JBL Xtreme Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
It has massive bass – it’s portable – splashproof – and wireless. Simple Bluetooth pairing and the touch of a few buttons is all you need to start listening. If you’ve been searching for the solution to your portable speaker problem – you came to the right place.
Do you need a reliable portable Bluetooth speaker that won’t die after 1 hour? Have you been looking for the perfect speaker to use outdoors that won’t get ruined by a single drop of water, or minor spill? Are you unhappy with the speaker that you’re currently using?
Stop messing around with sub-par audio gear and giving yourself a headache. The answer to your problem is just around the corner. Keep reading to see the solution. Welcome to our JBL Xtreme Review.
JBL Xtreme Review
This portable wireless speaker from JBL is definitely a stand-out among its competitors. Overall, the Xtreme is hard-hitting, has a long-lasting battery life, and outperforms speakers like the Amazon Echo or Sonos One in the most important area: Playing high-quality music that you can crank up the volume on and use in multiple social situations, or by yourself.
Just like anything else (especially electronics and audio gear) it does have it’s downsides. We’ll cover all of that and more – plus you’ll see some of the features in action to give you a solid idea of what you can expect.
Features and Technical Specifications:
- Listen for up to 15 hours on a single charge
- Pair up to 3 separate wireless devices at the same time
- The built-in speaker has noise and echo cancellation features
- Features a built-in 10000 mAh rechargeable battery
- Splashproof build design (protects against minor spills/water exposure)
- Includes an attachable shoulder strap (for easy transport)
- JBL Bass Radiator (for more powerful bass response)
- JBL Connect app (allows you to connect/pair multiple JBL wireless speakers)
- Bluetooth version 4.1
- 3.5-hour full battery charge time
- Features 2 x 35 mm tweeters
- Features 2 x 63 mm woofers
- Ability to charge USB devices while playing music (via 2 additional external USB ports)
- Colors Available: Camo, Blue, Black, Red
- Dimensions: 12.5 x 7.8 x 7.8 inches
- Weight: 4.65 lbs.
Sound Quality, Volume, and Bass
A lot of portable speakers claim to have the best sound, biggest bass, and loudest volume. Calling this one the “Xtreme” is very befitting, and soon you’ll know why.
The bass response on this compact speaker might surprise you (especially after you watch the video below). There are similarly-priced models on the market, and many have compared the Xtreme to the Bose SoundLink III.
There are a few major differences. When you press play on the JBL speaker, you’ll notice a richer, deeper bass when compared against the Bose SoundLink III. That says a lot about the sound quality – since Bose is well known for high-quality audio playback.
What Kind Of Music Will Sound The Best?
You’re probably wondering how this speaker will handle your genre of choice. Most EDM, hip-hop, electronic, pop, dubstep, and any other genre with a bass-enhanced sound profile will sound awesome playing from the Xtreme.
In the video below, you’ll see how powerful the bass on this speaker is:
Use the link here for 15 similar-sounding songs that are great for testing headphones, bass, and speaker strength.
As you saw in the video, the bass is definitely one of the strong features of this speaker. The bass radiators look similar to a subwoofer in a car sound system that shakes and booms with powerful bass.
How Loud Does It Go?
Some people like to push the limits of their audio gear. It’s fun to test things like the volume just to see how far you can push it. If you like pushing the limits – you’ll have a lot of fun testing this one out.
It can power an entire room without too much effort or annoying crackling sounds. It’ll play music loud enough for use outside, in the living room, kitchen, bathroom, and other decent-sized rooms. You can even use the JBL Connect app to pair multiple JBL speakers and double or triple the volume.
Sometimes when you turn the volume louder and louder, the music starts to distort. The Xtreme performs well, even at high volumes without making your music sound too muddy or distorted. (Playing music at full volume for long periods of time will have an effect on your battery life.)
Build Material and Splashproof Feature
The material covering the outside of this speaker is durable and splashproof. On the back, there’s a functioning zipper that will keep the external ports safe when it’s not in use. (We’ll go over that in more detail below.)
You might’ve noticed the two metal loops on the top of the speaker. There’s one on the left and one on the right side. That’s where you’ll attach the shoulder strap if you decide to use it. Since the Xtreme doesn’t come with an actual carrying case the shoulder strap can be a pretty convenient way to bring your music with you.
Since this device is fully portable and has a 15-hour battery life, it’s perfect for on-the-go (and outdoor) occasions. It’s perfect for camping, listening at the park, in your backyard, at the pool – pretty much anywhere you want to share your music.
What Does “Splashproof” Actually Mean?
