- The JBL Xtreme 2 and Xtreme 3 are portable Bluetooth speakers that offer excellent sound quality, reliable playing time, and reasonable pricing.
- Both devices have a battery life of 15 hours, but the Xtreme 3 has a shorter charging time of 2.5 hours compared to the Xtreme 2’s 3.5 hours.
- The Xtreme 3 has a total audio power output of 100W, while the Xtreme 2 has a total audio power output of 40W.
- The Xtreme 2 retails at around $199.99, while the Xtreme 3 retails at $299.95.
- The Xtreme 3 is the better option between the two, with lighter weight, better sound quality, superior hardware and protections, and improved connectivity options.
The ideal portable Bluetooth speaker should combine portability, versatility, and audio output. You want a speaker that is easy to carry around, offers multiple connectivity options, and has good sound quality and audio performance.
JBL is one of the best audio equipment companies manufacturing portable Bluetooth speakers that tick all three boxes. Notable portable speakers in JBL’s lineup include the Xtreme 2 and Xtreme 3, which offer excellent sound quality, reliable playing time, and reasonable pricing.
As a result, it can be challenging to pick between the two devices. However, this article will help you compare their features and specifications. Below is an in-depth review of JBL Xtreme 2 vs. Xtreme 3. Let’s get to it.
JBL Xtreme 2 vs. Xtreme 3: Side-by-Side Comparison
|JBL Xtreme 2||JBL Xtreme 3|
|Dimensions||11.3 x 5.4 x 4.2 in||11.75 x 5.35 x 5.28 in|
|Weight||5.27 lbs||4.34 lbs|
|Number of Channels||One||Two|
|Audio Output Power||40W||100W|
|Total Music Playing Time||15 hours||15 hours|
|Charging Time||3.5 hours||2.5 hours|
JBL Xtreme 2 vs. Xtreme 3: What’s the Difference?
Loyal JBL customers associate the brand with premium products, including attention to design details and performance capabilities. As a result, many people often need more time to choose one JBL product over another.
The same conflict of choice applies to the JBL Xtreme 2 and the JBL Xtreme 3. Hence, our review aims to flesh out the differences between these two devices. Below are the primary factors that distinguish them.
Design and Dimensions
The JBL Xtreme 2 and Xtreme 3 share many similarities regarding their design. However, they still have a few differences that set them apart. Let’s discuss their design and build specifications below.
JBL Xtreme 2
The JBL Xtreme 2 has a cylindrical build with a rugged fabric covering the speaker’s curved surface. It also has two passive radiators on either side of the speaker. These design aspects are synonymous with many JBL speakers.
The exterior includes two stands to ensure the speaker does not roll away when placed on flat or slanted surfaces. It also has two hooks for attaching a shoulder strap to improve portability. Based on the Xtreme 2’s exterior build, it is clear that JBL designed the speaker with the users in mind; it is designed for portability and outdoor use.
On the front of the Xtreme 2 is a red square with the JBL logo, while on the back is a waterproof strap with the words Xtreme 2 written on it. Underneath the waterproof strap are the connectivity ports, which can be challenging to access due to the tight and robust fit of the strap itself.
The port’s placement remains a major criticism of the JBL Xtreme 2 speaker. At the top of the device are several buttons, including the power and Bluetooth buttons, and others that regulate volume, play, and pause functions.
Now, let’s talk about the speaker’s dimensions. The Xtreme 2’s measurements are 11.3 x 5.4 x 4.2 inches (28.7 x 13.7 x 10.7 cm). This Bluetooth speaker is also bulky, weighing 5.27 lbs (2.39 kg). This is another shortcoming of the Xtreme 2, as the speaker can feel heavy for most people; especially if you carry it using the shoulder strap.
JBL Xtreme 3
On the other hand, the JBL Xtreme 3 has a cylindrical shape that is slightly curved upwards. Like its predecessor, the Xtreme 3 also has passive radiators on each end of the device. Additionally, it has two hooks at the top for attaching the shoulder strap; this seems to be the standard design for JBL Bluetooth speakers.
The Xtreme 3’s shoulder strap has a bottle opener which offers convenience, especially when by the pool or at the beach. However, instead of two stands like the Xtreme 2, it has ten ridges of varying lengths centrally placed at the bottom to increase stability.
However, some consumers will find that the ridges do not offer adequate support, especially when the device is on inclined surfaces. You may have to place an obstacle on its path to prevent the Xtreme 3 speaker from rolling over and falling.
The JBL logo on the Xtreme 3 is significantly larger than on the Xtreme 2. The logo on the grille covers almost half the device’s front side.
Like the Xtreme 2, the Xtreme 3 has a waterproof strap on the speaker’s other side, protecting the connectivity ports. Buttons on the Xtreme 3 include a power button, a Bluetooth button, a volume regulator, a PartyBoost button, and a Play/ Pause/ Skip button.
The Xtreme 3’s measurements are 11.75 x 5.35 x 5.28 in (29.8 x 13.6 x 13.4 cm). Despite being larger than the Xtreme 2, the Xtreme 3 is lighter, weighing in at 4.34 lbs (1.97 kgs). That is because the Xtreme 3 has a neodymium magnet lighter than the ferrite magnet used in the Xtreme 2.
Overall, the Xtreme 3 is a better-designed device with higher quality and lighter materials than those used on the Xtreme 2.
Waterproofing and Dust Proofing
A device’s resistance to water and dust is measured using the Ingress Protection (IP) rating system. The JBL Xtreme 2 has a rating of IPX7, meaning it does not have dust protection properties. However, the 7 denotes the Xtreme 2’s waterproof rating.
The device can be submerged in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes and still function properly. While consumers hoped the Xtreme 2 would have better waterproof ratings, the current specs are still handy should one drop their speaker into the pool.
