How To Pick The Best JBL Bluetooth Speaker – A Guide For All Budgets

Best JBL Bluetooth Speaker

There is a song for every setting – so naturally, Bluetooth speakers that bring the music wherever you go have gone beyond being audio playback equipment to lifestyle accessories. And since we’re all different in how, what, and when we listen to music, it’s not enough to pick the most expensive JBL you can afford; therefore, I’ll guide you in finding the best JBL Bluetooth speaker that fits your lifestyle and does justice to your favorite genre.

As a long-time audiophile, musician, and avid traveler, I was fortunate to try the best the brand offers and prepare this list with everyone in mind, from the casual listener to the nature adventure seeker and party animal. I live in the recording studio, but I know that not everyone is fixated on HI-Fi audio.

By the end of the article, you could save a considerable amount and avoid carrying extra weight from a speaker that would be impressive, but not your ideal fit.

Contents

Best JBL Speakers at a Glimpse

Best ForProductKey Features
Best Sounding JBL SpeakerJBL BoomBox 3
  • Incredible Sound Quality, Bass, and Stereo Separation
  • Very long battery life
Best Size/Sound RatioJBL Flip 6
  • Perfect size to carry around
  • Warm, full sound
Best For Casual ListenersJBL Go 3
  • Very affordable
  • Well balanced sound
Best Adventure SpeakerJBL Clip 4
  • You can clip it to your backpack or bike
  • Long battery life for the size
Best Party SpeakerJBL PartyBox Ultimate
  • Extremely loud and powerful for big parties
  • Packed with features for every party, karaoke, event, etc.

Why Choose a JBL Bluetooth Speaker?

The household name of Bluetooth Speakers stands out among all other brands as it sets the bar for portable speakers and has options for all price ranges and listeners. No matter the price, there’s never a weak-to-the-elements or harsh-sounding JBL – a ‘safe’ choice with plenty of premium superb-sounding speakers.

What to Look For in a JBL Bluetooth Speaker?

Everything in music and audio walks the thin line between technical objective truths and subjective taste. When discussing speakers, it all falls down to your listening habits; if you’re unsure about yours, the following list will help you.

  • Great Sound Quality
  • Easy Portability
  • Long battery Life
  • Sturdy Build
  • High volume capacity

JBL BoomBox 3 – Best Sounding JBL Speaker

JBL BoomBox 3
Photo by Altin Gjoni

I was recently handed the JBL BoomBox 3 for a detailed review, and I’ll be frank in saying that it knocked me off with the deep low end and exceptional clarity at all volumes. 

Unlike other portable speakers, the JBL Boombox 3 is built like a small sound system. It is very loud indeed, more than all the other JBLs apart from the PartyBox series, but its most remarkable quality is the ability to be transparent in all styles of music. 

The wide stereo field and sound separation will please even the most picky audiophile; you can feel the bass and hear the player’s finger touch the strings. On the other end, EDM fans will have all the punch and kick their premium headphones have.

It’s a league ahead of the Boombox 2, which is also exceptional but still built like a speaker that shares the same struggle to carry around with you. It’s impossible to squeeze more quality in a smaller unit, but carrying it’s still too much of a chore without a car.

JBL Boombox 3 Pros

  • Outstanding sound quality with superb stereo field and frequency separation
  • Deep and powerful low-end
  • Long battery life 
  • Very sturdy and elegant design
  • Needs no power adaptor, only an AC cable.
  • You can charge your phone while partying with the built-in power bank

JBL Boombox 3 Cons

  • Hard to carry around on foot
  • No USB-C connection, a lack considering the hefty price 

JBL Flip 6 – The Best Of Both Worlds

JBL Flip 6 review

There’s a limit to how much you can carry without feeling like a chore. The Flip 6 is the perfect size and has enough battery and volume to enjoy a weekend away with a small group of friends. 

It’s great for outdoor travelers, as it takes up as much space as a water bottle – it makes for a great campfire companion, louder than the typical acoustic guitar you’d expect to find in that scenario, but still not that powerful as to make everyone dance for hours; unless your friends have another JBL around to link with party boost.

Overall, it’s the perfect middle-of-the-line or slightly above speaker regarding sound quality, yet it does not have a wide stereo field; thus, dense mixes start to muddy up when loud. This is very much felt in rock songs or anything that relies on acoustic instruments.

JBL Charge Pros

  • Long battery life
  • It fits any backpack easily 
  • It doesn’t distort at medium/high volumes
  • Balanced sound with a warm, low-end
  • Very resistant to outdoors
  • Charges via a standard USB-C plug

JBL Charge Cons

  • Compresses the sound too much when loud
  • Not much frequency separation 
  • No Aux to compensate for Bluetooth quality loss

JBL Go 3 – Best For The Casual Listener

JBL Go 3 review

Sometimes, you just need to listen to your favorite songs in the background, focus on the catchy melody, and softly sing along while focusing on work or just chilling by the beach. The GO 3 is the cheapest JBL to go for, and even though it costs a fraction of the other alternatives, it still manages to get away with a well-balanced sound.

