JBL Flip 5 vs Bose Soundlink Color 2: Which Portable Bluetooth Speaker You Should Choose

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Pau Monfort
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JBL and Bose are two of the leading names for audio accessories like headphones and speakers. In recent years, both companies have been churning out very good speakers, such as the Bose Portable Smart Speaker and the JBL Charge 4. And now, JBL has a small addition to the lineup in the form of the JBL Flip 5. On the other hand, the Bose Soundlink Color 2 is a bit older in comparison, but it continues to reign on the popularity ladder, thanks to its portability and great audio.

Design, portability and controls

The Flip 5 has the distinctive look of portable JBL speakers. It has a long cylindrical design with a rubberized edge. The small and compact design makes it easy to carry in your hands, or you can simply hang it on the bottle cage of your bike or on the back of the backpack.

The button layout isn't much different from its predecessors either, safe from the thin strip that runs the length of the speaker. In fact, it is this strip that houses the buttons and the fast charging USB-C port. And as you may have guessed, the bass is at both ends of the speaker.

Like many JBL speakers, the Flip 5 can also be placed both horizontally and vertically. Plus, the IPX7 waterproof rating means you can take it to beach trips or hiking adventures without worrying about damaging the speaker.

On the other hand, the older Soundlink Color 2 looks very different than its JBL counterpart. Instead of sporting a cylindrical look, this one has a boxy look. The good thing is that SoundLink Color 2 packs a soft rubber exterior. This feature makes it incredibly easy to hold and grasp this speaker. It also increases the duration of the product because with its body it protects itself from bumps and scratches.

When it comes to water resistance, it is IPX4 rated and is not waterproof but splash proof. However, it will be able to withstand its share of water splashes and the like. You just have to be careful not to immerse it in water.

The button layout is smart and is placed high up and comes with all the essential buttons for volume control and switching Bluetooth devices.

As it's an older speaker, you'll still find the 3.5 headphone jack. So if you have a phone that still has one, it will be worth it. Unlike the Flip 5's USB-C charging, the Bose Soundlink Color 2 still packs the Micro USB charging port. Since most devices now include the new USB standard, it may be a problem later if you lose the micro USB cable.

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Additional connectivity options

The JBL Flip 5 sports a stylish PartyBoost button that allows you to connect to other compatible speakers to amplify the volume.

Keep in mind that when I say compatible speakers, I mean newer speakers like JBL Pulse 4. PartyBoost is not the same as JBL Connect + and therefore won't work with older speakers like Flip 4 or Charge 4, and several reviewers have expressed their displeasure. for their reviews.

Fortunately, the Bose Soundlink Color 2 has an elegant addition in the form of a Bluetooth multipoint when it comes to connectivity. This technology allows you to connect up to two devices to the speaker at the same time, thus increasing your convenience.

At the same time, it also comes with Party mode. Like the PartyBoost function, it allows you to amplify the sound by allowing you to pair it with other compatible Bose speakers via the Bose Connect + app. Party mode is available on speakers such as SoundLink Revolve Plus.

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Battery life

When it comes to small portable speakers, you don't want a speaker that dies quickly. Thankfully, the JBL Flip 5 doesn't disappoint. It has 12 hours of battery life, which is pretty decent for its size.

And thanks to its USB-C charging port, the Flip 5 can also recharge quickly. A full charge takes only about 2,5 hours, and a handy indicator on the side lets you see how much juice is left in the speaker.

Compared to it, Bose's Soundlink Color 2 has a battery life of around 8 hours at moderate volume. Again, it really depends on the volume levels. So if you increase it, the battery life is likely to run out faster.

On the upside, the charging time isn't much, considering the micro-USB input. The Bose speaker takes only about three hours to fully charge.

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Sound quality and performance

So how does the $ 5 JBL Flip 99 fare against the Bose SoundLink Color?

Well, the JBL Flip 5 delivers a medium punch. It has a clear and crisp audio output and is further accompanied by resonant bass. The bass is rich and deep enough to get you rocking to the beat of the songs.

The best part is that there is no distortion even at high volumes, all thanks to the improved DSP which is responsible for thinning out the deep bass in audio tracks. And many users liked it in their reviews.

Spec-wise, the Flip 5 includes 20-watt speakers and 44 x 80mm drivers.

On the other hand, the Bose SoundLink Color 2 offers balanced audio with reasonable bass, thanks to the bass placed on the sides. However, it's not perfect. When the volume is at maximum, especially outdoors, the audio distorts and the heavy bass makes the audio a little less clear.

But at the end of the day, the Soundlink Color 2 is a personal speaker and because of that, the audio is pretty good and you can have your share of good music with it, especially considering the size and price.

New versus old

So, should you go for the old Bose Soundlink Color 2 over JBL Flip 5? For starters, the Bose Soundlink Color 2 offers decent sound for a personal speaker. If you are someone who likes to listen to soft instrumentals or classic jazz, Soundlink Color 2 will do its best to reproduce them accurately.

But it's a bit dated, especially when it comes to looks and battery life. And micro-USB charging doesn't help, especially as more and more devices are opting for USB-C charging.

On the other hand, the JBL Flip 5 is through and through the modern speaker you can buy right now. The price is right and the audio is great. On top of that, the IPX7 rating and lightweight design allow you to easily take it anywhere, whether it's a poolside party or a lap around the block.

  • See the price of the JBL Flip 5 on Amazon
  • See the Bose Soundlink Color 2 Amazon price

Further Reading:

  • Sonos One (Gen 2) vs Bose Soundlink Revolve Plus: Which Wireless Speaker to Choose
  • JBL Link Portable vs Sonos Move: which portable smart speaker to choose
  • JBL Go 3 vs Bose SoundlLink Micro: which speaker to buy
  • How to connect multiple Bluetooth speakers
  • Bose Portable Smart Speaker vs Soundlink Revolve Plus: le 4 principali differenze

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