JBL Xtreme 3 Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review

JBL Xtreme 3 Review

Xtreme 3 is the latest portable Bluetooth speaker from JBL and represents a perfect device for people that loves to party. Being water-resistant makes it ideal for the outdoors. JBL Xtreme 3 comes in three colors, black, blue, and camouflage, with a cylindrical build, measuring 5.4 x 11.8 x 5.3 inches (HWD). The weight is 4.4 pounds.
The grille wraps around the speaker with a large JBL logo on the front. There are also built-in handles for the removable belt that comes with the speaker. The belt has fasteners for attaching the speaker and rubber grips to prevent sliding around the shoulder. On the bottom, there are other rubber strips for stabilization of the device on flat surfaces.
The JBL Xtreme 3 has the highest IP67 rating, which means it is waterproof and dust resistant. There will be no problems if the speaker is underwater for 30 minutes up to one meter in depth. Don’t expect the Bluetooth signal to travel underwater, but that is not the point. The IP67 allows you to have the speaker by the pool, on the beach, and rinse it after using the speaker to remove any dirt or sand.

PROS:

  • Powerful bass
  • Waterproof and outdoor-friendly (IP67 certificate)
  • It can pair with many JBL speakers.
  • USB-C connection

CONS:

  • Pricey
  • No speakerphone
  • Tones lack warmth

Design

On the speaker’s top, between the handles, are the controls. You will find the buttons for power, Bluetooth, volume, play/pause, and PartyBoost (for pairing the JBL Xtreme 3 with other compatible JBL speakers).
If you want to skip forward a track, you need to press twice the play/pause button. There is no option for going backward.
On the back, there is the connection panel, protected by a snap-shut cover. If the cover is open, then the device is sensitive to water, and you should be careful. The connection panel serves to connect the included power adapter to the USB-C port. It also offers a 3.5 mm aux input, but the cable doesn’t come with the device. There is a USB-A port if you want to charge a device using the Xtreme 3’s battery.
Under the grille, there are two 25-watt, 2.8-inch woofers and two 25-watt, 0.8-inch tweeters. There are also passive radiators on both ends of the speaker.
The frequency range is 53.5 Hz to 20 kHz, and the speaker is compatible with Bluetooth 5.1, supporting AAC and SBC codecs.
There is a JBL Portable app for both iOS and Android, which recognizes the paired Xtreme 3. This way, you can link speakers with the PartyBoost ( with other speakers like Boombox 2, Flip 5, Pulse 4, and many more), update the firmware, or adjust the audio from the settings menu.
If you expect to find the speakerphone ability from the Xtreme 2, you will be disappointed since Xtreme 3 doesn’t support it.
The battery life is estimated to be around 15 hours, but it all depends on the volume levels you listen to your speaker. There is a power-saving option that turns off the speaker after 20 minutes of not listening to preserve the battery. It takes 2.5 hours to recharge fully.

Sound quality of JBL Xtreme 3

JBL Xtreme 3 delivers a powerful low-frequency depth, especially when playing tracks with intense sub-bass in the mix. The Digital Signal Processing (DSP) starts thinning the bass out to prevent distorting when playing audio at top volume levels. You have stronger bass at 70-75 % volume levels than when the volume is maximum. But, don’t worry, the sound is not brittle and is still pretty powerful and loud. The passive radiators add some physical vibrations as well.
The higher tones and mids are clear and understandable. The JBL Xtreme 3 is perfect for music genres like pop, dance, house, or electronic music. When it comes to R&B, you lose the warm layer and miss the soft undertones.
Extreme 3 needs its space, which is why it shines when it is in the middle of the room. If the speaker is close to the wall, the sound becomes hollow.
The sound stage could be a bit wider, and tonal balance depends on the listener’s position towards the speaker. The sound doesn’t distribute evenly around the speaker because of the front-firing build, which induces loss of treble at the back, and the passive radiators, generate bass boost towards the left and right.
If you use the Bluetooth connection to watch movies, there is noticeable audio-video latency, so it is better to use the 3.5 mm jack.

Verdict

The JBL Xtreme 3 delivers a rich and lively sound and is particularly good for watching movies, listening to podcasts, listening to music outdoors, or challenging acoustic environments such as bathrooms or kitchens. It would be better if there is a higher tonal balance consistency, no matter the listening volume, and to better present the low-middle frequencies.

JBL Xtreme 3 Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review
JBL Xtreme 3 Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review

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