People are on the run more than ever, plus they want to take their music with them. So, it’s no real surprise that portable, battery-powered, Bluetooth speakers are proliferating constantly. Among them may be the new Xtreme 2 from JBL. Let’s find out if it could get the party started throughout your next outing.

Features
The JBL Xtreme 2 is a practically cylindrical unit measuring 11.3 x 5.4 x 5.2 inches (width x height x diameter). The excess height is because of your feet that prevent it from rolling around on a set surface. It tips the scale at a hefty 5.3 pounds, because of its strong metal construction and tough fabric covering. It includes a woven nylon strap (with an inline bottle opener, believe it or not!) that enables you to sling it over your shoulder. The Xtreme 2 comes in black, dark blue, or forest green.

Two 2.75-inch woofers and two 0.8-inch tweeters face forward, and two 3.5-inch passive bass radiators face outward from the ends of the enclosure. The four active drivers are powered by an interior amp that gives 10 watts to each driver (40W total) when the Xtreme 2 is linked to an AC power outlet. That amp power is reduced somewhat when the machine has been powered by the battery, but JBL won’t disclose the amp power if so. The frequency response is specified to increase from 55Hz to 20kHz, with a signal-to-noise ratio greater than 80dB.

JBL
The ends of the Xtreme 2 hold 3.5″ passive radiators, which supply the bass a boost.

Bluetooth may be the primary way to feed music to the Xtreme 2. It supports Bluetooth 4.2 using several profiles, including A2DP 1.3, AVRCP 1.6, HFP 1.6, and HSP 1.2. Interestingly, two devices could be paired to the speaker concurrently. When one is playing and you start playing from the other one, the speaker switches automatically. Perhaps this may cause some confusion if two persons want to play something as well.

In addition, the machine offers an attribute called Connect+, which lets it broadcast a Bluetooth signal to as much as 100 other Connect+ devices to spread the music around a much bigger area. The transmitter power can are as long as 12.5dBm (0.02W) in a frequency range between 2.402- to 2.480GHz using GFSK, π/4 DQPSK, and 8DPSK modulation. Also you can wirelessly hook up two Xtreme 2s in a stereo pair.

The Xtreme 2 is waterproof as defined by its IPX7 rating. It could survive being immersed in water to a depth of just one 1 meter for 30 minutes, this means it can’t be damaged by splashing water. So just do it, take it to the next pool or beach party without fretting about getting it wet and even dropping it in the water. JBL doesn’t publish a rating for dust incursion.

JBL
Being waterproof (the speaker carries an IPX7 rating), the Xtreme 2 fits directly into any pool party.

Finally, the Xtreme 2 can work as a speakerphone with noise and echo cancelling. Simply permit that function in the JBL Connect software and push the play/pause button when you make or get a ask the paired cellular phone.

User Interface
The controls at the top of the Xtreme 2 are simplicity itself. From left to right, they include buttons for Bluetooth pairing, volume down, power on/off, Connect+ activation, volume up, and play/pause, which also enables you to skip to another track by pushing it twice. Five tiny LEDs on the front near to the bottom of the speaker indicate the battery level when you initially turn the machine on.

Connections on the trunk include an analog aux input and a USB port, which provides up to 5V/2A of capacity to linked USB devices-though, of course, which will drain the battery faster. Another Micro-USB port can be used for firmware updates, which appears odd, since updates are usually performed using the JBL Connect software on a paired device. An AC power receptacle rounds out the connections, which are located behind a tight-fitting rubber cover. Make sure that cover is closed if you feel the speaker could possibly be exposed to water.

Scott Wilkinson
The opening screen of the JBL Connect iphone app (left) enables you to engage Party mode (wirelessly connecting multiple speakers) or configure two speakers as a stereo pair. The primary screen (right) enables you to update the firmware, configure the play/pause button to play and pause the music or activate the voice assistant, permit the speakerphone function, and modify other settings.

The Xtreme 2 even offers voice activation. Once you permit it in the JBL Connect iphone app on a paired device, the play/pause button demands Siri or Google Assistant on that device. In this instance, however, the button will not play or pause the music; you select one or the other function. Otherwise, the iphone app is utilized limited to speaker configuration (stereo pairing of speakers or Connect+ group) and firmware updates.

Setup and performance
The Quick Start Guide that is included with the Xtreme 2 is pretty small with almost microscopic print in in regards to a dozen languages. Fortunately, almost all of the guidance is given pictorially, therefore the tiny type isn’t that a lot of a problem. You can even get the guide online, which enables you to enlarge it as needed.

Pairing the Xtreme 2 with my iPhone 6 was simple. After opening the Bluetooth settings on the telephone, I pressed the Bluetooth button on the speaker, which caused the energy button to flash blue. The 1st time I tried it, the pairing failed (possibly because my editor had previously paired it along with his Android phone before he sent it if you ask me), nonetheless it worked the next time, after which the energy button was lit steady blue.

