Which Portable Bluetooth Speaker is Best – Bose Soundlink III or JBL Xtreme?
While I compare the best sounding portable Bluetooth speakers Bose vs JBL, you must not forget that fundamentally, the sound signatures are different.
What is more important is the way you perceive the sound, and yes, it’s a highly personal matter.
Best way is to get to nearest sound shop, listen few of your favorite tracks on each speaker, and lastly trust your ears.
Well well someone has rightly said “Bose is the Apple of Sound Systems”
Bose is well known for their minimalist, yet refined quality designs and keeps updating their designs with latest additions with different form factors. Bose Soundlink III craftsmanship is stellar with its wraparound metallic grill
How about JBL?
JBL focuses on mid-range , which follows in Xtreme too. Sound is a more brighter and the DSP is less intrusive, so it sounds natural.
How about BOSE?
Bose is knon for pushing the boundaries extracting more in minimal size of the little cabinet.
First time when I heard this system, I was surprised how much they’ve juiced out of Soundlink III. Bose has engineered the design to great extent for human hearing perspection curve.
I think the SoundLink III is designed to deliver best at modest volume levels and tuned for a more vocal details with subtle rich bass at lower volumes.
While you isten to Bose soundlink 3 during calm nights, you will feel the sound a little richer at lower volumes, this tuning I love, since most of the time I spend listening to music during bedtime, when no one disturbs me, and the environment is quite around. At such times Bose perfectly justifies the spends. (But remember hence it is not that suitable for the outdoors where JBL Xtreme outperforms!)
|Best Portable Bluetooth Speakers||JBL Xtreme||BOSE Soundlink 3|
|Best Buy USA||Best Buy USA|
|Color||Black, Blue, Red||Metallic|
|Wireless Bluetooth Streaming||Wirelessly connect up to 3 smartphones or tablets to the speaker and take turns playing earth-shaking, powerful stereo sound.||The speaker remembers the most recent six devices you’ve used|
|Material||Durable Fabric with rubber housing||Outer Box is paint sprayed aluminium mesh with black parts top ring & The silicone button panel protects it from dirt and dust|
|Drivers||Four active transducers
Transducer: Woofer 2 x 63mm
Tweeter: 2 x 35mm
|Four neodymium transducers|
|Passive radiators||Duel external passive radiators||Dual-opposing passive radiators|
|Frequency Response||70Hz – 20kHz||45Hz – 22kHz|
|Signal-to-Noise Ratio||>80 dB|
|Bass||Hear, Feel & See the Bass!!||Subtle Bass, does not outperform|
|Rated power||2 x 20W Bi-amp (AC mode)|
|Power supply||19V 3A|
|Weather-resistant / Splashproof||IPX4 Rating
Protects from rain & spills. Even can be cleaned in running tap water. (do not submerge it)
|Speakerphone||Take crystal clear calls from your speaker with the touch of a button thanks to the noise and echo cancelling speakerphone.||No|
|Voice assistant||Seri or Google Now with press of buttons||No|
|Bluetooth||v4.1|| v2.1 + EDR
The speaker can remember up to six paired devices
|Bluetooth Range||30 feet|
|Input/Output||1x 1/8″ (3.5 mm) Mini Line-in|
|1x Micro USB|
|2x USB Charging
1x DC Power (Input)
You can connect multiple JBL connect enabled speakers at a time to amplify listening experience
|Battery||Li-ion Polymer 10,000mAH rechargeable||2330 mAh Li-ion battery|
|Playtime||up to 15 hours of playtime
(varies by volume level and audio content)
|Battery charge time||3.5 hours||3 hours|
|Charging port||dual USB ports.
Single USB charge out: 1 x 2A
Dual USB charge out: 2 x 1A
|No USB charging port, requires dedicated AC adapter for charging
(USB port allows for software update to ensure ongoing Bluetooth device compatibility)
|Weight||4.63 lb / 2.1 kg||3.03 lb / 1.37 kg|
|Dimension (H x W x D)||126 x 283 x 122mm||256.5 x 132.1 x 48.3 mm|
|Best Buy||JBL Xtreme||BOSE Soundlink 3|
|Best Buy USA||Best Buy USA|
|Best Buy UK, Canada, Germany||Best Buy UK, Germany||Best Buy UK, Germany|
Lets compare both JBL vs BOSE for each feature:
Further about the looks:
SoundLink 3 has a typical old-timer classic look & feel. Outer Box is paint sprayed aluminium mesh with black parts top ring & The silicone button panel protects it from dirt and dust.
