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JBL Charge 5 WiFi - JBL Original Pro Sound via Bluetooth and WiFi

Harman International Industries introduced the JBL Charge 5 as a robust "perennial" speaker, and this Bluetooth speaker is the basis for the new JBL Charge 5 WiFi, which now becomes a flexible wireless speaker with Google Chromecast, Apple AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect through WLAN.

Story Highlights
  • With the new JBL Charge 5 WiFi, the JBL Charge 5 Bluetooth speaker mutates into a wireless speaker that offers Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

It’s just one more word in the name that makes the difference between the latest generation of the Bluetooth speaker of the JBL Charge Series and its predecessor, but it’s an extremely decisive one, because with WLAN, Harman International Industries has turned the Bluetooth speaker JBL Charge 5 into the new JBL Charge 5 WiFi and thus from a pure Bluetooth speaker into an immensely versatile wireless speaker of the JBL brand.

While on the road the smartphone acts as the source via Bluetooth, at home the new JBL Charge 5 WiFi is a wireless speaker on the WLAN that can play back content up to hi-res audio with 24 bit and 96 kHz via Apple AirPlay 2, Google Chromecast, Spotify Connect and Amazon MRN.

Listen to music anywhere – Bluetooth or WiFi

In principle, the functionality has only changed insofar as it has become even more versatile with the new JBL Charge 5 WiFi, which can not only be used on the road, but also at home.

On the road, Bluetooth is of course still the first choice, although the developers are now using Bluetooth 5.3 with Bluetooth LE support, which guarantees a stable data connection at all times.

At home, nothing stands in the way of integration into the network, which is ensured by WiFi according to IEEE 802.11ax.

Google Chromecast, Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect and Amazon Alexa MRN

The new JBL Charge 5 WiFi supports all relevant streaming technologies, namely Apple AirPlay 2, Google Chromecast, Spotify Connect and Amazon Alexa MRN. Various streaming services can also be accessed directly via the JBL One app, which of course also allows the individual setting of the relevant sound parameters.

Resistant to all weather conditions and a continuous runner

To ensure that the JBL Charge 5 WiFi can be used anywhere and at any time, it is resistant to dust and water according to IP67. As it measures no more than 223 x 97 x 94 mm and weighs only 1 kg, you can take it with you at any time without any problems, as it fits into any bag and does not weigh too much…

By the way, an integrated lithium-ion battery with 3.69V and 14,100 mAh, which offers a playing time of up to 20 hours, ensures sufficient stamina.

Integrated powerbank function

It wouldn’t be a JBL Charge Series solution if it couldn’t be used to charge a wide variety of devices and thus act as a power bank. Charging is done via USB, whereby in addition to a USB-A port for charging any device, a USB-C port is also available for charging the JBL Charge 5 WiFi itself. The manufacturer states that 5V and 2 A are available at the USB-A port. A charging cable with USB-C is included in the scope of delivery.

Rich JBL Original Pro sound with deep bass

Despite its comparatively compact dimensions, the new JBL Charge 5 WiFi is supposed to offer rich sound. To achieve this, a 53 x 93 mm woofer and a 20 mm tweeter are provided, which are driven by amplifier modules in Class D and DSP-based signal processing with 30 watts for the woofer and another 10 watts for the tweeter. The frequency response that can be reproduced is specified by the manufacturer as 60 Hz to 20 kHz. The fact that the JBL Charge 5 WiFi can reproduce hi-res audio according to the data sheet is therefore ultimately more of a theoretical than a really practical nature…

Environmentally friendly recycled materials and packaging

The JBL Charge 5 WiFi Speaker is made of recycled plastic and recycled fabric for the speaker cover. The FSC packaging is also environmentally friendly – it is made of certified paper printed with soy ink.

Prices and availability

The new JBL Charge 5 WiFi Speaker is expected to hit the shelves within the next few days. It will be offered in elegant black with design accents in gold. The recommended retail price is € 249,99.

Getting to the point

With the latest generation, Harman Lifestyle Division makes the JBL Charge Series even more flexible, because a pure Bluetooth speaker becomes a fully-fledged wireless speaker of the JBL brand. In addition to Bluetooth, the new JBL Charge 5 WiFi also understands WLAN and can play content via Google Chromecast, Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect and Amazon Alexa MRN.

Price€ 249,99
ManufacturerHarman International Industries
Distribution GermanyHarman International Industries
More about this manufacturer at HIFI BLOG
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Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and sempre-audio.at, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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