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JBL Xtreme 3 review

The JBL Xtreme 3 is a portable set of speakers that you can use at your computer or at the beach

JBL Xtreme 3 review
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Rami Tabari)

Our Verdict

The JBL Xtreme 3 offers loud, bassy sound packed into a waterproof and portable design for you to take anywhere, but it’s pricey.

For

  • Loud, bassy audio
  • Waterproof and dustproof
  • Bluetooth and AUX connectivity
  • Long battery life
  • Portable

Against

  • No EQ options
  • Expensive

Laptop Mag Verdict

The JBL Xtreme 3 offers loud, bassy sound packed into a waterproof and portable design for you to take anywhere, but it’s pricey.

Pros

  • + Loud, bassy audio
  • + Waterproof and dustproof
  • + Bluetooth and AUX connectivity
  • + Long battery life
  • + Portable

Cons

  • - No EQ options
  • - Expensive

Do you need a new set of computer speakers? How about TV speakers? Or maybe even a portable speaker to jam out on the road with? Well, look no further than the JBL Xtreme 3, which can do all three.

This wireless Bluetooth speaker produces epic, bassy audio, lasts 15 hours on a charge, doubles as a powerbank, andis waterproof and dustproof. Sounds amazing, right? Well, hold your wallets, because this beast is a whopping $349, so it’s not exactly an affordable option. Plus, there aren’t really any EQ options, so you’re stuck with the sound you get.

However, if you have the money, the JBL Xtreme 3 is an all-in-one package that can follow you wherever you go. It’s easily one of the best computer speakers out there.

JBL Xtreme 3 price and configuration options

Whether you’re looking at the JBL Xtreme 3 as an epic beach boombox or just a thicc pair of computer speakers, it’s going to cost you a pretty penny. The JBL Xtreme 3 costs $349, and while there are no configurations that change the specs, it does come in three different colors: Blue, Black and Black Camo.

JBL Xtreme 3 design

The JBL Xtreme 3 is an absolute unit. Its thick, bulbous cylinder chassis would be an intimidating eyesore if it wasn’t for the soft but durable fabric wrapped around most of its body. On each side of the cylinder (at the end of its body) are rugged rubber housings that prevent the speaker from taking any damage if it’s dropped. Our review unit comes in the sleek Ocean Blue color, and at the center of the speakers lies a blue JBL logo accented by orange borders that dip into the chassis. Below the logo is an LED charging indicator.

JBL Xtreme 3 review

(Image credit: Rami Tabari)

At the top of the speaker lies an array of controls as well as two integrated hooks that you can attach a carrying strap to if you’re on the move. The carrying strap features matching Ocean Blue and orange accented colors as well as a bottle opener -- yeah, this speaker is really designed for the beach. Speaking of the beach, the JBL Xtreme 3 is IP67 rated, which means it can be submerged up to 1 meter in water for 30 minutes before being compromised, and it is fully dust resistant.

The underside of the speaker features baby blue rubber lines that keep it leveled on a surface, while the back sports a rubber oval seal that covers up the ports. On the interior of each end of the cylinder lies JBL Bass Radiators with exclamation mark logos.

JBL Xtreme 3 review

(Image credit: Rami Tabari)

At 4.3 pounds and 11.8 x 5.4 x 5.3 inches, the JBL Xtreme 3 is hefty to carry around, and it’s certainly too large to sit under monitors that don’t have height adjustment. But if you’re using it for your TV, like I have many times, you can pop that baby closer on your center table since it is Bluetooth-enabled.

JBL Xtreme 3 ports and battery life

There aren’t too many ports onboard the JBL Xtreme 3, but you do have an audio-in 3.5mm jack, a USB Type-C In/Out port for charging and a USB Type-A Out port for charging. Yes, the JBL Xtreme 3 doubles as a power bank for charging your devices. The speaker also comes with a USB Type-C power adapter.

JBL Xtreme 3 review

(Image credit: Rami Tabari)

The JBL Xtreme 3 is rated to last 15 hours on a charge, and that has been accurate, as I’ve spent the past few days playing video games and watching TV without needing to charge the speakers yet.

