JBL Charge 3 Review

JBL is a brand known for its affordable and quality Bluetooth speaker line is back. It’s a lot better and more powerful than ever before. JBL has long been known for crafting the best portable Bluetooth speakers in the market. Now, the manufacturer is set to reclaim its throne with its newly improved and impressive model yet.

The JBL Charger 3 is a Bluetooth speaker that’s waterproof and with bigger drivers capable of creating sound that’s far better compared to what was thought to be a portable speaker worth beating. Other advantages seen in this speaker include enhanced battery life, a design upgrade, and durable exterior.

JBL is quickly becoming one of the best audio manufacturers of high quality audio products for audio lovers of all levels. Their products are affordable and with fantastic sound quality. With the latest Charge 3, the manufacturer added several features. The result? A speaker priced reasonably at $229AUD capable of holding off its market competitors.

JBL Charge 3 Review – What’s in the Box?

Contents of the JBL Charge 3 include:

  • 1x JBL Charge 3 speaker
  • 1x micro USB cable
  • 1x charging block
  • 1x instruction booklet
  • 1x warranty brochure

One great thing about the content of the JBL Charge 3 packaging is taht it comes with a range of power adapters for the power plug.

The Product

The JBL Charge 3 – Portable, Wireless and Waterproof

The Charge 3 was made for portable use. It fits nicely with the manufacturer’s current portable speaker line. Simply put, the Charge 3 can easily fit in any bag and makes for a perfect travel companion.

With its rugged appearance, the speaker is capable of holding on its own in long journeys. It has a rough and hardened exterior made to fit the typical outdoor hand. It’s an ideal audio equipment that can be brought to a beach holiday or in any weekend camping trip.

In terms of shape, the speaker is similar to that of JBL’s other speaker models. It’s shaped like cylinder and with exterior bass radiators on both ends to help push the sound our further. At the top, a set of buttons can be found. They’re constructed from soft plastic and are raised slightly just above the unit.

The buttons that hasn’t been raised are its connection and power buttons. These buttons are smoothly aligned with the rest of the speaker’s exterior.

Its external fabric not only shields the speaker, but it also provides added grip. This can be useful in case a speaker gets soaked. A logo branding can be seen up front. While some people hate having logos in front of any speaker, the one displayed on the Charge 3 isn’t as bad.

A small stand is embedded at the bottom of the speaker. Five indicator lights show how much battery has been used up. At the rear portion is a USB output — a functionality that gave the model its name. It’s well hidden beneath a rubberized flap along with a micro USB input and a 3.5mm input.

Product Features

The Charge 3 functionality is durable and has a robust build comparable to some of today’s known Bluetooth speaker brands. It has a nice blend of fabric mesh and rubber construction that pits the speaker to look sleek and rugged at the same time.

The Charge 3 is capable of wireless pairing to another Charge 3 or with any of the manufacturer’s Bluetooth speakers armed with JBL Connect support. While it may not be possible to create a stereo left-and-right system with two Charge 3 speakers, the multi-pair functionality of JBL allows for amplified audio experience when playing audio tracks from one audio source (ex. smartphone, tablet, or mp3 player).

The pairing process can be done by pressing the JBL Connect button. Then link any JBL speaker with the Charge 3 via the JBL Connect app (available in both iOS and Android app stores). Press and then hold the Bluetooth icon situated at the top speaker. The Charge 3 will then emit a tone to inform the user of it seeking for a Bluetooth-enabled device. The tone will sound once more to confirm a successful pairing.

A pre-installed mic comes with the speaker. It functions well with the speaker’s echo-cancelling and noise-reducing technology for hands-free calls.

Since the Charge 3 has an IPX7 rating, it can be dipped into the water with music still playing. That means anyone can bring this speaker on a waterbed without worrying about anything. This makes for a Bluetooth speaker with an impressive design at a reasonable price. If you are worried about water getting into the ports then there is no need to be concerned as the JBL Charge 3 has a cover to protect the charging, USB and aux port.

Using It

Setting up the JBL Charge 3 device is incredibly straight forward:

  1. Power the speaker on through its on/off switch.
  2. Press the JBL Connect button to enable Bluetooth connectivity.
  3. Any device with Bluetooth capability should also be turned on for the Charge 3 to detect.
  4. Audio should be heard on playback after successful pairing.

The JBL Charge is a quality speaker that offers loud and clear sound quality. The speaker can be cranked up at high volumes without any issues in any big room. When placed outdoors, it projects decent sound. For optimal experience, it’s recommended to keep the Charge 3 at 20 feet away or less.

Without walls getting in the way, a strong connection can be felt around 50 to 60 feet. But when walls get in the way, the range capability decreases back to around 30 feet. It’s still capable of playing music without hiccups. In terms of playback, only a few options are available.  Playing/pausing, controlling volume, and skipping to the next track can be done when double tapping the play button. With that in mind, there’s no option for playing back the previous track.

The Charge 3 provides deep and powerful bass — an impressive feature seen in a portable Bluetooth speaker. Bass response can be heard when the speaker is placed on a flat surface to help spread some of its sound. In most cases, placing it on a flat table is all that’s needed. The speaker can also be placed vertically but expect a decrease in sound quality. It’s ideal to have the Charge 3 oriented at a horizontal position to make the most of its rich audio experience.

The Charge 3 was tested in a wide range of music genres and was impressed with how it’s able to handle just about everything being thrown at it. It can play everything loud and clear without any hint of distortion. What was really astounding was the quality of its audio and the richness of its bass response.

The speaker takes advantage of its size by offering a strong low end. It may be a bit stronger than what some would like, but it seemed perfect when brought outdoors. The Charge 3 is intended for poolside use considering the loudness it brings.

The mids are great and really lend to the quality audio coming out of the speakers.. They sounded may sound a teeny bit muddled but this could be attributed to the speaker’s waterproofing fabric. Regardless, lead instruments and vocals can be heard in precise detail. Some elements heard in the background may not favorable for some audiophiles.

While the speaker can be cranked to the max, its highs was never bad even when carried outside. Hi-hats and crashes in some dance/EDM tracks sounded great and were never ear piercing.

Battery life is said to last over 15+ hours. Based on continuous music playback, the Charge 3 was able to last around 20 or so hours. It’s important to understand that charging any device will likely lead to shaving a few hours off.

Despite owning a 3.5mm input, a majority of the tests done were made from smartphones and tablets.

JBL Connect App

Pairing to any iOS and Android device with The Charge 3 is seamless. The Connect app allows the Charge 3 to pair with other compatible JBL speakers. This can also be done by simply pushing the Connect button found in each of the speaker.

The JBL Connect app can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google PlayStore. The app allows the user to make firmware upgrades, setup stereo, configure audio settings, and rename devices.

[foogallery id=”2716″]


As a whole, the JBL Charge 3 has great audio quality and nicely laid out features to boot. It packs a heavy punch and plays music tracks loud and distortion-free. As JBL consistently improves is Charge line, its latest iteration just shows how the manufacturer is still able to retain its “King of Portable Bluetooth Speakers” title in today’s competitive market. Priced reasonably at around $229AUD, the JBL Charge 3 is an exceptional audio piece worth every penny.

Where to Buy

If you are on the lookout for an awesome Bluetooth speaker than look no further than the JBL Charge 3. For more information on the JBL Charge 3 head on over to the official JBL website.

The JBL is an excellent option if you are looking for a high quality yet affordable Bluetooth speaker. With its great highs and lows and its ability to pump out some crisp music the Charge 3 should cater to everyone's needs. The fact that it is also waterproof means that it should be your number one go to speaker for partying and playing the latest summer tunes.