JBL Xtreme 2 Vs. Xtreme 3: Getting The Best Bluetooth Speaker

JBL has long been one of the biggest names in portable Bluetooth speakers, and two of their most popular models are the Xtreme 2 and Xtreme 3. But which one is right for you?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare the key features, audio performance, design, battery life and more to help you decide between the JBL Xtreme 2 and Xtreme 3.

A Brief Comparison Table

FeatureJBL Xtreme 2JBL Xtreme 3
Audio Drivers24
Sound OutputUp to 80dB SPLUp to 100dB SPL
Frequency Response70Hz – 20kHz55Hz – 20kHz
Battery LifeUp to 15 hoursUp to 15 hours
ChargingMicro USBUSB-C + Wireless Charging
Wireless ConnectivityBluetooth 4.2Bluetooth 4.2
Supported CodecsSBC, AAC, aptXSBC, AAC, aptX
Waterproof RatingIPX7IP67
Dustproof RatingNoYes
Voice AssistantNoAmazon Alexa & Google Assistant
LightingNoIntegrated LEDs
Dimensions12 x 5.3 x 5.3 inches13.4 x 5 x 5.4 inches
Weight2.3 lbs2.9 lbs
Current Price$149 – $199$249 – $299

Overview And Design

The Xtreme 2 and Xtreme 3 have a very similar design aesthetic – both feature a cylindrical shape with exposed drivers and passive radiators at each end. They are wrapped in a durable fabric material with rubberized ends and base. Both have large built-in carry straps for easy portability.

However, there are a few differences:

JBL Xtreme 2
JBL Xtreme 2
  • The Xtreme 3 is slightly larger and heavier than the Xtreme 2. It measures 13.4 x 5 x 5.4 inches and weighs 2.9 lbs, compared to 12 x 5.3 x 5.3 inches and 2.3 lbs for the Xtreme 2.
  • The Xtreme 3 has four drivers and two radiators compared to the Xtreme 2’s two drivers and two radiators, allowing for more power and sound projection.
  • The Xtreme 3 has a more squared-off design with sharper edges compared to the rounded ends of the Xtreme 2.
  • The Xtreme 3 has built-in LED light strips that pulse and react to the music playing. The Xtreme 2 does not have any lighting features.
  • The Xtreme 3 is IP67 waterproof and dustproof, while the Xtreme 2 is only IPX7 waterproof.

Overall, the Xtreme 3 has a slightly more bold and modernized look while retaining the general design ethos. But the Xtreme 2 is a bit more compact and portable.

Audio Performance

When it comes to audio quality, the Xtreme 3 is the clear winner. With its upgraded four driver setup compared to the Xtreme 2’s two drivers, it simply outputs a lot more volume, bass and clarity.

JBL Xtreme 3
JBL Xtreme 3

JBL says the Xtreme 3 has 40% more bass than the previous model. It’s able to achieve an impressive volume level while maintaining distortion-free sound – up to 100dB SPL according to JBL. The sound projects evenly in all directions thanks to the unique driver and radiator configuration.

The Xtreme 2 is no slouch though – it still gets reasonably loud and can produce some thumping bass. But it just can’t quite match the output and dynamic range of its successor.

Both speakers have JBL’s signature warm, punchy sound profile that favors the lows and mids rather than sparkly treble. So neither model is ideal for those looking for neutral audiophile-grade reproduction. However, for pop, rock, hip-hop and EDM they deliver bold, immersive sound with some real kick.

One advantage the Xtreme 2 retains over the 3 is dual pairing mode, allowing you to wirelessly connect two Xtreme 2 speakers together to either separate left/right stereo channels or combine for a bigger mono sound. The Xtreme 3 lacks this feature.

Also Read: Differences Between Sonos Move And Bose S1 Pro.

Battery Life

With typical use at moderate volume, JBL claims up to 15 hours of battery life for the Xtreme 3 and up to 15 hours for the Xtreme 2 as well. So on paper, their endurance is evenly matched.

In real world testing however, many users report getting 2+ hours more out of the Xtreme 2 before it needs recharging. This may come down to the Xtreme 3’s larger sound output drawing more power.

Both speakers can be topped up relatively quickly via their USB-C ports. The Xtreme 3 supports wireless charging if you have a compatible Qi pad. It also has a powerbank function to charge your smartphones and tablets on the go via USB-A.

Overall the Xtreme 2 seems to have a slight edge for battery life over its successor, but both offer respectable runtime suitable for full days of listening between charges.

Connectivity And Features

The Xtreme 2 and Xtreme 3 both utilize Bluetooth v4.2 for wireless connectivity. They support all major codecs including SBC, AAC and aptX. Bluetooth range is stated as 100 feet or 30 meters line-of-sight. In real world use you can expect a reliable connection up to around 30 feet which is pretty standard.

