These days, it seems like everywhere you go, you hear party music that sounds like it came from big speakers – but look closer and you’ll find that they just keep getting smaller. The JBL Xtreme 3 bills itself as a portable party speaker, but given its size (and weight), it’s not something you’d take with you on a bicycle ride – this is for when you want loud music on picnics or outdoor parties, or even for chilling in a house party.
The speakers deliver what’s billed as the JBL Original Pro Sound – behind the grille are 4 drivers for low frequencies, plus chunky Bass Radiators on either ends of the speaker, producing a very healthy amount of bass that’ll satisfy bassheads. You don’t need to pump up the volume high to enjoy the reverberations either, which makes this speaker ideal for parties (ie. EDM, club, pop), despite its relatively small size.
The sound is relatively clean if you’re into more vocals – they seem pretty ‘separated’ from the background, great if you’re into singing along to your music. You can definitely hear the difference in sound between bass-heavy songs and vocal-forward ones (so you’ll get a lot of deep rumbling sound with a chillhop tune, while you’ll get more airy vocals in, say, a punk rock number).
The Xtreme 3 boasts 100W of total power, so it has the potential to be played real loud.
At 2kg, it’s not super light, but it comes with a carry strap which it needs because there are no handles anywhere on the body. The strap comes with a bottle opener though!
On the top of the speaker, there are physical buttons for pairing, power, volume, and play/pause – there’s a separate button for PartyBoost mode, which lets you pair other compatible JBL speakers so you can get a stereo sound (or a multi-room set-up).
You’ll need to download the JBL Portable app (Apple & iOS) if you want the PartyBoost mode. You can make it a Party mode or Stereo mode with 2 (or more) other PartyBoost-enabled speakers (Boombox 2, Flip 5, Pulse 4) by customising it in the app.
JBL Xtreme 3 is IP67 waterproof and dustproof rating, which is about as high of an ingress protection rating as you’ll see on consumer products. Technically, it can be submerged up to 1 metre for 30 minutes without issue (although Bluetooth connection is lost), so you can bring it to the beach on a windy day with no issues at all.
Its 15 hours of battery life is pretty impressive (less if you’re playing it very loud), and you can easily check its battery level on a light strip so you don’t have to guess. Another up side is that the Extreme 3 can also be turned into a charging port for your devices using the USB Type-A port or USB Type-C port.
Bringing the party everywhere
The JBL Xtreme 3 is equally powerful in the home or outdoors, thanks to its impressive audio output – especially with its bass depth. Being waterproof and dustproof with a high IP67 rating, you can take the rugged speaker outdoors confidently. At S$399, it’s got most of what you need in an outdoor speaker (if you’re not thinking of cycling with it).