Both the JBL Flip Essential and the Flip 6 are fantastic speakers, representing JBL’s excellence in the speaker industry. Confused about which one to go for? Well, I can understand as it was a tough one for me as well.
Both speakers offer excellent build quality and enthralling sound quality. But when I took a deep dive into the details, they weren’t as alike as you’d think. Soon, I’ll be sharing all these details with you, so stick with me.
I’m sure that by the end of this comparison, you’ll have decided which speaker you’re going to buy. So let’s get into it.
What comes in the box?
JBL Flip Essential
- The speaker itself
- A Micro USB cable
- Safety sheet
- Quick start guide
- Warranty card
JBL Flip 6
- The speaker
- A Type C USB cable
- Quick start manual
- Safety sheet
- Warranty card
Pros and cons of JBL Flip 6
- Loud power output
- USB-C charging
- IP67 rating (water and dust resistance)
- Longer playtime (12 hours)
- Rugged and durable design
- Easy to use Bluetooth pairing
- Advanced Bluetooth version
- PartyBoost feature
- Mono sound
- No 3.5 mm jack
- One less USB port
- Slightly heavier
Pros and cons of JBL Flip Essential
- Seamless Bluetooth streaming
- Built-in voice prompts and voice commands
- It has stereo speakers
- Robust and durable fabric design
- Lightweight and portable
- Water resistance
- Dual Bass Radiator
- No PartyBoost feature
- Older Bluetooth version (4.1)
- Shorter Playtime (10 hours)
- Longer recharging time (3.5 hours)
What makes JBL Flip Essential better than JBL Flip 6?
- It has stereo speakers for a more immersive listening experience
- It has 24.68% less body volume for easy storage
- It has voice commands for effortless use
- You get an extra USB port (2 vs 1)
- It weighs 80 grams lighter (470g vs 550g)
How JBL Flip 6 is better than JBL Flip Essential?
- It comes with a subwoofer that adds a little extra punch to the bass
- It boasts a 14W more power output (20 + 10 vs 2 x 8)
- You’ll get two extra hours of battery life (12h vs 10h) and it has 1.4 times more battery power (4800mAh vs 3000 mAh)
- It charges an hour faster than JBL Flip 6 (2.5h vs 3.5h)
- It has dust and water resistance
- It features a more advanced Bluetooth version (5.1 vs 4.1) providing a seamless audio experience
JBL Flip Essential vs Flip 6: what’s the difference?
Before we dive into my detailed experience, you can look at the significant differences between the two speakers.
|JBL Flip essential
|JBL Flip 6
|2 x 8 Watts
|20 + 10 Watts
JBL Flip Essential vs Flip 6: How’s the Sound Quality?
It took me hours to figure out which speaker has better sound quality, and owing to a slightly deeper bass, JBL Flip 6 triumphed.
Both speakers have an incredibly clear sound, that even with thumping beat songs you can hear the vocals as clear as crystal. Both speakers have a great amount of energy that keeps you playing track after track without knowing.
If we talk about bass-rich music, the JBL Flip 6 had a slight edge over the JBL Flip Essential. The beat drops played way better in Flip 6, thanks to the passive radiators firing out at both of the tube-shaped speakers. So if you’re a bass lover like me, you would be better off with the JBL Flip 6.
However, both speakers suffered distortion and masking with high-pitched songs. For instance, in “Thunderclouds” the vocals and the drums are so loud that it’s hard to hear the electric guitar and the backing vocals. Other than that, the sound quality is amazing on both speakers.
Are you looking for a speaker that can rock your outdoor parties? Both these speakers have a knack for it. Thanks to the water resistance, you get the liberty to plan outdoor events even on a rainy day without worrying about damaging your speaker.
With the Flip 6, you also get the PartyBoost feature which allows you to pair multiple compatible speakers to pump up your party. So, in my opinion, JBL Flip 6 would be a better pick for all backyard and pool parties.
How Do They Compare in Design and Portability?
Both speakers have a pretty similar signature design JBL design — a large JBL motif engraved on a strong woven cloth grille wrapped around a cylindrical speaker. Both have a carry strap that makes it effortless to carry them around.
The JBL Flip Essential is approximately 80 grams lighter than the Flip 6 and has 24.68% less volume. The difference is minimalistic but it does give it a slight edge in portability.
