JBL Charge 3 Review

JBL Charge 3 Review

JBL is a top-rated audio company, especially among average buyers who want relatively budget-friendly products such as headphones or speakers, with good sound quality. Most of the JBL’s speakers are waterproof and can survive even when dropped in a pool. JBL Charge 3 is another Bluetooth waterproof resistant from the JBL line.

The Charge line of Bluetooth speakers performs excellent audio, but they also allow you to charge your device while doing so – hence the name Charge.

PROS:

  • Very loud
  • Waterproof IPX7
  • It can use as a charger.
  • Built-in mic

CONS:

  • Big, heavy
  • Muted highs and lacking mids
  • No backward navigation for tracks

Design

The JBL Charge 3 is a prominent speaker with 3.5 x 8.4 x 3.4 inches (HWD) and a weight of 1.8 pounds. It is more significant than JBL Flip and JBL Link 20 but not so hefty as the JBL Xtreme. The speaker comes in black, red, blue, gray, and teal colors.

While the previous model, Charge 2, is splashproof, Charge 3 goes one step further and is IPX7 waterproof, which means the speaker can be submerged in 1-meter deep water for 30 minutes.

The shape is similar to the other speakers of the line, cylindrical with exposed passive radiators on both ends, which help to push the bigger sound. The grille is from protective fabric that waterproof and provides a good grip on it. Under the speaker grille, there are dual 50 mm, 10-watt drivers.

On the front of the speaker, there is a small JBL logo, while at the top are the standard set of buttons that all JBL speakers have (Bluetooth pairing, volume control, play/pause, and power). If you like to pair two speakers with the same sound source, there is a JBL Connect button. The play/pause button also works as a call management button, and when pressed twice, it serves to skip a track. There is no option to skip backward. There is a built-in microphone with noise and echo-canceling for hands-free calls. The mic quality is clear, and most probably, people on the other side of the call won’t even notice that you are talking through a speaker.

When you press and hold the Bluetooth button, the Charge 3 plays a tone, letting you know that it is searching for a smartphone. It also plays a tone once connected.

There is a small stand with five small indicator lights that indicate the battery levels on the bottom of the speaker. The more lights lit, the more battery life left. The battery life is estimated to be about 20 hours, but this can vary depending on how loud you listen to the speaker, wireless or wired connection, and if you charge your mobile.

On the back, under a secure rubber flap, there is USB-C output, micro USB input, and a 3.5 mm aux input. Make sure the flap is in place so as not to compromise the water resistance. A USB cable and AC adapter come with the speaker, but a 3.5 mm audio cable is not included.

If by any chance, your JBL Charge 3 needs a factory reset to forget all the devices paired with the speaker, you can do it following these steps:

  • Power on the speaker
  • Hold the Bluetooth and volume up button simultaneously, for a couple of seconds, until the speaker goes off.
  • Power on the speaker: You will notice the LED light blinks blue, which means the resetting was successful.
  • Though the Bluetooth settings pair the source device as usual.

Sound quality

The Charge 3 handles well different kinds of music genres. The speaker plays loud and without distortion, with an impressive amount of bass.

The sound is one-directional, even though the speaker is cylindrical, so if you want to perceive the full effect of its power, you need to be in front of the speaker.

The sound is well rounded, has a good balance, the bass is controlled, and doesn’t get too boomy. Occasionally, there might be some lack in the mids in busier tracks when the vocals sound thin and messy. The cropped highs are probably because of the speaker’s waterproof nature because other waterproof speakers have the same issue.

Verdict

The JBL Charge 3 is a better version of the previous model, Charge 2.

Charge 2 has more clear highs, but the addition of the water resistance of Charge 3 surpasses the mild sound quality sacrifice.

Overall, JBL Charge 3 offers excellent features and sound. It plays loud, without distortion, and with stronger bass above its appearance.

JBL managed to strike an outstanding balance between sound, price, and features with the Charge 3.

JBL Charge 3 Review
JBL Charge 3 Review

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