JBL Xtreme 2 vs Xtreme 3: Which is more Extreme?

Is the JBL Xtreme 3 the finest Bluetooth speaker in 2021 and beyond? Is the sound extreme, or should we rename this the JBL unimpressive 3? We’ll soon learn that I paid $350 for this out of my pocket. I’m here to tell you what’s worth getting before you buy it because this price will only continue to drop over time, so let’s get started.

Xtreme 2Xtreme 3
+ IPX7 rating for water resistance.
+ Lightweight and portable.
+ Can get fairly loud.
+ Very long battery life
+ Well-built and portable.
+ Supports multi-device pairing.
Lacks some low-bass.
Doesn’t have a graphic EQ.
Some compression at max volume.
Lacks low-bass.
Compression artifacts at max volume.

JBL Xtreme 2 vs Xtreme 3: Specifications

CategoriesJBL Xtreme 2JBL Xtreme 3
Power Output2 x 20 W100 W
Built-In MicYesNo
Estimated Battery Life15 Hours15 Hours
IP RatingIPX7IP67
Weight5.3 lb / 2.4 kg4.03 lb / 1.83 kg
Dimensions (W x H x D)5.4 x 11.3 x 5.2″ / 13.72 x 28.7 x 13.21 cm11.73 x 5.4 x 5.24″ / 297.87 x 137.08 x 133.06 mm
Signal to Noise Ratio80 dB80 dB
Frequency Response55 Hz to 20 kHz53.5 Hz to 20 kHz
Drivers2 x 2.7″ / 6.86 cm Woofer
2 x 0.79″ / 20 mm Tweeter
2 x 2.76″ / 70 mm Woofers
2 x 0.79″ / 20 mm Tweeters
Passive Radiators22

JBL Xtreme 3 vs Xtreme 2: Design

The Xtreme 3’s new design offers a sneak preview of the appearance of the JBL Bluetooth speakers’ upcoming generation. JBL has gotten rid of that small orange plaque in favor of an oversize yet somehow understated metallic grey logo with subtle orange accents on either end. The speaker now has clearly defined feet that make it more stable when upright.

The Xtreme 3 now boasts an impressive ip67 waterproof and dust proof rating, easily surpassing the ipx7 waterproof rating and lack of a dust proof rating of the xtreme 2.

JBL Xtreme 3 vs Xtreme 2: Battery Life

It’s a real shame there has yet to be any improvement here at all because those numbers weren’t that impressive in 2020, to begin with. We have 15 hours of battery life here, the same longevity that the Xtreme 2 offered, and both still take about two and a half hours to charge from zero fully.

JBL Xtreme 3 vs Xtreme 2: Functionality & Usability

There are a few improvements in terms of functionality that are noteworthy. First, we now have Bluetooth 5.1, which will result in quicker pairing, a stronger, more stable connection, and improved overall range. In the last month of testing, I haven’t had any connection problems at all, but with JBL products, I never have any Bluetooth issues at all.

Fortunately, the Xtreme 3 now charges via USB-C , in contrast to the Xtreme 2, which could only be charged via the charging brick. Trust me; it was a pain to carry around that heavy charging brick to charge one speaker. I mean, now I can carry one USB-C charger for my phone, headphones, earbuds, Bluetooth speaker, and Macbook, which is a huge plus. Before you think about mugging me, I don’t walk around with all of those in my back.

Like the Xtreme 2, the Xtreme 3 also functions as a power bank, and the same USB-C port you use to charge the speaker can also output power. You can also charge your devices in an emergency using the regular USB port on the back. But perhaps most importantly, the strap has a bottle opener on it. Clap your hands together if you want to watch me crack open a cold beer with a $350 Bluetooth speaker.

JBL Xtreme 3 vs Xtreme 2: Sound Quality

So how does the Xtreme 3 compare to the Xtreme 2? Well, the bass on the Xtreme 3 is undoubtedly fuller, with vastly improved deep bass and highs that offer noticeably improved clarity. It’s also slightly louder at maximum volume 2, but overall, it’s not a difference between night and day; that means you should immediately ebay your Xtreme 2 and throw money at the Xtreme 3, but the difference is discernible enough to start appreciating.

They beat the Xtreme 2, no surprise there, but compared to alternatives at this price point and significantly less expensive. This sound signature left little of an impression on me. Don’t get me wrong; the overall sound quality is excellent, but given that this product has the word “extreme” in its name, ironically, there isn’t much here that’s particularly exciting in terms of sound signature.

Compared to other speakers I’ve tested, the mid bass is a little recessed, which means the sound is flatter and more balanced than I would anticipate from a speaker designed for crowd entertainment. Bass can also sound underwhelming and noticeably absent when listening to genres that naturally lack deep bass.

Yes, it has some of the best low rumble available. Still, it unquestionably lacks the extra punch that would have made the bass and sound signature pop for me, giving me what I could only begin to describe as an extreme experience. I hope you’re paying attention because this is important, so pay close attention to what comes next.

JBL Xtreme 3 vs Xtreme 2: Drawbacks

If you want to listen to music while working or studying, I can’t recommend this speaker here because the bass is almost completely inaudible at lower volumes. At higher volumes, the bass reaches a ceiling point at around the 80% volume mark, and from that point on, only the mids and treble increase in volume, which means that over 80% volume, everything is at its weakest.

Unfortunately, the extreme doesn’t sound three times better compared to less expensive options like the Soundcore Rave Neo, which is more than three times cheaper. In addition, the Rave Neo offers custom equaliser settings, a light show if you’re into that sort of thing, and improved battery life while costing much less.

No offence intended. The Xtreme 3’s overall sound quality is excellent. Still, I want to emphasise that neither the sound quality nor the price corresponds to the awesome features you receive.

Price & Conclusion

It’s one of the smallest speakers; it has USB-C charging, Bluetooth 5.1, great overall sound quality, and of course, that sick bottle opener worth at least $279, hands down. So while I wouldn’t exactly rename this speaker to the jbl underwhelming 3, I would probably still downgrade that name to something like the JBL pretty great three because there’s nothing extreme about this speaker other than the price, of course; it goes without saying that if