JBL Flip 6 offers meaningful upgrade - close to Charge 4 The new Flip 6 is more open and airy with deeper bass On Friday, November 26, 2021 - by Soumya Roy
JBL Flip 6 offers meaningful tweeter upgrade - close to Charge 4 The new Flip 6 is more open and airy with deeper bass Friday, November 26, 2021 - by Soumya Roy
Flip 6 is the new addition from JBL in their flip lineup of portable wireless speakers. This time JBL upgraded the flip 6 with an additional tweeter resulting in better highs with more fizzy and airy sound than before. But it can get harsh at higher volume that you may not like in a long term listening session. I have always liked the design of portable jbl speakers like the flip and charge series but ever since the soundcore motion+ came out, my love shifted towards soundcore till now. I feel like it's close to JBL charge 4 but there is noticeable difference in their real time sound signature and frequency response.
Inside the box
When considering included accessories inside the package, there is nothing special to say. There is one usb type-c charging cable and quick start guide which maybe useful for some people to know the use case scenarios. It's typical jbl packaging that is quite okay but nothing serious. The speaker looks quite fancy inside the box.
Design and build
I love the design of jbl speakers. Flip 6 shares the same design and it's unique to their own. The oval cylinder type design really looks cool with exposed passive radiators on both in left and right side. The rads look really cool when they move like crazy in action. Maybe it's a bit risky to have exposed passive radiators but I love to see their excursion. This is an important thing to take into consideration that the flip 6 is not stereo type. The build is pretty solid and durable. Its not so densed high quality outside fabric mesh is a cool touch in jbl speakers. It can help the sound to break free from the drivers. A lot better than other condensed mesh in cheap speakers that sounds muddy and lack in clarity.
The material they are using here is pretty high quality and feels like premium speaker. You can't go wrong with the build quality of jbl speakers. The passive radiators are designed so well here. JBL put a lot of effort on designing their passive rads. And this time the JBL logo is new which is big, bold, clean and modern. Really cool logo that they designed as a big change to the look. No AUX port and no power bank feature only usb type-c to charge the flip 6.
Flip 6 is not stereo even though there is an additional tweeter this time as a real step forward over flip 5. The race track shaped woofer and tweeter share single channel output which I don't like. This mono character is a deal breaker for a lot of people because we love dynamic sound. The single woofer is rated at 20 watts and the tweeter is about 10 watts. So it's a 30 watt rated speaker which can get quite loud by pushing the highs. So the woofer is handling bass and mids and a dedicated tweeter to drive the highs. There is one passive radiator on left and another one on right side. The passive rads are very cool.
Even though you cannot see the woofer excursion in action because of the outside protective cover, but you can definitely see the passive rads going crazy in action. JBL has the best quality passive rads that I have seen in portable speakers. The excursion is insane which is a real joy to watch. There is app support for flip 6.
When you are choosing a new speaker sound quality should be the most important thing to consider. You can eq the sound using good third party app but that can create a lot of mess sometimes. So the default tuning should be the main focus here. Good thing that there is bass adjustment for lower volumes but bass reduction in higher volume levels. It's good listen for low to moderate volumes. Bass is quite impressive here. JBL flip 6 is a mid bass focused speaker but nice bass extension there which makes the sound warm with nice clean bass. At higher volume it's upper bass dominant which is quite a different sound signature than average volumes. It's harsh at max and near max volume.
They are using neodymium woofers to handle lows and mids and dome tweeter to handle highs which is noticeably better than before. There is more extended highs in the tuning this time resulting in good fizzy, buzzy and airy sound. The sound is kinda open but being mono there is no decent soundstage going on here to surprise you.
So not Hi-Fi type sound like the soundcore motion plus. The vocals are a little bit recessed due to a suck out in the mids (slightly v shaped frequency response). So recessed vocals may not be a big deal here but at higher volume the mids start to fill out with an upward rise toward harmonics. This rise in treble frequencies and bass reduction tend to make the sound quite harsh to take on. But surprisingly there is a new 3 band eq built-in in the JBL app that you can customize. It's a real eq with only 3 sliders but the headroom that you can gain through the eq is quite low like 2 db only, not even close to motion plus.
Overall a decent sound and clearly a meaningful upgrade this year. The sound is a significant improvement over the flip 5. It is actually close to JBL charge 4 in terms of bass output at average volume though charge 4 has more bass at max volume than flip 6. Charge 4 is quieter in highs that makes the flip 6 overall louder by a couple of dbs. So charge 4 is more pleasant sounding while flip 6 screams quite a bit hard. It's your choice to make because both speakers are recommended and offer great overall value.
Features & battery
JBL flip 6 offers some features that might be useful to a lot of people. JBL portable named app has a new 3 band custom eq which is a big deal to me. Even though it's not very good but still counts and can make difference to the sound. So a big plus point here. Bluetooth 5.1 is here with the latest tech and this speaker is partyboost compatible. You can connect a lot of jbl flip 6's together to make a party. The additional tweeter over flip 5 can be a feature here too. Lastly this speaker is built to be durable by offering ip67 rating that means water and dust proof. Battery life is quite okay in flip 6. It's rated for 12 hours of playback time at about average 60% volume. So yeah it's okay but nothing exceptional like 20 hours.
Flip 6 is a good speaker for its price but not a great value for money product. A lot of cheap chinese speakers in this size can offer better sound quality with decent build but not as premium build and design as the flip 6. Soundcore, Tribit and Doss offer great value for money audio products. A lot of hardcore jbl fans like the quality bass and build of jbl speakers and I kinda agree with them. But if you need a budget king then tribit maxsound plus, soundcore boost, soundcore motion plus, w-king D8 and doss soundbox xl like speakers will serve your needs. If you want to take a look at the official specs, then you can easily do that by clicking the next link that is colored to visit the official webpage of JBL Flip 6.
If you want a true pound for pound champion then you should take a look at my review of the soundcore motion+ speaker. Good for serious analytical listening and better suited for audiophiles. It's full of details, nice stereo separation, great soundstage, mids and highs are phenomenal, decent bass and dynamic bass adjustments for low volume.
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