JBL Charge 4 & Pulse 4 Features

JBL Speaker Hidden Features: JBL Charge 4 & JBL Pulse 4

I’m a sucker for purchasing a new piece of technology and using it straightaway without understanding the full extent of its features.

Why am I paying for all of the features and only scratching the surface of its capabilities?

This is a consistent theme across JBL Charge/Pulse owners. In this article we are going to take a closer look at the lesser known features of these Bluetooth speakers.

And we’re not just talking about the typical Bluetooth pairing and volume controls. We hope to provide you at least one new feature to experiment with on your Charge 4 or Pulse 4.

Firstly, How Do These Two JBL Speakers Stack Up?

Both speakers are good for most social occasions. Be it entertaining guests or listening to music outside. They provide a great listening experience at a fairly affordable price. However, we consider the JBL Charge 4 as a more durable everyday speaker for traveling given its tough outer shell.

The Pulse 4 on the other hand would be better suited for home entertaining due to its delicate design and LED lighting feature. Let’s just say we wouldn’t suggest dropping the Pulse 4 too often.

FeaturesJBL Charge 4JBL Pulse 4
Connectivity to audio sources– Bluetooth
– 3.5 mm jack for wired connection
Sound QualityHigh-quality drivers and amplifiers for powerful sound, with dual passive radiator that provides deep bass tonesImmersive sound with customizable EQ settings. It has a separate tweeter and single passive radiator on the bottom side of the speaker
Battery Life– Up to 20 hours of playback
– USB-C port for charging
– Up to 12 hours of playback. 
– USB-C port for charging
DesignRugged design with durable mesh exteriorLess durable design due to LED light feature 
Portability– Dimensions (inches): 8.7 x 3.7 x 3.7
– Weight: 1.0 kg
– Dimensions (inches): 3.8 x 8.1 x 3.8
– Weight: 1.3 kg
Unique FeaturesBuilt-in power bank for charging devices on the go360-degree LED light show synchronized with music
CompatibilityConnects with JBL Connect+ for multi-speaker setup– Connects with JBL Portable app for customised light patterns and colours
– Connects to other JBL speakers using PartyBoost technology 

Button Navigation

The JBL Charge 4 features six unique buttons. From left to right, these include:

  • Conect+ button
  • Volume Down button
  • Power button
  • Bluetooth button
  • Volume Up button
  • Play/Pause button
JBL Charge 4 hidden features

The JBL Pulse 4 on the other hand, has seven unique buttons:

  • Volume Down button
  • Volume Up button
  • Play/Pause button. Note: Holding this button down will skip to the next track.
  • Power button (on the right side)
  • Bluetooth button (on the right side)
  • PartyBoost button (on the left side)
  • Light Show button (on the left side)
JBL Pulse Hidden Features
JBL Pulse Power Bluetooth buttons layout
JBL Pulse Party / Light Show Button

JBL Charge 4 Hidden Features

We are going to dive into some of the less-known features of this JBL portable Bluetooth speaker. 

Low frequency mode

If you are looking for a more low-end base with this portable speaker, then try enabling low-frequency mode.

You can do this by simultaneously holding the Volume Down and Bluetooth buttons for 15 seconds. You will hear the sound change once this mode has been activated. 

If you get sick of the deeper bass and want to switch back to stereo mode, you can either hold the Volume Down / Bluetooth button combination again or turn the speaker off and on again.

Service Mode

If you have experienced your Charge 4 becoming unresponsive, then you may have accidentally entered service mode.

Service mode will shut down your speaker until you connect to a power source i.e. it will not run on the speaker’s battery power.

To enter service mode, hold the Bluetooth and Volume Up buttons for 10 seconds when the speaker is on. To exit this mode, you will need to plug the speaker into a power source, and then hold the same two buttons. 

This mode is handy if you don’t want your annoying housemate to run your battery dead while you’re at work.

JBL Connect+

JBL Connect+ allows you to connect to multiple JBL speakers that support this feature (e.g. JBL Pulse 3). This will allow you to supercharge your backyard BBQ (or kids’ birthday) with some additional surround sound.

In newer JBL speakers, the Connect+ has been replaced by the PartyBoost function. The JBL Charge 4, can be connected to the following models:

  • JBL Xtreme 2
  • JBL Pulse 3
  • JBL Boombox

Here are the steps to activate this feature (you will need at least two speakers that support Connect+): 

  1. Turn both speakers on
  2. Press and hold the Bluetooth button on your first speaker until the LED light flashes (indicating pairing mode)
  3. On your Bluetooth device (i.e. mobile or tablet), find your JBL Charge 4 on the list of available devices, and connect
  4. Start playing music. You should hear music playing from the Charge 4
  5. Now connect the additional speaker to your Bluetooth device (i.e. mobile or tablet)
  6. Press the Connect button on your additional speaker. This should take no more than 30 seconds to synchronise to the Charge 4.

