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It used to be that when you have a pool party, you take your boombox out and find extension wires where you could plug it in. Others have to deal with wires as they try to get their components and sound system out into the pool area. Meanwhile, if you are going camping or hiking, you have to bring your headphones with you. Listening to music by yourself, however, does not really equate to a fun weekend with friends.
Is it any wonder why Bluetooth speakers are now very popular? The market for these portable speakers was estimated to be at $6.5 billion in 2019. That number is expected to balloon to $48.5 billion by 2025.
And because of the popularity of Bluetooth speakers, a lot of manufacturers are offering their own versions of this device. The earliest Bluetooth speakers were simple: you connect to them wirelessly, and they allowed you to listen to your favorite tunes. That’s all there was to it.
But looking back, the old Bluetooth speakers were horrible. The sound was tinny, and they faltered at high volumes. They were not great-looking either. Today’s Bluetooth speakers are a whole lot better.
Products like the JBL Xtreme and the Ultimate Ears Megaboom are competing for your attention by offering a durable product with excellent sound quality, and a few other extras. Which one between the JBL Xtreme and the Ultimate Ears Megaboom should you buy? Grab a chair and get your cup of coffee, and read on to find out.
The Main Differences Between JBL Xtreme vs UE Megaboom
The main differences between JBL Xtreme vs UE Megaboom are:
- JBL Xtreme delivers better sounding bass, whereas the Ultimate Ears Megaboom has a more balanced sound profile
- JBL Xtreme’s app only has very basic functionality, whereas the Ultimate Ears Megabook’s app has more features
- JBL Xtreme weighs 4.65 pounds, whereas the Ultimate Ears Megabook weights 1.9 pounds
- JBL Xtreme is only splashproof, whereas the Ultimate Ears Megabook is waterproof
- JBL Xtreme delivers battery up to 15 hours, whereas the Ultimate Ears Megabook up to 20 hours.
The JBL Xtreme has excellent sound quality with the combination of a pair of the company’s bass radiators and four active transducers.
This speaker is portable and measures 4.96 by 11.14 by 4.8 inches and weighs 4.65 pounds. So go ahead and bring it anywhere you want: the beach, the pool, or your backyard.
The JBL Xtreme is a splashproof device that can also work as a speakerphone and power bank. But aside from the fact that it is safe from the rain and a little water, this speaker also has a rubber housing and durable fabric to keep it safe from bumps and grinds. It also has echo canceling microphones that give you clear call audio.
This product has Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity, which allows you to stream music and audio over the air. You can connect up to three tablets or smartphones and get excellent stereo sound.
If you want a wired connection, you can use its 3.5-mm audio cable input. The Xtreme also connects to other JBL speakers using the Connect functionality.
This Bluetooth speaker has a 10,000-mAh capacity with a total charging time of 3.5 hours. That is enough for up to 15 hours of music playback.
What You Would Like About the JBL Xtreme
There is a lot to like about the JBL Xtreme. First on the list is the excellent sound quality that it delivers. It also has a long-lasting battery that can guarantee that the party does not stop midway unless you go beyond 15 hours.
The booming sound of this speaker is noteworthy. You can go very loud when playing music, and it would sound crisp and clear even when you are in a huge room.
This speaker looks good, too, and because of its rubber body, it is less likely to get dented and dinged. What’s more, this product does not have the flaps to hide away the ports. Instead, it uses a zipper-protected compartment.
What Can Be Better
The JBL Xtreme is splashproof, which makes it a good choice for parties by the pool. But it is not waterproof, and you absolutely have to make sure it doesn’t fall into the water.
There are, however, several portable speakers that are waterproof, including the Anker Soundcore 2, Sony SRS-XB12 Extra Bass, Ultimate Ears Boom 3, and JBL’s own Boombox speaker. Some of these alternatives even have dust proofing, making sure that they will stay immaculately clean even after you have taken them out into dusty fields.
Also, this speaker does not connect to your Wi-Fi network. This means that you will have to rely on the Bluetooth range to keep your music on, and you cannot use several speakers for a multi-room sound.
The speaker is also on the heavy and hefty side as far as portable speakers are concerned.
Ultimate Ears Megaboom
The Ultimate Ears Megaboom is the improved and bigger version of the company’s Boom speaker. You can use it as a speakerphone, and you can get it submerged in water up to 3.3 feet deep for half an hour.
The cylindrical Bluetooth speaker has a diameter of 3.3 inches and stands 8.9 inches. It weighs 1.9 pounds.
This portable speaker has a companion app that you can use to control the speaker remotely. The app will also let you pair two or more speakers together.
Additionally, the app has an equalizer feature that allows you to get better sound playback.
You and two of your friends will enjoy the Block Party feature that lets all of you control the speaker. Have fun DJing during parties and have some friendly competition on who the better DJ is.
UE Megaboom uses a lithium-ion battery that provides up to 20 hours of music on a single charge.
What You Will Like About the Ultimate Ears Megaboom
The UE Megaboom gives you more bass to your tunes, and it plays music with crisp clarity. There is a very slight distortion, and it can tone down some frequencies at higher volumes. When it comes to sound quality coming from a portable speaker, this speaker is one of the best.
The 360-degree sound that this product offers makes it the perfect speaker for outdoor parties. Plus, it can get pretty loud. The battery life on this speaker does not disappoint, as well.
What Can Be Better
Even with its exceptional sound quality, some people would probably stay away from the Megaboom because of its exorbitant price when it first came out. It sold at more than double the price of comparable Bluetooth speakers.
Comparing JBL Xtreme vs UE Megaboom
So how does the UE Megaboom compare with the JBL Xtreme?