NFC one-touch pairing is supported for quick connections with compatible devices. Both speakers have physical buttons for core controls like power, volume, play/pause, skipping tracks etc. The Xtreme 3 adds a dedicated button for JBL PartyBoost, which lets you pair multiple JBL speakers together for synchronized playback.

A distinguishing feature of the Xtreme 3 is the integrated LED lighting that pulses in sync with your music. You can customize the light colors and patterns via the JBL Connect app. Having music-reactive lighting makes the Xtreme 3 a bit more visually engaging and party-friendly than the Xtreme 2.

The Xtreme 3 also has built-in Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for hands-free voice control. Just press the voice assistant button and you can request music, get answers, check information and more. The Xtreme 2 lacks any sort of voice assistance.

As mentioned previously, the Xtreme 3 has an IP67 waterproof and dustproof rating allowing it to be submerged in water up to 1 meter for 30 minutes. The Xtreme 2 is IPX7 rated, so it provides decent water resistance but not full dustproofing.

Overall for connectivity and features, the Xtreme 3 pulls ahead thanks to the addition of integrated voice assistance, lighting and a more robust IP rating. But the Xtreme 2 still provides a quality wireless listening experience.

Also Read: Is JBL Clip 4 Better Than Flip 5?


As the newer and upgraded model, the JBL Xtreme 3 carries a higher retail price than the previous generation Xtreme 2.

The Xtreme 3 launched at $299.95, while the Xtreme 2 first retailed for around $249.95. Nowadays though, you can commonly find the Xtreme 2 discounted to $199 or under for a new unit.

Here’s a quick pricing comparison:

  • JBL Xtreme 2: $149 – $199
  • JBL Xtreme 3: $249 – $299

So, there’s roughly a $100+ difference between the two at typical current sale prices. Keep this price gap in mind if your budget is limited.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Which is better Xtreme 2 or Xtreme 3?

The Xtreme 3 is the better speaker overall, with superior sound output, added features like voice assistance and lighting, and a more modern design. But the Xtreme 2 is no slouch either, offering great JBL sound at a lower price point.

Is the JBL Xtreme 3 worth an upgrade?

For most users, yes the Xtreme 3 is worth upgrading over the previous Xtreme 2 model. You get significantly better audio performance along with nice extras like the integrated LEDs and wireless charging. The higher $299 price tag is justified for a big step up in sound quality.

Is JBL Xtreme 3 bigger than Xtreme 2?

The Xtreme 3 is slightly larger in size, measuring 13.4 x 5 x 5.4 inches compared to the Xtreme 2’s 12 x 5.3 x 5.3 inches. It’s also a little heavier at 2.9 lbs versus 2.3 lbs. The differences are minor though – both have a similar overall cylindrical design.

What is the difference between JBL Xtreme and Xtreme 3?

The Xtreme 3 is improved over the original Xtreme in almost every way:
Better sound quality with 4 drivers Vs. 2
Larger size and louder max volume
Longer 15 hour battery life Vs. 10 hours
Waterproof design with IP67 rating
Integrated voice assistant and LED lighting
USB-C charging
So, the Xreme 3 is definitely a more advanced and powerful speaker compared to the original.

Also watch this video!

Final Verdict

So, which is the better buy between the JBL Xtreme 2 and Xtreme 3? Here’s a quick summary of the key differences:

  • The Xtreme 3 has more powerful audio performance thanks to its upgraded 4 driver configuration. It gets louder and has deeper bass than the Xtreme 2.
  • The Xtreme 3 has a more modern design with built-in LED lighting and sharper edges. But the Xtreme 2 is slightly more compact.
  • Battery life is pretty similar, but the Xtreme 2 edges out the 3 by a couple hours in real world use.
  • The Xtreme 3 has added features like wireless charging, voice assistant integration, PartyBoost and a fully waterproof IP67 rating.
  • The Xtreme 2 is the cheaper option, often costing $100+ less than the Xtreme 3.

Overall, the Xtreme 3 is the superior speaker, delivering better sound, an improved look and useful extra features. But the Xtreme 2 still holds its own for a less expensive option.

If your budget is flexible, the Xtreme 3 is arguably worth the upgrade over its predecessor. The powerful sound output and light show make it ideal for parties and get-togethers. It’s the speaker to get if you want the latest and greatest from JBL.

But if you don’t want to spend over $250, or you don’t care about voice assistance and lighting, the Xtreme 2 remains a compelling alternative. It retains much of the same design and functionality while providing almost as good audio performance for a lower price point.

So, choose the feature-packed Xtreme 3 if you want JBL’s best and have the budget for it. But the discounted Xtreme 2 is still a great pick for more budget-conscious buyers who want big, bold JBL sound at a bargain. Either way, you can’t go wrong with these wireless heavy hitters!

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