red or blue options.
The Flip 6 has an IP67 resistance rating. This means it’s resistant to dust, sand and water so you can take the Flip 6 to the beach without worrying about sand damaging it, and it will survive a splash of water as well.
The Flip 6 is respectably light weighing only 550g, and it comes with a carry strap which adds to its portability. It’s easy to take anywhere without being a burden.
There are two rubber caps on the sides that protect the speaker and allow you to stand it up on its end. Underneath, there’s a rubber foot that helps prevent the speaker from rolling around.
On the top of the device, there’s a control panel that allows you to turn the volume up/down, pause music and turn PartyBoost on (more on this below.) Double tapping the play button will skip tracks, but unfortunately, there’s no way to replay or go to the previous song.
On the bottom of the device is the power and Bluetooth buttons and also a USB-C port for charging. Overall it’s a functional, simple design that works.
I was pleasantly surprised at how loud this little speaker could get. The Flip 6 will easily fill a room, but the quality does suffer slightly at higher volumes.
This is to be expected in a speaker with only a two-way speaker system, though. It’s the same with other portable speakers in this category. They start to sound tinny when turning the volume up to its maximum.
To get the most out of the Flip 6, you’ll need to download the JBL Portable app. It’s a basic app with not much in regard to customisability, but it does contain an equaliser that allows you to adjust bass, mid and treble frequencies.
I would’ve loved an equaliser with more controls; however, the three available made a difference. Pushing bass up to its maximum made a noticeable change.
The bass quality is competent. It would be foolish to expect a small speaker to shake the ground with its bass, but it’s decent and clean-sounding. The lower frequencies didn’t muddy the mix in bass-heavy tracks which is always a bonus. It’s well-balanced and provides an impressive soundstage for such a small portable speaker.
Less bass dominated tracks also sounded good. It was easy to pick out individual elements of these type of songs, with the vocals coming through clearly. The higher frequencies did sometimes get overbearing at higher volumes, though. Trumpets, for example, sounded much louder than anything else, creating relatively shrill/sharp sounds at times. This was only at max volume, though. At medium volume settings, I didn’t come across this problem.
There’s an option for PartyBoost, which allows you to connect up to 100 JBL speakers and play the same music simultaneously across all of them. It’s important to know that if you want stereo playback, you can only do this if you pair the Flip 6 with another Flip 6. Any other speaker and the playback will be in mono.
The Flip 6 boasts a 12-hour battery life which is plenty but is quite a bit below the 26-hours provided by the slightly larger Huawei Sound Joy.
You can charge the speaker via the USB-C cable on the back, and it takes roughly 2.5-hours to charge the speaker fully. There’s a handy little progress bar too so you can see how much there is left to fill on the battery.
The Flip 6 supports Bluetooth 5.1. This helps with connectivity. It takes no time to connect to the speaker, and not once did I have an issue with my phone losing connection.
JBL’s Flip 6 is a speaker defined by its simplicity. It’s easy to connect to and listen to music in seconds.
If you’re looking for a premium portable speaker with the latest flashy features like Wi-Fi connectivity, voice controls or even a charging port for your phone, this isn’t it. If you’re looking for a speaker you can take anywhere, with a decent 12-hour battery life and rugged, durable design, this is one of the best on the market.
JBL Flip 6 Pricing & Availability
The JBL Flip 6 is available now from most good electronics and audio hardware stores with an RRP of €129.99.
REVIEW: JBL Flip 6 - Pocket Rocket
- Design & Build Quality
- Sound Quality
If you’re looking for a speaker you can take anywhere, with a decent 12-hour battery life and rugged, durable design, this is one of the best on the market.