Look and Design of the JBL Charge 3
The portable wireless speaker is IPX7-rated waterproof with a durable case made of fabric and rubber. It looks similar to the JBL Charge 2+ in shape, although it is slightly larger and heavier. The Bluetooth device measures 3.43” x 9.09” x 3.48” and is 1.76 lbs.
On top of the portable unit are buttons for power, volume, and play/skip/pause. There is also a button for JBL Connect, which enables you to connect more JBL speakers for bigger sound.
What are the Specs and Top Features?
The Charge 3 has to be able to deliver great sound for us to consider it amongst the best cheap Bluetooth speakers. It succeeds in this respect, for the most part, thanks to dual drivers and twin passive bass radiators. Other notable attributes of the Charge 3 include its USB port for charging devices and the built-in microphone.
The wireless speaker runs on a rechargeable 6000mAh lithium-ion battery, providing a good 20 hours of playtime, which is the same length as the UE Megaboom. It uses Bluetooth 4.2 technology and requires a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone, tablet or another device.
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The top three features to highlight in this JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker review are:
- Waterproof Design
- Doubles as an External Charger
- Great Bass for the Price
Who Will Like JBL’s Wireless Speaker?
The Charge 3 from JBL is designed to be portable, so it will likely appeal to a person who wants to listen to music on the go. As it is waterproof, the wireless speaker is safe to take to the pool or beach without worrying about potential damage. It can also run up to 20 hours on a single battery charge, which is impressive.
For someone who wants a modern-looking Bluetooth speaker, the Charge 3 fits the bill. It has a modern, rugged look and the teal color is playful. The bold appearance will draw positive attention in a crowd.
The built-in speakerphone is one that a busy person can appreciate, especially since it is both echo- and noise-cancelling. Easily answer calls through the speaker, once your smartphone is connected, and the voice you hear is crisp and clear rather than muffled. The integrated microphone is a handy feature, in our opinion, and is lacking in other top 10 Bluetooth speakers.
JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth Speaker Review – Benefits of the Best Cheap Bluetooth Speaker
A major advantage we have already touched on in our JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker review is its durability. The JBL model is waterproof IPX7-rated, which means it is submersible completely under water for a short time. The case can also travel easily in a backpack given its small size and tough casing.
Another benefit is the big stereo sound that the Charge 3 delivers in spite of its small size. It has a deep bass and rich sound quality that made us want to re-listen to our favorite tracks on it. Given that it sits in the lower range of portable Bluetooth speakers on the market yet provides awesome audio quality, we consider it a great value.
You can even wirelessly link the small JBL unit to other JBL Connect enabled speakers to create a bigger soundstage or amp up the sound, such as at a get-together. The strong battery life of 20 hours that comes with the 6000mAH power bank is another great quality of the mobile speaker, along with its ability to operate either in wired or wireless mode.
Drawbacks to Note
We would be remiss in this JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker review to leave out its flaws, even though they are minor. Firstly, while the bass is great on it, the Charge 3 could do with a bit better balance between bass and treble. The highs are slightly muted, unfortunately.
Another disadvantage is the unit’s weight; at close to 2 lbs, it is heavier than other cheap Bluetooth speakers. That said, it is still light enough to carry with you and can go pretty much anywhere, unlike the three-piece Harman Kardon SoundSticks.
What is Unique about the Charge 3?
JBL crafted the teal Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker to do more than just play music. It has a speakerphone function, as we noted earlier, which works easily by pressing a single button to answer a phone call.
Also, the Bluetooth speaker can charge devices, such as a smartphone or tablet, unlike more expensive portable speakers like the UE Boom. The charging occurs easily via the USB port.
Final Remarks for the JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth Speaker Review
The teal JBL Charge 3 packs a powerful punch with its modern style, stereo sound, low price, and ability to charge mobile devices. It has a strong bass, although the bass-treble balance could be better. The Bluetooth portable speaker performs great in large, open spaces, though, even if it is raining.
The waterproof design is a step up from the previous model and shows the speaker’s excellent durability. Overall, we consider the Charge 3 to be a contender for the best cheap Bluetooth speaker on the market.