JBL Xtreme Bluetooth Speaker – REVIEW

When the JBL Charge is too small but the JBL Boombox is too big, the JBL Xtreme Bluetooth Speaker is perfect. Read the review here.

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[table id=2 hide_columns=”all” show_columns=”a,b,f,l,x” /] Specs from manufacturer. If incorrect, please contact us.

I’m pleased to test this and see how it stacks up with the rest.  The JBL Xtreme Bluetooth Speaker looks to compete with the heavyweights in the Bluetooth Speaker Market.  As always, you can check updated pricing by clicking the link above.

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PHYSICAL DESIGN
As always, going over the physical features first, this is a very decent size: 9 inches wide, 5 inches tall and 4.8 inches deep, all while weighing in at 4.7 pounds, making this slightly bigger and just slightly heavier than the two other heavy weights, the UE Megaboom and Bose Soundlink 3.  Although bigger and heavier, it’s still mobile, just not as easy in someone’s bag.  JBL does include a simple carrying strap, attached to both sides of the speaker for over-the-shoulder carrying.  But being big and heavy isn’t such a negative trait if you’re looking for big sound.  You can see this on other side, with the Xtreme’s massive bass radiators when music is being pushed, not only giving a nice aesthetic look but very much a functional feature, pushing and moving the air around it.

But before getting into sound, the top features your very sturdy, very tactile Bluetooth pairing button, volume down, power on and off, and to the right, is what they call the “JBL Connect” feature.  You can chain other newer JBL speakers, like another Xtreme, the Flip 3, or the soon to be released Pulse 2 and have all of those speakers play at the same time from the same source, offering more room filling music, or music in different parts of the house.  Volume up is to follow, with lastly, the pause and play button.

BUILD QUALITY AND WATERPROOFING
And rest assured, everything on the Xtreme is rock solid from my testing, no flexing metal frames, seams are tightly assembled, and materials all around looks top-notch.  But besides being built tough, it’s also rain and splash-proof with a very rugged and tough nylon braided exterior.   You just can’t submerge this under water, so no dropping this into the Lake or into the pool either intentionally or accidentally, unlike the UE Megaboom I tested a few months back.  That however, can be immersed up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes.  Of course, the Bose Soundlink 3 can’t get wet at all.

CONNECTIONS & BATTERY LIFE
Going to the bottom of the Xtreme, just-wide-enough rubber feet are provided to prevent the speaker from shaking off the table, and behind this orange zipper here are all of your physical connections.  I do have to admit, this is a bit tight the very first time trying to connect wires, but after the 2nd or 3rd time, pressing the upper flap up was key.  To the left is a Micro-USB port for servicing only, (I tried charging this with a USB cord, though that didn’t work), 3.5mm input, two USB ports to charge two devices simultaneously, and last to the right is the power port for the supplied wall-charger.  Indeed, this has a large charging brick for a Bluetooth speaker, but inside is a massive 10,000 mAh battery.  The Xtreme claims it can be powered for up to 15 hours, and with my personal testing, the same test I do on all Bluetooth speakers, leaving this playing at 50% volume as a middle-of-the-road standardized test, the Xtreme lasted me a crazy 18 hours and 16 minutes to be precise when it shut off on me.  And when compared to the UE Megaboom, although it’s claimed to have 20 hours, my same test yielded 17 hours and 30 minutes of on-time.  Regardless, both of these speakers do ridiculously well in battery performance compared to what’s out there.  In regards to recharging, JBL claims 3.5 hours, though I was able to achieve from a dead battery to full in 3 hours and 20 minutes.

So that’s everything physical about the Xtreme.  I do admit, it is missing NFC, or near field communication, for easy pairing, a feature I think is really underrated, but highly convenient for Android users.

SPEAKERPHONE
One last feature before doing the sound test – there is a built-in speakerphone option.  JBL claims to offer noise and echo cancelling technology, but in my real test, at 3 feet I was understandable but a bit muffled, and at six or so feet, I was noticeably further away in audio, and sounded slightly distant.

SOUND QUALITY
So to the moment you have been waiting for – the Xtreme audio review.  To get this one out the way, the UE Boom, a very good speaker by itself, but when compared to the other two, does sound the weakest of them all, lacking in most sound characteristics that I’m about to discuss. The Xtreme hands-down provided the most fulfilling sound – richer, deeper bass than the Soundlink 3 and most other speakers on the market.  But with its combination of forward and clear mids, the Xtreme provides more immersion into each song and each movie.  Don’t get me wrong, the Bose Soundlink 3 is still very well done, but there is a noticeable enough difference when you compare the two in person.  The Soundlink 3 sounds a bit more recessed, kind of like a glass ceiling, if I can give you an illustration – it reaches a certain limitation.

The one and only area where I did notice a slight downfall, and it’s very minute, is I can hear the Bose Soundlink 3 providing a slightly better open sound-stage.  You can hear in songs and more-so in movies where sound is coming from.  More specifically, from front to back.  An example, when the chorus is heard in the back while the main vocalist is in the fore-front, or in movies, when you hear shooting up close and explosions in the distance, this can experienced more-so on the Soundlink 3.  But again, the Xtreme pushes everything else and gives you a direct feel and experience with the audio.  I personally did not experience any distortion either in bass, or any tinging in its high notes.   The sound signature I see as being very much fitting for all genres, from rap, hip/hop, pop, EDM music, and down to classic rock.

So I hope this review helped you in some way, if you did enjoy my work, be sure to add me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.  As always, I encourage everyone to write in the comment section below, let me know your thoughts about the JBL Xtreme.  Again, I’m Jimmy with Jim’s Review Room. You guys take care, and I’ll see you on the next one.