JBL Xtreme 2 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review

JBL Xtreme 2 Review

On the market today, there are many small and cheap speakers that you can take with you when you are traveling. Also, many speakers can connect to your receiver and play the music you like in your backyard.

But if you want to have a booming kind of portable speaker, then your options are limited. Or perhaps, I should say, the speaker of choice should be JBL Xtreme 2.

PROS:

  • Waterproof with an IPX7 rating
  • Powerful audio, strong bass, and crisp highs
  • Good mic clarity for speakerphone
  • Good battery

CONS:

  • Bulky
  • No wi-fi
  • No USB charging

Design

The first time you see JBL Xtreme 2, you will be surprised by how large and heavy the speaker is. It is built like a tank. The dimensions of Xtreme 2 are 5.4 x 5.2 x 11.4 inches (HWD) and looks like a cylinder that bulges in the middle. From color choices, there is black, blue, and dark green. From the dimensions and the 2,4 kg weight of the speaker, you can understand it is significant. So, you might wonder, how is this speaker portable? There are two metal loops on the top of the speaker and included strap for the shoulder. This way you can carry it when you go to the beach without taking space in some bag.

The speaker is waterproof with an IPX7 rating, which means it can be submerged underwater for 30 minutes in a one-meter depth. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can drop it at the bottom of a two-meter pool.  The rigid grille covers two 2.75-inch woofers, two 0.8-inch tweeters, and two 3.5-inch passive radiators. The four active drivers are powered by an internal 40 W amp (10 watts to each driver).  The frequency response is from 55Hz to 20 kHz, with an 80 dB signal-to-noise ratio.

There are the central power button and a Connect+ button for connecting with other compatible JBL speakers on the control panel. Then there is the Bluetooth pairing button and volume up and down, and play/pause. If you hold the play/pause button for a couple of seconds, it works as a call management button. So Xtreme 2 can function as a speakerphone with noise and echo-cancelation. There are no buttons for track navigation. As of last, there is a five-dot LED battery life indicator at the bottom of the front panel.  The battery is 10 000 mAh, providing 15 hours of playing, and also allows the Xtreme 2 to function as a power bank for your smartphone via its USB port. The battery life depends on the volume levels and do you use the Bluetooth or wired method to play music. It takes about 3 hours to charge it fully.

On the bottom of the Xtreme2 are rubberized feet to prevent the speaker from rolling around.  As mentioned before, the speaker is waterproof, but only if the back panel is closed. This snap-shut compartment holds the connections for the power adapter, a USB charging port, a 3.5 mm aux input, and a micro USB service port (for firmware updates). The power adapter is included with the box but not the audio cable for the aux input.  The JBL Xtreme 2 has Bluetooth 4.2 with the default SBC codec. The Bluetooth range is with an average range (around 30 feet), but you can’t take advantage of aptX and AAC. Also, there is low latency when watching videos, so if you use the speaker to watch YouTube videos, expect some slight delay.

The JBL Connect+ allows you to connect your speaker with 100 other JBL speakers. This feature is nice to have as an option, although it is doubtful that you will buy more than one Xtreme 2 or have many friends who also have JBL speakers.  The question that comes to mind is whether JBL Xtreme 2 can connect to other JBL models as Charge 3, Charge 4, or Flip 5, for example?  Most probably will not because JBL makes this feature to allow speakers to connect, but they can not be backward compatible. First, there was JBL Connect, then JBL Connect+, and then PartyBoost.  So Xtreme 2, being JBL Connect+, can connect with the JBL Charge 4 (it also has Connect+). JBL Charge 3 has the older version of JBL Connect, so it can’t sync with the Xtreme 2. JBL Flip 5, as a newer model, features Partyboost, so it can’t connect with the Xtreme 2.

Sound quality of JBL Xtreme 2

The JBL Xtreme 2 sounds better than expected. The bass is integrated, powerful, and profound. It sounds much better at volume levels at 75% than when the volume is at maximum. At top volume levels, the DSP (Digital Sound Processing) kicks in and thins the bass. There is no distortion even when played loud.

Treble is detailed, smooth, and sweet. The mids are well textured.

The combination of the dual woofers, dual tweeters, and passive radiators provides excellent dispersion of the sound and huge stereo image.

Verdict

The JBL Xtreme 2 is for people that like loud music and love to party. It is a severely robust speaker, waterproof, and perfectly capable of handling outdoor use.

The word Xtreme in the name refers to the design and might be misleading and make you think that the sound is extreme. The sound profile is terrific, with deep but controlled and balanced bass, clear mids, and crisp treble.

If you don’t care much about smart assistant support, then JBL Xtreme 2 is a perfect choice.

JBL Xtreme 2 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review
JBL Xtreme 2 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review

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