JBL Charge 3 vs. JBL Charge 4 Portable Bluetooth Speaker: A Comparative Review

Venturing into the vast landscape of portable Bluetooth speakers, my journey led me to a riveting face-off: jbl charge 3 vs charge 4. As a connoisseur of sonic perfection, I’ve always had an appreciation for JBL’s craftsmanship.

Both the Charge 3 and Charge 4 have made waves in the audio community with their impeccable sound quality, practicality, and aesthetic allure. Yet, they’re like two musical notes with distinct pitches.

Eagerly, I delved deeper into the nuances that set them apart. Within this exploration, I’ll unravel the intricacies of both these iconic models, dissecting each facet of their performance.

The climax of this auditory journey? A declaration of the true champion between the two. So, as the bass drops and the treble soars, let’s uncover the soul of these JBL giants together!

Photo
JBL Charge 3 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
JBL Charge 3 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker (Black), 1
JBL Charge 4 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
JBL Charge 4 Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth Speaker Bundle with Portable Hard Case - Black
Charging Ports
USB-A port
USB-C port
Battery Power
6000 mAh battery
7500mA battery
Voice Assistant Support
Voice Assistant Support Enabled
NO Voice Assistant Support
Sound Performance
20W Power wattage
30W Power wattage
Star Rating
Prime Status
-
-
JBL Charge 3 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Photo
JBL Charge 3 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker (Black), 1
Charging Ports
USB-A port
Battery Power
6000 mAh battery
Voice Assistant Support
Voice Assistant Support Enabled
Sound Performance
20W Power wattage
Star Rating
Prime Status
-
JBL Charge 4 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Photo
JBL Charge 4 Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth Speaker Bundle with Portable Hard Case - Black
Charging Ports
USB-C port
Battery Power
7500mA battery
Voice Assistant Support
NO Voice Assistant Support
Sound Performance
30W Power wattage
Star Rating
Prime Status
-

 

 

Which is Best? Comparing JBL Charge 3 vs. JBL Charge 4

Comparing JBL Charge 3 vs. JBL Charge 4

 

Durability

Just like the Charge 3, the Charge 4 has an IPX7 waterproofing feature. It gives the speaker 30 minutes of protection when submerged in water. It is well protected against knocks and bumps, with a durable fabric covering the rubber bumpers on the passive radiators and the exterior.

While the JBL 3 hasn’t been drop tested, the rubberized components prevent it from becoming fragile. The fabric face can withstand a round or two in the dirt or in the park. Since both are equal at protecting the speaker, there’s no clear winner on this one.

Winner: Tie

 

Charging Ports

One key difference between jbl charge 3 vs charge 4 lies in their charging ports. The Charge 3 has a USB-A port, which can be connected to 2 devices.

On the other hand, the Charge 4 uses a USB-C port which has a faster data transfer rate than the USB-A. Thus, making it the winner in terms of charging power.

Winner: JBL Charge 4.

 

Battery Power

While the Charge 3 boasts a substantial 6000 mAh battery, its successor, the Charge 4, steps it up a notch with a robust 7500mA capacity.

Now, here’s where it gets intriguing: despite the Charge 4’s seemingly superior energy capacity, when it comes down to the raw endurance, both speakers stand toe-to-toe.

Remarkably, each can serenade you for a whopping 20 hours before whispering for a power top-up. The symphony of technology and design in these devices truly struck a chord with me.

Winner: Tie

 

Voice Assistant Support

While comparing comparing the jbl charge 3 vs charge 4, I was taken aback by a noticeable distinction. The Charge 4 left me yearning for the voice assistant capability—a feature I had grown fond of.

In contrast, the Charge 3 seamlessly incorporated this feature, granting me the convenience of dispatching phone calls directly through the speaker. It was undeniable: when it came to this functionality, the Charge 3 clinched the top spot with aplomb.

Winner: JBL Charge 3.

 

Sound Performance

The sound performance is the most significant difference between these two speakers. For example, the Charge 3 uses two drivers to create a stereo sound. Meanwhile, the Charge 4 provides a mono experience with a single driver.

Changing to a mono channel doesn’t interfere with the overall sound experience. The mid-range sounds, which appear to be flat on the Charge 3, are reproduced with more detail, clarity, and an added kick to the bass.

Another difference lies in their power wattage. The Charge 3 has a 20W while the Charge 4 has a 30W of power. This gives the latter more power once the music is played, resulting in a louder and vibrant sound.

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The audio is balanced, and the Charge 4 produces a striking amount of clear sound. Place the speaker in your living room, increase the volume, and you’ll notice how the Charge 4 is capable of taking space.

Similar to the Charge 3, the Charge 4 works with higher volumes and gives off no distortions as you push the speaker to its limits. However, the Charge 4 wins in this section because of its increased power wattage.

