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The JBL Xtreme isn’t as extreme anymore, the new top dog is the JBL Boombox. If you’re considering either choosing between these two speakers or even considering upgrading… you probably want to know the main differences between these two speakers. So which is right for you? We’re about to find out. Don’t forget to like comment and subscribe and you can watch my full review on the JBL Boombox here after you’re done watching this video.
When it comes to money theres a $150 price difference between the two speakers. The JBL Boombox currently retails for $449.95 and the older JBL Xtreme currently retails for $299.99 at most places. But I’ve actually managed to find the JBL Xtreme for as low as $226 on amazon. If you want to pick either of these speakers up I’ll have links in the description below and I’ll keep them updated so you can get best the deal possible.
Design wise both of these speakers have the same characteristics. Both of these speakers have the same nylon mesh weave on the outside that make the speakers fairly rugged and repel almost everything. They both have the same button layout on the top so you can control your music playback, adjust the volume and even activate siri by pressing the play pause button. They both have dual USB ports on the back so you can charge your own devices, they both come included with a power brick and charge via their AC in ports, and they both have AUX jacks. They even have similar speaker set ups. They both have dual woofers on the front, dual tweeters, and they both have passive radiators on each side.
But obviously the larger size of the JBL Boombox means much larger diameter woofers, tweeters and passive radiators. All in all the JBL Boombox is almost 3 and half times bigger and weighs 2 and half times more than the JBL Xtreme. But the larger size of the BOOMBOX means it can house dual .79 inch diameter tweeters, dual 4 inch woofers, and 4.17 inch diameter passive radiators on each side. Where as the JBL Xtreme has dual 1.38 inch diameter tweeters, 2.48 inch woofers, and 2.87 inch diameter passive radiators on each side.
Although the JBL BOOMBOX is meant to be highly portable and has a built in carrying handle that dosnt detach… it doesn’t have the optional shoulder strap attachment like the JBL Xtreme. And even though the JBL Boombox only weighs 11 and half pounds it does get heavy after awhile. Personally I think the JBL Boombox needs a shoulder strap option more than the JBL Xtreme. Like JBL could have just added the little hooks right here.
Tech specs on either speaker are a little different. The JBL Xtreme is using bluetooth 4.1 and has a slightly shorter range of 50 feet where as the JBL Boombox is using bluetooth 4.2 and has a range of 70 feet. But both of these speakers can connect to multiple devices at the same time, which is good. Both of these speakers aren’t afraid of a little water. But the JBL Xtreme is only splash proof where as the JBL BOOMBOX is IPX 7 certified. This means if the Xtreme gets a little wet you don’t have to worry about it but if it gets submerged under water you’re gonna have a bad time. But since the Boombox is IPX 7 certified it can get submerged under water without any issues. It can even float in water and keep playing music.
the first most noticeable upgrade to the JBL BOOMBOX is battery life. I’ve found that with the boombox set in outdoor mode and at a moderate volume you can get a battery life of 24 hours. But if you use your Boombox in the slightly better sounding indoor mode at the same moderate volume you should get a battery life of 21 hours. Where as under the same conditions you should be able to get a battery life of 16 hours on the JBL Xtreme which is technically more than its advertised battery life. None the less both of these speakers have impressive battery lives that will last you multiple listening sessions.
Regarding sound quality, these speakers perform very differently. The JBL Boombox has over all better instrument separation and a wider sound stage. It also has deeper bass, and theres even a hint of sub bass which is totally nonexistent on the JBL Xtreme. And to be clear, this is while the BOOMBOX is in the slightly better sounding indoor mode.
The JBL Boombox also gets about 15 decibels louder than the JBL Xtreme. When the JBL Xtreme is at 100% volume its like the JBL Boombox is at 70% volume. Over all with the JBL Boombox, you’re not just getting a louder speaker youre also getting a better sounding speaker than the JBL Xtreme.
But another important thing to consider before buying either of these two speakers is compatibility. The JBL Boombox is using JBL Connect Plus while the JBL Xtreme is using the older JBL Connect. And this is more important than you think. With JBL Connect plus you can sync up to 100 JBL connect plus enabled speakers. Right now the JBL Boombox can connect with the JBL flip 4, or the JBL Pulse 3 cause they are both using JBL Connect plus. But the JBL Boombox can not sync with JBL speakers that are using the older JBL Connect. So you can’t pair the boombox with the JBL Xtreme, JBL Pulse 2, JBL Charge 3 or any other older JBL speaker. But representatives on JBL’s forums have gone on record saying that the JBL Charge 3 should be a getting a firmware update this October so it can sync with JBL Connect Plus speakers. And they have also stated that due to technological limitations the JBL Xtreme will never be able to sync with JBL Connect plus enabled speakers. So if you get the Boombox don’t get upset if it wont pair with your older speakers. And if you get the Xtreme don’t get upset if it wont pair with any future JBL speakers you might get.
So is having a better sounding and louder speaker with a slightly better battery life worth a $150 premium… thats up to you to decide. Personally I’m pleased with the JBL Boombox, but I did expect it to get louder. If you decide to get the JBL Xtreme just keep in mind its probably on its way out. I’m willing to bet JBL is going to announce the JBL Xtreme 2 at CES 2018. But I’m not knocking the JBL Xtreme its still a solid speaker. Now keep in mind, this isn’t a full review either of these speakers, I’m just trying to point out the most important differences between them so I can help you with your purchase decision. If you want to learn more about the JBL Boombox or hear a sound comparison between the Boombox, Xtreme and charge 3 then tap the icon in the top right to watch the full review.