JBL sends heavy to sound the deconfinement terraces

We tested the JBL Xtreme 3 speaker for our deconfinite reunion – 20 minutes

  • JBL launches its Xtreme 3 speaker, cut to send big sound at home or on the road.
  • Sold for 299 euros, offering a power of 50 watts, with an autonomy of about 15 hours, the speaker fulfills its mission with great energy.
  • Despite massive bass and sharp treble, it lacks warmer mids, as well as an app to customize settings.

In the family of JBL Xtreme bluetooth speakers, I would like number 3 to decorate my first pots on the terrace! For deconfinement, the American manufacturer is expanding its range of nomadic speakers. Resolutely dedicated to the outdoors and to the party with its carrying strap to carry it over the shoulder, does the Xtreme3 ​​live up to JBL’s motto: “Powerful sound everywhere”? We tested it.

The JBL Xtreme 3 weighs approximately 2 kg. – CHRISTOPHE SEFRIN / 20 MINUTES

2 kg of big sound in the shoulder strap

Available in three colors (black, blue and camouflage), the Xtreme 3, which sits between the reasonable Charge 4 and the thunderous Boombox 2 in JBL’s extra-large range, is aimed at big sound enthusiasts who also want to ” listen to music at a relatively high volume during their outings.

Measuring 29.8 x 13.6 x 13.4 cm and weighing approximately 2 kg, the device is more transportable than portable. Apart from a strap to hang with carabiners, the speaker does not have a handle, which is a shame.

Controls for the JBL Xtreme 3 speaker.
Controls for the JBL Xtreme 3 speaker. – CHRISTOPHE SEFRIN / 20 MINUTES

Resting on a non-slip base, the Xtreme 3 is waterproof. With the standard IP67, it can not only resist splashing water, but also immersion. No risk if she falls into the pool next summer!

50 watts that pounding

But it is especially on the sound side that we expected the last “little”. Bluetooth 5.1 (thus allowing the simultaneous connection of two readers such as smartphones or tablets), the Xtreme 3 claims a power of 50 watts. Incorporating two woofers 70 mm, two tweeters 20 mm and two passive radiators, the speaker really has it under the hood. What strikes you as soon as you turn up the volume is the beautiful energy that the device is able to develop.

The sound is indeed powerful, but it also has a hell of a dynamic. We pushed the decibels with Let’s Groove Tonight Earth Wind & Fire; Pony of the Deluxe group; Loosers of Balthazar or even Elephant by Tame Impala and saw that the Xtreme 3 was indeed made to enhance our evenings. But…

Two woofers located on either side of the JBL Xtreme 3 provide massive bass reproduction.
Two woofers located on either side of the JBL Xtreme 3 provide massive bass reproduction. – CHRISTOPHE SEFRIN / 20 MINUTES

But the sound produced is devoid of nuances. Massive in the bass, very (too) fine in the treble, it lacks the warmth of the mids. The voices are thus often devoid of presence. They seem to be caught in a vice. On the one hand, low frequencies calibrated to hammer our eardrums; on the other, high frequencies overdosed to offer a little artificially relief to an ensemble.

At moderate volume, this is not really noticeable, but this JBL bias becomes screaming as soon as you turn up the volume. Too bad that the JBL Party Boost application with which the Xtreme 3 can work does not have any equalizer to correct these excesses, at least to better adapt the reproduction to the musical registers listened to.

We also regret that the equipment does not have a microphone and is not compatible with personal assistants: impossible to request Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa when you are at home (in Wifi, therefore) so that they play to DJs. And the Xtreme 3 doesn’t take phone calls either: the hands-free kit function has been forgotten …

Still, the JBL speaker fulfills its primary mission with massive sound that gives us value for our money: 299 euros. Its autonomy of about fifteen hours is less than that of its predecessor, the Xtreme 2, which appeared at around 20 hours. But its full recharge in 2:30 using the 60 W charger provides compensates for this small weakness.

The essential bottle opener located on the shoulder strap of the JBL Xtreme 3 speaker.
The essential bottle opener located on the shoulder strap of the JBL Xtreme 3 speaker. – CHRISTOPHE SEFRIN / 20 MINUTES

Small detail that will be important in the deconfined weeks ahead: a bottle opener is present on the shoulder strap!

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