The JBL Extreme Tomb, which has been a top-rated portable Bluetooth speaker for a while now and is still a speaker that I highly recommend to this day, has brand-new speakers that are very similar to the speakers in the new Sony XP 43.
|Sony XB43||JBL Xtreme 2|
|BUY NOW||BUY NOW|
|+ IP67 rating.|
+ Portable design.
|+ IPX7 rating for water resistance.|
+ Lightweight and portable.
+ Can get fairly loud.
+ Very long battery life.
|– Compression artifacts at max volume.||– Some compression at max volume.|
– Doesn’t have a graphic EQ.
– Lacks some low-bass.
Sony XB43 Vs JBL Xtreme 2: Specs
|Categories||Sony XB43||JBL Xtreme 2|
|Power Output||2 x 16 W||2 x 20 W|
|USB Power Output||5 VDC at 1.0 A||5 VDC at 2.0 A|
|Battery Chemistry||Lithium-Ion||Lithium-Ion Polymer (LiPo)|
|Estimated Battery Life||24 Hours||15 Hours|
|Weight||6.5 lb / 2.95 kg||5.3 lb / 2.4 kg|
|Supported Bluetooth Profiles||A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP, SPP||A2DP 1.3, AVRCP 1.6, HFP 1.6, HSP 1.2|
Sony XB43 Vs JBL Xtreme 2: Design & Portability
First, I want to address the design and portability of these speakers because these speakers are very different from one another. It’s much simpler to travel with the JBL Xtreme 2 than the Sony XB43, even though these speakers are roughly the same size. Of course, the JBL Xtreme 2 has a shoulder strap, but it’s also significantly lighter.
JBL Xtreme 2 is a no-brainer if you want a speaker to always carry with you because of that shoulder strap and its lighter weight ov erall, but Sony XB43 has this light feature working in its favor. Although this light feature could be better or more unique, it does the job. You can choose from a number of different lighting modes from the Sony app, but the two most popular ones are rave chill and stroke.
Despite the fact that the fabric cover on these speakers’ body should be able to withstand frequent knocks and scrapes. These speakers are water-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about them getting soaked. However, both speakers have exposed passive radiators on either side, so you should be careful not to push into them.
Sony XB43 Vs JBL Xtreme 2: Battery Life & Charging
Regarding technical specifications, the Sony XB43 charges through a USB Type-C port, which is excellent if you use Android because you can use the same cable to charge your phone and speaker. While the JBL Xtreme 2 requires you to keep its charging cable close by because it charges through an AC port.
The Sony XB43 is advertised to have a battery life of 24 hours, but that only applies when the speaker is in stamina mode, is playing at 50% volume, and the light feature is off. Simply put, the speaker isn’t worth using while in stamina mode because it produces a very flat sound.
An actual dual use with this speaker set at maximum volume while in extra bass mode only lasts me about 2 hours of playback time, and with the speaker set at 80% volume, the speaker is only suitable for about 5 hours of playback time. The speaker also has an advertised battery life of 14 hours when in extra bass mode.
So overall, I’m not particularly impressed with the Sony XB43’s real-world battery life performance. While the JBL Xtreme 2 is advertised to have a 15-hour battery life, at 80% volume, the speaker can play music for about 9 hours, and at maximum volume, it can play music for about 4 hours. Consequently, the JBL Xtreme 2 clearly outperforms the Sony XB43 in terms of world life battery performance.
Sony XB43 Vs JBL Xtreme 2: Connectivity
Both speakers have Bluetooth connectivity to connect to two devices simultaneously. However, I do have to point out that the Sony XB43 also supports higher-quality audio codecs like AAC and LDAC, whereas the JBL Extreme 2 only supports SPC. The fact that both of these speakers have easily accessible 3.5-millimeter audio jacks means that, if you prefer, you can use a wired connection to connect them.
Both of these speakers still have an audio jack because Sony and JBL currently offer speakers that don’t have one.
Sony XB43 Vs JBL Xtreme 2: Set Up
Additionally, both speakers feature a USB-A out port that allows you to charge your devices. The Sony XB43 has an entirely new speaker setup that is very different from that of its predecessor, which is the biggest improvement in music listening. The Sony XB43 now has dual passive radiators on its sides and a dual woofer and dual tweeter setup shooting out the front of the device.
The Sony XB43 now has dual passive radiators on its sides and a dual woofer and dual tweeter setup shooting out the front of the device.
Sony XB43 Vs JBL Xtreme 2: Sound Quality
As I mention in the full review, the Sony XB43 does sound better than its predecessor, thanks to its new tweeters. The Sony XB43 sounds more open and the highs are much more defined. JBL Xtreme 2 gets much louder than the Sony XB43, and JBL Xtreme 2 also has more pace than the Sony XB43.
The Sony XB43 still falls short compared to the JBL Xtreme 2 in terms of sound quality. I still believe the JBL Xtreme 2’s sounds are more open and clear than the Sony XB43’s, but there’s also the factor that it just gets louder.
With the JBL Xtreme 2, you get a noticeable performance boost when you use it while it’s plugged in. If you use the JBL Xtreme 2, it will get even louder and have even more bass when you use it while it’s plugged in. Setting the Sony XB43 to maximum volume is equivalent to setting the JBL Xtreme 2 to 85% volume while it’s playing off its battery.
The JBL Xtreme 2 is the better sounding and performing speaker; in contrast, the Sony XB43 doesn’t experience any such performance boost while plugged in.
Sony XB43 Vs JBL Xtreme 2: Speaker Pairing
Therefore, I favor and advise the JBL Xtreme 2 over the Sony XB43 up to this point. However, before you choose to purchase a JBL Xtreme 2, I do want to address JBL connect plus briefly. Since their stream tune uses JBL Connect Plus, you can only connect it to other JBL Connect Plus speakers, such as an original boombox and an Xtreme 2, Charge 3 or Charge 4, Flip 4, or JBL Pulse 3 speakers.
While the more recent JBL speakers use JBL Party Boost, making it impossible to connect an Xtreme 2 to a Boom Box to a Flip 5 or a JBL Pulse 4. Therefore, if you choose the JBL Xtreme 2 today, it is technically a last-generation speaker. However, since the JBL Xtreme 3 is likely to retail for $350 at $250, if the JBL Xtreme 2 is still a really good speaker, you should consider purchasing it.
If you’re still on the fence about the Sony XB43, just keep in mind that it now uses party connect, which means you can only pair it with other party connect speakers, such as another Sony XB43, Sony XB33, or Sony XB23. Therefore, you cannot use Wireless Party Chain to pair an XB43 with any of Sony’s older wireless speakers, including the XB41, XB32, XB22, XB31, XB21, and so on.
The JBL Extreme 2 is more expensive than the Sony XB43, which retails for $250, and has a suggested retail price of $350. However, you can frequently find them on sale for $250.
Overall, even though the JBL Xtreme 2 is a last-generation speaker because it cannot be used to connect to other JBL speakers using party boost. Today, the JBL Xtreme 2 is still one of my top picks because it sounds great, gets a respectable amount of volume, and has a $250 price tag. The Sony XB43 is very difficult to justify compared to the JBL Extreme 2 at the same price. While I’m glad it sounds better than its predecessor, the Sony XB43’s lack of overall volume and poor real-world battery life make it very difficult to justify this speaker.