JBL Charge 4 vs JBL Xtreme 3 | What are the differences?

by Michael Dwain

If you’re in the market to get yourself an outdoor portable powerhouse, you’re in the right place as I’m going to be comparing two of JBL’s top outdoor speakers in JBL Charge 4 vs JBL Xtreme 3.

Both these beasts have one main thing in common, that’s their massive bass drivers and mids that are sure to bring the roof down of any party. Even more, their ability to handle any outdoor situation is what makes them stand out from the rest.

Competitors like Bose Soundlink and Marshall Stanmore II definitely have the upper hand in terms of superior sound quality and built but the price tag they come with doesn’t allow you to carry them with you because of their heavy wooden casing and not being suitable around water.

This is where JBL stands out for having a light, durable and sturdy build with amazing sound at half the cost where you wouldn’t think twice to carry it with you. 

So let’s find out who is the winner among these two heavy weights!

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Quick Overview

JBL Charge 4JBL Xtreme 3
Build & Designhigh quality interior carbon fiberhigh quality interior carbon fiber
EnclosureDust proof Grill
Weight4.03 lb7.05 ounces
BatteryLi-ion 7500mAH battery (20H)10000mAh (15H)
ConnectivityBluetooth 4.1 Bluetooth 5.1
Price$119.95$379.95

How we tested the JBL Charge 4 and the JBL Xtreme 3?

Both speakers were put through a series of tests to determine which one is the best. Here are the parameters we took into consideration.

  • Design – We kept both the speakers next to each other and examined their build and materials used.
  • Durability – The speakers were dropped and immersed in water to check the durability of the build and their waterproof capabilities
  • Battery Life – Both speakers were charged and then we checked to see how long the batteries lasted when played at full volume and also how long it took to have each speaker charged from 0%
  • Sound quality and performance – Audio levels, wattage and clarity at high volumes were taken into consideration to determine which speaker sounded better

JBL Charge 4 vs JBL Xtreme

What’s in the box

JBL sticks to the basics when it comes to the boxing of the speakers, The JBL charge 4 comes with a sturdy cardboard outer foldable casing that secures the speaker in the center of the case that provides cushioning and protection to the speaker.

The speaker is concealed with a box lid that holds the USB C-type charger cable used to power the speaker and charge it, on the other side you have the user manual that explains all the features of the speaker. 

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JBL Charge 4 vs JBL Xtreme 3

The JBL Xtreme 3 because of its larger size comes in a bigger box with cardboard and a silicon warp that protects the speaker from any damage before purchase. On the sides of the speaker, you will find the user manual and original JBL C-type charger for the speaker with a sling strap to help you carry the speaker when you are on the go. 

JBL Charge 4 vs JBL Xtreme 3

Design

Both speakers have a similar design but vary in size because of the larger drivers in the Xtreme 3 and smaller yet powerful drivers in the Charge 4. Compared to the older version of the Xtreme and Charge, these two have an oval design with the base elevated that provides protection to the bottom of the speaker when laying it on the ground. 

The side bass drivers of the JBL Xtreme 3 are slightly inclined to provide a better listening experience. On the top of the speaker, two loops have been provided to latch the shoulder strap with the power bottom and Bluetooth options in the center with other push-button functions on the sides. 

The JBL Charge 3 has the same outer case design and body but without the loops for the shoulder strap. 

The back of both the speakers has a waterproof flap over the charging port, USB, and Aux ports in the Xtreme 3 and Charge 4 to protect the speaker from any water damage when using the speaker outside. 

Winner: JBL Xtreme 3 

Durability

JBL products have been known to last long thanks to the high-quality material they used to make their products. From the first series of portable speakers to the present they have a strong build quality, both the speakers are made with high-quality interior carbon fiber design that is used specifically to avoid water from entering the speakers.

An additional external blanket is provided that covers the interior parts of the speaker in case the speaker is dropped. Both the speakers are dust proof and waterproof making them the perfect travel companion. 

Winner: Tie

Battery Life

JBL has come a long way from the previous versions of the Xtreme and Charge, from offering 8 hours of playback at medium volume levels to 20 hours of non-stop playback, They have truly designed the speaker to make your party last longer. 

Between the Xtreme 3 and Charge 4, I noticed that the Charge 4 lasted three to four hours longer than the Xtreme 3 that gives you about 17-18 hours at a good volume.

It was understood that this is because the Xtreme has a driver much larger than the Charge hence consuming more power and fewer hours. If you can compromise on the decibel levels for longer playback hours the charge 4 is your top pick. 

