JBL has made portable speakers for a long time and Charge is a similar successor to the equally tubular Flip and now Flip 2. This model is a bit bigger and as the name suggests, it can be used to charge your mobile. It actually gives enough power to even be able to charge tablets.
As expected, it has a powerful battery and therefore good uptime. If you do not want to connect it wirelessly, there is also a 3.5mm audio input hidden in the rear. Charge feels solidly built but the plastic does not give a very luxurious feel. JBL Charge is available in black, silver, blue, green or gray.
The top has, besides a battery meter, a simple volume control and an on/off button that also signals the connection status. A long press puts the speaker in pairing mode and after it finds the phone's Bluetooth settings, it´s ready to start playing. Unfortunately, it doesn't have NFC which would make things easier nor any speakerphone mode that can be found on many of the competitors.
The sound of the Charge is a lot like the Flip. The larger size and the higher price seems to depend mainly on the ability to act as a mobile charger. Possibly the bass is a little better thanks to the bass port sitting on the side. Or, if you put it on the short side, top side. What we actually think improves the sound a little. The bass driver will then be completely okay with music that is not too demanding and sounds engaging and energetic. However, one should not play too refined music as the treble easily distorts at higher volumes.
For those who liked the size and format of the JBL Flip, Charge is a worthy successor that adds a convenient feature. A USB connector on the side allows you to charge both mobiles and tablets when on the go. A powerful built-in battery allows Charge to both charging tour mobile and playing music many long hours. But you should not have too high demands on the volume or sophistication. At reasonable levels and with cheerful summer music however, it is energetic and is good enough to lift your mood.
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- IN ThE bOX
• Built-in bass port
• Digital signal processing
• More than 12 hours, 6,000mAH Li-ion rechargeable battery
• USB recharging for external devices
• Versatile, portable design
• LED indicator
Transducers: 2 x 1-1/2" (38mm)
Amplifier power: 2 x 5W
Frequency response: 150Hz – 20kHz
Signal-to-noise ratio: >80dB
Battery type: Li-ion rechargeable
Bluetooth transmitter frequency range: 2.402GHz – 2.480GHz
Bluetooth transmitter power: 0~20dBm (EIRP)
Bluetooth transmitter modulation: π/4-DQPSK, 8-DPSK
Listening time on battery power: >12 hours
Battery charge time: 3.5 hours
Dimensions (D x H): 2-29/32" x 6-29/32" (74mm x 175mm)
• 1 JBL Charge stereo speaker with Bluetooth® technology
• 1 USB adapter
• 1 micro USB cable
• 1 neoprene carrying pouch
• 1 Quick-Start Guide
• 1 Safety Sheet