JBL Xtreme 3 review: Boshing out the bass

9 months ago 108
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(Pocket-lint) - The JBL Xtreme 3 is the company's portable Bluetooth talker - literally, it has a shoulder-strap transportation grip that you tin clip connected oregon disconnected -  delivering an astir army-esque aesthetic, on with big, bubbling levels of bass.

As we said of its Xtreme 2 predecessor, it's hardly the prettiest oregon astir blase looking talker around. But past this isn't trying to beryllium immoderate benignant of Bang & Olufsen fancy-pants indoors instrumentality - it's each astir being bold and rugged, acknowledgment to its caller afloat dust- and water-resistance, and large for the large outdoors.

So erstwhile the satellite opens up, is the JBL Xtreme 3 the portable enactment talker to bring to those parkland picnics and excavation parties?

Design & Build

  • Dimensions: 299 x 136 x 134mm / Weight: 1.97kg
  • Ports: USB-C charging, USB-A out, 3.5mm in
  • Included transportation handle, clips on/off
  • Durable cloth and rubber design
  • Physical power buttons connected top
  • IP67 particulate and h2o resistance

We've precocious reviewed the smaller JBL Charge 5, the archetypal of the company's speakers to correspond a step-change successful design, embodying the new, larger JBL logo. The Xtreme 3 is similar that small speaker, conscionable upscaled.


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Well, almost. It's intolerable to miss the 2 large metallic loops up apical of the Xtreme 3, onto which the included transportation grip tin quick-clip onto for carting this talker astir implicit your shoulder. It's this diagnostic that volition divided the pack: galore volition privation a much subtle plan with a transportation handle; others volition find practicality successful not needing to springiness up a manus successful bid to transportation it around.

Between those transportation clips are the carnal power buttons, comprising on/off, Bluetooth connectivity, abstracted positive and minus measurement controls, and a JBL app/multi-speaker pairing control.


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Gone are the 'feet' of the 2 older Xtreme designs, replaced by rubberised diagonal embossed lines that guarantee the talker stays upright without the unwarranted ocular protrusions. It's a overmuch neater look.

With its robust mesh exterior and near-cylindrical shape, the Xtreme 3 is designed to springiness optimum abstraction to the 2 unfastened and exclamation-marked ends, which is wherever it lets the aerial travel retired successful bid to present the biggest of bass potential. Watching these panels warble arsenic the bass pumps retired is alternatively mesmerising.

In presumption of sources, the JBL is reasonably basic: there's Bluetooth 5.1, a 3.5mm AUX input, and USB-C charging larboard down a sheet to the rear. Oddly this sheet is inactive fiddly to region (a ailment we besides had of the predecessor), arsenic we've often needed to get immoderate different entity to assistance prise it open. For immoderate crushed the USB-C larboard is besides hidden - much noticeable present arsenic that's ever exposed connected the smaller Charge 5 - truthful you person to get down the Xtreme 3's flap for involvement of recharging.


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We tin sort-of recognize wherefore that sheet needs to stay firmly shut, successful bid to adhere to the dust- and water-resistance (it's IP67 rated, meaning you tin chuck the merchandise successful a excavation and it's not going to halt working) - but, again, the Charge 5 has the aforesaid standing and doesn't request to fell its USB-C port.

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Sound Quality

  • 2x 70mm woofers, 2x 20mm tweeters, dual passive radiators
  • Frequency response: 53.5Hz - 20,000Hz
  • 100W full powerfulness output
  • JBL PartyBoost app
  • 15hrs playback
  • Bluetooth 5.1

The JBL Xtreme 3 is loud, similar really loud. It's got 4 drivers and 2 bass radiators, delivering 100W powerfulness output successful total. While that fig isn't massive, this talker is inactive bully capable to present large dependable to groups of radical - and its measurement needn't beryllium cranked to the max to entertain. It's impressively large portion remaining perfectly wide too, which is ever a motion of quality.


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As we said of its predecessor: the top happening astir this JBL Xtreme is its bass delivery. This exemplary squeezes retired a mates of other Hertz astatine the low-end - present to 53Hz - delivering low-frequency with vigour. With bass euphony it's capable to drawback clasp of large 808 bass hits, for example, and present them with gusto. Equally it'll grip different genres conscionable arsenic good oregon adjacent better: fixed that bass guitars can't truly tune beneath 60Hz anyway, that frequence is ideally positioned to truly drive.

Even with a high-volume output the on-board artillery tin past for up to 15 hours - that's nary betterment implicit the predecessor, it should beryllium noted - but you'll conscionable person to crook it down a small to execute that time. We've been utilizing it arsenic an bureau talker astir of the time, oregon moved it into the room erstwhile cooking, wherever it's delivered a mates of days worthy of non-stop tunes nary problems.

While the dependable is large and crisp and there's tons of bass, don't fto the cylindrical plan fool you into reasoning it's each all-direction output. It's not. The Xtreme 3 is  precise overmuch a front-on speaker, with the rear not offering output. That's not needfully a atrocious happening if you don't privation to unnecessarily nonstop dependable to others successful a nationalist space, but determination are competitors that merchantability connected the precise information dependable output is omni-directional.


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There's besides the JBL PartyBoost app available, should you privation to brace your JBL talker with different for utilizing successful stereo mode, oregon brace it with yet much (up to 100, apparently, which we're definite cipher has ever done). Fun idea, though.


The JBL Xtreme 3 improves upon its predecessor by adding dust-resistance (part of the IP67 rating), a mates of other Hertz little frequence effect astatine the low-end, and tweaks to the plan that - contempt the present immense logo - bash marque it look amended each round.

That said, it's not the prettiest talker ever, but past it's truly designed for the large outdoors, with the quality to motion disconnected h2o splashes and submersions, and adjacent fistfuls of soil oregon particulate without fuss.

That transportation grip plan volition apt divided the pack, but there's not galore different products offering specified a applicable solution, truthful there's nary denying immoderate volition spot it arsenic a highly applicable solution.

Most important of all, though, is that this talker boshes retired the bass. The dependable is loud, crisp and truly thumps nary substance what philharmonic genre you hap to propulsion its way. That, overall, is what'll merchantability this talker and marque it worthy its screen price.

Also consider


Alternative photograph  1

Ultimate Ears Hyperboom

If you privation a idiosyncratic enactment talker with bags of bass, this Ultimate Ears talker goes supra and beyond its smaller-scale cousins. It'll permission a batch of the contention successful the dust, too. It's overmuch bigger than the JBL, though, which is thing to support successful mind.


Writing by Mike Lowe. Originally published connected 31 July 2021.

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