On the other hand, the JBL Xtreme 3 has a rating of IP67. The dustproof rating of 6 means the device is entirely dust-tight. This is regardless of the amount of dust the speaker is exposed to.
However, the Xtreme 3 has a similar waterproof rating as the Xtreme 2; it can last 30 minutes under one meter of water. Overall, the Xtreme 3 is your go-to option if you live in a dusty location or like carrying your portable speaker to the beach.
According to JBL, the Xtreme 2 and Xtreme 3 have identical battery lifespans. Users should expect both devices to provide at least 15 hours of playing time on a single charge.
However, the figure only applies if you do not use the USB output to charge other devices like your smartphone. The estimated 15 hours is a reasonable amount of time, enough to cover a whole day of activities without needing a boost.
Once you have drained the Xtreme 2’s battery, it will take 3.5 hours to recharge it fully. That is considerably longer than the 2.5 hours it will take to recharge the Xtreme 3’s battery. Given its shorter charging time, the Xtreme 3 edges out the Xtreme 2 in this category.
The JBL Xtreme 2 has a two-channel stereo speaker system consisting of two RMS Bi-amps with 20W each. This results in a total audio power output of 40W. The Bi-amp allocates an amplification channel to the Xtreme 2’s tweeter and subwoofer, which helps create better amplification and sound.
As a result, the Xtreme 2 produces delicately balanced sounds that accentuate the bass and treble with almost equal focus. However, one does notice that the device produces slightly better bass sounds than treble sounds.
In fact, despite having an audio frequency range of 55Hz to 20,000Hz, the device struggles with generating clear and audible sounds at higher frequencies. This shortcoming is almost unnoticeable for the average listener but may put off audiophiles.
On the other hand, the Xtreme 3 also has a two-channel stereo speaker system with two RMS woofers and two RMS tweeters. Each woofer and tweeter produces 25W, contributing to a total audio power output of 100W. The Xtreme 3 also has a better frequency range of 53.5Hz to 20,000Hz.
Consequently, the Xtreme 3 produces better balanced and immersive sound than the Xtreme 2. Its four drivers and two passive radiators enhance bass and treble sounds so that it does not overwhelm listeners, especially at higher pitch frequencies.
This means listeners do not have to worry about clarity issues. Overall, the Xtreme 3 is the better device for outdoor parties, with the ability to produce louder and clearer sounds.
The Xtreme 2 and Xtreme 3 Bluetooth speakers have several similar connectivity options. For example, both devices have wireless Bluetooth streaming that allows you to connect at most two smartphones or tablets.
You can then alternate which device plays music without disconnecting one device to connect the other. However, the Xtreme 3 uses the superior Bluetooth 5.1 version, while the Xtreme 2 uses Bluetooth 4.2.
Both Bluetooth speakers also have 3.5mm audio cable input, allowing users to connect them to other audio devices like MP3 and CD players. The Xtreme 2 and Xtreme 3 also have USB ports that convert the speakers to power banks, allowing you to charge your smartphone or tablet.
However, unlike the Xtreme 2, the Xtreme 3 has no speakerphone. The Xtreme 2’s speakerphone has noise and echo-canceling technology that allows users to make phone calls via the speaker. This is disappointing, considering we expected the Xtreme 3 to be an upgrade of the Xtreme 2.
The Xtreme 2 and Xtreme 3 use different features to connect to other JBL devices. The Xtreme 2 uses JBL Connect+, which allows users to connect to up to 100 other devices with the same quality specs, such as the JBL Charge 4.
On the other hand, the Xtreme 3 uses JBL PartyBoost, which connects to other devices with the same feature, like the JBL Charge 5. Neither the Xtreme 2 nor the Xtreme 3 is backward compatible, meaning they can only connect to devices with JBL Connect+ and JBL PartyBoost, respectively.
The JBL Xtreme 2 retails at around $199.99 on the JBL website. However, you can find deals for the device that price it as low as $160. On the other hand, the JBL Xtreme 3 retails at $299.95 on the JBL website; there are bargain sales on online marketplaces that price it as low as $280.
Both devices are generally reasonably priced, considering their specifications. Therefore, consumers should expect value for money when they buy either one. However, the upgrades on the Xtreme 3 are worth the extra $100.
JBL Xtreme 2 vs. Xtreme 3: 5 Must-Know Facts
- The JBL Xtreme 2 and Xtreme 3 have a rechargeable battery with a 10,000 mAh capacity.
- The JBL Xtreme 3 has an IP67 rating, meaning it is waterproof and dust resistant. The Xtreme 2 has an IPX7 rating, meaning it is only waterproof and should not be exposed to dust.
- Both the JBL Xtreme 2 and Xtreme 3 Bluetooth speakers have a playing time of 15 hours.
- The Xtreme 2 needs 3.5 hours to charge fully, while the Xtreme 3 needs 2.5 hours.
- The Xtreme 3 uses Bluetooth 5.1, which allows faster data transfer than the Bluetooth 4.2 version in the Xtreme 2.
JBL Xtreme 2 vs. Xtreme 3: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Use?
JBL manufactures some of the best audio devices you can buy today; one of its specialties are portable Bluetooth speakers. Despite being bulkier than other models, the Xtreme 2 and Xtreme 3 are among the best devices in the portable speaker segment. They improve your outdoor experience through their high-quality sound production.
However, if you had to choose between the two devices, the Xtreme 3 would be the better option. The device is lighter, creates more immersive sounds, has better hardware and protections, and has superior connectivity options.
Moreover, the Xtreme 3 is not very expensive, retailing at $100 more than the Xtreme 2. Still, the Xtreme 3’s superior specs justify its price tag. Therefore, you should use the latest model, the Xtreme 3, for your outdoor parties and hangouts.