The JBL Xtreme arrived almost four years back at this point, however the good thing about music products is that if indeed they worked well they’ll most likely work very well now. Even though you will find a newer JBL Xtreme 2 speaker, we still find ourselves returning to the initial when persons ask which Bluetooth speakers are worth looking at. While it’s not the hottest model, that doesn’t mean it isn’t still worth the amount of money. Especially when you take into account how much the purchase price has dropped onto it since its release, a cost that the Xtreme 2 appears to have found. So, may be the JBL Xtreme still worth picking right up in 2019?
Editor’s note: this review was updated on February 6, 2019, to add new pertinent information, formatting, and general quality control to keep it updated with this current review format.
What’s in the box?
Opening the signature JBL orange and white box you’ll get the Xtreme speaker, the wall adapter, the warrantee information, then one we haven’t seen before: a shoulder strap to transport it around with you.
Build & Design
The simplest way to describe the JBL Xtreme is always to say that it’s a huge Flip 3 with a few extra perks. The speaker can be wrapped in a splashproof fabric that provides it an extremely nice, but we doubt you’ll be holding it almost all of enough time because it’s way too big. As the new Xtreme 2 does include a complete IPX7 waterproof build, the splashproof fabric found here’s no slouch either. Then additionally, there are both metal hooks on either end of the speaker which come into play. Simply attach the shoulder strap to them and voila, instant lightweight party power. That is something worth watching if you feel that you’re likely to be carrying the speaker around a whole lot via the strap, as the brand new Xtreme 2 has slightly larger metal attachments points. Still, the strap on the Xtreme gets the work done regardless.
Like the Flip series both ends of the speaker have external dual-passive radiators that, because of the larger size of the Xtreme, do focus on the reduced end. Up top you’ll find all the buttons like the Bluetooth pairing button, volume down, power button, JBL hook up button, volume up, and a play/pause button. If you double tap the play/pause it’ll skip to another track but there’s still no time for a previous track.
Aside from the overall size, the largest dissimilarities you’ll find in design between your Xtreme and the Flip 3 are available on underneath of the speaker where it includes a hard plastic stand included in it. Despite the fact that I’m sure it could be oriented vertically, this helps it be pretty clear that JBL intends you to put the speaker horizontally when using it. It’s also where you’ll find the tiny indicator lights that inform you roughly just how much battery life is left. Also on underneath is a bright orange zipper that whenever peeled back reveals something button, aux in, the energy input for charging, together with two USB outputs to charge your devices.
Connectivity on the JBL Xtreme is good, however, not great. Though it can have a good connection and we didn’t experience an excessive amount of skipping when trying out the range, there is a good amount of stuttering when there is a wall or two in the manner but that’s really nothing out from the norm. The Xtreme is rocking Bluetooth 4.1 but sadly doesn’t have any top quality streaming codecs like aptX, LDAC, or AAC. On the other hand though, neither does the newer Xtreme 2 in order far as streaming quality goes you may expect similar results from both. If none of the made sense for you, learn yourself something new today and read our quick explainer on the value of Bluetooth codecs and how they affect your music.
JBL packed an insanely large 10,000mAH battery in to the Xtreme and claim a battery life of 15 hours. Again, no unique of the newer Xtreme 2 in terms of how long you may expect continuous playback. Inside our original testing, we got nearer to 14 hours. That’s still very good considering how loud this thing will get when you max out the quantity, which is sort of the point to getting a huge Bluetooth speaker. If you don’t also want solar powered energy, which if so you should browse the Monster Solara.
A very important factor that was very annoying about the Xtreme was hook stutter occurring at the beginning of a song. It only lasts in regards to a second but it’s enough to ruin more intros than you thought you looked after. Besides that, the Xtreme works accurately how exactly we expected it to: pretty damn good. Another cool feature we surely got to test out may be the JBL Connect button which enables you to hook up and sync multiple JBL speakers together. We paired the Xtreme with the Flip 3 together during this review plus they were correctly in sync. Of course, the brand new Xtreme 2 enables you to hook up to up to 100 JBL speakers (way showing off) but I think it is rare to ever be connecting a lot more than two anyway so unless that’s vital that you you it certainly isn’t too large a deal.
The lows sometimes bled in to the mids but also for the most part, the passive external radiators on either end do an incredible job with keeping the reduced end tight. It might just be the bigger size however the bass was simple to distinguish even in songs that don’t have a whole lot of it. Having said that, persons who prefer songs with a great deal of bass won’t be disappointed either. The smooth bassline in every I’D LIKE Is You by Miguel sounded near perfect to me.
Vocals in the mids were clear and appeared to coexist peacefully with most guitars and synths. Among that is in The Suffering by Coheed & Cambria which includes fairly heavy and melodic guitar parts during that never block the way of the lead vocals.
Unfortunately, not everything is ideal, and the highs do generally have adequate harshness. Luckily the Xtreme gets pretty loud so lowering the quantity a little to remove the harshness doesn’t cost you an excessive amount of with regards to volume. Hate or Glory by Gesaffelstein is nearly impossible to take pleasure from fully for the reason that already prominent hi-hats towards the finish of the song seem to be to get a boost which makes them just a little painful to the ears. I’m sure this won’t be a concern if you’re using the speaker outside but if you are actually in a closed room or standing near it, it’s not too enjoyable. Great song though.
Overall the JBL Xtreme continues to be a great speaker but still worth picking up. When you can overlook the stutter in the beginning, have something for loud tunes, and don’t mind having a slightly less convenient approach to transporting after that it this may be the main one for you. Not forgetting, it’s considerably cheaper compared to the newer version, which doesn’t have many big improvements anyway. If you get one for yourself, it’s likely that its main uses will be blasting music whilst having a celebration or cleaning your room. This is the ditto, isn’t it?