JBL
Enjoy your chosen bottled beverage because of the bottle opener on the carrying strap.

I’ve been hearing a whole lot of symphonic band music lately, therefore i started with Grainger’s “Lincolnshire Posy,” played by Denis Wick and the London Wind Orchestra. The original volume was so low that I possibly could barely hear anything, nonetheless it was fine once I increased the particular level. The bass was somewhat boomy and overemphasized, especially the tympani and tubas, but otherwise, it sounded pretty good-surprisingly rich for such a tiny speaker. However, there is nearly no stereo separation, which wasn’t so surprising for such a tiny speaker.

Next up was “Good Lava,” from Esperanza Spaulding’s album Emily’s D+Evolution. Esperanza’s vocals were quite good-up front and incredibly clean. Also, the bass was far better on this track, sensible with all of those other ensemble. Actually, the instruments and vocals all sounded excellent.

My partner, Joanna Cazden, is a singer-songwriter with six self-produced albums. I played all of the wind parts on her behalf last album, COPING WITH History, so I know what it’s supposed to appear to be. I paid attention to “No End to Love,” with a synthesized woodwind ensemble that I overdubbed playing a Yamaha WX5 wind controller and VL1 wind synthesizer. Overall, the sound seemed a lttle bit closed in, but Joanna’s vocals sounded quite good, and the instruments-including acoustic bass and piano-exhibited good definition.

JBL
The controls are located along with the speaker, and a row of tiny LEDs in the bottom indicate the battery level.

Another album I played on is A Festival of Renaissance Dances, by the Southern California Early Music Consort. “Introduction and Courante” features sackbutts (renaissance trombones), cornett (a hybrid instrument with a trumpet-like mouthpiece and finger holes such as a recorder), shawm (renaissance oboe), and large drum. The drum sounded quite boomy, however the instruments were nicely delineated. “Branle” is played on recorders and tambourine, and it sounded sweet on the Xtreme 2.

Returning to today’s, I played “Cousin Dupree” from Steely Dan’s Two Against Nature. The bass was quite boomy, however the drums were very clean. The vocals were good but somewhat overpowered by the bass.

As I was listening, I acquired a text on my phone, and the incoming-text sound was very loud since it interrupted the playback. When I replied to the message, the keyboard-click sounds were very loud aswell, plus they were noticeably delayed, which managed to get a lot more difficult to thumb type. I disabled the keyboard-click sounds in the iPhone’s settings, which solved that problem. I possibly could have disabled the incoming-text sound aswell, but I’d rather know whenever a text arrives.

JBL
The JBL Extreme 2 comes in a number of colors.

Furthermore to my iPhone, I also paired the Xtreme 2 with an iPad Mini, which worked fine. However when I returned to the iPhone to accomplish a firmware update, the iphone app wouldn’t hook up to the speaker. JBL recommended that I quit from the app, power down the speaker for one minute, and try again. That worked, nonetheless it caused a lttle bit of frustration.

The existing firmware version was 1.2.0, and the update was 1.9.0.0. I’ve read reading user reviews that report degraded sound quality after a firmware update, therefore i wanted to see easily had an identical experience. The application tells you to plug in the AC power adaptor and keep carefully the device near the speaker. After confirming I did so that, the update started out immediately and took a couple of minutes to complete.

Listening to a few of the same selections as before, I noticed no difference in the sound quality. In this test, I also cranked the quantity to see if the Xtreme 2 would distort. Amazingly, it didn’t, though it was much too loud for my comfort indoors. Taking it outside, I maxed out the quantity: At the best setting, it dropped the particular level momentarily before blasting. While I didn’t hear distortion by itself, the tonal balance did seem to be to change-the bass couldn’t match the mids and highs, making the entire sound thinner and brighter.

Bottom line
The JBL Xtreme 2 is a fantastic lightweight Bluetooth speaker. Setup is simple, and it sounds surprisingly best for such a tiny speaker, although bass could be very boomy. I wish the JBL Connect software included EQ (even only if simple treble and bass controls), which would help overcome that problem. The Xtreme 2 exhibits almost no stereo separation alone, but you may use two of these as a stereo pair. You may also wirelessly hook up up to 100 compatible JBL speakers to cover an extremely large area.

Its IPX7 waterproof rating means you don’t have to worry about setting it up wet and even submerging it entirely. Also keep in mind the bottle opener on the carrying strap, making the waterproof rating a lot more important! The Xtreme 2 is a superb way to bring your chosen tunes to the next party.

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JBL Xtreme 2 Bluetooth speaker
This banging party machine brings your selected tunes to the next party. The bass could be very boomy, but it’s strong enough to survive a dunk in the pool and continue playing.

Pros
Surprisingly good, rich sound
Strong weatherization (it’s rated IPX7)
Voice activation and speakerphone functionality
Cons
Boomy bass
JBL Connect iphone app is rudimentary; should o