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Alright, Well you asked for it so here it is. JBL Pulse 3 vs the much larger JBL Xtreme. The Pulse 3 is the newest product in JBL’s line up and the Xtreme is the most expensive portable bluetooth speaker JBL has for sale. And a lot of people claim the JBL Xtreme is the best bluetooth speaker in its segment. 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 JBL Pulse 3 review video here after you're done watching this video.
I try to make my versus videos as fair as possible by picking products in relatively the same price range. The JBL pulse 3 comes in two color ways, black or white and retails for $199.95. just keep in mind the white version should be released in September. The JBL Xtreme retails for $299.95 and comes in 3 color ways, Black, Blue Or Red. But i have seen the JBL Xtreme on sale for as low as $229 over at 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 the best deals possible.
The JBL Xtreme is not just JBL’s most expensive portable bluetooth speaker its also their biggest. It absolutely dwarfs the Pulse 3 and the Charge 3. Its also twice as heavy as the pulse 3weighing in at 4.7 pounds or 2.1 kilos. The Pulse 3 weighs 2.1 pounds or 960 grams. The JBL Xtreme is in the same weight class as the Sony XB40. Just like the JBL Flip 4, and Charge 3 the Xtreme is covered in a nylon mesh weave that makes it really rugged and it dosnt show that many stains. The JBL Xtreme also has the largest passive radiators in JBL’s line up with a diameter of 63 millimeters which is like 2 and half inches. The Xtreme also has control buttons on top that are identical to the Charge 3. you can play or pulse your music, skip a track, adjust your volume, activate siri by pressing and holding the play button, and you’ve got JBL’s connect button. One gripe i do have with JBL speakers is that you can't go back a track by triple pressing the play button like you can with other speakers. On the bottom of the Xtreme you’ll notice theres a battery gauge and on the back theres a zipper that houses 3 USB ports, one of which is for servicing the Xtreme and the other two can charge your devices like a phone or a tablet. theres also an aux jack and a power port. The Xtreme has rubber feet so you can rest it flat on a table, but but if you must you can also stand it on its side. It even has some hooks and came included with a vary nice quality strap so traveling with it can be a little easier. The JBL Pulse 3 has the same cylindrical design as all of the other JBL speakers. It also has dual passive radiators with a diameter of 45mm or 1.7 inches. The majority of the body is made out of really hard plastic and the bottom portion which houses the 3 40mm transducers is covered in the same nylon mesh weave as the Xtreme. On the back you'll also find a battery gauge and the same buttons like the Xtreme which let you do the same things. Except, the pulse 3 has a JBL Connect Plus button and theres a button so you cycle through the different lighting modes. And if you watched any of my other videos, i really wish the buttons were textured. Under the rubber grommet you'll also find an AUX jack and a micro USB port for charging. Unfortunately you cant charge other devices with the Pulse 3.
When it comes to battery life obviously the JBL Xtreme will last longer than the Pulse 3 cause it has a 10,000 milliamp battery and it dosnt have a light feature to power. JBL advertises a 15 hour battery life on the Xtreme but I’ve managed to squeeze out a little more than 17 hours of playback time with the volume set at 50%. The Pulse 3 is rocking a 6,000 milliamp battery and advertises a battery life of 12 hours. But in my testing with the volume set at 50% and the brightness of the light feature set at 25% I've managed to squeeze out 13 hours of playback time and with the light feature turned off I have managed to get 15 hours of playback time. But the way these speakers are charged is very different. You can charge the Pulse 3 with a micro USB cable, but you have to charge the JBL Xtreme with the supplied power brick. If you take the pulse 3 to your friends house you can use any of their micro usb cables to charge the speaker. On the other hand, if you take the JBL Xtreme with you somewhere you have to remember to take its charging cable. The Pulse 3 in this hypothetical situation does get a connivance factor.
If you're going to be taking either of these speakers with you somewhere just know that the JBL Xtreme is splash proof. if it gets hit by a little bit of water it'll be just fine, but JBL has made it very clear that do not submerge it under water. But the JBL Pulse 3 is IPX 7 certified, you can get it wet, submerge it under water and it'll be just fine. It even floats and keeps playing music like a boss. But even though the Pulse 3 might be a little more resilient than the JBL Xtreme just keep in mind you do run the risk of scratching the plastic top if you're too rough on it. But if portability and durability is a main concern for you then you might be better off with the Pulse 3.
When it comes to connectivity the JBL Pulse 3 is using bluetooth 4.2, it can be paired to multiple devices at the same time and it has range of around 70 feet. It also does a great job of keeping a solid connection between multiple walls in the house. The JBL Xtreme is using bluetooth 4.1 and you can also pair it to multiple devices at the same time. But i did notice the range is slightly shorter at around 50 feet and it does struggle to keep a solid connection between multiple walls.
But there is a quirk I want to point out about the JBL Xtreme. Every time a video starts theres a delay in the audio like at the beginning of this clip. It isn't latency like on the JBL Charge 3, the audio and video sync up. Its not a big deal but i just thought you should know.
Ok its sound quality time. Like I’ve said in past videos and I’ve made a few… The JBL pulse 3 is a good sounding speaker. It has a good amount of bass to it, the mid and highs are very clear, it has a wide soundstage with a good amount of depth, theres good instrument separation, and very little raspiness distortion or tinniness at higher volumes. and its a 360 degree speaker that does a very good job of evenly blanketing an area. I have no complaints.
The JBL Xtreme’s sound profile is very similar to the Pulse 3 but it has a lot more bass and it gets significantly louder, this thing will rattle your walls. If your main priority is bass and loudness then the JBL Xtreme is the obvious choice. Its no wonder its called the JBL Xtreme. Just keep in mind it only shoots out sound through the front, and if you play music on the JBL Xtreme while its plugged in you will notice it will get a little louder and it'll have a little more bass.
Both of these speakers can also pair be paired to other JBL Speakers but heres the catch. The JBL Xtreme is using the older JBL Connect. it can only pair with other JBL speakers using JBL Connect like the Charge 3, or pulse 2. The Pulse 3 is using JBL Connect Plus which means it can only be paired to other JBL Connect Plus enabled speakers like the JBL Flip 4, another Pulse 3, or future JBL products. I know it sucks, but technology has to evolve. If you plan on getting more JBL speakers in the future then the Pulse 3 is the way to go. But if you just want to get one speaker and you don't have any plans to pair multiple speakers together then you'll be fine with the JBL Xtreme.
Both of these speakers connect to JBL’s mobile app. Set up is easy and you can do things like manage settings, check your battery status, and manage multiple speakers if you have them paired together. You don't really have to use it that often. But JBL’s app is a little different for the Pulse 3. JBL’s connect app also 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. And if you flip the Pulse 3 upside-down the light feature will orient it self. Personally my favorite light setting is either Jet or explosion, but I wish you could have more customization options like being able to pair your own two colors together.
But at the end of the day which is right for you? If you want something a little smaller, a little more portable, something thats IPX 7 certified then the Pulse 3 is right for you. It sounds good, its great for personal listening and it has no problem filling a room. And not to mention you get the best light feature on the market. And it will be compatible with future JBL products. But if you want something really loud with a whole bunch of bass then the JBL Xtreme is a good option. I would get the JBL Xtreme if it was just going to live in my bed room. But just a heads I think there will be a new JBL Xtreme announced at the next CES. If you want to learn more about the JBL Pulse 3 I’ll have a link to its review in the description below.