September 3, 2020
11.75 x 5.35 x 5.28 inches
Like the rest of the speakers that are within the Xtreme lineup, the JBL Xtreme 3 aims to deliver all your expectations from an outdoor speaker. Its rugged build quality makes the speaker handle the most challenging environmental conditions.
But you could say the same thing for the JBL Xtreme 2 and some of the high-end outdoor Bluetooth speakers available in the market. So, what really makes the Xtreme 3 stand out from the rest?
Most importantly, is the Xtreme 3 a proper successor to the Xtreme 2? You can get the answers to these questions and learn more about the speaker by going through this in-depth review.
JBL Xtreme 3 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
A rugged speaker that can deliver the sonic boom that most look for
When it comes to outdoor use, there are not that many speakers that you can put against the JBL Xtreme 3. JBL has truly taken the build quality to an extreme level. The overall construction is of materials that can easily withstand harsh environmental conditions.
So, it doesn’t really matter whether you want to go camping or hiking with the Xtreme 3. It even comes with an IP67 rating, which further solidifies the build quality and offers you peace of mind while you’re outdoors with the speaker.
Also, the Xtreme 3 can get pretty loud for an outdoor speaker. In other words, you can easily blast all your favorite music tracks across the camping spot. And the speaker does a great job of reproducing the voices and lead instruments with high clarity.
However, there are some inconsistencies in the frequency range. That could make the sound output feel a bit dull. But the good news is that you can use a graphic EQ to tune and improve the sound output. This feature makes the Xtreme 3 a better pick against the JBL Charge 4 regarding sound.
Moreover, there’s no support for WiFi, Apple AirPlay, or Chromecast. So, you have to rely on Bluetooth for wireless connectivity, which isn’t a positive thing for a speaker of this price.
- Output Power: 2 x 25W woofer and 2 x 25W tweeter
- Dynamic Frequency Response: 53.5 Hz to 20k Hz
- Bluetooth Version: Bluetooth 5.1
- Bluetooth Profiles: A2DP 1.6 and AVRCP 1.3
- Wired Connectivity: 3.5mm
- Play Time: 15 hours
- Charging Time: 2.5 hours
- IP Rating: IP67
What’s in the Box?
- JBL Adaptor with Power Cable + Regional Plug
- JBL Xtreme 3 Strap
- USB-C charging adapter
Stuff I like
- Decent sound output
- Comes with hooks for attaching a strap
- IP67 rating
- It can get pretty loud
- Great battery life
Stuff I like less
- No built-in microphone
- Treble and low-bass performance could’ve been better
Comparable products to consider
The Sony SRS-XG300 is built to go wherever you go and to be as durable as you are. This speaker is dust proof & waterproof (IP67 rating). That means you can take the XG300 to the park, the beach, or wherever you like. The sound performance and battery performance of the speaker are great as well.
Even though the JBL Xtreme 3 is the third iteration of the lineup, JBL has kept the design pretty similar to its predecessor. To put it in another way, at first glance, you wouldn’t be able to tell it apart when both the Xtreme 2 and the Xtreme 3 are together.
As a matter of fact, even the JBL Charge 5 comes with a similar design. And if you take a closer look into some more speakers that are in JBL’s range, most of them feature a very similar design. This isn’t a bad thing, though.
The cylindrical-type shape of the wireless speakers from JBL makes the speakers easy to hold. And they take reasonably less space in backpacks for having this shape. So, you can’t hold a similar design type as the predecessor against the Xtreme 3.
Build Quality and Durability
For an outdoor speaker, the JBL Xtreme 3 has excellent build quality. The overall construction is of high-quality materials, making it perfect for every outdoor environment. It comes with an IP67 rating, which makes it capable of easily handling splashes of water and dust.
Moreover, you can even keep the speaker submerged in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes. So, even if you don’t end up using the speaker outdoors, you can make it act like a shower speaker.
What’s more interesting is that the base and the sides of the Xtreme 3 are made of rubber. This rubber hinders the speaker from slipping and sliding around when you put it on top of a flat and relatively slippery surface.
