In JBL’s repertoire, the Xtreme 2 and Xtreme 3 occupy entries in the high-end portable Bluetooth speaker space. With the latter being just a tad bigger in size, both devices are best suited for outdoor events, like parties and hangouts, but they work perfectly fine as a home speaker as well.
In summary, the differences between both speakers are fairly minor, with the JBL Xtreme 3 boasting a slightly wider frequency range than its predecessor and a 10W advantage when it comes to sound output. There are also some marginal changes in design.
That being said, let’s get into the nitty-gritty.
On the official JBL website, you’ll see that the JBL Xtreme 2 sports two 20W RMS Bi-amp woofers for a total speaker wattage of 40W. The JBL Xtreme 3, on the other hand, features two 25W RMS woofers, totaling an output of 50W. This means that the newer model comes out slightly louder and cleaner than its older sibling.
The JBL Xtreme 3 also includes two 25W RMS tweeters. A tweeter is a specific type of speaker responsible for producing higher frequency sounds which can also have a big impact on speaker imaging. As a result, the JBL Xtreme 3 has a clear advantage when reproducing highs and has a better “live” feel on account of the speaker imaging.
Here is a quick start guide for JBL Xtreme 3.
The JBL Xtreme 2 has a dynamic frequency response range between 55 – 20,000 Hz in terms of audio specs. In contrast, the JBL Xtreme 3 ranges between 53.5 – 20,000 Hz. As these numbers go, the lower the figure, the better the device is at reproducing lower-frequency sounds.
Both speakers are capable of achieving the same upper limit frequency, but the JBL Xtreme 3 wins out slightly when it comes to the lower limit. As such, it’ll have a faintly fuller bass profile, but it probably won’t be that noticeable to most people.
These speakers were meant to be used outdoors and on trips, so durability should play a major part in your selection process.
Fortunately, these devices are built like trucks and can take their fair share of punishment. In fact, the JBL Xtreme line has become synonymous with ruggedness ever since the first model hit the shelves.
The main difference between these two speakers is that the JBL Xtreme 3 has a superior IP67 rating, allowing it to withstand bodies of water that are a meter deep for 30 minutes while being resistant to dust. The JBL Xtreme 2 sports an IPX7 rating that makes it just as waterproof but offers no dust resistance.
So if you see lots of dusty trails and beach trips in your future, the JBL Xtreme 3 is the clear winner in this category.
You may check out the complete specifications of JBL Xtreme 2 on j, too.
Size and Weight
Despite being classified as portable speakers, the JBL Xtreme 2 and JBL Xtreme 3 are pretty big and not something you’re likely to carry around with ease. Both models look fairly similar to one another from a distance, bearing near-identical cylindrical shapes wrapped in woven fabric.
But there’s actually a small difference in dimensions and weight. The JBL Xtreme 2’s proportions are 11.3 x 5.4 x 4.2 inches, while the JBL Xtreme 3 sits at 11.75 x 5.35 x 5.28 inches. This makes the newer model slightly larger overall.
As for heaviness, the older model weighs in at 5.27 lbs, whereas the newer variant is 4.34 lbs. So despite the JBL Xtreme 3 being the bigger of the two, it’s actually close to a whole pound lighter. Considering how hefty the speakers are, being on the lighter side is certainly a good thing, particularly when you need to lug the speaker around.
As of writing, the JBL Xtreme 2 costs $238.50 to $249.95, depending on its design and color, while the JBL Xtreme 3 is priced at $379.95.
All things considered, the JBL Xtreme 3 is undoubtedly the better of the two, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the smarter purchase. If you’re upgrading from any of the previous models, then the marginal improvements make it tough to justify the price difference.
But suppose you’re in the market for a brand new outdoor portable speaker and can afford the added cost. In that case, picking up the newer model is probably the better choice, especially if you want a little extra ruggedness and sound performance.