JBL Flip 6 gives Bluetooth speaker a sound and durability upgrade

JBL has unveiled a new version of its popular portable Bluetooth speaker, with the new JBL Flip 6 promising better audio quality without compromising on the rugged build. Successor to the Flip 5, the new model adds to the go-anywhere promise with an upgrade from IPX7 waterproofing to full IP67 dust and water resistance.

That means not only can you dunk the Flip 6 in the pool (or inadvertently knock it into the sink), but take it to the beach without worrying about sand and grit. There's a redesigned logo on the front too, so that people know you bought the new model.

Inside, though, is where the biggest changes have been made. There's a new audio configuration, JBL says, with dual passive radiators and an unusually-shaped woofer. A separate tweeter rounds things out, for what the company claims is more power overall along with greater depth than the previous model.

That's paired with a Bluetooth upgrade, with the Flip 6 getting Bluetooth 5.1 compared to the Flip 5's Bluetooth 4.2. There's still support for JBL PartyBoost, so that two Flip 6 can be wirelessly linked together for stereo use, or alternatively a whole group connected to play the same source for more room- or garden-filling sound.

Battery life remains at 12 hours, and the convenience features are also carried over. There are simple controls on one end-cap, along with a useful carrying strap that can be used to tether the Flip 6 to a backpack, hang it from a door handle or other hook, or simply make it easier to carry around.

There'll be nine different color options at launch: Dusty Pink, Grey Stone, River Teal, Fiesta Red, Ocean Blue, Midnight Black, Steel White, Forest Green, and Squad. All nine will go on sale from November 2021, JBL says, priced at $129.95. That's $10 more than the outgoing Flip 5, yes, but the addition of more rugged build quality and an uptick in sound quality may well be worth it.