You get nostalgic feel .. something like an old time radio still keeping a modern touch.
Xtreme looks Modern age hiTec Soundbar, JBL demonstrates its excellance in its actual build quality. The outer casing made out of a woven fabric effect throughout.
One may say its an all-over grilled speaker, but it is not. It has its own textural appeal, with added hand-grip offered by the outer casing.
Barring the size, SoundLink 3 is pretty heavy (dense due to its neodymium transducers).
While I ralk of portability, its not that easy to carry them around, unless you buy a separate case for the speaker.
Xtreme on the other hand, slightly bulky, eases out holding it with Woven fabirc texture all around.
It also has two small metal hooks at both sides of the speaker, which enables the speaker connection to a carry strap (included in the box).
I am sure you will be amszed how Bose is able to pump good Bass in this small pumping station!
The DSP (digital signal processing) surely ensures good response of bass.
Xtreme is shaped tubular which naturally performs better than a BOX shaped speaker! Yes, it does pack a serious punch!!
The bass response is better than Bose which is less portable. Obviously, the punch offered by the bass would be higher on a flatter surface.
Their larger outward facing radiators create sufficient pressurevpulses producing a decent enough natural bass
Bose Soundlink 3 speaker has on-board buttons for Volume Control, Sound mute, Aux selection (You need to buy cable separately to connect non-Bluetooth devices to the speaker with Aux). But it lacks Pause/Play as well as Track Skip (forward/back) buttons. Also there is no Remote Control with system, means you’ll have to use your Bluetooth device to control everything. Ofcourse for most of the people that won’t be a problem, but it would be Good to Have a Play/Pause button on the speaker.
Xtreme is splash-proof hence the controls are rubberized buttons which are almost flush to the surface, there is the Bluetooth pairing key, volume down/skip back, power on/off, volume up/skip forward and play/pause.
Xtreme has dedicated controls and connections, which are packed within a zipped pouch on the rear of the device.
So they remain hidden throughout unless yo want to show them off.
This not only adds to the aesthetics but also provides splash-proof feature. The hidden connections are Aux in, two USB ports and the power connector.
for BOSE Only mode of charging is through AC adapter. You will see a Micro-USB port on the back, but it can’t charge the speaker, but only used for future firmware upgrades!
Which means that all the time you need to carry the AC adapter alongwith the Speaker !! this is the biggest drawback of Bose soundlink 3 speaker.
and ind it! if you end up losing AC charer, then you need to wait till you procure new AC charger! since there is no way you can use another commonly available Micro-USB cable for charging.
JBL features traditional charging style which I like the most, you need not find for special AC socket charger all the time like for BOSE Soundlink !!
It also has two USB ports which can be used to charge your mobile devices! wow! this is added bonus for a person like me during outdoor camping and travel.
Both Bose Soundlink and JBL Xtreme speakers will shut down after 30 minutes of not being used, or go into standby mode if it’s connected to a power source.
JBL over BOSE continued ….
Loudest bluetooth speaker : JBL Xtreme
Outdoor perofrmance : JBL outperforms Bose!
Pure on technical points the JBL wins.
JBL Xtreme is weather resistant where as Bose sound link 3 is not
Bose – Feels like sound is suppressed, vocals are not as clear as JBL, trable is also suppressed
JBL – FREE FREE sound … clear vocals and loudness is good, trable is clear, bass is also clear
Bose & JBL both in all, very solid build.
So which one is better than other ?
Yes as said in the beginning of this post, both have different sound signatures. So personal taste matters.
If you wanna play Outdoor Music, Get out for Camping and Fun, then JBL Xtreme is the answer …
If you want a speaker for bedroom use, subtle during night time, you want something smooth, like a lounge, Bose.