To turn off the second speaker, simply press the Connect button again.

If you are having trouble pairing the two speakers, then try moving them closer together.

Factory Reset

As mentioned in our previous article on resetting the Bose SoundLink Mini, a factory reset can many tech glitches and is a breeze to complete. Keep this one in your back pocket.

  1. Power On: Ensure your speaker is turned on.
  2. Button Combination: Press and hold both the Volume Up and Play Next buttons simultaneously for ~5 seconds. This will power the speaker off. 

The Charge 4 will then reboot and enter pairing mode. All pairing will be wiped and you will need to pair your Bluetooth devices again (as if you pulled it out of the box for the first time).

Built-in Power Bank

This is a super handy feature if you are on the go with your speaker. If your mobile is on low battery, you can simply plug your charger into the USB port on the speaker. Just remember to bring your USB phone charging cable with you! 

Battery Save Mode

Speaking of batteries, did you know that the Charge 4 has a power saving mode to conserve your battery level? The speaker will automatically switch this feature on after ~10-15 minutes of inactivity. To switch this mode off, simply turn the speaker off and on again.

JBL Pulse 4 Features

Customisable Light Patterns and Colours

The Pulse 4 will automatically produce light when turned on and begin to ‘pulse’. Hence the name. You can change the pre-set colour and style by pressing the Light Show button.

However, if you want to take it a step further and customise your light patterns you can use the JBL Portable App. Once you have downloaded and opened the app, follow the steps below.

Change pattern:

  1. Press the Customized option in the ‘Light show library’ section of the apps home screen
  2. Drag and drop your desired light show pattern into the orange pane to create your customised light patterns

Change light colours:

  1. Press the Colour mode option in the app home screen
  2. This will open the ‘colour picker’ screen, where you can choose your desired light colour. Note: There is also a ‘colour loop’ option. When activated the Pulse will project all of the colours on a ‘loop’.

Adjust/turn-off brightness:

  1. Use the brightness slider in the app home screen to adjust the brightness output. You can also turn off the light feature completely.

Connect up to 100 compatible speakers with PartyBoost

This function is available in new models of the JBL Bluetooth speaker line-up. This feature offers better range and connectivity relative to the Connect+ technology. Tests have shown that PartyBoost speaker-to-speaker range is ~72 meters, almost double that of Connect+. 

Here are the steps to activate this feature (you will need at least two speakers that support PartyBoost): 

  1. Turn both speakers on
  2. On your Bluetooth device (i.e. mobile or tablet), find your JBL Pulse 4 on the list of available devices, and connect
  3. Press the PartyBoost on your JB Pulse until the LED ring around the Power and PartyBoost buttons is illuminated 
  4. Now press the PartyBoost on the second JBL speaker until the LED ring is illuminated

At this point, both JBL speakers should be connected and play your music concurrently. To undo this, simply press party boost again on your second speaker. 

Round Up

So there you have it! I hope you discovered at least one helpful feature to use your JBL speaker to its full potential. 


Can I connect the JBL Charge 4 to a Pulse 4 or a Charge 5?

The short answer is no. Unfortunately, JBL has continued to make iterations of its speaker-to-speaker ‘connectivity’ technology. The Charge 4 uses the Connect+ technology, whereas the Pulse 4/Charge 4 uses the PartyBoost technology. The technology is not backward compatible. Annoying, I know…

Does the JBL Charge 4 or Pulse 4 include voice prompts functionality?

Again, the answer is no. You will need to move up in models to the JB Flip, Link, or Authentics for voice activation. 

Why won’t my JBL Charge 4 turn on?

Here are two main reasons your speaker won’t turn on:
1. Your speaker is out of battery. Ah duh! Obviously, you have tried charging it and this isn’t the cause. Let’s move on.
2. You may have accidentally enabled ‘Service Mode’. To disable this, plug the speaker into a power source, then hold the Bluetooth and Volume Up buttons for 10 seconds.

If your speaker turns on but won’t respond, then you can always try a…. yes, factory reset.

Can you reset a JBL Pulse 4?

You can follow the same Charge 4 steps outlined above in this article for a quick factory reset.

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