While the JBL Xtreme 3 is a relatively large and weighty speaker, it’s reasonably portable. JBL has integrated hooks on the body to make carrying the speaker easier. But what do you use these hooks for?
You’ll find a carrying strap inside the box, which you can attach to these hooks. Once connected, you can bring the wireless speaker along everywhere you go. And you don’t need to carry a backpack just to take the speaker with you everywhere.
Overall Sound Performance
Out of the packaging, the frequency response of the JBL Xtreme 3 is relatively even and quite balanced. Without any tuning, the drivers do an excellent job in the mid-range, making the speaker offer clear, well-detailed voices and lead instrument sounds.
But JBL could’ve fine-tuned the audio profile more to make it nearly perfect in the default stage. Specifically, if JBL had taken care of the dip in the treble range, things would’ve looked much better for the Xtreme 3 in terms of the overall sound performance.
JBL speakers, whether it’s the Xtreme 3, Flip 5, Flip 6, or Charge 5, are well-known for having dedicated sound profiles. And at the core, the JBL signature sound that the Xtreme 3 comes with is basically boosted bass. Thanks to that, you can hear most of the rumble and thump of the playback with high overall details.
The dual-passive radiators of the JBL Xtreme 3 play a significant role in keeping the bass enjoyable. Aside from producing vocals correctly, the radiators ensure that the strings, drums, and other instruments of the music have the right bass.
However, you need to consider the fact that the Xtreme 3 is a highly portable speaker. So, don’t expect it to match the bass performance of large speakers in your home theater setup.
As mentioned before, the frequency response of the JBL Xtreme 3 is excellent in the mid-range region. For that reason, you can easily hear the details of the vocals and lead instruments. This mid-range performance also makes the Xtreme 3 a perfect wireless speaker for listening to podcasts, audiobooks, and other vocal-heavy content.
Although the speaker’s bass and mid-range performance are great, it doesn’t do that well in the treble region. There’s a good amount of dip in the region, sometimes making the audio output feel dull. However, you can improve the treble performance by utilizing the graphic EQ.
Controls and Ease of Use
The JBL Xtreme 3 comes with large-sized and easy-to-press buttons. It has a simple playback management feature, which lets you do all the basics. That includes playing and pausing the music, skipping the track, and controlling the volume. However, there’s no option to backtrack.
Another good thing about the controls of the Xtreme 3 is that the power and Bluetooth buttons light up. Thanks to that, you don’t need to guess whether the speaker is on and if it’s connected to a device. On the note of power, the speaker has vertical indicator lights to let you know about the battery percentage.
In addition, there’s a special button called PartyBoost on this wireless speaker. As JBL calls it, this PartyBoost button lets you connect with other PartyBoost-enabled speakers. In other words, you can use this button to link the Xtreme 3 with other compatible speakers and make them sync the sound output.
Battery Life and Charging
The JBL Xtreme 3 comes with a decently-sized battery inside. With a full charge, the battery can make the speaker run for up to 15 hours, which is more than enough for a full-fledged outdoor party and camping session.
While the battery is large, it doesn’t take long to charge. To be specific, you can get the internal battery from 0% to 100% in just 2.5 hours.
You can run the Xtreme 3 in both wired and wireless modes. The speaker comes with a 3.5mm input jack for the wired mode. And for wireless, you need to rely on the Bluetooth 5.1 chipset inside.
Now, while there’s a USB-A port, it’s only for outputting power, not for the USB audio playback. Yes, the speaker can act like a power bank.
The JBL Portable app offers a good range of options for the JBL Xtreme 3. Available for both iOS and Android, you can modify the sound, connect it with two speakers to create a stereo effect and create a linked speaker setup by connecting it with multiple speakers with the app.
In short, the JBL Xtreme 3 is an excellent pick for a rugged outdoor speaker. It has a robust build quality, can deliver pleasant sound, and is easy to use. However, it would’ve been great to see other wireless connectivity options and a microphone on the speaker.
Slava is a man of mystery and no-one seems to know exactly where he is at any point in time. When he isn't enjoying writing about all things audio and technical he can be found researching his next project of interest. The man never rests.
This post was last updated on 2023-12-02 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.