Winner: JBL Charge 4.

 

Multi-speaker Pairing

when it came down to the face-off of jbl charge 3 vs charge 4, the Charge 4 indisputably stole the spotlight with its innovative JBL Connect+ feature. For a bit of context, JBL has two distinctive communication platforms – the JBL Connect and the JBL Connect+.

While the Charge 3, being an earlier iteration, can pair with a modest two devices simultaneously, the game changed entirely with the Charge 4.

Thanks to JBL Connect+, the Charge 4 can seamlessly mesh with a staggering 100 JBL devices operating under the same protocol.

This monumental leap in connectivity doesn’t just elevate the Charge 4; it catapults it leagues ahead of its predecessor, setting a new benchmark for speaker pairing capabilities. And trust me, in a world where connectivity is king, such advancements are hard to overlook.

Winner: JBL Charge 4

 

Bluetooth Functionality

The Charge 4 has Bluetooth 4.2, while the Charge 3 has Bluetooth 4.1.

What’s the difference? The Bluetooth 4.2 has more speed and privacy than the 4.1. Bluetooth 4.2 is 250% faster and has ten times the pocket size capability.

Winner: JBL Charge 4.

 

Weight

Portable speakers with higher weight are less likely to break when dropped. The Charge 4 has more weight in comparison to its predecessor. It weighs 960g, while the Charge 3 weighs in at 800g.

The added weight enhances its durability and provides added stability when in use.

Winner: JBL Charge 4.

 

 

 

JBL Charge 3 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker

JBL Charge 3 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Specifications

  • IPX 7 Waterproof
  • 6000mAH Power Bank
  • 20-hour Li-ion battery
  • Can charge multiple devices
  • Strong bass response

 

Overview

Its dimensions—13 x 87 x 88.5 mm—may sound standard, but the speaker carries an elegance that slides effortlessly into my backpack. Although tipping the scales at 1.76 pounds, making it somewhat heftier than some of its counterparts, it’s a small price to pay for its robust features.

Picture this: A sunny afternoon, a group of friends, and a collective playlist that everyone can contribute to. Thanks to the JBL Charge 3’s ability to wirelessly link up with three devices, spontaneous music-sharing becomes the life of the party.

I’ve found its enriched bass perfect for outdoor escapades, giving our alfresco gatherings that extra punch. Some audiophiles might raise an eyebrow at its pronounced low end, but outdoor settings, especially poolside ones, truly let it shine.

And speaking of water, the Charge 3 boasts an IPX7 waterproofing grade. Accidentally knocked it into the pool during a lively debate on jbl charge 3 vs charge 4? Fret not! It can take a watery dip, although I’d advise against an extended underwater stay.

Now, onto the visual treats. The Charge 3 flaunts passive radiators that do more than just amplify sound—they dance. On tracks where the bass drops and reverberates, these radiators quiver in sync, adding a tactile dimension to the auditory experience.

Power enthusiasts, like me, can take solace in its enduring Li-ion battery, clocking in an impressive 20-hour lifespan. And should your devices run low, the USB charger emerges as a trusty ally.

The intuitive controls—spanning volume adjustments, power toggles, play/pause, and the innovative JBL Connect—are a breeze to navigate. The latter lets you sync two speakers for a unified sonic output.

Bluetooth aficionados, here’s a nugget for you: The wireless streaming on the Charge 3 seamlessly pairs with other JBL-enabled companions, widening your acoustic horizon. And, in a delightful twist, it doubles as a charging hub, ensuring your devices remain juiced up as you groove to your top tracks.

 


 

 

JBL Charge 4 Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

JBL Charge 4 Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

Specifications

  • 20 Hour Battery Life
  • Mono Stereo
  • 30W Power Output
  • JBL Connect+ Included
  • 2 Bluetooth version

 

Overview

The JBL Charge 4 is the successor of the Charge 3. It features two JBL bass radiators and a proprietary-developed driver that uses deep bass to intensify sounds. It features a USB-C charging port and acts as a power bank for your smartphone or tablet.

There is no handle or strap-like you would see in previous models, but it’s not necessary. The Charge 4 can be easily carried in one hand, easy to pick up, and can travel in a bag. In fact, this speaker bundle includes a portable hard case, making it convenient for travel!

The highs are present, but they sound drawn out. In addition, the mid sounds are easy to identify and sound clear. The best music to listen to with this device is Country, Rock, EDM, and R&B. Other genres of music will benefit from a speaker that has a better high-end.

While it still has the cylindrical shape as its predecessor, the Charge 4 is larger with increased dimensions across the board. With a dimension size of 12.5 x 11.2 x 7.7 inches, it produces high-end sound without affecting its portability.

