It’s A JBL Flip Your Lid 5!

I’m trying to unravel a mystery, and hope that maybe writing about it will help.

So…Friday night, we had to accept the fact that Steve’s beautiful iPod dock bit the dust. Well, the dock itself is probably fine, but the cord that went from old ass iPhone 4 port to lightning port got frayed and not so good, so since they charge 50 bucks for that teeny weeny piece of cord, we decided the dock is probably done for.

So I had bought a bluetooth speaker, a JBL Flip 5 to be exact, for the purposes of streaming sound from the computer to outside. So we thought hey, why not just use it instead of the dock? And a new era was born.

The sound was pretty great, and we were enjoying it happily. We plugged it in because we didn’t want it to die on us, especially since I wasn’t sure what sort of warnings it gave us when the battery was low. We were merrily enjoying our music when…pop! It came to an abrupt halt! We did not like that pop!

It was so weird. After the pop, when it was plugged in, it wouldn’t make any on or off noises, and the lights were flashing red and blue, as if it was trying to pair. But when I would unplug it, it would make the on noise and all the lights would come on and go off again. Or, it would make the on noise followed very shortly afterwards by the off noise.

I started to wonder if somehow, even while plugged in, we had drained the battery. I started noticing that if I left it alone for a minute, I would get a few seconds of power between the on noise and the off noise.

I took it inside, wondering how we could have broken a speaker by…using it for its intended purpose. I started to google, and found a video about how to charge your JBL Flip 5.

At first, I laughed and thought “Who needs a tutorial video on how to charge something? You plug it in, you wait! What the hell else is there?” And then I thought maybe I needed a video on how to charge it since it was laying inert in front of me after being plugged in all day.

I did learn some things, and excuse me if I am about to sound like the derpiest derp who ever derped. I didn’t know that when you buy a USB cube thingamabob, it has a whole ton of specs written on it. I figured it had the basic stuff, but I didn’t realize how much it had. So the guy in the video said to make sure that it can give 3 amps to the speaker. Ok, we’ll start there.

I fired up Aira, and they told me that the cube I had used had 2 amps. Hmmm. Well, maybe that was the problem? Maybe it’s ok to plug it into a cube like that if you’re just charging it, but it gets less good if you’re playing music while plugged in? Maybe, since we were running the thing for 7 hours at a loss, finally it just had taken all it could?

So I pulled out another cube we have, and Aira said it could do 2.4+1 Amps. What the hell does that mean? Maybe with this one, we will be ok? But the confusing part is from what I have read, not many cubes run at 3 Amps. But all JBL sends you in the package is a USB cable. They expect you to supply your own cube. If they have special requirements, shouldn’t they supply an adapter that will give it what it needs? Why not offer an AC adapter? Were they thinking that would make it less portable, or there would be too many holes in the speaker? I do feel like I’m talking like an old person right here.

After googling my face off, someone said they plugged it in to charge at the computer and it was fine after. So I did that. The next morning, I confirmed that the battery indicator thinggy was fully lit. I turned it on and it would stay on! But it didn’t make the noise indicating that it was ready to play music. I struggled some more, and reset the thing, thinking I’ll just have to reconnect the things I want. Then it still didn’t make the happy connection noise. Then finally, it did make the happy connection noise…so maybe I should have been more patient the first time. Oh well, it sounds like it has healed.

So here are my questions. Hopefully somebody smarter can help me understand where I done screwed up. Is my theory about running at a loss correct? It almost seems right, but there’s still part of me that just isn’t sure. Shouldn’t the battery have just stayed at a sucky level but the power should have sustained enough to not just stop the music with a resounding pop? Don’t people run music for a long time without worrying about it coming to a screeching halt?

How does it warn you that the battery is about to push up daisies? Is it just by lights? I understand why having audio warnings would be a pain in the arse, but if you can’t see the lights, I wonder how you’d know, besides experience?

Speaking of daisies, we had a bit of a daisy chain arrangement going on where I was. The USB cable went into a cube which went into an extension cord which went into a power bar. *hides guilty face* Could that have been the problem? It was like we were leaking efficiency all along the chain?

So…I think I didn’t break my poor speaker after one use. It might just be ok. But it’ll be a while before I can trust it completely.

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1 Comment

  1. God, that popping sound. It totally ruined my night, hahaha. Of course the thing would completely conk out the first time I’m allowed to use it by myself, I thought.

    I really do wonder if we just ran at a loss too long. If the power going out is more than the power coming in, after a while it won’t be able to sustain any longer. That’s just math or science or some other kind of thing that causes things to make logical sense.

    And I’m totally with you on things not coming with power cords. I hate that! If something requires power, give me a god damn plug for it! We don’t all just have USB ports hanging around wherever we happen to be. Like if I’m running the speaker out by my pool or in my back yard, I don’t have a computer or some shit readily available. But you know what I likely can root up? An extension cord and an outlet. Give me the option. You’re supposed to be convenient.

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