If you’re looking for better bass response and overall performance from a portable Bluetooth speaker, you’ve likely found that you need to spend more money and accept that “portable” doesn’t necessarily mean “small”. The JBL Xtreme isn’t cheap or small, but it’s probably the most powerful, portable speaker and bass enthusiasts won’t be disappointed.
There is also a lot of digital signal processing that helps avoid distortion at high volume levels but can confuse some purists. Most listeners, however, will be impressed with Xtreme’s audio performance. JBL Flip 3 is a portable Bluetooth speaker, despite having an old version, it remains of worth across many people.
JBL Xtreme Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review
The Cylindrical Xtreme is a speaker that lives up to its name – it looks a bit like a torpedo, measuring 4.9 x 11.1 x 4.8 inches (HWD) and weighing in at 4.7 pounds. Yes, it’s a portable speaker, but it’s heavy, and the strap that attaches to the buckles on either side of the top is weirdly thick – it’s basically a mini guitar strap – but necessary.
The Xtreme is also beautiful – the woven speaker grille looks like a mixture of fabric and metal and is available in black, blue, or red. Two 63 mm woofers and 35 mm tweeters provide sound under the grille.
On top of the Cylindrical Xtreme are controls – for power, volume (which works in conjunction with the volume of your mobile device), Bluetooth pairing, and play/pause.
There’s also a JBL Connect button to pair multiple JBL speakers to the same sound source, and the Dual Play/Pause button for track navigation on repeated presses (this is also the button you use to answer or end phone calls).
The heavy frame of the Xtreme is prevented from rolling away and slipping by rubber feet on the stand, and directly above the stand, on the back of the speaker, there are connections for the supplied power supply unit, two USB connections (for charging mobile devices) and a 3, 5mm aux input (but no audio cable is included). The most interesting thing about this compartment is the protection chosen by JBL: a zipper covers the connections when it is not in use.
Pairing the Xtreme is a straightforward process; the system can be paired with up to three devices at the same time and automatically reconnects when switched on. JBL estimates the battery life to be around 15 hours, but your results will depend on the volume at which you play your music – and this speaker can get very, very loud. The speaker will turn off after 30 minutes of inactivity or go into standby mode if plugged into a power source.
The build quality is high and the two 2.5-inch (63mm) passive radiators on either end of the beer can-shaped case show that bass performance comes first. Xtreme is also splash-proof and can even be washed under running water if it is heavily soiled (do not submerge). The speaker also comes with a shoulder strap for extra portability.
As with most Bluetooth speakers these days, it’s very easy to set up. A push of a button with the Bluetooth logo is enough and your phone will find it immediately. It doesn’t have NFC, but it still connects quickly.
At the back, hidden behind a zipper, are the inputs for the power supply, the AUX input, and the two USB ports for charging external devices. The 10,000 mAh battery offers up to 15 hours of battery life, depending on the volume of the game, and it takes around 3.5 hours to fully charge.
With a name like Xtreme, you hope its performance is on par, and luckily it does. This speaker offers the ultra-loud playback you would expect from its size, which is perfect if you’re trying to stream music in a large room or outdoors. Even so, playing music at a high volume is of no use if the sound does not play along.
In our testing, we found that it handled jazz, hip-hop, and rock songs well, highlighting the particular facets that make each genre unique. Jazz and Hip-Hop are bass-rich and the mids are relatively warm in sound. The rock sounds powerful, with highs that don’t warp at high volumes. The Xtreme mastered all three perfectly.
Smart Stereo Options
However, attractive design and extensive functionality are not enough to reassure potential buyers in the competitive Bluetooth speaker market. Ultimately, the sound quality always decides whether the JBL Xtreme goes down the drain or not. Fortunately, it sounds really good across the entire frequency range, while the bass, which is usually a problem with most small Bluetooth speakers, is more than sufficient with an adult and powerful character.
If you want to expand the listening experience, you can add additional devices, and with the JBL Connect app (iOS, Android) you can wirelessly connect the devices and select real stereo sound and the built-in speakers use a stereo setup. You can also play the same sound on all devices and distribute it in your listening area. This last option is a good choice at parties.
Pros and Cons of the JBL Xtreme Portable Bluetooth Speaker
- Good sound.
- Possibility to connect several units.
- A bit expensive.
The JBL Xtreme offers exceptional sound performance and long battery life to keep the beat on for up to 17 hours, depending on your music listening level. It’s suitable for the outdoors with its splash-proof design and is a smart choice if you don’t want to sacrifice sound quality for durability.
In conclusion, JBL Xtreme is a portable Bluetooth speaker with a beautiful design and lots of cool features. Also Read: