JBL Xtreme Review
Many years ago, people used to listen to music on radio stations. There were no choices but to hear what the radio was airing.
Things have changed a lot since then, and especially with the invention of Bluetooth, smartphones, and other similar technology. Now you can take your music with you, wherever you decide to go. Of course, you can listen to the radio stations, and many people still do, but it is a different feeling when you have your ” own ” music.
JBL Xtreme Bluetooth speaker appeared a few years ago, and it worked fine then and works well now.
JBL is a company with a history, started in 1927 in America and became among the best in producing quality audio equipment in 1946. Harmon International acquired them in 1969, and later on, Harmon was bought by the South Korean giant Samsung.
- Good battery life
- Good sound
- Built-in speakerphone
- Heavy speaker
- Highs can get a little harsh.
- Ports might be difficult to access
The speaker looks like a torpedo, and it has a plastic build that extends to the grille that looks like a mesh. At first sight, the grille looks like it is metal, but actually, it consists of suitable quality plastic. The speaker comes in three different colors: Black, Blue, and Red.
It is not the smallest of the portable speakers, nor the lightest. The speaker’s dimensions are 12.5 x 8 x 7.5 inches, while the weight is 4.65 pounds. JBL Xtreme is splashproof and doesn’t have the water-resistant ratings of the newer models like Xtreme 2 and 3, which come with IPX 7.
There are two metal hooks on the top of the speaker where you can attach the carrying strap at both ends. Since the speaker is pretty heavy, the belt is as thick as a guitar strap.
On the bottom of Xtreme is a plastic stand with rubber feet, so the speaker stands horizontally. It makes sense because the passive radiators are at each end. These two passive radiators deliver a total of 40 watts (2 x 20 watts).
Under the grille, there are two 63 mm drivers and two 35 mm tweeters responsible for the audio.
There are controls for the power, volume, Bluetooth pairing, and play/pause on the top of the Xtreme. The play/pause button, when pressed multiple times, doubles for track navigation forward. There is no facility to return to the previous track. It is also the button to use to answer or end phone calls. Calls are clear, and the speaker is echo-canceling. If you want to link various JBL speakers with the same sound source, there is a JBL Connect button.
There are connections for the included power adapter on the back of the speaker, two USB ports for charging mobile phones, and a 3.5 mm aux input (without cable included). These ports are protected with a zipper when not in use.
Xtreme has Bluetooth 4.1 but unfortunately doesn’t have aptX, AAC, or any other streaming codecs. Otherwise, the connection is pretty good.
JBL Xtreme 1 can pair with up to three devices at the same time. The battery life is 15 hours, but the result might vary from the volume levels you use on the speaker. If the speaker is not in use, it will shut down after 30 minutes, or if connected to a power source, it will go into standby mode.
Sound quality of JBL Xtreme
JBL Xtreme is a powerful speaker that keeps the low frequency tight. At higher volumes, you might hear little overspill into the mids.
The bass is good, and the presence is noticeable without being too prominent. At moderate levels, the bass sounds more potent than when the volume is at maximum. It never distorts, probably because of the Digital Signal Processing (DSP). When changing to a new track, the speaker plays the first seconds at a very low volume and then goes to whatever volume the speaker is on. It is because the DSP is calibrating itself and can be annoying.
The mid-range is refined, although sometimes can be overcrowded by the lower frequencies. Vocals are clear and warm.
The weakest point is the higher frequencies, which can sound harsh, especially if many cymbals and high-end guitars are involved.
Volume-wise, the speaker is quite loud, and generally, it is a good speaker.
JBL Xtreme is a decent speaker with a good sound, especially with the low and mid frequencies.
It has been a good speaker for years and still keeps it going. For some people, it is better value for the money than Xtreme 2, for example. Xtreme is much cheaper and has almost the same features.
However, JBL Xtreme remains a pretty good speaker system and good value for the money.