Saturday, February 27

the nomad JBL Xtreme 3 makes a grand entrance

DXOMark has updated its ranking of the best wireless speakers passed in its test labs. Harman Kardon’s Citation 200 sits at the top. Note the astonishing 2nd place of the Google Home Max in the midst of sound specialists. Apple’s HomePods are a long way off.

The JBL Xtreme 3 speaker

JBL Xtreme 3 speaker // Gamesdone: JBL

In early November, DxOMark unveiled its very first ranking of wireless speakers. This specialist in electronics, camera and smartphone testing has decided to sift through products that have become extremely common and above all multiple in a booming market.

Started with only a few references divided into two categories (less than 200 euros, between 200 and 400 euros), the ranking has been enriched over the weeks with new products tested. And in particular, flagship devices on the market such as the latest HomePod mini or the Google Nest Audio, its main competitor.

HomePod mini lagging behind

So, certainly the two products are displayed at less than 100 euros, in compact formats and cannot compete with the power of the Citation 200 of Harman Kardon which is still in the lead in front of the astonishing Google Home Max which was not yet particularly popular with its strong bass.

Apple HomePod mini

The HomePod mini is available in white or black // Gamesdone: Frandroid / Arnaud GELINEAU

Apple’s miniature speaker also suffers from its reduced size and must be satisfied with a score of 98 in the DxOMark ranking which recognizes its qualities, but a power necessarily proportional to its size and a lack of bass. The Nest Audio is doing a little more honorably with a rating of 112. But it is in spatialization that the connected speaker from Google fishes with sound that only comes out at the front, with a serious lack of power. But if the two products can make it possible to listen to music, it is not their primary objective that remains to serve as a hub for the connected home.

JBL’s remarkable entry

If the Google Home Max surprises with its 2nd place in the ranking among sound specialists (Yamaha, Bose, Sonos, Huawei with Devialet for the Sound X…), JBL’s place does not necessarily surprise. Except that the brand owes its 4th place to a nomadic speaker, the Xtreme 3.

Equipped with four powerful speakers and two passive radiators, it is generally the delight of party animals with its multiple options for sound (possibility of connecting several speakers, to manage music from several smartphones), and of those who want a durable speaker. to go on a mop (15 hours of autonomy). It can also be transformed into a power bank to avoid ending up flat.

The JBL Xtreme 3 wireless speaker

The JBL Xtreme 3 wireless speaker // Gamesdone: JBL

And all this in no way alters its sound qualities according to DxOMark, which emphasizes “a rich and lively sound”, “clear and intelligible for the voices”, with good spatialization. The Xtreme 3 (136) nevertheless remains the second nomad speaker in the ranking, behind the Citation 200 leader (147). Two models still sold 299 euros, which positions them on the top segment of the nomadic speaker.

Another nomadic speaker to enter the ranking, the SRS-XB43 from Sony, which is riding the same wave as the JBL in terms of proposal and design in capsule format. It promises an autonomy of up to 24 hours. But it is its contrasting sound performance depending on the situation that penalizes it compared to products with the same price positioning (122). In particular, it should not be asked to push the decibels too much. The same goes for LG’s XBoom Go PL7 which offers “below average” sound performance (105).

Ranking the best DxOMark wireless speakers

Ranking of the best DxOMark wireless speakers // Gamesdone: DXOMark

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