Bluetooth speakers are amazing. This small device outputs clear loud sound with bass. Wirelessly connects to your phone and has a rechargeable battery making it portable is just incredible. So in this article, I am comparing JBL Charge 3 with Sony XB31.
|JBL Charge 3||Sony XB31|
|BUY NOW||BUY NOW|
|Kicking bass response. Waterproof. Charges your device.||Feature Packed. High Bass. Value for Money. Waterproof & Dustproof. Good Battery.|
|Muted highs. Big and heavy. Exposed woofers.||Buggy app. Not a Classy Design. Adjusting line lights requires app.|
|SPEAKER SYSTEM||JBL CHARGE 3||SONY XB31|
|Power Output||20 W||Not Applicable|
|Drivers||2 x 1.97″ / 50 mm||2 x 1.89″ / 48 mm|
|Passive Radiators||Not Applicable||1|
|Frequency Response||65 Hz to 20 kHz||20 Hz to 20 kHz|
|Signal to Noise Ratio||80 dB||Not specified|
|MICROPHONE||JBL CHARGE 3||SONY XB31|
|BLUETOOTH CONNECTIVITY||JBL CHARGE 3||SONY XB31|
|Supported Bluetooth Profiles||A2DP|
|Bluetooth Transmitter Modulation||GFSK, 8DPSK, π/4 DQPSK||Not Applicable|
|Wireless Range||Not Applicable||98.4′ / 30 m|
|WIRED CONNECTIVITY||JBL CHARGE 3||SONY XB31|
|Inputs||Not Applicable||1 x 1/8″ (3.5 mm) Stereo (Audio)|
1 x USB Type-C (Power)
|Outputs||1 x USB Type-A||1 x USB Type-A (Power)|
|USB Power Output||5 VDC at 2.0 A||Not specified|
|BATTERY||JBL CHARGE 3||SONY XB31|
|Capacity (mAh)||6000 mAh||Not Applicable|
|Battery Chemistry||Lithium-Ion Polymer (LiPo)||Not Applicable|
|Expected Battery Life||20 Hours||24 Hours|
|POWER||JBL CHARGE 3||SONY XB31|
|DC Input Power||5 VDC at 2.3 A||Not Applicable|
|ENVIRONMENTAL||JBL CHARGE 3||SONY XB31|
|Operating Temperature||-4 to 140°F / -20 to 60°C||Not specified|
|PHYSICAL||JBL CHARGE 3||SONY XB31|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||8.4 x 3.4 x 3.5″ / 21.3 x 8.7 x 8.9 cm||9.09 x 3.43 x 3.19″ / 231 x 87 x 81 mm|
|Weight||1.8 lb / 0.8 kg||2 lb / 890 g|
JBL Charge 3:
The charge 3 isn’t tiny but it is very manageable and can easily fit in a backpack or a bag. It has a very unique shape which contributes to its speaker placement.
On the front, it has two regular drivers while on the sides there are two base radiators which are very big compared to other speakers in this class.
On the bottom is a flat foot which allows it to stay upright. Unlike the JBL flip series, this speaker is meant to lay on its side.
On the back is a big rubber flap which hides a microUSB charging port. 3.5 millimeter aux jack, and a full-size USB.
On the the top, there are all the buttons and controls. They’re all rubbery and clicky.
The speaker is sealed nicely, so the speaker is IPX7 waterproof and it can survive in water up to 1 meter. So you can use this speaker anywhere.
Like the Sony XB21, it’s the rugged speaker that’s IP67 water and dust resistant, thanks to the solid mesh that covers the entire unit. It doesn’t over all capsule shape but it’s boxy. It looks really cool with a whole blue mesh look and I really like the design. If the blue color isn’t for you, there is also red, white, and black.
Of course a modern capsule speaker is never complete without some cool lighting. And the XB31 does not disappoint with RGB LED strips that surround most of the front panel. They act as sort of an equalizer that syncs with a beat of the music you’re playing, so you get some pretty cool disco light effects that shine around the area the speaker is set up in.
