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After being fashionably late, the JBL Pulse 3 is finally here. The Pulse 3 is perhaps one of the most anticipated JBL products in recent memory. But a lot of people want to know which is better, the brand new JBL Pulse 3 or the now one year old Charge 3. So we’re about to find out, don't forget to like, comment, and subscribe and you can watch my JBL Pulse 3 review video here after you're done watching this video.
The JBL Pulse 3 retails for $200 and currently only comes in black. The white version should be released in September but I personally prefer the black version cause it makes the light effects look like its floating in a mid air. The Charge 3 currently retails for $150 and comes in 5 color ways, black, blue, gray, red, or teal. But i have seen the Charge 3 on sale for $130 from time to time. 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 the best deals possible.
The JBL Pulse 3 and Charge 3 both share the same cylindrical design. they both have passive radiators on either side of the device that pump out bass and they are both IPX 7 certified. which means they're water proof. They both even float in water. But the JBL Charge 3 is really just a larger Flip 4 with that nylon mesh outer wrapping around the whole body. The mesh outer does a great job of standing up to bumps and scrapes and it really dosnt stain. The JBL Pulse 3 also has the same nylon mesh on the bottom portion of the speaker but the majority of the body is made out of really hard plastic. Its very durable, but it will eventually get scratched if you're to hard on it. On the back of each device you will also find a micro usb port for charging and an AUX jack if you want to have a wired connection for your music. The Charge also has a Micro USB out port so you can charge your phone as well. A feature the Pulse 3 dosnt have but i wish it did. And for those who care, the Charge 3 gives you the option to rest it flat or you can stand it on its side. The Pulse 3 on the other hand can only stand up right. I just thought you should know. Also, the Pulse 3 is slightly larger than the Charge 3 as well.
Both of these speakers also have the same controls on them. You can play or pause your music, you can skip a track, you can press and hold the play button to activate siri, and you can answer or end calls. But the buttons them selves are very different. The charge 3 has textured buttons which make finding the buttons very easy. you can control your music without looking which is great if you multitask a lot like i do. The Pulse 3’s buttons are flat so some times you don't know what you're pressing. But thanks to the new button layout on the Pulse 3 its much easier to know which button you're pressing than on the JBL Pulse 2.
Ok lets talk about specs, the JBL Charge 3 is using bluetooth 4.1 while the JBL Pulse 3 is using bluetooth 4.2. There isn't too much of a difference between the two, you can still connect to multiple devices with either speaker. But range on the JBL Pulse 3 is slightly better and theres less latency. Less latency means when you're watching youtube videos the audio and the video are better in sync. Cause on the charge 3 when you watch videos the audio and video aren't in sync so lips don't line up when people talk like right now cause I just added some latency to my video.
When it comes the battery the Charge 3 does out preform the Pulse 3 by almost 5 hours. The JBL Charge 3 should get you 20 hours of play back while the JBL Pulse 3 should get you 12 hours of playback time with the light feature turned on. But in my testing you should be able to squeeze out 13 hours out of the Pulse 3 with the light feature turned on and I found that playing music on the Pulse 3 with the light featured turned off should get you a battery life of around 15 hours. Although these are both very impressive battery lives, the Charge 3 might be the way to go if you're main concern is battery life. But keep in mind the Charge 3 is at an advantage cause it doesn't have a light show obviously. And side note, you can use the Charge 3 as a power bank to charge your phone thanks to its charge out port on the back
Both of these speakers can also be paired to other JBL speakers thanks to JBL Connect and their app. And its very easy you just press one button on each device. But the Charge 3 is using the older JBL Connect while the Pulse 3 is using JBL Connect Plus. This means if you get the JBL Charge 3 you can only pair older JBL speakers that are using JBL Connect. So you cant pair the Charge 3 with the Pulse 3 or the Flip 4 or any other future JBL Speakers. The JBL Pulse 3 is using the newer JBL Connect Plus, aside from allowing you to chain up to 100 speakers together you can pair the JBL Pulse 3 to another JBL Pulse 3 and get stereo sound goingand even get the light shows to play in sync. or you can pair a JBL Flip 4 to the Pulse 3 and get them to play in party mode. which is great if you want to fill a larger area with music.
The sound quality on the these speakers is also very different. For starters the JBL Charge 3 only plays music out the front. Since the Charge 3 is an older speaker its age is starting to show. It doesn't have that much bass and the sound can get a little muddled at times when the volume is high. Not to mention theres a lot of amplification going on here. Sure it gets loud and has little more bass, but ironically the smaller Flip 4 sounds better than the Charge 3 in my opinion and the flip 4 has less sound distortion at higher volumes. and the flip 4’s sound stage isn't as narrow as the Charge 3.
But the JBL pulse 3 on the hand sounds much better than the Charge 3. First off its now a 360 speaker but thats not why this speaker sounds better than the Charge 3. The Pulse 3 has a lot more bass than the charge 3, it hasmuch wider sound stage with a good amount of depth and it sounds very crisp. And theres hardly any sound distortion or raspiness at higher volumes. In general the JBL Pulse 3 is a good sounding speaker, period.
both of these speakers also connect to the same JBL phone app. In the case of the charge 3 all you can really do is update the firmware, check your battery status and manage your JBL Connect settings. But for the JBL pulse 3 the app does a whole lot more. JBL’s connect app allows you to play with the light feature of your Pulse 3. For starters you can adjust the brightness and obviously the brightness of the light feature will play a roll in the speaker’s battery life. You can also cycle through the different light settings. They all flash to the beat of your music but they each do so a little differently. Theres wave, Jet, explosion, equalizer, Rave, Rainbow, fire, and you can even make you're own. And you can change the color of each setting either through color matching with your camera or you can use the color wheel.
If youre trying to decide between the Charge 3 and the Pulse 3 the light feature isn't the deciding factor here. The Pulse 3 genuinely sounds way better than the Charge 3. Like i said it has more bass, a wider sound stage and theres less sound distortion. If you have the extra $50 for the Pulse 3 then just get it. The only reason I would pick the Charge 3 over the Pulse 3 is because I'm looking for a longer battery life or something more durable. and at which case i would say get the flip 4 and save yourself $50. But the JBL Pulse 3 is easily becoming my go to speaker. Now go check out my JBL Pulse 3 review if you want to learn a little more about it.