It also has splashproof features. Electronics either have or don’t have, something called an IPX rating. What is an IPX rating? IPX ratings let you know how much moisture a device can withstand without ruining it forever.
The Xtreme doesn’t have an official waterproof rating, but it is fully splashproof. This will protect your new speaker from minor spills, splashes, and slight rainfall. In case of an accidental spill (like a knocked over drink), it will still function like new. The main thing you’ll want to avoid is throwing it in a pool or any other significant body of water.
We discussed pushing your gear to the limits (volume-wise), but I wouldn’t suggest testing the splashproof limits – since there’s not much you can do if you accidentally push it too far. As long as you keep it safe from any major moisture exposure – it’ll keep on playing your favorite songs.
Connecting To Multiple JBL Speakers – Party Mode
The bass booms and the volume cranks pretty high without ruining the audio quality. Can you connect it to other JBL speakers? Yes.
I’m sure you can imagine how much louder, fuller, and better your music would sound playing out of 2 or three of these speakers, right?
Once you download the JBL Connect app (free from the Apple/Android app stores) you can use it to pair multiple speakers at once. JBL likes to call it Party Mode – you’ll see why in the video below.
Double or Triple Up For More Volume and Bass!
The ability to have twice (or three times) as much volume and bass is especially helpful for outdoor use. When you’re in a room with four walls and a ceiling – it doesn’t take much to fill it with sound. On the flip side – when you’re outside your audio has more room to roam free. That’s why you’ll want to consider doubling up and pairing two or more at the same time.
If you want to see Party Mode in action, watch the sound demo below with the JBL Xtreme and JBL Charge 3:
Pretty impressive, right? Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the other features.
Battery Life, Charging Time, and Bluetooth Connection
As you can see in the picture above, you will find all of the external outputs on the back of the speaker. This is where you’ll plug in the charging cable, charge your other devices via USB, and/or connect another device using the 3.5 mm aux port.
A Few Variables To Consider
The Xtreme has a built-in rechargeable 10000 mAh lithium-ion battery. Since it’s a pretty hefty battery – you’ll be able to keep on jamming for up to 16 hours. The actual battery life that you can expect will depend on a few factors.
- The volume of your music
- External devices charging via USB
If you have the volume turned to it’s maxed setting the entire time you’re using this speaker, you won’t get quite as much playback time. 16 hours is reasonable to expect if you play music at around 50-60%. Also, it makes sense that when you’re charging multiple other devices using the external outputs, the battery life will drain faster.
Even so, as long as you keep it charged up most of the time, it has a better than average lifespan – especially considering its sonic performance. For a full charge, it takes about 3.5 hours. I’d recommend charging it overnight or while you’re at work. (That way, when you get home, it’ll be ready to go.) Overall, keep in mind that the battery life will vary depending on the individual use factors we went over.
How’s The Bluetooth Connection?
You can pair up to 3 wireless devices at the same time. Let’s say you have a tablet, your friend has a smartphone, and your third friend has his tablet. Using the pairing function, connect all 3 devices.
You (with your tablet) have a new album that you want to show your friends. You play a song or two then decide to let your friend (with their smartphone) play one of their favorites. After they’re done – the third friend can also jump in and share some music.
JBL put a lot of thought and effort into this feature and it turned out to be a pretty useful feature. If you’re a fellow melomaniac (you’re a bit of a music fanatic) you’ll love taking turns trading songs back and forth. (It also helps that you won’t have to manually pair and un-pair every single time you trade-off.)
Minor Lag Response – Consider This
One common issue that comes up is approx. 1 second lag at the start of each song. With most portable Bluetooth devices/speakers, you’ll usually experience some minor lag. If you can deal with about 1 second of every new song you switch to being left off – it won’t be too much of an issue.
A lot of songs take a second or two to really get going but sometimes, the lead-in can make quite the difference (depending on your preference).
Are You Ready To Experience The Xtreme?
Did our JBL Xtreme Review give you enough information to make your decision? Do you need to see the main pros and cons before you decide? Take a look at our review table below. You can see the main pros/cons and our overall rating (out of 10).
Do you want a second opinion? Would it help to see over 2,000 more customer reviews? Click the button at the bottom of the review table or use the link here for current pricing info and/or star ratings on Amazon.
What do you think? Are you ready to experience everything this portable wireless speaker has to offer? Do you already own a portable JBL speaker? I’d love to hear your thoughts below! Also, if you’d like further clarification or have any other questions – feel free to ask, I’ll do my best to respond as quickly as I can!
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed!
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