JBL Xtreme 4 Review: Best in Portable Outdoor Sound Quality

In this JBL Xtreme 4 review, we delve into the speaker’s ability to offer a blend of superior sound quality and user-friendly features. Whether it’s an impromptu beach party or a casual backyard barbecue, the JBL Xtreme 4 delivers the exceptional performance that JBL fans have come to expect. With our assessment, we’ll help you decide if it’s the right choice to elevate your outdoor entertainment.

JBL Xtreme 4 Review: Best in Portable Outdoor Sound Quality

The JBL Xtreme 4 will be the best JBL speaker for outdoor use from JBL’s acclaimed Xtreme series, designed to amplify parties, gatherings, and picnics with its powerful, bass-driven audio that energizes any event. In its 4th generation, JBL introduces upgrades in design, sound quality, battery life, and AI technology for optimized sound.

JBL Xtreme 4 Review

Design

The design of Xtreme 4 still inherits the youthful, healthy style of previous generations but is made more aggressive and strong with more prominent angles. The speaker grille uses cut-resistant parachute fabric with a large JBL logo in the middle.

JBL Xtreme 4 Review: Best in Portable Outdoor Sound Quality

Portability: Equipped for the Wild

Considering the line of portable outdoor speakers, JBL weighs 2.1 kg. With this parameter, Xtreme 4 is a bit heavier than Xtreme 3 but still completely compact and convenient to carry.

The Xtreme 4 comes with 2 metal hooks and shoulder straps. It is designed for “going wild” anywhere, ready to accompany you while climbing passes, wading through streams, and crossing forests and rivers.

This speaker itself is water and dust-resistant up to IP67 standard, so you can completely rest assured that you can “play around” on the banks of rivers, streams, lakes, and swimming pools.

Extra Features: Built for Convenience

JBL has cleverly included a bottle opener on the strap of the speaker, offering additional convenience for you and your friends to effortlessly kick off the festivities.

JBL Xtreme 4 Review: Best in Portable Outdoor Sound Quality

The speaker shell and frame are mainly made of plastic but are very sturdy, with no creaking points. On the side of the speaker is a rubber membrane to protect with silicon feet to limit impact or dropping.

JBL Xtreme 4 Review: Best in Portable Outdoor Sound Quality

The top has all the control buttons divided into two parts with the volume up and down buttons, Pause/Play music/Skip tracks located separately from each other. While the power key, Bluetooth, and Auracast buttons are grouped into another area, integrated LEDs on each button help facilitate viewing. Thanks to Auracast, you can connect two, three, or even hundreds of compatible JBL speakers. Currently, Auracast is available on many other JBL speakers such as PartyBox Club 120, PartyBox Stage 320, or JBL Go 4.

Connectivity & Charging

The Xtreme 4’s power port is located on the back and uses the convenient USB-C standard. This USB-C port features internal water resistance, eliminating the need for a cover.

JBL Xtreme 4 Review: Best in Portable Outdoor Sound Quality

The USB-C port on the JBL Xtreme 4 is not only for charging the speaker but also offers reverse charging for phones with an output capacity of up to 22W. This feature effectively transforms the speaker into a handy power bank for urgent charging needs. Charge your phone when needed. The Xtreme 4 houses a 68Wh battery, which is equivalent to approximately 18,400 mAh in phone battery terms. You can confidently use it as a backup charger without concern for the speaker’s music playback time.

JBL Xtreme 4 Review: Best in Portable Outdoor Sound Quality

Another Xtreme 4 feature is its easily replaceable battery, accessible by unscrewing two screws and removing the base cover. However, this is a 6-sided screw, so you will also need specialized screwdrivers to open it.

Audio

The JBL Xtreme 4, designed as a specialized speaker series, immediately impresses with its vibrant sound and deep bass upon the first listen. It’s particularly well-suited for genres such as EDM, dance-pop, hip-hop, rap, trap, and R&B, which are popular in today’s music scene. Tracks like “Supernova” by aespa or “LUNCH” by Billie Eilish come to life with the Xtreme 4’s robust audio performance. The abundant bass range is expressed firmly, with power and good control, fully responding to songs with high-speed bass.

JBL Xtreme 4 Review: Best in Portable Outdoor Sound Quality

The Xtreme 4’s treble range is gentle and smooth, although somewhat dominated by the bass range. The mid sound is similar to the treble range, slightly behind the bass range, appearing relatively thick and detailed.

