Backyard barbecues, days at the beach, and camping trips have never been the same. Not since portable Bluetooth speakers. Read on for a JBL Boombox 2 vs Xtreme 2 comparison review to help you decide which one best suits your needs.
I am off for holidays in the next couple of days and looking for a Bluetooth speaker to make sure I have my tunes near me. I am looking for something averagely sized which can be our entertainment at the beach and at a few outdoor gatherings.
With such a wide range of options in the market, I don’t know which one to pick. JBL’s speakers seem to be good options. Which one would be better for me?
We have put together a JBL Boombox 2 vs Xtreme 2 comparison review to tell you what you need to know about each of them before you make a purchase.
What are the Differences between JBL Boombox 2 and Xtreme 2?
JBL Boombox 2 vs Xtreme 2– How Do They Compare?
Placed side by side, the most glaring difference is the size. The 19.1 x 7.9 x 10.1 inches Boombox 2 is larger. The Xtreme 2 occupies about 5.4 x 11.3 x 5.2 inches of space.
The Boombox 2 has a built-in handle that lets you get a quick and firm grip. With the Xtreme 2, there is no in-built handle. Instead, it comes with two metal loops at the top of the speaker and a carry strap. Just hook the straps on through the loops.
If portability is important to you, the Xtreme 2 is a better speaker. It is smaller, lighter and more convenient to carry around.
Volume is a primary aspect of performance in speakers. The JBL Boombox 2 has higher sound output than the Xtreme 2. It is capable of handling at least 50% higher volume without distortion.
At moderate volumes, both speakers give impressive detail in treble representation and vocals are clean and clear.
As you approach maximum volume, there is some definite change. The JBL Boombox 2’s clarity is maintained and the vocal presence remains more or less the same. With the Xtreme 2, however, there is some distortion as volume increases.
The JBL Boombox 2 is a better speaker because it handles high volume better than the Xtreme 2.
The best part about a portable speaker is that it doesn’t have to be plugged in. This then means that it must have an efficient battery. One which can keep the music playing all afternoon at the beach.
Both these speakers give you above-average playback time. With the Xtreme 2, the party can go on for up to 15 hours. The Boombox 2 gives you even more party time with 24 hours of playback time.
The Boombox 2 is a better speaker because it has longer battery life. Yes, it is unlikely that your backyard barbecue will last 24 hours but if you forget to charge it after one use, it will serve you just fine the next time.
A test on the two speakers revealed strength in the Boombox 2. On a track with strong bass content like ’Silent Shout’ by The Knife, the Boombox 2 doesn’t distort even when the volume is raised.
With the Xtreme 2, the bass remains strong at low and moderate volumes. At high volume, it seems to thin out gradually.
The JBL Boombox 2 is a better speaker for bass and volume lovers. At low and moderate volumes, there is little or no difference.
With both speakers, splashes of water need not worry you. In fact, it could fall right into the pool and be just fine. These speakers are both waterproof with a waterproof rating of IPX7. What this rating means is that it can be submerged into water up to 3 feet (1 meter) deep for about 30 minutes.
In regards to connections, both speakers have a back panel that houses the various connections. You have the expected input for a power cable as well as a USB port that can be used to charge your cellphone. A micro USB port and 3.5mm aux input for wired sources are also included.
The Xtreme 2 comes with a strap and a convenient built-in bottle opener. The strap hooks firmly to the top of the speaker using a pair of carabiners. It is a strong belt-like strap with extra padding to make it comfortable when you need to carry the speaker for more than a few minutes.
The strap even has a soft padded section. You can sling it across your shoulder and still have both hands free. A fun feature worth noting is a small metal adjustment on the strap which doubles up as bottle opener.
The Xtreme 2 is a better choice in this respect. The two are more or less the same in terms of connections but the Xtreme 2 offers a convenient strap.
JBL Boombox 2 vs Xtreme 2 – A Comparison Overview
JBL Boombox 2 Review:
This is a cylinder-shaped device covered in a grille. Under that are dual 30-watt tweeters and dual 40-watt woofers. These combine to give you a 50Hz -20Hz frequency range. Two passive radiators on either side help to pump out bass.
At the front of the speaker are power control as well as Bluetooth pairing buttons. A play and pause button sits next to the plus and minus buttons for volume. An LED strip displays the battery life readout.
If one Boombox is not enough you can use the Partyboost feature. True to its name, it boosts your party by allowing you to link the speaker to other JBL partyboost- compatible speakers which put out the same audio.
This speaker is compatible with Bluetooth 5.1.
Size is no doubt a prohibitive factor with this speaker. It is portable in the sense that you can put it in the backseat and be off. You can’t toss it into a beach bag or carry it as airline hand luggage
Xtreme 2 Review:
The JBL Xtreme speaker is also cylinder-shaped with a fabric grille over it. It gets louder than the average user needs but if that’s not sufficient, there is the JBL Connect+ feature. This lets you pair it with up to 100 other JBL speakers.
You can turn your backyard barbecue into an open-air night club though it is no surprise that hardly anyone takes full advantage of this capability.
What Bluetooth version do you get with this device? This one comes with Bluetooth 4.2 but doesn’t have codec compatibility. What this means is that you get the average 30-foot Bluetooth range but can’t enjoy the benefits of aptX or AAC, including low latency for videos. When you use this speaker for YouTube and other videos, expect a slight delay.
Charging is slightly different. Unlike other speakers which are charged via USB-C ports, this one comes with a power adapter.
Gone are the days when quality audio could only be experienced indoors. At best, backyard barbecues involved a long cable snaking to a power outlet.
Now with portable speakers, you can have your music and have it for hours. The JBL Boombox 2 and Xtreme 2 Bluetooth speakers give you this. On top of that, you don’t have to worry about splashes. If your phone battery is low, it will help you with that too.
Verdict, so which is better JBL Boombox 2 or Xtreme 2?
The JBL Boombox 2 is a better speaker. Although it is larger than the Xtreme 2, its key advantage is linked to the primary purpose of the device’s sound quality. The audio experience is unrivaled.
Can I use my Bluetooth 3.0 speaker with a 5.0 phone?
Yes, you can. Bluetooth is backward compatible. You can use devices designed for older Bluetooth versions with a phone using a higher Bluetooth version.
Is it normal for buttons on my JBL Boombox 2 to be unresponsive when it is plugged in?
It happens when the power source is not providing enough current. Make sure your power supply’s power rating is equal to or higher than the one indicated on the speaker.