JBL Charge 5 portable speaker review: A champion of independence discovers a true musical talent

As mentioned earlier, the Charge 5’s completely revised acoustic configuration is the most significant development the new model brings over the Charge 4. It now includes a rectangular mid/bass driver similar to that of the Flip 5, complementing it Loudspeaker 2 cm. The two side passive bass radiators, the optical and technological signature of the JBL Bluetooth speakers, are still in the game, of course. An abundance of equipment has paid off, and allows the Charge 5 to take an important step forward in terms of music.

Nevertheless, the speaker remains firmly rooted in what one might call a particular JBL tradition. As always with the manufacturer, the focus is above all on the spectral breadth of the display, even if that means sacrificing some resolution. This is especially true of buses: their extension is, right, fun; But it goes down to the frequencies where the inertia of the passive radiators is no longer fully controlled. This results in a slight lack of definition for bass effects, especially on extension transitions – understand that a very dry kick, for example, can soften a bit. At the other end of the spectrum, the extremes of the treble are subject to very slight stress, admittedly subtle, but enough to give the sound a somewhat piercing aspect, which one, depending on their respective sensibilities, might find either refreshing, or a little tired.

But no more evaluations: as the impressive measure of frequency response suggested above, above all by the transparency and perfection of its response, this charge 5 hits our ears. Despite the very small criticisms we were able to direct at them above, passive radiators show behavior that is close to model: no parasitic resonance, no overflow, and a transition between low and middle registers guaranteed by fluidity. Can not be Fixed. The same quality can be found in the triple aspect: contribution Loudspeaker** Custom Clear, allows the voice message to remain perfectly clear and defined, even at high volume.

It’s so amazing because all of this is done without ever compromising on the liveliness of the show that made JBL his signature. The dynamics are excellent, provided you don’t push the size to an extreme, at the risk of seeing a very unattractive pressure put into place – but that rarely happens, because the power reserve is generous. But the Charge 5 somehow managed to become something more than a “dB spitting machine”. The smoothness of the sound it offers, and its remarkably natural tone output, are qualities that its predecessors did not have before.

Finally, it should be noted that the speaker provides only a monophonic display. We are not overly affected by it, because the small dimensions of portable speakers are not a priori Not conducive to convincing stereo separation (the only exceptions are Sony SRS-XB33 And 43). On the other hand, one can be slightly alarmed by the strong directivity of sound emission: the restoring equilibrium is lost very quickly as soon as one moves away from the central axis. It is best to avoid placing it on the coffee table in the center of the living room to add sound to the evening.

Stan Shaw

<p class="sign">"Professional food nerd. Internet scholar. Typical bacon buff. Passionate creator."</p>

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