There are hundreds wireless Bluetooth speakers you can buy these days, but three brands rise to the top of the market…. Bose, Ultimate Ears and JBL. The two JBL portable bluetooth speakers we compare on this article are amazing, offering great features and sound.
Many audiophiles wanted to compare these two, so here they are against each other. With this JBL Xtreme VS Charge 3 article, we can have a brief comparison of both units head to head.
Buying a good audio unit is something like an investment. So, regardless of my recommendation, hopefully this review will help you make a decision based on your own judgement.
The JBL Charge 3 is IPX7 certified and looks similar to the JBL Charge 2+ and has the same price tag. This means it can be completely submersed in water for a short period. The speaker is waterproof for up to 1 meter below water and for a period of half an hour. This should provide you with a bit of assurance if you are planning a pool party.
The JBL Xtreme on the other hand, requires a bit of attention near water. Although it is resistant to water, this won’t stop it from getting damaged if you accidentally drop it in water.
Both of these models are well designed with good specifications and performance. They both have control buttons on the top of the unit, and they look very similar too. But as expected, there are some differences between these two units.
1. JBL Charge 3
The first thing I noticed with the Charge 3 was the quality of the unit. It has a very nice structure and you can easily notice that it is well-designed. This portable bluetooth speaker is fully waterproof, featuring a good battery life and can also double as an external charger for your portable devices.
Connectivity wise, with the JBL Connect app you can wirelessly link this to other JBL Connect enabled speakers and amplify the sound creating a wider soundstage. On the bottom-front of the speaker, there are LED lights which serve two different functions, indicating the battery level of the unit and the battery charging status. Since the unit is designed to be waterproof, the ports are hidden behind a rubber cover.
The Charge 3 features a 3.5 millimeter input, a USB charger and a micro-USB charger. The JBL Charge 3 delivers an impressive 20 hours of battery life and also has speakerphone capabilities. This speaker is not offering 360 degrees coverage, but it can be positioned vertically or horizontally. As long as the JBL logo is pointed in your direction, you’ll enjoy quality music.
2. JBL Xtreme
The JBL Xtreme came out on the market few years ago, but as with any other good quality audio products, if they have good specs and performance then they’ll still be an excellent option for years to come. Compared to the Charge 3, the Xtreme is bigger and heavier. Just like its counterpart, it’s portable although not as easy to carry around as the Charge. The best way to describe the JBL Xtreme would be to say that it’s a giant Flip 3 with few extra functions.
To make amends for this, the manufacturer included a very handy carrying strap. You simply attach this one to both sides of the speaker, and you are good to go. You’ll look fashionably, as it looks just like a bag, and it is your portable speaker. What I didn’t like about the Xtreme is the fact that it isn’t waterproof. It doesn’t get damaged by liquid spills or rain, but still, it isn’t as cool as Charge 3. Cleaning the unit is quite easy too, as you can use a wet towel to do so. Design-wise, it is a very stylish unit with nice features.
At the top of the speaker you’ll find the control and connectivity buttons including the Bluetooth pairing button, volume down, power button, JBL connect button, volume up, and a play/pause button. You can access the different connectivity inputs significantly easier compared to the Charge 3. As this is not a waterproof unit, you’ll find the connections behind an orange zipper. It has 5 different ports. A micro-USB port, a 3.5 millimeter input, a power port and first and second USB ports.
Since it is a bigger portable speaker, the JBL Xtreme makes sure that bigger is better. The pros definitely outweigh the cons if you can get past some of the small issues with the speaker.
JBL Xtreme vs Charge 3 – Which One Is Better?
Both of these units are great. They offer a very decent sound and are great bluetooth speakers to have around. Still, I’d recommend the Charge 3 to those who want to get a no-fuss, durable unit with great sound performance.