However, should this minute detail matter while choosing between the two speakers? Well, yes and no! In my case, I couldn’t feel much difference as I only used it on a household basis. But if you’re a travel freak or plan to buy a speaker for an intense hiking tour, you should consider going for the lighter Flip Essential.
As for peripheries, the JBL Flip Essential has a MicroUSB port for charging and you get two USB ports to connect your devices. However, the JBL Flip 6 features a Type C USB charging and only has a single USB port.
Regarding design and portability, the JBL Flip Essential boasts a better reputation.
What about Durability and Water Resistance?
As I mentioned earlier, the quality of the material used in both speakers is extremely durable. They are sturdy enough to withstand a fall from the side of our bed or even your work table. But I wouldn’t recommend testing it intentionally because you might run out of luck.
Both speakers are ideal for outdoor events as they have water resistance. They can hold off the water at 1 meter depth for around 30 minutes. So you better be careful about dropping it in your pool as most pools are deeper than 1 meter. However, on a rainy day, both these speakers wouldn’t have any problem.
The JBL Flip 6 has an IP67 rating, which means it is both waterproof and has complete dust resistance. While the JBL Flip Essential has an IPX7 rating, suggesting that it is waterproof it isn’t built to fight off dust.
As far as durability is concerned, the JBL Flip 6 is the clear winner.
Which One Has Better Battery Life?
When buying a speaker, you should always consider the battery life. In the case of these two speakers, the JBL Flip 6 claims the victory in playtime.
The JBL Flip 6 gives you up to 12 hours of playtime and takes only 2.5 hours to fully recharge. Contrarily, the JBL Essential lasts for up to 10 hours and recharges in 3.5 hours.
Keep in mind, that these battery times would only be possible if you play the speaker at low volumes (25-30%). The battery drains way faster if you’re playing it at high volumes. For instance, the JBL Flip essential only lasted 3 hours at full volume.
Another thing about these speakers is that they only have a charging cable in the box, so you’re going to need a wall charger.
Which one’s the Winner in Connectivity Features?
In terms of Bluetooth version, the JBL Flip 6 uses the more recent 5.1, while the JBL Flip Essential uses the older 4.1 version. This advanced Bluetooth version allows the JBL Flip 6 to create a more secure and quick connection with other devices.
Speaking of connectivity, I should remind you that the JBL Flip Essential has an extra USB port. So you can connect two devices at the same time. However, with JBL Flip 6, you only get a single port.
A rather admirable feat of the JBL Flip 6 is the PartyBoost feature which allows to connect up to 100 compatible speakers to play at once. Imagine how loud the sound would be! This feature can breathe new life into your parties. If you go with JBL Flip Essential, you will miss out on this feature.
Another great feature of the JBL Flip 6 is that it is compatible with the JBL Portable App. Using the app, you have total control over your sound — you can tweak the bass, amplify your audio, and try many other features.
In my opinion, the JBL Flip 6 takes the crown in this battle too.
Final thoughts: Which one is a better fit for you?
There! We’ve discussed all of the key differences between the two speakers. Now it’s time to find out which one fits your budget.
The real question is; which one is worth the money? If I were in your shoes and had a few extra bucks lying around, I would go for the JBL Flip 6. It offers better value for money as it beats the Flip Essential in sound quality, battery time, and connectivity.
If you’re on a tight budget and need a quality speaker at an affordable price. You should stick with the JBL Flip Essential. Trust me, you’ll love it! However, if you can stretch your budget, I’d recommend you go for the JBL Flip 6.
I’m hoping that you’ve made up your mind about which one to go for. Anyhow, if you’re still struggling with your decision or have any doubts about the speakers. Feel free to comment down below, I love to help people out. Till then, signing off!
Sadly, both these speakers do not have a built-in microphone so you can’t use them for any phone calls. No JBL speakers have had this feature since the release of JBL Flip 4.
The JBL Flip Essential has an AUX input for analog connections. However, the Flip 6 does not offer this feature. Bluetooth remains the primary connection method for the Flip 6.
Both of these speakers can’t be used as a power bank. You’ll have to settle with only the magical sounds.
It’s never a good idea to put any electrical devices to charge while they’re wet. However, if you must charge them immediately, ensure the charging port is dry before plugging in.
I’m Shaun Conroy, an audiophile & founder of HiFi Audios. Holding a Bachelor’s in Sound Engineering, I bring deep expertise in audio devices and offer insights & recommendations to fellow enthusiasts.