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JBL Xtreme 2 vs Xtreme 3 (2021): Which JBL Xtreme Speaker Should You Buy?

Portable speakers are nice to have since they offer portability that allow you to enjoy music with your friends wherever you go. JBL has been making portable speakers for a while now and they pretty much cemented themselves as the go-to brand in this market. Their Xtreme line of Bluetooth speakers are some of the best if you want powerful speakers in a compact design. In this post, we’ll be comparing the previous generation JBL Xtreme 2 to the newer JBL Xtreme 3 to see which one offers the better value for your money. Here’s a comparison chart that highlights their similarities and differences to start things off.

JBL Xtreme 2 vs Xtreme 3 Comparison Chart

ModelJBL Xtreme 2 JBL Xtreme 3
 JBL Xtreme 2, Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker, BlackJBL Xtreme 3 - Portable Bluetooth Speaker, Powerful Sound and deep bass, IP67 Waterproof, 15 Hours...
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Dimensions11.33 x 5.35 x 5.19 inches11.75 x 5.35 x 5.28 inches
Weight5.27 lbs4.34 lbs
Frequency Response55 – 20 kHz53.5 – 20 kHz
Speakers2x 2.75″ transducers
2x 0.75″ tweeters
2x 2.75″ transducers
2x 0.75″ tweeters
Power2x 20W2x 25W
IP RatingIPX7IP67
ConnectivityBluetooth 4.2
3.5mm analog
Bluetooth 5.1
3.5mm analog
Pairing ProtocolConnect+PartyBoost
BatteryUp to 15 hours
3.5 hours charging time
Up to 15 hours
2.5 hours charging time
Other FeaturesSpeakerphone
Powerbank
Voice Assistant
Powerbank
What’s IncludedSpeaker
Strap
Power adapter
Speaker
Strap
Power adapter
Color OptionsBlack, Blue, Green, Red, CamoBlack, Blue, Camo

Design

The JBL Xtreme 3 is about the same size as the older Xtreme 2 but it is lighter.

jbl xtreme 2 vs xtreme 3 design
Front view of the JBL Xtreme 2 (left) and Xtreme 3 (right).

The two are cylindrical speakers that look similar. They both have bass radiators at each side and the speakers are covered in a tight knit fabric that lends to their durability. The JBL Xtreme 2 and Xtreme 3 are designed to sit horizontally and at their base are rubber stands that let them sit in place.

In terms of portability, the two are excellent. They have built-in hooks that let you attach straps to make them easier to carry around. The straps are included by the way, so that’s a nice touch. The JBL Xtreme 2 has an IPX7 rating while the JBL Xtreme 3 has an IP67 rating. This means that both are waterproof and can be submerged underwater for up to 30 minutes. However, only the Xtreme 3 is dustproof, so it is more suitable when travelling to the beach or any dusty/sandy place.

At the back, the JBL Xtreme 2 has a USB-A, micro USB and a 3.5mm analog port. The Xtreme 3 also has a USB-A and 3.5mm analog port, but instead of the older micro USB, it now has a USB-C port for charging.

You can get the JBL Xtreme 2 in five colors—black, blue, green, red and camo. The JBL Xtreme 3, on the other hand, has three color options—black, blue and camo.

Features

The older JBL Xtreme 2 has more features than the newer Xtreme 3.

jbl xtreme 2 vs xtreme 3 features
Both the JBL Xtreme 2 (left) and Xtreme 3 (right) are waterproof but only the latter is dustproof.

Both speakers can be used wirelessly via Bluetooth or wired via their 3.5mm analog ports. You can also pair the JBL Xtreme 2 and Xtreme 3 with other JBL speakers since they come with JBL Connect+ and PartyBoost, respectively. JBL’s PartyBoost is an improvement over the Connect+ connection protocol and all future JBL portable speakers will come with this tech, unless JBL decides to upgrade it again.

JBL speakers will only connect with other JBL speakers that have the same connection protocol. This means that the Xtreme 3 can not be paired with the Xtreme 2, but it can be connected to the JBL Flip 5, Pulse 4 or another Xtreme 3. On the other hand, the JBL Xtreme 2 can be paired with older JBL speakers that have the Connect+ feature, such as the Pulse 3 and Charge 4. Here is a list of JBL speakers that have the Connect+ and PartyBoost features.

While the JBL Xtreme 2 is the older speaker, it’s surprising that it has more features than the Xtreme 3. The Xtreme 2 has a built-in mic so it has speakerphone function and it also supports voice assistant integration. These two features are not available on the newer Xtreme 3, which is a head-scratcher, to say the least. The only feature that they share is that they both have a built-in powerbank that lets you charge compatible devices with them.

Sound

The JBL Xtreme 3 sounds better than the Xtreme 2.

jbl xtreme 2 vs xtreme 3 sound
Back view of the JBL Xtreme 2 (top) and Xtreme 3 (bottom).

While they have the same number of speakers, the JBL Xtreme 3 can get louder than the Xtreme 2 since it can dish out 50w of power compared to the latter’s 40w output. At higher volumes, the Xtreme 3 still sounds good while the Xtreme 2 will start to have some issues.

When it comes to sound quality, the Xtreme 3 definitely has the advantage. It has a punchy and boomy bass that will make listening to bass heavy tracks enjoyable. The mid-range is slightly pushed back so vocals slightly suffer, however, the highs are slightly emphasized, so high frequency sounds are clear and detailed.

The Xtreme 2, in contrast, has a weaker bass response, but it still sounds good. The mid-range is decent and you will hear vocals and lead instruments clearly. However, the treble range is underemphasized so the overall sound is kind of muffled and dark.

Battery Life

The two speakers offer similar battery runtime, but it takes less time to fully charge the JBL Xtreme 3.

jbl xtreme 2 vs xtreme 3 battery life
You can attach a strap to the built-in hooks of the JBL Xtreme 2 (left) and Xtreme 3 (right).

The JBL Xtreme 2 and Xtreme 3 have similar music playback times of up to 15 hours. However, when it comes to charging time, it’s a different story. The JBL Xtreme 2 needs at least 3.5 hours to get fully charged while it only takes 2.5 hours to fully charge the Xtreme 3. The Xtreme 2 uses a micro USB cable for charging while the Xtreme 3 comes with the newer USB-C standard cable.

Verdict

The JBL Xtreme 2 has more features but the JBL Xtreme 3 sounds better.

Since they are priced the same, the choice between the two will come down to which factors you value most. The JBL Xtreme 2 is a good choice if you want a decent speaker that comes with features such as voice assistant integration and speakerphone. However, if you value sound quality more than the aforementioned features, the JBL Xtreme 3 is the smarter choice.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ What is the difference between JBL Xtreme 2 and 3?

The JBL Xtreme 2 has more features despite being older but the JBL Xtreme 3 is louder and sounds better overall.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the JBL Xtreme 3 worth it?

Yes, it is a very good speaker for outdoor use since it can play music at a high volume without suffering from audio quality issues.

๐Ÿ“Œ Does the JBL Xtreme 2 have an AUX input?

Yes, it has a 3.5mm analog port for wired music listening.

๐Ÿ“Œ How many watts does JBL Xtreme 3 have?

It is capable of outputting 50w continuous power.

Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Carlo Salvador

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about fitness, gaming and music.