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JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker review: Play all day, play all night

Jon L. Jacobi | June 28, 2016
A whopping 20-hour run time, IPX7 waterproofing, and thumpy bass highlight this outdoor Bluetooth speaker from JBL.

JBL has perennially been about saturated mid-range. Some people find delight in that, but I find it tiring on the ears. But mid-range cuts through the crowd and ambient noise; and as this is an outdoor speaker—that’s a good thing. You know that person who you can hear from the other side of the club, even when it’s full of loudly chattering patrons? That’s mid-range. 

One thing that surprised me about the Charge 3 is that it’s not particularly loud, though as I said, it still cuts through the ambient noise. I suppose I was simply expecting a bit more, given that it’s a bit larger than many of the speakers I’ve reviewed.

jbl charge3 grey phone x2
JBL

The gray version of the Charge 3 with the distinctive JBL logo and a linked device.

The third part of that almost infinite discussion: While you can link JBL speakers (using the “almost infinity” button) to produce the same output over a broader area, the Charge 3 doesn’t do true wireless stereo (TWS). TWS lets you pair two Bluetooth speakers and use one for the left channel and one for the right. Shame. That would certainly take care of my separation anxiety.

Conclusion

The Charge 3 is one of, if not the longest-lasting outdoor Bluetooth speakers you can buy. And despite my petty delving into audiophile sound concepts, many users love the sound of JBL. Bless em’. If that’s you, take a listen to this one. You’ll love it as well.

 

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