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Winner: JBL Charge 4 

Sound Quality and Performance

Things are leaning towards one direction here as the JBL Xtreme 3 clearly shines as the king of outdoor speakers. You’d wonder that a speaker like the extreme will focus more on the low-end aspects of the speakers but the speaker surprised me with its well-balanced mid and top-end that were proportional to the low end giving you a wonderful listening experience. 

If you’re a bass-head who loves drum and bass music or bass-heavy music, you will be more than satisfied with the results Xtreme will offer to you. This is possible thanks to the two tweeters for high frequencies, two mid speakers that handle mid-high frequencies and mid-low frequencies excellently well. 

The Charge 4 might not compare well against the Xtreme 3 in terms of decibel levels but both offer excellent sound quality. The charge can handle both indoor and outdoor situations but I felt it lacked low end and highs when kept in the open. 

Winner: JBL Xtreme 3  

Waterproof

The JBL Charge 4 has been designed with IPX7 waterproofing that allows the speaker to be submerged in a 1-meter depth of water for 30 mins and will not take any water damage. This also makes the speaker completely splash-proof. 

The JBL Xtreme is designed with the best IP67X rating that makes this speaker dust proof that removes the chance of any dust particles settling on the driver’s membrane which can cause damage to the speaker over time. It can also be submerged into a depth of 1 meter for 30 mins and will not take in any water damage. 

Winner: JBL Xtreme 3 has the win here with an IP67X rating

Key Features

Both the speakers have a similar outer body design with the functions of the speakers spread out on the top of the speaker. Functions such as the power bottom, volume control, and play/pause can be found here, which will be illuminated. The latest JBL portable speakers come with the option to interconnect speakers using the PartyBoost mode.

  • It is possible to set speakers in different parts of the outdoor or indoor space while being completely in sync with each other creating a party ambiance anywhere.
  • Both speakers offer the option to connect an external source of input through a 3.5mm jack input that is excellent to connect any amplified instrument or music source. You can also use this link to interconnect two Xtreme or Charge speakers to provide stereo output. 
  • Both the devices feature the latest Bluetooth connectivity, the Xtreme 3 has 5.1 Bluetooth enabled and the Charge 4 has Bluetooth 4.1 enabled. Both perform fast and well but the upper hand goes to the Xtreme. 
  • Both speakers have been provided with a USB port to provide charging for your phone and other devices with the appropriate voltage. 
  • The Xtreme 3 comes with a shoulder strap that can be latched onto the two hoops on top of the speaker making it easy and portable to carry around. The strap is also attached to a bottle opener that comes in quite handy when you least expect it. 
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Winner: JBL Xtreme 3

JBL Charge 4 vs JBL Xtreme 3Which one is better?

Based on the tests we conducted and personal experience, the JBL Xtreme 3 is a better Bluetooth speaker than the Charge 4 for many reasons. It’s louder, is waterproof, has a better build and delivers stereo sound as compared to mono audio that’s churned out from the JBL Charge 4.

FAQ’s

Can I Interconnect JBL Charge 4 with JBL Xtreme 3 using PartyBoost?

Yes, As long as both the JBL speakers have the Partyboost option it is possible to interconnect both the speakers or more and spread them across an area, and play them in sync. There is a limitation to this as it is only possible for this feature to work within a certain circumference. If you want it to be spread wider across but still be synced, you can do this with help of the 3.5mm Aux input behind the speakers to interconnect them from the source. 

Is the JBL Xtreme louder than the Charge 4?

In a way, yes the Xtreme 3 is louder than the Charge 4 because it plays stereo music without having to downgrade it to mono audio. Moreover, the Xtreme delivers balanced audio that sounds better and clearer at loud volumes.

How many watts is the JBL Xtreme 3?

The JBL Xtreme 3 houses two 25W 2.8″ woofers and two 25W 0.8″ tweeters that have a frequency range of 53.5Hz to 20KHz.

Does the JBL Charge 4 come with a charger?

No, the JBL Charge 4 does not come with a charger. Instead you will only receive a USB type-C cable in the box and the charger will have to be bought separately.

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Author Profile

Greetings! My name is Michael and this is my website.

I've been specializing in audio equipment and accessories for a while and have a little something in store for every kind of hi-fi enthusiast.

Based in California, I keep attending special launch events across the globe. This has helped me understand the products better, and with a unique hands-on experience I'm able to provide you with easy to understand reviews about the best in audio tech from around the world.

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