Where the JBL Xtreme Wins over the UE Megaboom
If you like a vibrant and booming bass, then you should get the JBL Xtreme. The passive radiators you find on this speaker lend to its slightly better sound quality. They give you amazing lows. The Megaboom, with its clear and well-balanced sound, is not bad per se. However, the Megaboom speaker is not as good as the Xtreme.
If you are looking for a Bluetooth speaker that you can also use as a power bank to charge your mobile devices, then forget the Megaboom and go with the Xtreme.
Another area that may make people decide to go with the JBL Xtreme is the price. The UE Megaboom had an initial price of around $300. However, over time, the Megaboom’s pricing has been reduced, and the speaker is now available at prices that are similar or cheaper than the JBL Xtreme.
Where the UE Megaboom Wins over the JBL Xtreme
The JBL Xtreme is bigger and heavier than the Ultimate Ears Megaboom, which makes the latter perfect for those who like to take their music on the go. The UE Megaboom can fit into smaller backpacks and not take too much room. Additionally, the Megaboom is a whole lot lighter than the JBL Xtreme.
The more portable UE Megaboom is also waterproof. JBL’s speaker is only splashproof. The UE Megaboom has a further reach, too, with its Bluetooth range extending up to 100 feet, which is more than triple the JBL Xtreme’s.
Megaboom’s companion app is also better and more feature-packed. JBL’s Connect app is rather basic and boring compared to the Megaboom’s app, which allows you to do more with your speaker.
You get longer runtimes with the UE Megaboom’s lithium-ion battery, and you only need 2.5 hours to fully charge it. This is a full hour shorter than the JBL Xtreme’s battery charge time.
Alternatives to Both the JBL Xtreme vs UE Megaboom
The market for Bluetooth speakers is a crowded one. This means there are a lot of products that you can check out and buy if you think neither the JBL Xtreme nor the UE Megaboom suits you.
1. OontZ Angle 3
This portable speaker promises crystal clear stereo sound with enhanced bass. It can playback music at higher volumes with no distortion. Like the UE Megaboom, it offers a longer Bluetooth range at 100 feet.
It has an IPX5 splashproof rating, so it is not safe to submerge it in water. The battery gives you up to 14 hours of music at a single charge. This product has an average rating of 4.4 stars out of 5.0 from more than 48,500 reviewers on Amazon.
2. JBL Clip 3
For those who are looking for something that is truly portable, they should buy the JBL Clip 3. This speaker has an integrated carabiner that allows you to conveniently place it anywhere you want.
It is waterproof with an IPX7 rating and has the same sound quality as other JBL speakers. The battery gives you 10 hours of uninterrupted music playback too. Close to 4,500 reviewers gave this an average rating of 4.7 stars out of 5.0 on Amazon.
3. AOMAIS Sport II
If you are looking for a bargain, then get the AOMAIS Sport II. Like the UE Megaboom, it is completely waterproof and delivers outstanding sound quality.
It is very durable as well and can handle stereo pairing. Like the JBL Xtreme, the rechargeable battery gives you up to 15 hours of playtime. In short, it offers the features of both the JBL Xtreme and the UE Megaboom at only a third of their price.
The AOMAiS Sport II has an average rating of 4.5 stars out of 5.0 from more than 8,900 reviewers on Amazon.
JBL Xtreme vs UE Megaboom Compared: Which One Should You Buy?
When we make comparisons, we sometimes have two completely different products where one is a clear winner over the other. Not with the JBL Xtreme and the UE Megaboom. These two speakers are somewhat similar that it is not easy to pick one over the other.
There are differences, though. The JBL Xtreme has excellent bass and decent sound quality. It is robust yet stable and can be used as a speakerphone and a power bank.
The UE Megaboom, however, has a more balanced sound with very slight distortions. However, beyond the sound, it would seem like UE did everything else better. For one, the Megaboom is waterproof, and it has a longer-lasting battery with shorter charging time. The Bluetooth range is also thrice the range of the JBL Xtreme.
You can’t go wrong with both the JBL Xtreme and the UE Megaboom. But if you want the slightly better speaker that can party as hard as you do, go with the UE Megaboom.
FAQs About JBL Xtreme vs UE Megaboom
What is the difference between the JBL Xtreme and JBL Xtreme 2?
For one, the JBL Xtreme 2 is bigger and heavier than the original. It’s also rated IPx7 waterproof, whereas the JBL Xtreme is only IPx4. It has a wider frequency response, being able to handle lows at 55 hertz, as opposed to 70 hertz for the JBL Xtreme.
Except for these differences, these two Xtreme models work pretty much the same and delivers excellent sound quality. They even have the same expected running times for the batteries included.
What is the difference between the UE Megaboom and the UE Megaboom 3?
The UE Megaboom also had several updates, and you should consider whether to choose the original Megaboom or save up for a Megaboom 3. That is, of course, if you’ve decided on ignoring the JBL Xtreme.
The short answer is yes. You’d do better with the newer Megaboom. This is because the Megaboom 3 has an IP67 rating, which makes it both dustproof and waterproof. The Megaboom 3 is also louder and can handle bass sounds better than the original.
The improved sound quality and loudness are not the only reasons why you should buy this speaker. You will also like that it’s easier to charge than the original. Plus, it also lets you control playback on the speaker itself.
How to choose a portable Bluetooth speaker?
There are many factors that can influence your decision to buy a certain Bluetooth speaker, but the more important ones are:
- Battery life, to avoid recharging too often.
- Audio quality. Choose one that offers low distortions, good frequency responses, and overall excellent sound quality.
- Design. Choose one that is visually appealing, with the right size and colors that you want.
- Whether- or waterproof, as it protects your speakers better.
- Bluetooth version. Anything after Bluetooth 2.1 is a good choice.
Other nice-to-have characteristics include NFC connectivity, being able to connect several speakers together, and wired input.