Spending a day on the beach, camping in nature, or basically being anywhere outdoors is always far more fun when you bring your favorite tunes with you. For that, it’s best to have a portable speaker with you on your next trip. And because inclement weather and accidents will happen, there are a lot of Bluetooth speakers out there that are rugged and durable enough to survive the elements. One of the best makers of heavy-duty portable Bluetooth speakers is JBL, and right now two of its top sellers, the Xtreme and the Flip 5, are available on Amazon at awesome discounted prices.
If you need something impressively loud (and large) that can survive the occasional splashes of water, get the JBL Xtreme for a $177 instead of $300. That’s a huge $123 worth of savings. Or if it’s something more portable and completely waterproof that you want, opt for the JBL Flip 5 for just $100 instead of $140 – a cool $40 discount.
The JBL Xtreme uses the word portable very loosely. At 6.61 pounds, it’s definitely not the lightest Bluetooth speaker out there. But what it lacks in portability it more than makes up for in how amazing it sounds. It boasts two external dual-passive radiators on both ends that pump out terrifically powerful bass and cranking up the volume won’t compromise audio quality at all. It also comes with two metal hooks on both ends so you can attach it to a strap on your bag. Its bottom is also flat so even though it’s cylindrical it wouldn’t go rolling around.
This speaker is covered in mesh fabric and its ports (including two USB ports to charge devices) are protected by a zipper, making it splash-proof. It’s not completely waterproof though, so don’t dip it in the pool. Control buttons are found up top, including power, volume control, play/pause, Bluetooth, and JBL Connect, which allows it to pair up with other wireless JBL speakers to play music simultaneously. Finally, the JBL Xtreme can last a tremendous 15 hours at normal volume. Bringing the volume even lower will allow you to squeeze an extra couple of hours out of it.
The latest iteration of the acclaimed Flip series (the Flip 4 was our choice for the best rugged Bluetooth speaker of 2019), the JBL Flip 5 offers a bigger sound, better battery life, and a USB-C port for quick charging. Like its predecessor, it can be submerged in meter-deep water for up to 30 minutes, making it the perfect companion for beach and pool parties. Control buttons are pretty standard, including play/pause, track skipping (you can’t skip backwards though) and volume control.
When it comes to sound quality, the JBL Flip 5 is pretty good, although not by any means audiophile-grade. It doesn’t go nearly as loud as the JBL Xtreme, and the bass won’t make your innards vibrate, but it still packs plenty of punch. When fully charged, the Flip 5 can last up to 12 hours, just three hours shy of the Xtreme. Not bad.
Want a speaker with mind-blowing acoustics even though it’s not 100% waterproof? Get the JBL Xtreme. If you’re clumsy and can settle for good (but not great) sound, then the cheaper JBL Flip 5 is perfect for you.
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