JBL Xtreme 3 connectivity, controls and app

You can get the JBL Xtreme 3 going via a number of ways, including its 3.5mm jack. However, keep in mind that you won't get the full force of the audio until you connect to the JBL Xtreme 3 via its Bluetooth 5.1 chip.

JBL Xtreme 3 review

(Image credit: Rami Tabari)

The JBL Xtreme 3 also has a feature called JBL PartyBoost, which lets the speaker pair with another set of JBL PartyBoost-enabled speakers to create a surround-sound-esque environment. Although, that may be tough to do since you’d have to invest at least $700 to make it happen.

As far as the onboard controls go, from left to right, there is the PartyBoost button, the decrease-volume button, the power button, the Bluetooth-pairing button, the increase-volume button and the play button. If you press the play button twice, you can fast-forward to the next track.

You can connect the JBL Xtreme 3 to your phone via the JBL Portable app, but all that does is enable a catalyst for the PartyBoost feature. There are no audio settings you can tinker with, unfortunately. And the app can be kind of a pain to connect to, but you can connect the speaker to your phone without it via Bluetooth.

JBL Xtreme 3 audio: music and gaming

The JBL Xtreme 3 boasts two 20-millimeter tweeters and two 70-mm woofers, which pack a hell of a punch while gaming and jamming out to music.

JBL Xtreme 3 review

(Image credit: Rami Tabari)

I listened to Dream State’s “I Feel It Too,” and the opening electric guitar was rich and hypnotic. When the vocals kicked in, they were well-rounded, and even more crisp when the chorus dropped. The percussion also had a nice kick to it thanks to the bassy sound, and all of the instruments were easily distinguishable. 

In mxmtoon’s cover of “Creep,” the opening drums were pulsating, and the vocals were so melodic that I forgot I was writing this review and zoned out for a few minutes. When the quieter, higher-pitched electronic beats played over vocals, they were highlighted way more than they typically are, allowing me to suss them out between the other instruments.

I played Resident Evil Village, and as I ran through Lady D’s manor, her resounding voice blasted through the speakers with a bassy tone as she began chasing me through the halls. After running into one of her many daughters, I blasted them with my shotgun, and a thunderous boom echoed throughout my living room -- I felt the weight of the weapon in that moment. When I made it back to the titular village, I could hear the snarling of werewolves creeping up on me; it was so crisp that I could hunt them down and take them down without getting hurt.

In Titanfall 2, the gunshots in this game were so explosive that I had to turn down the volume several times while playing. You never have to worry about audio being too quiet with the Xtreme 3. Even while watching a cutscene, I was able to pick up on BT's and Cooper's voice perfectly, where I'd normally have to mess with some settings to achieve that on my current TV. All of the sound effects, from the melee to the wall running, were impactful thanks to the bright treble and thick bass.

Bottom line

As someone who was desperately looking for an audio solution for their PC and TV, the JBL Xtreme 3 is an excellent choice. It offers awesome, bassy sound and long battery life. If I ever decide to venture outdoors again, I can easily take it with me with its convenient strap. I mean, the thing has a freaking bottle opener built into it. However, $349 is a pretty hefty investment.

Check out our best computer speakers page if you want something a little more affordable. For example, there’s the Edifier R1280DB, which offers solid build quality and sound. However, they aren’t as bassy as the JBL Xtreme 3.

The JBL Xtreme 3 is a great set of speakers if you are not only moving around your house a lot but also on the go outdoors and want loud, resounding sound to follow you everywhere.

Rami Tabari

Rami Tabari is a Senior Writer for Laptop Mag. He reviews every shape and form of a laptop as well as all sorts of cool tech. You can find him sitting at his desk surrounded by a hoarder's dream of laptops, and when he navigates his way out to civilization, you can catch him watching really bad anime or playing some kind of painfully difficult game. He’s the best at every game and he just doesn’t lose. That’s why you’ll occasionally catch his byline attached to the latest Souls-like challenge.