JBL Charge 3 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review

In this day and age when every week we see a new Bluetooth speaker hit the market, it’s hard for a brand to stay at the top. JBL has managed to stay far ahead of the competition. To maintain its lead JBL had to be insightful and innovative; able to understand the consumer’s psyche.

The JBL Charge 3 is a case in point of the company’s intuitive and creative thinking. JBL is one of the very few brands that produce speakers that can charge other USB-powered gadgets such as phones, tablets, etc.

JBL Charge 3 is a lot similar to its predecessor – the JBL Charge 2+. The launch price, the design, and most of the features remain the same. But, to capture the attention of people, they have made a few very significant changes. Let’s learn about these changes.

JBL Charge 3 Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review
The Great
Portable, and fully waterproof
Excellent battery life
Can be used as an external charger for other devices, Speakerphone feature, JBL Connect Technology
Loud sound and solid bass
The Not-So Great
The sound lacks clarity, lacks smooth treble
Bigger and heavier than JBL Charger 2+
Can’t skip tracks backwards

 

Key Highlights
  • The speaker is larger and heavier than JBL Charge 2+.
  • JBL Charge 3 is fully waterproof. It is IPX7 rated.
  • The speaker is available in five shades: Red, Blue, Black, Gray, and Teal.
  • The JBL Connect button allows two JBL speakers to be linked wirelessly.
  • Connect the handheld device to the speaker using Bluetooth or an auxiliary connection to play music.
  • JBL Charge 3 is certainly louder than its predecessor. It also has a deep bass.
  • The speaker can store up to 3 pairing connections.
  • Charge 3 can act as a power bank / charger to juice up other devices.
  • It’s best to use the speaker in a large room or outdoors.
  • Has an echo and noise cancelling speakerphone.
  • Fully charged JBL Charge 3 speaker can play audio up to 20 hours.

 

Ratings

Design Features Sound Warranty Overall

 

Specifications

Price Range  $
Weight 1.8 lbs
Dimensions (H x W x D) 3.5 x 8.3 x 3.4 inch
Battery Life 20 hours
Wireless Range 33-feet
Frequency 65Hz – 20KHz
Power Battery, USB
Wireless Remote Control Yes

 

Where to Buy Wireless Speaker

Lets Break It Down

 

Design

The JBL Charge 3 is not the exact carbon copy of Charge 2+. In fact, the Charge 3 speaker is 20% bigger and heavier than the previous model. It’s portable, no doubt, but it occupies more space in the bag. Moreover, I had to put in extra effort to carry it.

In exchange for the extra weight and size, we get a fully waterproof speaker. Yes, you heard it correctly; the JBL Charge 3 is fully waterproof, unlike its predecessor, which was only water resistant. The speaker is IPX7 rated; experts say the speaker can withstand water for about 30 minutes. Go on; try submerging the Charge 3 into the water for a short period of time. Remember to close the USB cap before dropping the speaker into the water.

Similar to Charge 2+, the Charge 3 speaker has the power, skip/pause/play, volume control, Bluetooth, and the special JBL connect button on the top of the speaker. Two JBL speakers can be connected with each other to augment their performance using the JBL Connect function. We can’t create a stereo by connecting the JBL speakers. The connected speakers will play only mono audio.

Consumers don’t just want to hear the music; they want to see it too. Yes, the vibrating radiators add a visual element to the music. The dual passive radiators are exposed, but they have a rubber protection around. The radiators can withstand mild poking and prodding. The JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth can be placed horizontally and vertically.

 

Functionality

There is a good reason why the speaker has the word ‘Charge’ in its name. The JBL Charge 3 is one of the very few speakers which can be used as a power bank to charge other handheld devices. The rechargeable lithium-ion battery can store 6000mAH power. I use a USB cord to charge my phone using Charge 3.

The JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker is loaded with exciting features. The speaker can be connected to the handheld devices using Bluetooth or an auxiliary connection. The JBL Connect app makes life much easier for the users. We can voice control the speaker by connecting Charge 3 to tools like Google Now and SIRI. The Bluetooth range of JBL Charge 3 speaker is around 33 feet (10 meters).

After using the speakerphone functionality in Charge 3 you’ll never use your phone to attend calls. The built-in echo and noise cancelling speakerphone and microphone perform exceedingly well. None of my friends could tell I was using a speakerphone to talk to them.

 

Performance

Along with the size, the audio output has also increased in JBL Charge 3. The speaker is much louder with a solid boomy bass. I realized that I don’t have to keep my parties confined to a small room. Charge 3 is the perfect speaker to use in large rooms or play music outdoors.

I was surprised by the powerful bass of the speaker. Very few portable speakers of similar size have such a deep bass as Charge 3. To experience the full effect of powerful bass, it’s best to place the speaker horizontally on a flat, solid surface.

The JBL Charge 3 effortlessly handles a variety of genres. I tried to challenge it with everything I had; it performed remarkably well. The one disappointment was in the treble and clarity. Personally, I felt Charge 2+ had a smoother treble.

It took me 4 hours 30 minutes to fully charge the battery using the USB cord. Once fully juiced up the speaker can play music up to 20 hours.

Where to Buy Wireless Speaker

Our Verdict

The JBL Charge 3 is only a slight improvement over its predecessor. The Charge 3 speaker comes with many positive features such as full waterproofing, better battery life, power bank function, speakerphone, JBL Connect technology, louder audio, boomy bass, and affordable price tag. But, the speaker lacks smooth treble. In my opinion, the positives outweigh the negatives.

JBL Charge 3 Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review