JBL - JBL Charge 3


JBL Charge 3: the bipolar waterproof speaker

Aprox. 99€ - see price -

See specifications

JBL is a very prolific builder in terms of portable speakers. The JBL Charge 3 slips between the Flip3 and Xtreme speakers and offers several evolutions compared to the Charge 2+: improved autonomy, a waterproof design and the JBL Connect. We just have to hope that the sound performance will always be as good, which we will check right away ...

Positive points

Solid, well finished and water resistant.

Very great autonomy.

Comprehensive checks.

Easy to use.


Deep bass and fairly balanced in Bluetooth.

Bad points

Significant difference in sound rendering between wired and wireless.

Imprecise bass in wireframe.

Pinched and aggressive treble in Bluetooth.

Narrow stereo.

Power not fully exploitable.

No NFC chip.

Our review


JBL harmonizes its new line of portable speakers both in terms of design and finishes. The Charge 3 therefore uses the same materials as the Flip 3 and the Xtreme: very rigid braided fabric, thick plastic and rubber. The fabric covering widely used on the enclosure gives a very good grip despite its size and the part located under the enclosure adheres well on dry surfaces. The set is particularly resistant to shocks and drops, in addition to being waterproof. We can therefore immerse and play with the enclosure in water (without exceeding 1 m deep).

The Charge 3 is very easy to handle and offers multiple commands: it is possible to manage playback, navigate between tracks and set the listening volume. Power on / off and pairing are punctuated by various audible indications. The JBL Connect function and the dedicated application are also there to allow you to pair a second speaker in double mono or stereo, provided you have two identical models. This speaker does not offer an NFC chip.

Protected by a rubber cover, the connector consists of a USB port for recharging a mobile device, a micro-USB port to recharge the speaker and an analog 3.5 mm mini-jack input. to connect the speaker by wire. Unfortunately, this cable is not provided.

With a promise of 20 hours in reading, JBL made a lot of promises, and even stronger in practice since we managed to push Charge 3 until 10:20 pm (volume at 70%). The autonomy drops without surprise when recharging a mobile device, to reach 9:30 am with a constant recharge (and the volume always at 70%). The results are therefore very good and allow you to enjoy long listening sessions at a sufficient level outdoors. The height of happiness, the battery level is displayed by 5 LEDs located in the lower part of the speaker as soon as one of the buttons is touched.


Between wireless and wired, the JBL Charge 3 offers a versatile listening experience.

In wireless, the bass is very slightly rounded, but overall well balanced and deep. On the other hand, the rendering of the high-mid / treble is much more imprecise and especially more aggressive when we exceed 60% of the maximum volume. The sibilance wakes up regularly, the guitar pick picks are boosted and the cymbals lack definition. However, the phenomenon can be limited by staying below 50% of the volume.

In wireframe, the phenomenon is opposite: the bass is really less well controlled and saturates quickly. This area is much less precise and hides the low-midrange. As in wireless, being below 50% of the volume reduces this problem. The other side of the spectrum is quieter and the rendering seems much less aggressive.

In both cases, the voices are particularly honored if we remain at reasonable listening levels. They are both clear and warm.

Stereophony is not really the strong point of this speaker. Even if the scene is generally readable, it remains very narrow, being really limited to the level of the speakers. Fortunately, the speaker is not ultra-directive and one can benefit from a correct sound at 120 degrees.

The JBL Charge 3 is particularly powerful, even if for the reasons mentioned above, it is strongly recommended not to exceed a certain threshold. Even if it is still possible to benefit from a very reasonable level for listening inside and outside, it must be admitted that it is particularly frustrating.

The real margin of progress compared to the Charge 2+ is the reduction of the communication latency, which this time is a little more than 200 ms, but still limited so as not to perceive the latency between image and sound at all. We recommend that you apply an image delay or an audio advance if your player allows it.


Resistant, easy to use and with great autonomy, the JBL Charge 3 is a real pleasure to use. The pleasure is however less in terms of sound performance, very different in Bluetooth and wired, and imperfect in both cases. Compared to competitors of the same size (Megaboom, BRV-X, BT6600 ...), it remains a companion of choice for those who want a durable, waterproof, powerful portable speaker that can charge a device for long hours.