In today’s post, let’s see how two of my favorite Bluetooth speakers, JBL Xtreme 3 and JBL charge 5, are similar and different. I’ll also share my thoughts on which one to get at the end.
|JBL Xtreme 3||JBL Charge 5|
|BUY NOW||BUY NOW|
|+ Fantastic battery life.|
+ Balanced mid-range.
+ Incredibly portable.
|+ Well-built and portable.|
+ Stereo soundstage.
+ Supports multi-device pairing.
|– Compression artifacts at max volume.|
– Requires two units for stereo sound.
|– Lacks low-bass.|
– Compression artifacts at max volume.
JBL Xtreme 3 vs Charge 5: Similarities & Differences
The Xtreme 3 is on the bottom and the Charge 5 is on the top; both are in the same football-like shape and wrapped in a tough waterproof and dustproof mesh material with rubber bumpers on the sides surrounding the passive base radiators. At first glance, aside from the size difference, they appear identical, which is mostly true except for a few other minor differences. Let’s start with the similarities.
Both speakers have the same controls on the top and rubber feet in a line pattern on the flat bottom to prevent the speakers from rolling or slipping. Each speaker has a bold JBL logo and indicator light strip in the front. Both speakers can connect to the JBL portable app for firmware updates and connect to other supported JBL speakers in the party boost mode.
Now, the variations. There are a few smaller ones in addition to the apparent size difference. The Xtreme 3 comes in three colors: black, blue, and camouflage, while the Charge 5 comes in seven: red, grey, blue, force green, and teo squad, similar to camo and black. When fully charged, the Xtreme 3 has 15 hours of play time, while the charge 5 has a 20-hour battery life. Charge 5 only has USBC and USBA ports.
The Xtreme 3 is much larger and has two hooks and a matching carrying strap, which is an excellent addition. Under this rubber cover in the back, the Xtreme 3 has a USB-c port for charging and powering the speaker and a USB-a port for charging another device. It also has an aux input for another music source, which can be very useful for those who still have older analog devices around the house. The side bumpers are larger and have a different texture on the Xtreme 3.
Okay, the two differ in terms of size and weight. The Xtreme 3 is significantly larger; it measures approximately 11 inches long and has a diameter of 5.5 inches in the center, tapering to about 4.5 inches on the sides. The Charge 5 is significantly smaller, measuring only 8.5 inches long and having a center diameter of 4 inches that tapers off to 3 inches on the sides. Although the Xtreme 3 is still portable, the Charge 5 weighs only 2 pounds, making it much easier for me to carry around.
JBL Xtreme 3 vs Charge 5: Sound Quality
Along with the two passive radiators on the sides, the stereo sound system has two 25-watt drivers, two 25-watt tweeters, and more. With two smaller passive bass radiators on the sides and a single 30-watt driver and 10-watt tweeter, the Charge 5 is only monophonic. Both have the good JBL sound, which is slightly more bass-heavy and has good mids and highs. Sound quality and signature are roughly the same on both for me. With a stereo pair of drivers and tweeters, the Xtreme 3 is undoubtedly louder and sounds wider and more immersive.
In a nutshell
- Both the speakers are waterproof and dustproof, rated at IP67.
- Both speakers can connect to other supported JBL speakers in the party boost mode.
- The Xtreme 3 comes in three colors, while the Charge 5 comes in seven colors.
- The Xtreme 3 is much larger and has two hooks and a carrying strap.
- The Xtreme 3 measures approximately 11 inches long, with a diameter of 5.5 inches in the center and a tapering of about 4.5 inches on the sides.
- The Charge 5 measures 8.5 inches long, with a center diameter of 4 inches that tapers off to 3 inches on the sides.
Price & Conclusion
The Charge 5 costs $179, while the Xtreme 3 is more than twice as expensive at $379. If you don’t need the loudness, go with either speaker because they are both excellent. For most uses in a decent-sized room or outdoors for a small party, Charge 5 is adequate. It sounds almost as good, is much more portable, and is $200 less expensive. The Xtreme 3 is a great option if the price is not a concern and you are okay with the larger size and weight because it sounds louder and has a more expansive sound stage and an input for playing music from an old-school source.