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When it comes to portable Bluetooth speakers, JBL is one of the top contenders. JBL is a spin-off brand of Harman Kardon and has been providing music for over 70 years (learn more).
Portable Bluetooth speakers, like the JBL Charge 4 and Charge 3, are popular for several reasons. First, they are portable meaning that they are versatile. Another reason for popularity is the ability to be used without wires. Most Bluetooth speakers have batteries built-in so that you don’t have to have them plugged in.
In this review we’re going to be taking a look at the JBL Charge 4 vs Charge 3 portable Bluetooth speakers. We’ll also be exploring the features of both, performance, and final purchasing decisions.
JBL Flip vs Charge?
If you’re deciding whether you should buy the JBL Flip vs Charge, we’ll be going through the full decision in another review. However, we’re done, we did a full comparison on the JBL Flip 4 vs Flip 5.
The biggest upgrade from the Charge series of JBL speakers from the Flip series is the size. You get better battery life, better sound, and more charging functionality. But, if you’re considering buying several JBL Flips than it might be a good option for you (because you can connect them all together).
If you’re interested in other Bluetooth speakers, check out our other popular review on the DOSS Soundbox vs DOSS Soundbox XL.
JBL Charge 4 Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
Starting off with the JBL Charge 4. This is a portable Bluetooth speaker from JBL that has come from a long lineage. The Charge series was one of the original Bluetooth speakers on the market and has since made a home for itself as one of the greats. Along with a great sound signature, long battery life and Bluetooth portability, this was one of the first waterproof speakers on the market.
The Charge 4 has a wide range of features that help make it one of the best on the market. First, it uses dual passive radiators to provide a very powerful bass signature. Along with the radiators, the speakers themselves deliver an extremely accurate sound signature for the size.
JBL also uses a very durable material as the outer shell of the Charge 4. It is rugged, but still maintains a higher-class design. There are several options to choose from for colorways, and you can even completely customize the speaker colors to your liking.
Included is a 7500mAh battery that should provide around 20 hours of playtime. It can also charge your mobile device via the USB port.
As far as performance goes, the JBL Charge 4 is extremely powerful for it’s size. While you might not think that you’re going to get a very full-range sound, you do. The bass is incredibly deep, especially with the large dual passive radiators working together.
Additionally, highs are somewhat drown out, but are still present. And, mids are clear and easy to discern. The best types of music to listen to with the Charge 4 are Country, Hip-Hop, R&B, EDM, and Rock. While some other types of music such as those with a lot of true instruments, might benefit from something with a bit more high-end (Bose SoundLink Color II).
JBL Charge 3 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Next up is the JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth Speaker. This is another waterproof wireless speaker from JBL. However, the previous version. JBL still offers JBL Connect on the Charge 3, which means that you can connect other JBL speakers up to it.
It also still offers waterproofing, a 15-18 hour battery life (6000mAh), and a built-in microphone. Although, one big difference between the Charge 3 and Charge 4 is the speakers themselves. While the Charge 4 has a louder, higher output speaker, it is only mono-channel. This means that it cannot reproduce sound in stereo. The Charge 3 has less powerful drivers, but there is two of them, meaning that it can reproduce sound in stereo.
While this difference might not be huge, for some buyers it can be the difference between a purchase or not. Although an easy workaround for this (if you care) is two just pair two speakers together and use them as left/right stereo speakers. That way, you get all the benefits of the Charge 4 while still maintaining a good stereo system.
What Are The Differences JBL Charge 4 vs Charge 3?
- Bass Radiators (Dual)
- 30W Output
- 7500mAh Battery
- IPX7 Waterproof
- USB Type-C
- JBL Connect+
- Bluetooth 4.2
- Mono Sound
- Bass Radiators (Dual)
- 20W Output
- 6000mAh Battery
- USB Type-A
- JBL Connect+
- Bluetooth 4.1
- Stereo Sound
In the end, which one is better JBL Charge 3 or 4? Well, in our opinion, the JBL Charge 4 is definitely worth the upgrade, especially if you can find it on sale.
It has a significantly more powerful output (30W vs 20W), a larger battery, better Bluetooth connectivity, and has some really awesome design features. Also, USB Type-C is a welcome addition, especially in today’s current market.
One of the biggest differences (as mentioned before), is the Charge 3’s stereo sound vs the Charge 4’s mono sound. While this might not be a big deal to some listeners, to others it can make the difference between the two.
For us, if you are stuck on the stereo thing, then the Charge 3 is definitely still an awesome speaker. But, if you can get over it or just get 2 Charge 4 speakers, then it is 100% worth the upgrade.