JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth Speaker Review 2020

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The JBL Charge 3 is seeking to make its mark in the mass of Bluetooth speakers out there, but its name gives it an edge immediately – JBL has always stood out among the best, most dependable brands out there.

Apart from the top-performing sound, its Charge type of Bluetooth speakers let you charge your device up as long as you’re blasting out tunes… hence why they’re all called Charge.

Like a lot of its competitors, mainly the UE Boom series, the JBL Charge 3 can be waterproof, therefore you can make make use of it at the pool or the beach without fretting about any splashes or water-based accidents.

The JBL Charge 2 won many over using its exceptional battery life, high-end construction and good sound. Which means it’s definitely a hardcore act to check out. While we’ve found two small snags, we’re confident to state the Charge 3 boosts on its predecessor’s legacy.

Since we at first published this review, JBL has added the affordable Flip 4 to its line-up, and just unveiled the JBL Charge 4. When you can find the Charge 3 at a decent price, it might be worth a look.

JBL Charge 3: design

We’ll just turn out and say it: the JBL Charge 3 is a major speaker. There’s no making your way around it. At 213 x 87 x 88.5 mm, the speaker will need up a fair little bit of room in your backpack or purse, and at 1.76 pounds it’ll weigh you down aswell.

However, everything you get for having such a huge speaker is 20 hours of battery life and waterproofing.

The waterproofing may be the big new feature for the Charge 3, and it’s really IPX7 rated too, therefore you can submerge the speaker in up to meter of water for thirty minutes. But while it’ll survive a dunk in to the pool, it’s probably best unless you leave it there for a protracted period of time.

At the top of the Charge 3 you will discover buttons for power, Bluetooth pairing, volume control, play/pause/skip and a distinctive JBL Connect button. The last button let you hook up multiple JBL Connect speakers to augment the sound, permitting you to play two speakers as a stereo pair (like rivals including the LG Musicflow p7 and the Razer Leviathan Mini).

The JBL Charge 3 features dual external passive radiators offering a visual factor to your music playing – you will see the radiators vibrate with bass-heavy tracks.

Although exposed radiators are almost the same as a two-meter exhaust port on the Death Star – a tiny weak i’m all over this an otherwise solid product – they are sufficiently strong to withstand pokes and also have a rubber guard around them that let you prop up the Charge 3 vertically.

JBL Charge 3: performance and features

As we mentioned previously, the JBL Charge 3 is a huge speaker and that physical size means big sound. These speakers could be really cranked up and can haven’t any problem filling a huge room. Outside, they are able to project sound fairly far but they’re best experienced within about 20 feet.

The Charge 3 offer a number of the deepest & most powerful bass we’ve heard from a lightweight Bluetooth speaker. The bass response is most effective on a set surface which can help resonate a number of the sound, just like a tabletop. You can prop the Charge 3 vertically but we found it negatively impacted sound so it is best kept in its horizontal orientation.

We tried the Charge 3 with a number of genres of music and came away impressed with precisely how well it handled everything we threw at it. The speaker played loudly without distortion and we were always impressed with the product quality and level of bass made available from the speaker.

The only disappointment in the sound is that high frequencies, like violins, aren’t as sparkly and detailed as opponents just like the Bose Soundlink Mini. We believe the cropped highs are as a result of waterproof construction of the speaker, and it’s really a thing that other waterproof rivals have a problem with aswell. Still, most listeners will not be disappointed by the sound and the addition of waterproofing is really worth the slightly muted highs.

The Charge 3 also includes a built-in mic in order to make usage of it as a speakerphone for conference calls. Overall, family and friends found the mic quality clear and several didn’t recognize we were speaking with them through a speaker.

We liked

The JBL Charge 3 offers excellent sound for the purchase price. The addition of waterproofing helps it be a Bluetooth speaker you may take just about anyplace… provided you do not mind lugging its additional weight around. It is also nice knowing you should use the speaker as a powerbank for your phone to keep carefully the tunes playing.

We disliked

The Charge 3 is a major speaker that’ll weigh down your backpack. It being waterproof is nice, nonetheless it definitely comes at the price tag on impacting high-frequency playback. Even though its exposed woofers look cool, they might not exactly survive an extended drop or a run-in with a sharp object poking around in your bag.

Final verdict

The JBL Charge 3 can be an improvement over the prior Charge 2 in only about every way. And that is great news, considering we really liked the last iteration.

Sure the Charge 2 may offer clearer highs however the addition of waterproofing makes the minor sound quality sacrifice better to swallow. Unless you value waterproofing and just want the very best sound, you will probably find your money is way better spent elsewhere.

As a package, the JBL Charge 3 offers a compelling group of features and excellent sound quality on top of that: it punches well above its weight, playing loudly and distortion-free. The JBL Charge type of speakers has been on my shortlist of tips for years, and the most recent iteration maintains JBL’s dominance in the lightweight Bluetooth speaker market.

At $150 (£149.99, about AU$200) at launch, the Charge 3 is a fantastic package your money can buy. I actually prefer it to your Editor’s Choice-winning UE Boom 2 because of its slightly better sound and capability to charge my phone. Plus, due to the fact it’s $50 cheaper compared to the UE Boom 2, the JBL Charge 3 is a no-brainer.

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