Beyond the specs, remember the limitation when opting for anything less than $100. The Go 3 It’s not a deep-sounding speaker that makes a house party move, but it won’t bite with the treble as much as to hurt and is still, after all, a JBL. You will enjoy it as long as you don’t crank it or expect to hear every detail of the mix. 

JBL Go 3 Pros

  • Balanced sound for the price
  • Handy and easy to carry
  • Robust build

JBL Go 3 Cons

  • Distorts at moderate to high volumes
  • The low end is not strong and defined
  • The battery doesn’t last long at high volumes

JBL Clip 4 – The Best Adventure Speaker

JBL Clip 4 review

Of all the speakers in the list, the Clip is the one I used the most during Summer days. The best quality of the Clip is that It’s as if it’s not there – just like a necklace or bracelet you’re so used to carrying with you that it becomes part of getting ready-to-go-out routine.

Soundwise, I slightly prefer the JBL Go, which is even more affordable, yet there’s comfort in the surprisingly long battery hours and durability for the size; as with the JBL Go, you should accept its limits and get the best out of it’s convenience.

Clip 4 | JBL

Cool, portable, and waterproof. The vibrant fresh looking JBL Clip 4 delivers surprisingly rich JBL Original Pro Sound in a compact package. The unique oval shape fits easy in your hand. 

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JBL Clip 4 Pros

  • It can be safely clipped to your bike, bicycle, backpack, or clothes
  • Long battery life at moderate volumes
  • Strong and durable outdoors
  • Very light and small
  • Smart and handy design with large button

JBL Clip 4 Cons

  • There is no microphone to answer calls
  • Starts to compress the sound at moderate volumes

JBL PartyBox Ultimate – For The Wildest Parties

JBL PartyBox Ultimate

The price, shiny lights, and DJ-like pads make it seem over the top for most Bluetooth speaker owners, but don’t forget that JBL is not only known for portable speakers; for over half a century, they were first and foremost a professional-grade audio equipment manufacturer that filled clubs and arenas.

If the Boombox 3 is built like a sound system, the PartyBox Ultimate is a proper sound system in a big yet not overly exaggerated unit. It can handle over 100 people without ever feeling the need to rent other equipment or learn about acoustics. 

The PartyBox Ultimate is meant for all parties. It is the perfect sound system for a karaoke or open mic night, with inputs for two mics and a guitar and its ability to self-tune to the room.

Beyond the size, the con is that you could purchase a stereo sound system of multiple speakers for the same price and get a better stereo image.

JBL PartyBox 3 Pros

  • Exceptional at high volume with well-defined sound
  • Modern features that emulate a proper sound system
  • Mighty bass
  • It can handle massive spaces and even connect instruments.

JBL Partybox 3 Cons

  • Too big to casually move

JBL Alternatives 

JBL leads the world of Bluetooth speakers, but they are not the only ones out there. 

Marshall Kilburn II

An even bigger name in Audio than JBL, Marshall crafted in the 20th century the history of rock with legendary amps. Now, it’s getting the modern audio era by blending classic design and exceptional tone in small portable boxes.

It sounds just as good as it looks and is many more times louder than those looks give. It’s a close match to the Boombox, with more of an affinity for vintage audio lovers.

Sony SRS-XG30 Bluetooth Speaker

On the other end of Marshall’s classic appeal, there’s Sony’s modern line of Bluetooth speakers. This particular speaker stands between the Boombox and the Charge JBL series, right where things start to get premium in price and sound.

Bose is right up there with JBL in the Bluetooth Speakers podium. The brand is head-to-head with JBL in almost anything, offering a more ‘classy looking’ and slightly more expensive alternative to whatever its competitor releases.

The Soundlink Flex equals the Flip 6 in almost anything, with the biggest advantage being the PositionIQ™ Technology that balances the sound in whatever awkward position you leave the speaker. Hanging from your bad, lying on the floor, or upright on the table, the SoundLink will sound the same.

Tribit StormBox Micro 

It’s hard to trust affordable speakers that are not manufactured by a massive brand like JBL. Tribit might not be a name you hear often, but it’s up there with the big names in the affordable range Bluetooth Speakers.

The StormBox Micro is as strong, easy to carry, and sonically balanced as the JBL Go. Meant with the casual listener in mind, it will be an excellent fit for bikers, runners, or hikers who need a small and sturdy music box.

Try Going Bigger

Listening habits are engraved as our music tastes, but like the latter, they evolve over time. While it’s safe to go for a smaller speaker due to its commodity, consider going bigger for something that truly gets to the core of your favorite music. 

There will always be a compromise between size and sound quality, and the extra weight and price sound frightening at first. Still, they will be worth every extra DB of volume and power you get.

best jbl speaker
Photo by Altin Gjoni

F.A.Q

Question: Is The JBL Boombox or PartyBox better?

Answer: The PartyBox series has more power, deeper bass, and volume and retains more clarity at high volumes. Conversely, the Boombox has the same clarity but is much easier to carry around and can still throw an epic party.

Question: Can All JBL Speakers Connect?

Answer: Not all JBLs are compatible with PartyBoost or JBL Connect +. Newer speakers and some specific models use different technologies.

Question: Do JBL Speakers Come With A Case Or Bag?

Answer: No, bags and cases are not inside the box and sold separately unless specified by the seller. 

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