Bluetooth speakers are a must-have tech device for any music enthusiast. Today, they come in all shapes, sizes, and added features. Portable speakers are a great solution for a wide variety of different occasions. Whether you want to blast your tunes at the beach, have a wild house party, or just play your favorite songs at full blast on your own, a portable speaker can do it all.
The speakers on the market today pack fantastic audio quality in portable devices that you can bring with you wherever you need to go. Since there is such a wide variety of different options on the portable speakers on the market, it can be difficult to choose the one that best matches your lifestyle. There are ones that are better for portability, durability, price, sound quality, or special added features.
JBL Xtreme 2
Number of Drivers
Depending on what you value in your portable speaker, there is one that will match your needs. Many of the portable speakers may seem incredibly similar, especially since many contain the same features and qualities. Luckily for you, we have taken the time to review the top two portable speakers on the market: the Sonos Move vs. JBL Xtreme 2. We break down the two contenders and compare them so you can select the best portable speaker for you.
A Quick Glance at the Products
To get a better idea of the two products, we take a quick look at the two different companies and what they bring to the market.
JBL– JBL is an established technology company that focuses on bringing the highest quality audio devices on the market. They create innovative devices with top audio quality that ranges from individual use to speakers for procession musicians and large scale venues. Starting from 1969, JBL has changed the game of top-quality audio devices.
Sonos– The Sonos mission is simple: to help the world listen better. The company wanted to bring wireless audio to the world and continues to fine tune its products to assist the customer better. Although a relatively new company that started in 2002, Sonos has brought their innovative technology and simplicity to the audio device market.
The JBL Xtreme 2 Bluetooth speakers are one of the best portable speakers for a good reason. This compact 5 pound speaker packs a bold sound for its size. This model features upgraded drivers with a dual passive base radiator that offer a fuller sound for every occasion. The 10,000mAh Lithium-ion battery supports up 15 hours of playtime. The speakers are also paired with JBL Connect + allowing it to link with other devices. This option is a great all-around option that will not disappoint in sound quality.
- 15 hrs of playtime
- 4 drivers
- IPX7 Waterproof
- 5.27 lbs
- Bluetooth version 4.2
- Dual Passive Base Radiators
- Waterproof for greater versatility
- Links to other JBL Connect+ products
- Up to 15 hours of playtime
- No mute function
- Some may find the size too big
The Sonos Move Bluetooth Speakers are another top contender for best portable speakers on the market. This portable speaker has Amazon Alexa built-in, allowing you to do more with your speakers.
Along with playing music, you are able to check the news, ask questions, set alarms, turn off your lights, and more, all with the sound of your voice. The size and easy setup make this system a great portable and convenient portable speaker option for a wide array of uses.
Not only is it great for a variety of tasks, but the Sonos Move also does not lack sound quality, and the Trueplay tuning adapts the sound to the location of use.
- 11 hours of battery life
- 2 drivers
- Alexa Built-in
- 6.61 lbs
- IP56 Weather-resistant
- Voice control allows for more functions
- Durable case for protection
- Automatic trueplay tuning
- Not waterproof
- Slightly less playtime
After taking a quick look at what the two speakers have to offer, we take a more in-depth look at the specific features of each side by side. While the two speakers are both quality speakers that will both work well, there are subtle differences in their features. This could help you decide which portable speaker is more suitable to your tastes and needs.
Number of Drivers
The drivers in a speaker refer to the round discs that people commonly refer to as the speakers of the device. They are usually cone shaped or curved and move back and forth to create the sound. There are many different types of drivers and sizes that equip speakers. The main types of drivers include tweeter drivers, midrange drivers, and woofer drivers, which handle different ranges of frequencies.
Most speakers will come with multiple drivers to handle the full spectrum of sounds. Drivers in a speaker work by moving back and forth, creating air pressure or sound waves. The electromagnetic impulses interact with a magnet and cause the movement that creates sound. To choose the speaker that will produce the sound that you prefer, it is important to understand how drivers work.
JBL Xtreme 2
The JBL Extreme 2 Speakers are equipped with 4 drivers to produce a wide range of sound that play on a larger scale of frequencies. The speaker is also equipped with a subwoofer which provides higher-quality bass sounds. It is made to deliver frequencies from 20-200Hz that create depth in the audio as well as giving the sound a feel.
The Sonos Move is equipped with two drivers that are equipped to handle a wide range of frequencies. The drivers are configured in a special configuration. It works for a variety of different environments. It features a 3.5-inch woofer driver and a tweeter drive that is sloped downwards. This unusual configuration allows for more versatile sound that does not simply play to the front.
While the number of drivers or the size of the drivers does not necessarily determine the quality of sound a speaker produces, it does theoretically make a difference. Since the JBL Xtreme Speakers have two additional drivers within the speaker, it is able to handle a wider range of frequencies creating a fuller soundThis makes it the clear winner, especially with the addition of the subwoofer driver. This allows for great overall audio as well as an enhanced bass sound. Although the Sonos Move only has two drivers, the unusual configuration still produces high-quality audio that will not disappoint.
Winner: If you are looking for a fuller sound and prefer a deep bass sound or music with a loaded bass, the JBL Xtreme 2 would be a preferable option for this feature.