In regards to sound performance, the Charge 4 is powerful for its size. It delivers a strong bass sound with the help of its dual passive radiators at work. As a result, you’ll get a full range of sound once the speaker turns on.

With a 7800 mAh battery, this speaker provides up to 20 hours of music. Amplify your audio experience by connecting up to 100 wireless JBL Connect+ Speakers. Also, the Charge 4 uses rugged material, and durable fabric allows the speaker to withstand all of your music sessions!

Consider getting the Charge 4 if you want a mono speaker with power. It has a 4.2 Bluetooth rating, making it easy for wireless connection. Thus,  it is a good choice if you want high-quality speakers in your room or when you’re with your friends.

 


 

FAQs

 

Should I Be Concerned About Battery Size?

Undoubtedly, the stamina of your speaker is pivotal, much like any electronic marvel. Bluetooth speakers thrive on energy, after all. Yet, merely glancing at the mAh capacity doesn’t reveal the whole story.

The real narrative unfolds when you juxtapose the battery’s prowess with the speaker’s hunger for power. Instead of being ensnared by mere numbers, I’ve learned to focus on the total playback hours.

For instance, while deliberating between jbl charge 3 vs charge 4, I was heartened to discover both boast a robust 20-hour battery life. That’s ample groove time for any audio enthusiast.

And the cherry on top? These beasts can recharge even while serenading you, ensuring the rhythms never stop. So, in the battery battle, it’s the duration that truly resonates.

 

Why is the Speaker Wattage Important?

The wattage of your Bluetooth speakers determines the overall playing time and sound output. For example, lower-end Bluetooth speakers have a lower wattage because they have a single speaker.

You’ll have twin-channel speakers or a 2.1 sound with a subwoofer as you go up the price range. Here’s a rule of thumb: the larger the speaker size and wattage, the more volume the speaker delivers. If you plan on hosting a party at home, go for a speaker with higher wattage.

 

How Are Bluetooth Codecs Related to My Speaker?

Bluetooth codecs are used to determine how the Bluetooth media is transmitted from the smartphone to the speaker. You should look for high-quality Bluetooth codecs because they have better audio quality and faster streaming rates.

While every Bluetooth speaker supports SBC, not all speakers will support the same codec menu. The SBC codec has come a long way since its creation. It’s easy for Bluetooth devices to encode and doesn’t take up a lot of power.

Read Also: How to Pair iHome Bluetooth Speakers

 

How Does Frequency Response Affect My Audio?

Frequency responses tend to range from 20Hz-200kHz because that is the lower and upper limit of human hearing. Just because a speaker can reproduce the frequencies doesn’t mean it’s 100% accurate. Like headphones, speakers are configured and tuned differently.

When looking for a jbl charge v charge 4 speaker, check out its sub-bass attenuation. This means that the low notes don’t sound as loud as their true sound on the respective speaker. Some speakers have this problem because the driver units are able to push air fast enough to handle the sub-bass frequencies.

Most companies have passive bass radiators that use air pressure in the speaker housing. Portable Bluetooth speaker manufacturers like this technology because it’s space-efficient, energy-efficient, and can be used to amplify bass notes.

 

What does the IPX Waterproof Rating Mean?

Most Bluetooth speakers have an IPX rating to show what they can and can’t be exposed to. It also determines how long the speaker will last in the water.

An IPX0 rating offers no water resistance, while an IPX8 rating can be submerged in water up to one meter. Naturally, the speaker you choose will depend on your individual preferences and whether it can be fully submerged into water.

 

 

Conclusion

Drawing a verdict from my deep-dive into the world of portable audio, the battle between JBL Charge 3 vs Charge 4 was a captivating one. Both speakers emanate quality and pack a punch, holding their ground in the cacophony of options out there.

If versatility beckons you, the Charge 3 might just be your partner in sound. On the flip side, for those yearning for a notch higher in sound performance, the Charge 4 stands tall.

In my experience, the Charge 4 clinched the title with its impeccable sound quality, seamless Bluetooth integration, ergonomic weight, and the ability to sync with multiple speakers.

Adorned with a contemporary design, its prowess doesn’t waver, be it in the cozy confines of my living room or the vast expanse of the great outdoors.

Whether I’m immersing myself in tunes at home, refining tracks in the studio, or sharing musical moments with pals, this speaker never disappoints. Ultimately, whichever you lean towards, be ready to be serenaded by a symphony of resonating notes.

Read Also: Rode NT1 vs. Rode NT1A: A Comparative Review

 

 

JBL Charge 3 vs. JBL Charge 4 Portable Bluetooth Speaker Pin

 

 

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Is a musician and journalist with over 13 years of experience writing for some of the music world's biggest brands. Ray loves getting nerdy about everything from guitar gear and synths, to microphones and music production hardware.

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