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JBL Xtreme 2

Computer Shopper|November 2019

JBL Xtreme 2
VERDICT With top-quality sound and a versatile design, this is a great – if expensive – rugged Bluetooth speaker

OWNING AWATERPROOF speaker has its advantages. Even if you’re not into watersports or regularly hitting the pool, a weather-resistant speaker is a lot more versatile than a regular plug-in speaker that might sit next to your living-room sofa.

The Xtreme 2 is one such portable device. It’s only JBL’s second-ever attempt at a waterproof Bluetooth speaker, but it’s been built with confidence: not only is it IPX7certified, which allows it to be submerged at a depth of one metre for 30 minutes, but it also has two metal bars that allow you to hook on the bundled strap.

CARRY ON This is more useful than it sounds, as while the Xtreme 2 can be taken out and about, it’s no UE Boom 3: it weighs 2.4kg and measures 136x288x132mm, so the ability to add a strap is a very welcome one. The strap’s buckle also doubles up as a bottle opener, adding to the speaker’s party credentials.

Much like the original Xtreme, the Xtreme 2 is protected by a fabric mesh. There’s a large JBL logo at the front of the speaker, while at the top there are six physical buttons, two of which are illuminated – Power and Connect+. The Connect+ is an upgrade over the previous iteration; you’re now able to pair up to 100 JBL Connect+-enabled speakers, in the unlikely event that needs demand.

Around the back, JBL has rightfully ditched the zip-like design of the first Xtreme. Instead, the rear ports are protected from water via a rubberised pop-out panel. Prise this aside and you’ll find a 3.5mm headphone jack, a DC coaxial output, a USB port capable of fast-charging your smartphone, and a Micro USB port, the sole purpose of which is for servicing.

As for wireless connectivity, the speaker connects via Bluetooth with a maximum range of 20 metres. Battery life is good at around 15 hours of playback time, although the Xtreme 2 takes around three-and-a-half hours to charge. Unfortunately, there’s no Wi-Fi connectivity, which means no Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to answer your every call. That’s a slight shame when the UE Megablast comes with Alexa built in.

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November 2019