The JBL Charge 3 is a full-featured waterproof portable speaker with a high-capacity battery. It comes in 5 different colors; black, blue, red, grey and aqua. Let’s take a quick look at some of its features before diving into our review.
- IPX-7 Waterproof Certification
- Built-in Power Bank
- JBL Bass Radiator
- Voice Assistant Integration
Design & Build Quality
The JBL Charge 3 has a cylindrical design with a dimension of 8.4″ in length and 3.5″ in diameter. Covered with durable fabric materials and a rugged rubber housing, the speaker weighs in at about 1.8 lbs.
There are total of 6 buttons located at the top; Bluetooth pairing, volume down, power, JBL Connect, volume up and play/pause. There isn’t a skip button but pressing the play/pause button twice will perform the similar action.
On both end of the JBL Charge 3 are the passive radiators. The passive radiators provide the speaker a deep tone and a larger audio output.
At the back of the JBL Charge 3 is a sealed rubber cover, which gives it its IPX-7 certification. To receive an IPX-7 certification, it has to be able to stay submerged in the water up to 1 meter deep for 30 minutes. We submerged the JBL Charge 3 underwater for 10 minutes with music playing and did not encounter any issues after that.
Underneath the rubber cover, there are 3 ports; 3.5 mm auxiliary jack, a micro-USB port for charging, and a USB port for charging devices.
There are also 5 LEDs located at the bottom of the JBL Charge 3 to indicate the remaining battery life.
The JBL Charge 3 has a battery capacity of 6,000 mAh, which can be used as an external battery pack to charge devices while on the go. JBL claims that the built-in battery supports up to 20 hours of playtime. We managed to get close to 21 hours of continuous playtime at 50% volume, which is pretty awesome.
The 5 LEDs at the bottom of the speaker lights indicates the remaining battery capacity, with each LED indicating a 20% charge. The LEDs light up progressively too as it is charging. Fully charging the JBL Charge 3 took us a little under 5 hours.
Call & Audio Quality
Answering calls from the JBL Charge 3 works really well, thanks to the built-in noise and echo-cancelling speakerphone. We also found no noticeable difference in the audio quality when streaming via Bluetooth or through the 3.5 mm audio jack.
We first tested the bass with Awolnation’s Sail and Imagine Dragons’ Radioactive. The overall audio is well balanced but at the same time, we can feel its deep and powerful bass. The JBL Charge 3 can definitely pack a punch in this field.
As for mids, we tested with the track Payphone by Maroon 5. The overall audio is pretty well balanced too with detailed background audio.
Lastly, for the highs, we played Celine Dion’s How Does a Moment Last Forever. As we expected, the overall vocals and instruments is not as clear, sounding a little muddled, due to its powerful bass.
We highly recommend to anyone that owns the JBL Charge 3 to download the JBL Connect app. The app works with most newer JBL Bluetooth speakers; Flip 4, Flip 3, Charge 3, Pulse 2 and Xtreme.
The JBL Connect app is used for multiple speaker configurations as well as firmware upgrade.
It can also be used to check the battery status.
The JBL Charge 3 is a great speaker that delivers in both its build and audio quality. The ability to use it as an external battery pack to charge devices while on the go is definitely a plus. With all of the features that’s being packed into the JBL Charge 3, we would highly recommend this to all outdoor enthusiasts.