update: See bottom for further updates.
1) I don’t have a Harman JBL Charge unit of to test my concern yet, so this KemptonTestLab – Yellow Flag Caution note is based on my review of FCC filings and understanding from my previous “Review of six Harman/JBL Flips“.
2) Yellow Flag Caution: I did a FCC ID search using Grantee Code: API Product Code: JBLCHARGE to downloaded all 12 of the FCC filings for the JBL Charge (full list) to take a quick look of what kind of Bluetooth antenna it is using. Note: I encourage you to do the FCC ID search yourself and share your findings in the comment.
First off, the electromagnetic field characteristic of the JBL Charge may be very different from the JBL Flip even they look similar enough on the outside (see my extensive in-depth “Review six Harman/JBL Flips, two with new Bluetooth antenna design – KemptonTestLab“).
The fact that the Charge seems to be using the same faulty 1st generation JBL Flip antenna concerns me greatly. I have enough concerns (just to be safe) that I am issuing a Yellow Flag Caution to tell people be careful and make sure they check their units and see if they have any Bluetooth problems. If you ask me, I would much rather see the more robust 2nd generation Flip antenna being implement and used inside the Charge instead!
Harman JBL might be able to get away with using the faulty 1st generation JBL Flip antenna inside the Charge but I won’t know until I put the Charge under the very rigorous testing performed in KemptonTestLab!
Remember: KemptonTestLab: Only best products pass our tough tests!
Harman JBL Flip 1st gen antenna vs 2nd gen antenna
The six Harman JBL Flips in KemptonTestLab
Harman JBL Charge antenna – Yellow Flag Caution
3) As usual, I expect the JBL Charge to make great sound like the JBL Flip if you hardwire them. And the spec for the Harman JBL Charge seems quite awesome on the surface quoting the JBL promo document, “10-watt portable stereo speaker with a high-capacity 6,000mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery, a built-in bass port and wireless Bluetooth® connection”
4) Let me point out that if the Charge is playing music directly from the device being charged (e.g. a phone), then the Bluetooth problem is not much of a concern because the transmitting devices (the phone) and the receiver (the Charge speaker) are right next to each other!
March 15th update: I read that YouTube user “6FeetDeep4U”‘s JBL Charge’s Bluetooth seems to be performing very well. I would love to see a test video made (and have suggested that). If 6FeetDeep4U does make a test video and embeddable, I would share it here and possibly revise my comments/”watch” temporarily until I’ve got a chance to find and test a JBL Charge myself in my own KemptonTestLab to benchmark against the other JBL Flips I’ve tested!
[HT this Japanese webpage for the FCC ID info]