The weight of the speakers is essentially what makes the speaker more portable. Since these devices are meant to be portable and easy to carry around with you anywhere, you want to make sure that it actually is able to do this easily. The last thing you want is the weight to make it a hassle to bring around with you.
It is important that even though you are looking for a lightweight speaker, it is also made of durable material that can last through moving around a lot. Especially if you are looking to take your speakers with you wherever you go, A lightweight, durable casing is the best pick for you.
Since these two speakers are high-quality speakers that do not lack sound quality, they are slightly bigger than compact speakers, so the weight is a consideration to make, especially if you value portability.
JBL Xtreme 2
The JBL Xtreme 2 Speakers has a total weight of 5.72 pounds, making it an extremely lightweight speaker that you can pack with you wherever you go. Not only is the speaker lightweight, but the material is made from a durable fabric that lasts through all your adventures. It also features a lightweight rubber housing that stays waterproof and protects your speaker from wear and tear. It is slightly big in size due to the number of drivers, but is extremely lightweight. An added feature that adds to the feature’s portability is the carrying strap that comes with the speaker. It hooks straight onto the speaker, making it easy to toss on your shoulder for all your adventures.
The Sonos Move comes in at a total weight of 6.61 pounds, which is about a pound heavier than the JBL Extreme Speakers. It is still extremely lightweight, especially for the different functions that this speaker can perform. The lightweight casing is IP56 weather-resistant, which can withstand extreme weather such as rain, snow, salt spray, and more. Even though this is a portable lightweight speaker, it can still withstand the many trips you decide to take it on.
The weight is especially important while considering a portable speaker, especially if you do plan to take it everywhere you go. Not only does it need to be light, the material also needs to be durable to work in every situation you need it to. While only lighter by a small amount, over long periods, you can start to feel the weight of the speaker.
The JBL Xtreme Speakers also come with added features such as a carrying strap and waterproof casing that adds to the portability and versatility of the speaker. The Sonos Move is still a lightweight and durable speaker for its many functions, but the JBL Xtreme 2 speakers prove to be superior in this aspect.
Winner: The clear winner of weight and portability is the JBL Xtreme 2 speakers, mainly because it is lighter.
Battery Life on your portable speakers is essential, especially if you are an avid music lover and want to get the most out of your speakers. With such high-quality speakers, the typical battery life is around 10-15 hours. While you may not be playing it for this long every single day, it can be a hassle to constantly need to recharge it everytime you want to use your speakers.
Since these are portable speakers, they do not have super long battery life simply because of the size. A larger and stronger battery will take up more room, making the speakers larger and heavier. Especially if you value convenience or plan to use your speakers to their maximum usage, typically the longer the battery life, the better.
JBL Xtreme 2
The JBL Xtreme 2 Speakers feature a battery life of up to 15 hours of playtime. For the size of the speakers, this is a long-lasting battery that is sure to last even your longest parties and adventures. For such a long-lasting battery, the charge tie for these speakers is only 3.5 hours, making for a quick charge wherever you need it. While you may not need to use your speakers 15 hours at a time, needing to charge your speakers less adds to the convenience of this product.
The Sonos Move features a battery life of up to 11 hours of playtime. While it is considerably less than the battery life of the JBL Xtreme 2, there are many reasons that account for this difference in battery life. While it does have a slightly less battery life, this device has a short 2 hour charge time that lets you quickly get a full charge before you go.
While it is important to note that the JBL has a greater battery life, there are many features that the Sonos Move has that drains more battery. The Sonos Move is equipped to connect to Wifi and also has Amazon Alexa built-in. For the size and features, the Sonos Move has a commendable battery life. However, when it comes down to the battery life itself, the JBL Xtreme speakers last longer, allowing for longer playtime and added convenience.
Winner: The clear winner when it comes to battery life is the JBL Xtreme 2 speakers for its 15 hour extended battery life.
Stand Out Features
The two top speakers on the market are relatively similar, but the stand-out features on the speakers are what set them apart from each other. Depending on the usage of your speakers, you may prefer some features over others. Here we go over some of the key features that set these two products apart to help you choose the best one for you.
Waterproof: This is an added benefit to the JBL Xtreme 2 Speakers. The durable fabric and rubber casing makes these speakers completely waterproof.
- IPX7 waterproof design allow for complete submersion in water
- This makes it a perfect option for beach days or adventures around water
- Weather-resistant allowing for greater versatility
- While the Sonos Move is weather-resistant, it is not completely waterproof
Alexa Built-In: This is an added feature of the Sonos Move that the JBL Xtreme 2 does not have.
- Allows for wifi connection
- Greater versatility with variety of different uses
- Play music, set alarms, check news, get questioned answered all hands-free
- Smart speaker allows for greater convenience
- If you value-added features this is a great option for you
Both portable speakers are top contenders on the market for good reason. They are both extremely portable, convenient and produce high-quality audio for any adventure. While they are both extremely similar, it is important to take a look at the different features to see which one is better for you. Depending on the features you prefer, you will be able to choose one over the other.
Use the Sonos Move if:
- You want better interoperability among all your electronic devices through Alexa
- You want a hands-free listening device.
- You want a more aesthetic pair of speakers for your household.
Use the JBL Xtreme 2 if:
- You want something that can handle the elements, whether you’re indoors in the shower or outdoors by the pool.
- You want to worry less about needing to charge your speakers all the time.
- You want to spend less on a pair of speakers.