JBL Flip 6 review

In the world of Bluetooth speakers, there are only a few brands that offer the sound quality of a JBL speaker. I tested out the JBL Flip 6, and in my opinion, this little powerhouse sets the bar for all other Bluetooth, weatherproof speakers.

The JBL Flip 6 is a waterproof tube-shaped speaker that thumps so hard you can see the speaker diaphragm vibrating while you listen. You can take it anywhere because it’s waterproof, and it’s so small you can toss it in any bag without weighing you down.

Features on the JBL Flip 6 Bluetooth speaker

JBL Flip 6 black  JBL Flip 6 blue  JBL Flip 6 Red 

The JBL Flip 6 weighs 550 grams and measures 17.8 cm (7.01 in) W x 6.8 cm (2.68 in) H x 7.2 cm (2.83 in) D. To give you a frame of reference, it’s small enough to fit in the front pocket of a hoodie or some lunch kits. It’s available in three colours – black, blue, and red.

  • 2-way speaker system with woofer, tweeter, and dual passive radiators
  • Onboard controls let you tap to adjust volume, connect two speakers, or switch tracks
  • Bluetooth 5.1 connects to two compatible devices so you can stream from either
  • Two JBL PartyBoost speakers connect and stream music together so your party audio is loud and clear
  • Waterproof IP76 rating is submersible up to 1m and takes away the worry about rain and splashing
  • USB-C charging protection tells you to unplug the connector if any water, salt, or chemicals are detected near ports
  • JBP portable app connects you to a wide variety of sound options
  • 12 hours of playtime on a single charge

First impressions of JBL Flip 6

JBL Flip 6 waterproof speaker

The JBL Flip 6 is a cylinder shaped Bluetooth speaker. It has a solid design with no obvious breakable parts, and the exterior is covered in a durable plastic mesh-like material. If you drop it, no problem. It has plastic bumpers so it will bounce once and immediately roll to a stop, never affecting the audio components inside.

Each end of the cylinder has a speaker grille and there is a wrist loop you can use to safely carry it with you when you’re hiking, biking, or out on the water. The controls on the device are easy to use and very responsive, and you can play music, pause it, adjust volume, skip songs within your playlist, and activate JBL PartyBoost if you’d like to connect two speakers together.

The durable exterior is designed to protect the speaker from rain, splashes, or general water immersion, and it’s nice to look at too. Just be aware that if you’re using the JBL Flip 6 in the great outdoors, the surface picks up dirt and debris pretty easily. I put it on the ground of a hiking trail briefly and when I picked it up I couldn’t easily wipe off the dirt. It seems like it becomes pushed into the tiny grooves. If it bothers you, you can take a damp cloth to it to remove any scuffs.

Connecting my phone to the JBL Flip 6 was instant. You just tap the Bluetooth button on the speaker itself and your phone’s Bluetooth should recognize it.

Sound quality of the JBL Flip 6

JBL Flip 6 design

I’m not an audiophile in that I have an ear trained to detect every high, low, and mid-range sound that emits from a speaker, but I do know good audio when I hear it. I’m a fan of bass-driven music, so if it’s possible I’ll turn it up as much as I can without affecting sound quality.

The JBL Flip 6 can bring the bass and then some, and the first time I listened to it I was very impressed by the distinct thump you could clearly hear. If you tip the speaker on its side and watch it, you can even see the speaker grille vibrate. I have a wide range of music likes, from older stuff by the Beatles to rap, alt, and the soundtrack to Hamilton. Everything I streamed to the speaker was rich and clear, and nothing I played on the JBL Flip 6 was tinny or distorted, even when I turned it up. The best position for all audio playback is laying flat with the JBL logo showcased, but the Flip 6 doesn’t have a bad side. The sound comes from all around it, and I did hang it from the wrist loop on a tree or two and enjoyed it that way.

I didn’t have two JBL Flip 6 speakers to test out, but I can see the party appeal of it. If you have a gathering of 4 or 5 people, it will provide you with loud enough music for a small crowd. With more people or dancing, I would definitely link two together using JBL PartyBoost.

Flip 6 allows for two Bluetooth connections

JBL Flip 6 in JBL Connect appThere are a lot of Bluetooth speakers that won’t let you connect two Bluetooth devices at once. That leaves you with the task of disconnecting one phone before you can connect another. I was happy to see that wasn’t the case with the JBL Flip 6. You can connect two phones simultaneously so you can both control the music.

JBL App for updates and fine-tuning

You can download the JBL Connect app if you’d like to tweak your audio output. It has an equalizer you can use to dial in your settings the way you’d like, and the app also provides all of the device updates you’ll need as you use your Flip 6. You can also get a visual of your current battery life as it appears as a green bar under the speaker’s name.

Battery life of JBL Flip 6

Flip 6 outdoor speaker

In my time using the Flip 6 I didn’t manage to drain the battery. You should get up to 12 hours of battery life, but keep in mind any Bluetooth speaker can experience battery drain in extreme heat or cold so make sure you have a full charge when you’re using it on your next outdoor adventure.

I didn’t get to test out the USB-C charging protection because I didn’t want to purposely inject water anywhere near the charging port, but it’s a nice feature that keeps you on top of any potential water damage.

Should you choose the JBL Flip 6?

For those of us who like to get outside and prefer a speaker over headphones, the JBL Flip 6 is a great choice of Bluetooth speaker. It’s waterproof so you don’t have to worry if it gets wet, very light so it’s easy to carry around, and has an impressive sound quality for such a small audio device.

You can’t take calls or make calls on the JBL Flip 6 because it doesn’t have a microphone, but I wouldn’t want it for that purpose anyway. I would definitely get two of these speakers to create a party atmosphere because they are so easy to link together, and having the option to link two Bluetooth devices at one time is just icing on the cake.

The JBL Flip 6 is the perfect audio companion for every outdoor adventure. You can find your own JBL Flip 6 at Best Buy right now.

Shelly Wutke
Editor TV & Home Theatre
I'm a Vancouver freelancer and tech enthusiast. When I'm not writing you'll find me on my farm with my alpacas, chickens, and honeybees. Visit my website Survivemag