Test: JBL Charge 3


JBL’s new travel speaker can handle both sand and water (and has really awesome sound).

The pursuit of the perfect travel speaker is not just a smooth format. Sound quality, features and ironing resistance weigh at least as much.

JBL Charge 3

Holiday weeks are few and expectations are high. Perhaps it will be a journey to southern latitudes?

For many, it’s a rule rather than an exception to bring a smooth speaker on the trip and the options are many. In addition to bad weather and fake exchange rates, nothing worse than just a travel speaker that does not deliver – either in terms of performance or features.

Water resistance at different levels is becoming more common and is a given attribute if you plan to hang on the beach this summer. Charging function for external devices may also be interesting, and then the battery will not break after a couple of hours.

Last year we tested JBL Xtreme, which we liked sharply, partly for the successful design, but above all for the features and so-called ipx rating that means that it can withstand water. However, it is a little big to be optimal for the trip.

JBL Charge 3

This is where the new Charge 3 comes into the picture. The design is almost identical to the cylindrical body and the cohesive rough fabric that can be obtained in different colors, in this case five in number.

On top of the page, (yes, Charge 3 should be placed landscape, not standing like most competitors), the volume, bluetooth, play / pause, and JBL Connect function are located. On the backside, hidden under a watertight cover, charging jack, usb and auxiliary contacts are well protected. On the whole, a really nice design and the dimensions are well balanced to fit just for the slightly longer trip.

Cruel battery life

The battery life is specified for up to 20 hours of playback, but the question is if it is not at the bottom. In two weeks we used the speaker constantly and it was not on many occasions it needed to be charged. Really good, given that we also used it as a charger for the phone several times.

Test: JBL Charge 3

Charge 3 is like ipx7-rated which means it can withstand water, in this case even lowered completely below the surface. That it works does not matter when we threw it down in both a pool and the salty Mediterranean. Afterwards, it was as if nothing had happened, but the play worked well afterwards. Rinse off the sand after the beach visit does not mean any problem.

Everything to contentment, therefore, a feeling that is lasting even when we sum up the sound quality this little tuffing delivers. Despite the modest measures, it sounds beyond expectation. The presence is total and the bass sounds like from a much larger play. Whatever JBL has done in terms of construction, they have done well! The power of 2 x 10 watts may not impress the paper with reality, it’s enough for a bigger company. And it does not end there.

Connect with the app

JBL Connect means that you can easily connect two speakers with the Connect feature using the manufacturer’s free app. In this way, either a genuine stereo pair is created or you can let each speaker play the music separately, in a so-called “party mode”, a simpler form of multiroom solution. And in the stereo mode, it’s great to have a clear separation in the right and left device playback.

For the trip, this may be somewhat excessive, given the location of two speakers taking in the suitcase, but for the patio or in the home, there is a cannonball solution!

Are there any weaknesses or annoyances? Well, there are a few small things we do not get really wise about. First, the base elements on the sides are dangerously unprotected. Not against water and dust, rather sharp objects that can easily puncture the membranes and destroy the entire holiday. Certainly, is it nice, purely visual to see the elements pulsate in line with the music, but at the expense of a possible accident?

The fact that it is not possible to change tracks on the device itself is also strange. Needing to pick up the phone every time you want to step forward or back in the playlist is feeling both unnecessary and circumstantial.


JBL Charge 3 impressed us from the very first moment. The smooth format makes it an ideal travel speaker and the sound belongs to the top layer of the class. The Connect feature is really great if you are looking for a true stereo solution or just want to pair multiple speakers for an even more intense experience.

But it is probably the combination of several nice qualities that make us kneel and completely surrender to this skilled little tuffing. This year’s beach speaker, simply!


  • Lovely tones with a well-balanced bass sound.
  • Format and ipx7-class
  • Connect feature


  • Where did the track switch button go?
  • Unprotected base elements
  • High price

JBL Charge 3 Specs

  • Manufacturer : JBL
  • Price : $ 140
  • Output : 2 x 10 W
  • Connectivity : Bluetooth, 3.5 mm connector, Usb
  • Frequency range : 65 Hz-20 kHz
  • Battery : 6000 mAh
  • Battery life : Up to 20 hours.
  • Charging time : 4.5 hours
  • Handsfree function : Yes
  • Dimensions : 213 x 87 x 88.5mm
  • Weight : 800 grams

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