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Outdoor Gear Reviews, Tips & Adventure Stories to Inspire an Outdoor Life
September 9, 2022

Review: JBL Flip 5 Bluetooth Speaker

Written by Zack Newsome
Updated on April 25, 2023
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JBL Flip 5 Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

Some things just are more fun with music. Check that…..ALL things are more fun with music!

The JBL Flip 5 allows you to take your music to more places.  Bluetooth speakers are a dime-a-dozen these days with loads of crappy, cheap bluetooth speakers hitting the US market.  But, not all bluetooth speakers are the same.  The JBL Flip 5 is a cut above the rest with really good sound quality, a form factor that works really well, and a waterproof rating that makes it the speaker of choice for time spent outdoors.

In our review of the JBL Flip 5, we left it out in the rain while camping, brought it aboard while sailing on a multi-day trip and even attached it to a jetski for tunes during a day at the lake.  This tough little speaker can handle it all – and without causing any anxiety that it wouldn’t push through.

The Verdict:

We love our JBL Flip 5.  We purchased the Flip 5 to replace our beloved Flip 4 that we lost last year and the Flip 5 sounds even better than the previous version.  We since found our Flip 4 and now we have 2 great waterproof bluetooth speakers to keep the whole family happy while off the beaten path. We love the size and form factor of the Flip 5.  It seems just the right size to produce enough sounds while being easy to throw in a backpack on our way out the door. At a list price of $99, it’s more expensive than a lot of options on the market, but we think the sound quality and durability of the Flip 5 make it worth the price.

Ports and buttons of the JBL Flip 5 Bluetooth Speaker
Side view of the JBL Flip 5 standing on its end


Dimensions: 7.12 in. x 2.91 in. x 2.71 in.
Weight: 1.2 lbs
Battery Life: Up to 12hrs of music
Output Power: 20 Watts
Bluetooth: v4.2
Waterproof Rating: IPX7
Charging time: 2.5hrs
Charging port: usb-c

Also: Partyboost

The Design:

The Flip 5’s cylindrical shape make it surprisingly versatile as to where it can be placed.  Place it on its side (logo up) and all of its drivers are free to fire without restriction – providing really good sound.  A raised rubberized section running its length keeps the Flip 5 firmly in place.  In tighter spaces, the Flip 5 can stand on its end.  This is where the flip 5 gets good.  On its end, its footprint is tiny and it stands tall for easy pickup should you be on the move.

The Flip 5 comes in a variety of colors and can even be customized with your own photos via the JBL website – though this will set you back an additional $40.  We have the boring black version, but it fits how we use it.  The Flip 5 is our go-anywhere, workhorse speaker for adventure.

Customized JBL Flip 5 Bluetooth Speaker
A JBL Flip 5 we customized with the Outward Spaces logo on

Best Features:

  • Design – this speaker is built tough with a form factor that is extremely versatile
  • Waterproof – with an IPX7 rating, the Flip 5 can be submersed in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes without causing damage.  Did we mention this thing is tough!
  • Sound Quality – most bluetooth speakers we’ve tried compromise sound quality for a lower price or a smaller form factor.  Not the Flip 5.  The highs are crisp and there’s more low-end that you’d imagine.  You could find fuller sound with larger and more expensive speaker, but at this size – it’s a great balance of size and sound quality.

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About the Author

Zack Newsome

Zack is a lifelong adventurer passionate about sharing the joy of the outdoors with others. He loves camping, fly-fishing, sailing, and exploring wild spaces. He launched Outward in early 2022 to inspire others to spend more time outdoors – improving mental health and more deeply connecting with the environment.

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