AI Sound Boost Technology

JBL announced that the Xtreme 4 features AI Sound Boost technology, which uses AI algorithms to analyze music sources in real-time. This technology then optimizes the sound output for powerful and less distorted sound. Indeed, the speaker can optimize sound quite impressively. For example, when used in a closed room, the speaker automatically lowers the bass to a certain level, while the treble is clearer. In larger spaces like outdoors, the bass firms up and the volume feels louder without adjustment.

The JBL Xtreme 4 features two 70mm woofers, driven by an RMS amplifier that automatically adjusts to 20W per speaker if on battery and increases to 30W if mains are connected. The two 20 mm tweeters are also driven by RMS amplifiers, reaching 15 W and 20 W respectively. The speaker’s frequency response range reaches 44 Hz – 20 kHz. Thus, Xtreme 4 delivers up to 100W when plugged in and 70W on battery power. The volume of this speaker can fill a room of about 30 square meters. The speaker performs well outdoors, delivering clear audio up to a distance of 5-7 meters, making it ideal for moderate-sized gatherings of 10-15 people.

The speaker incorporates multiple exclusive audio technologies from JBL. Among them, AI Sound Boost and Bass Radiators enhance vividness and maintain sound quality at high volumes in large spaces.

Connectivity and User Experience

As mentioned, you can also connect two Xtreme 4 wirelessly to create a pair of speakers with a more vivid stereo effect thanks to Auracast technology. With Bluetooth 5.3 connection, supporting A2DP 1.3, and AVRCP 1.6 audio configuration, the speaker operates stably throughout the experience.

JBL Xtreme 4 Review: Best in Portable Outdoor Sound Quality

The good thing is that JBL Xtreme 4 can also connect to 2 devices at the same time, allowing you to listen to music on your phone and computer or 2 phones. The speaker is also very smart, automatically switching between two sources when it detects which side is giving the command to play music. The wide connection range and stable voltage penetration allow me to hold the phone about 10 meters away from the speaker, through several walls, and still play good music. Please note that the Xtreme 4 speaker lacks a built-in microphone, preventing it from making calls. Given its size, using a large speaker for calls may not be practical since it can amplify the conversation to nearby areas.

Music Control

To maximize Xtreme 4’s capabilities, JBL offers the JBL Portable app for easy feature management and fine-tuning. This application has an intuitive, friendly interface, similar to other JBL apps specializing in managing headphones.

JBL Portable shows the exact percentage of the Xtreme 4’s remaining battery life. It allows users to switch EQ sound effects to match each music genre or manually fine-tune the EQ. The app notably enables the PlaytimeBoost feature, which enhances both volume and battery life. However, activating this feature will disable the EQ settings.

JBL Portable supports connecting the Xtreme 4 to other compatible JBL speakers. It also allows for viewing a quick user guide and renaming the speaker during connection or firmware updates.

Battery life

JBL’s announcement states that the Xtreme 4 offers up to 24 hours of battery life. Additionally, its Playtime Boost mode provides an extra 6 hours, and it can also serve as a battery backup for phones due to its large capacity. The speaker features fast charging capabilities, allowing 2 hours of music playback from just 10 minutes of charging.

I haven’t performed a continuous 24-hour test to verify the manufacturer’s claim about the Xtreme 4’s battery life. However, my experience during the JBL Xtreme 4 review has been promising. Listening to music non-stop for approximately 4-5 hours at about 50% volume resulted in only a 5-6% battery decrease. This performance suggests that the speaker’s battery efficiency nearly aligns with JBL’s claim of a 24-hour battery life, equating to roughly 1% battery usage per hour. Of course, if you listen continuously at the highest volume, the battery will drain faster. Given its impressive battery life, you can confidently use the Xtreme 4 throughout the day, or even over multiple days, without frequent concerns about charging.

JBL Xtreme 4 Review: Best in Portable Outdoor Sound Quality

A continuous red light on the front indicates when the battery falls below 15%, reminding you to charge it. Full charge time will take about three and a half hours with the 60W charger included in the box. The front status light turns white to signal a full battery, clearly indicating the device has fully charged.

Final line

In our JBL Xtreme 4 review, we highlight how this portable speaker distinguishes itself with exceptional design, superior sound quality, and impressive battery life, positioning it as a top contender in its category. Despite its merits, potential buyers might be hesitant due to its price tag, as acquiring this high-quality speaker involves a considerable investment of nearly $380.

Currently, the Xtreme 4 is available for $379.95 on Amazon.com and £329 on Amazon.co.uk. It comes in three colors: black, blue, and camo pattern. Enjoy the added convenience of an included strap, perfect for carrying your music everywhere you go.

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