JBL - JBL Xtreme 2


Transportable speaker JBL Xtreme 2: subtle evolution of a behemoth

Aprox. 164€ - see price -

See specifications

The season is at the renewal of best sellers at JBL. After the Go 2 ultraportable speaker, the American manufacturer is now turning to revelers by giving a new lease of life to the Xtreme, its powerful and robust speaker which has become a staple of outdoor evenings.

Positive points

Its powerful and energetic.

Good stereophony, ample sound.

Very robust construction, water resistance.

JBL Connect Plus compatibility for combining multiple speakers.

Good autonomy, USB socket for recharging a mobile device.

There is a bottle opener on the strap!

Bad points

Imprecision in the bass.

Lack of roundness at high volume.

No command to return to the previous track.

High Bluetooth latency.

Our review


If the Xtreme was the largest portable speaker in the JBL catalog in 2015, the Xtreme 2 did not recover this title in 2018, meanwhile snatched by the gargantuan Boombox. Nevertheless, here is a beast that does not steal the name of "transportable" enclosure. With a width of almost 30 cm and a weight of 2.4 kg, the Xtreme 2 is not even easy to store in a backpack. This is why the builder's idea of providing a strap with his speaker makes sense. Especially since this strap carries the brightest feature of the product: it contains a bottle opener!

In this alone, the Xtreme 2 already knocks out all the competition in terms of services rendered to the feasters. Fortunately, she also has other arguments, starting of course with a very robust construction - and ultimately very similar to that of her predecessor. It is therefore always dressed in fabric and mat plastic, materials that are usual at JBL and giving a very good impression of solidity. The two passive bass radiators on the sides of the enclosure could be considered as points of weakness, but they seem sufficiently reinforced so that one does not have too much to fear for their integrity. The enclosure is IPX7 certified, that is to say immune to water attack, and even against immersion. We can therefore take it to the poolside without any ulterior motive.

Bis repetita for the general interface of use: the Xtreme 2 offers an operation that simply resumes to the letter that which JBL has accustomed us for many years now. We do it in the simple and effective: few fuss, intuitive and almost complete controls - only the return to the previous track is guilty of absenteeism. The only originality concerns as always the compatibility JBL Connect Plus, via which it is possible to group several wireless speakers of the brand, in order to make them broadcast the same music in a synchronized manner.

These groupings can be managed on the fly via the dedicated button, or more ergonomically via the JBL Connect mobile application (on iOS and Android). This same application also offers to change the assignment of the play / pause button to assign the call to the voice assistant of a phone.

Compatible with Bluetooth 4.2, the speaker unfortunately does not offer a multipoint connection to several sources simultaneously. On the other hand, it has a hands-free kit function, whose microphone offers correct voice capture: it does not reproduce speech in the most natural way possible, but benefits from a rather effective noise reduction. An auxiliary input on 3.5 mm stereo mini-jack completes the picture.

As we will discuss a few lines below, the Xtreme 2 is very powerful, and logically, its autonomy very strongly depends on the sound level at which it is set. For a volume of 100%, we thus noted an autonomy of only 5 hours, instead of the 15 displayed on the technical sheet. On the other hand, at 50%, the endurance of the machine goes up to more than 20 hours. Provided you do not fall asleep on the volume button, the party should not be short because of a dry out.



No revolution in form, therefore, and no more in substance: JBL says it has changed the speakers of its speaker, but the sound philosophy remains intact. To hell with finesse, we are looking here above all for energy, power and percussion.

The Xtreme 2 is aptly named, and is actually capable of spitting out a fairly extreme amount of decibels. But of course, she does not hesitate to make use of some tricks for this. The first is a slight dynamic compression, applied to the signal continuously - even when listening at low volume. Very well designed, the latter manages to significantly boost the sensation of sound volume, while remaining very discreet. There is hardly anything but the very dense and rich mixes of powerful and dry snare hits which make audible a very slight pumping effect.

The second "cheating" is the application of a clearly visible physiological equalization on the above measure: the more the volume is lowered, the more the severe and treble extremes are reinforced. Again, the thing is pretty well done, and still manages to increase the feeling of power and fullness of sound when listening at low volume. We would still have liked the equalization to give a little more presence to the low mids: their slight shrinkage becomes more and more audible as the volume control goes up, and ends up causing a damaging lack of roundness.

Apart from that, we have little to blame for the overall balance of the reproduction - here we take advantage of the benefits of the two-way acoustic design, which uses two tweeters and two woofers rather than settling for high - broadband speakers. The frequency response is quite respectable for a speaker of this type. Only the bass extremes show some slightly too marked colorations, due to some resonances occurring at the level of passive bass radiators whose enclosure is flanked. More annoying, these resonances also translate into distortion, which quite severely affects the perceived precision of low frequencies.

Quite frightening on the measure, the distortion peaks at 80 and 100 Hz are fortunately less obvious when you listen to it than you might think: no impression of parasites "dirtying" the sound is to be deplored. However, the definition of stamps suffers.

Do not assume that the performance of the radiators is completely black. The latter are particularly to thank for very responsive bass despite everything, which therefore manage in a very honorable way to restore the impact of the kick drum, and to give the sound the basis. What is more, their placement on either side of the enclosure allows a particularly wide distribution, to which we owe a very pleasant feeling of scale.

Last point finally on which the Xtreme 2 has hardly changed: the latency in Bluetooth is still very high, standing at around 340 ms. When it translates into a sound / image offset, this delay is far too long to allow viewing a video without embarrassment.



Failing to offer a drastically improved experience compared to the first Xtreme of the name, the Xtreme 2 quietly takes over from the latter to establish itself as one of the best portable outdoor speakers on the market. Better balanced than the oversized JBL Boombox, it combines a big quality sound with a robust construction, for an explosive result. And then there is a bottle opener on the strap ...