On the top, we have a power pairing button, volume controls, and boss play buttons. There is also a NFC detection area which makes pairing with your smartphone a little bit easier.
On to the back, we have a ports and a few more buttons, so over here you’ll find a micro USB charging port, 3.5 millimeter audio jack and there’s even a USB type-A port, which can be used to charge another device.
FEATURES & SOUND QUALITY
JBL Charge 3:
I’m gonna be straight up with you the Bose did sound better than the charge 3. It had clearer highs and a bit deeper bass.
For its size, it has incredible sound. The two bass radiators give it a deep rumbling bass that’s very surprising, the first time you hear. Seriously, you just don’t expect bass like that to come out of the unit this small. The mids are more present than I’d usually like but the highs have just enough Sparkle to make them seem balanced with the rest of the sound.
When the speaker’s played out about 70% the DSP kicks in to allow maximum sound output. This causes the bass to become lower than the mids and highs. It’s not completely absent.
The good thing is the even at full volume sound never becomes distorted. At full volume, this speaker has the capacity to fill a medium-sized room which is impressive.’
The buttons on top, control, play, and pause with one press. And you can skip track with a double press. But sadly you can’t go back to a previous track, so you can only go forward. You can also long press for Siri or Google assistant depending if you’re on iOS or Android.
You can connect up to three devices simultaneously to the speaker, at a range of up to 10 meters and yeah that range holds up really nicely. When one device plays, it takes control of the speaker.
The speaker has the ability to hook up to other JBL speakers using JBL connect. Pressing the JBL connect button once on each speaker pairs them together and as the speaker’s to create either stereo segments or both can play the same tracks simultaneously which is called party play. The charge 3 is also compatible with JBL connect plus which allows up to 100 speakers to be connected together.
Another useful feature is the built-in speakerphone, so you can answer phone calls while connected. It has a microphone built-in which does a decent job picking up voices but nothing spectacular.
Sound Quality is impressive. You won’t really be able to hear the quality of this speaker as it is in person, so you’ll have to take our word for it.
Mids and highs are super crisp with pretty much any genre you throw at it. You can hear the subtle sounds an intricate track and vocals get a really nice boost and overall clarity.
If you’re into hip-hop and other buckets on runs then the bass will not disappoint. It’s quite strong for a speaker of this relative small size which is really good, even at the highest possible volume sound size clear and doesn’t lose much clarity.
So the XB31 definitely had better sound quality than its smaller counterpart. But the blend between the two is really satisfying and you’d only really notice it if you move closer to either one of them.
The wireless party chain feature which essentially lets you pair up multiple Sony Bluetooth speakers to create a much bigger party.
JBL Charge 3:
JBL advertises 20 hours of use and I’d have to agree if you play it around 50% volume. Playing above that cuts the battery life to about 14 hours at 70% and about 5 hours at full volume which is actually really good.
The speaker has a 6000mAh battery which combined with the back USB port allows you to charge your smartphone using the internal battery. Of course, this cuts down on actual usage time of the speaker but it’s a very handy feature when you need backup power.
Charging this large battery takes about 4.5 hours, so best to do it overnight. You can also charge the speaker while using it which really helps when you forgot to charge it.
Overall, battery life holds up very well, it can definitely last a full day of music playback.
Sony rates the XB31 battery lasting up to 24 hours with conservative use, when the RGB lights turned off. In our testing, we can say that the claim is pretty accurate as we only had to plug it in to charge twice.
With maximum volume and the RGB lights turned on, you get around four to five hours of continuous use before you need to charge it again. Of course this decreases even further if you use the speaker as a power button so be mindful of that.
WHICH ONE YOU SHOULD BUY?
Overall, both speakers are great, well-built, compact device. With their water protection and durable body, they are ideal outdoor and beach speakers. I think JBL charge 3 is much better than XB31. It has lot more features than XB31. However, XB31 has a good battery life. Overall, JBL Charge 3 is the winner here.