Ultimate Ears Boom 3 vs JBL Charge 4

For folks that are on the go a lot, it’s a good idea to get yourself a wireless Bluetooth speaker that you can take with you anywhere. You can use it around the home, in the garden and even take it to the beach with you too.

And if you’re looking at portable speakers, then two that you’ll likely come across are the Boom 3 by UE and the Charge 4 by JBL. They’re two very popular models that have been released recently. However, they’re a little different to one another in terms of design.

What are the differences between the UE Boom 3 and the JBL Charge 4? Well, there are a few things that you’ll want to know if you’re thinking about investing in one or the other.

Ultimate Ears Boom 3 vs JBL Charge 4

Both Ultimate Ears and JBL are two of the best known brands when it comes to portable Bluetooth speakers. Whilst JBL have a long track record and make speakers of all different shapes, sizes and budgets, Ultimate Ears are specialists in wireless speakers, and they have a few different models that are pretty decent.

Lets take a look at both of these speakers in closer detail, starting with the UE Boom 3.

Ultimate Ears BOOM 3

Ultimate Ears BOOM 3 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker, Bold Sound + Deep Bass, Bluetooth, Magic Button, Waterproof, 15 Hours Battery, Range of 150 ft, Night Black

Design: From a design perspective, this is one of the better portable speakers out there. It’s lightweight and easy to carry, and it’s a good size to easily fit into your backpack as well. The Boom 3 is definitely a lot more attractive than the Charge series, which although performs well, is a little bit tacky.

Battery Life: The battery life is one area of these speakers where they’re pretty equal to one another. You’re stated to get around 20 hours of battery life from the UE Boom 3, but this is a little over-optimistic. You can charge it using a simple USB-C cable.

Sound: Whilst it does pretty much everything else with perfection, the main criticism of the UE Boom 3 is undoubtedly it’s actually sound quality. Although the sound isn’t bad, when you compare it to the overall quality of the Charge 4, it sounds very tinny in comparison. It can’t cope with delivering bass nearly as well as the Charge.

Pros

The speaker is lightweight and very easy to carry around with you.
It’s 360° design is definitely something that many people like from newer speakers.
Visually, it’s much more attractive and better designed than the Charge 4.

Cons

The main downside of the Boom three is that unlike the same suggests, it doesn’t produce bass as well as the Charge 4.
Battery life isn’t as good as advertised.
Not a massive fan of the UE app.

Overall Verdict: The Ultimate Ears Boom 3 is a perfectly fine portable speaker that’s lacking a little bit in terms of power. But or my money, I’d rather check out the UE Megablast or Megaboom.


JBL Charge 4

JBL Charge 4 Portable Bluetooth Speaker and Power Bank with Rechargeable Battery for More Devices – Waterproof – Sand

Considered as one of the best portable Bluetooth speakers on the market, UE and all the other speaker brands have to go some way to match the Charge series. It’s been some time since the first generations were released – the Charge 1 & 2 weren’t met with the best reviews via critics.

Fast forward to the Charge 3, and things had improved a lot – then to 2018 and the release of the Charge 4, which is what we’re looking at today, and it’s a vast improvement on the original.

Design: The Charge 4 weighs around a kilogram, and it’s a fairly long speaker at 22cm in length as well. It’s a 30 watt speaker that packs a lot of power, and it uses Bluetooth as a means of connection, or AUX if you wish. You can link it up to two devices at once, which comes in handy if you have multiple people using the same speaker.

Battery Life: Unlike many other speakers out there, the JBL Charge 4 has a long 20 hour stated battery life. And in real life, it lives up to expectations and can actually match what the brand state. It has one of the longer battery lives out of any budget portable speaker out there.

Performance: This is one of my favourite options if you’re after a great sounding portable speaker. Like the UE, it has a 60Hz – 20kHz frequency range, but it delivers well at the lower end. The good thing about this speaker is that even when you’re playing it at it’s highest volume, you’re only going to get minimal distortion, if any.

Pros

The JBL Charge manages to deliver good quality sound at all different ranges, including some excellent bass.
Strong and long lasting battery life is impressive.
You have the ability to pair two Charge’s to one device at the same time.

Cons

The main downside of the Charge 4 is the JBL app,, which isn’t as good as it should be.
May get some lag when first connecting up with Bluetooth.
Not as good in the water as it is out of it.

Overall Verdict: For it’s low price, it’s definitely one of the better options out there if you’re looking for a reliable Bluetooth speaker.


Recap

All in all, these speakers are quite similar to one another. Though, there are some dramatic differences between the two, which includes;

Price – These two speakers are often up for the same price, which is probably why they’re compared to each other so much.
Battery – The Charge 4 is the winner in terms of overall battery life, as it’ll last longer than the Boom 3.
Audio – The Charge is the undoubted winner when it comes to sound, as it’s much better overall.
Size – As you’d expect, with more power comes a heavier weight and larger size. The UE Boom 3 is much lighter and better for those travelling often.

Conclusion

Overall, these are both two good quality speakers that have a lot to offer. For your money, the JBL Charge 4 provides better value for money, and it performs better in terms of sound quality. If you’re looking for a lightweight speaker that’s easy to carry, then you could consider checking out the UE Boom 3 too.

About Jon

Hey, I'm Jon. I'm an engineer by trade, so it makes sense that I'm obsessed with anything technology related! On the weekends, you can find me playing around with my computers or fixing something around the house. Feel free to leave a comment if you want to get in touch.

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