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Friday, June 26, 2015

First Impressions: Marshall Kilburn & JBL Xtreme... and the winner is?


It was a stressful evening. I got the Marshall Kilburn from my friend and wanted to concentrate on this next, prepare some preview video or even a full review. But arriving at home the JBL Xtreme was standing in front of my door.
I already had a short listen to the Kilburn together with my friend where we did some switching between the RIVA Turbo X and the Kilburn, and although quite a bit fuller sounding than the RIVA, the Kilburn didn't really manage to knock my socks off, but when I turned on the JBL I immediately knew this is going to be more fun. Suddenly the Kilburn started sounding a bit honky and tinny. Both are not neutral speakers like the RIVA for example, but the JBL is simply tuned for more fun. It is a bass-monster, very powerful, louder than the Kilburn, louder than the RIVA Turbo X and probably as loud as the Beats Pill XL (RIP), but with the difference, that the JBL still sounds punchy and powerful with lots of bass at maximum volume and the bass sounds like bass, not as if someone was knocking on wood. I couldn't notice any stronger distortion at maximum volume, and although there was some slight dynamic processing, it was not as extreme as on the JBL Charge 2 or on the Infinity One. The JBL Xtreme is a real party machine. Take it to the beach and crank it to the maximum, it will still sound impressive. They claim 40W but from AC-power, I tested if it became any softer from battery and although there is a slight difference in loudness when run from AC-power, I had to check several times to really hear the difference, it is by far not as pronounced as on the Harman Kardon Onyx for example. The JBL Xtreme gets just slightly louder maybe 1-2dB when plugged in, but it doesn't reduce bass or deteriorate sound by any means.
Everyone who is already in panic looking for some substitute for his Pill XL, because he sent it to Apple already, don't look any further. Even if you are still undecided if you are really going to send it in, just take the 300$ from apple and order the JBL Xtreme immediately!
Now the Megaboom really became an expensive toy.

Meanwhile I managed to prepare a short introduction of the Kilburn and soundcheck between Kilburn and the Xtreme, as well as a full review for the Xtreme here.

Please have a listen and let me know what you think:


And the winner is? I think I must have a bit more listen to the Kilburn...

77 comments:

  1. Hi Oluv.Can I ask for advice. I have three candidates, Klipsch KMC3, Marshall Kilburn and JBL Xtreme. me mainly about what the biggest battery life, sound quality and a good deep bass. Which should I buy? Thanks

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    1. just bought the killburn, super happy with it tbh

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    2. The kilburn looks amazing, really. The quality of the product is here. I'm a musician and very sensitive to the brand Marshall. So I bought the kilburn and then exchange it... for a JBL Xtreme, cause the performance are simply great, quality of sound, bass...

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    3. I would like to know the name of the song you played right after you said "or something more modern" around the 4:00 mark. Thank You.

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    4. I have listened to the Marshall lineup (via aptX) and the Acton had the best sound overall. It was so much better subjectively than the Kilburn that uses the same drivers but in a smaller cabinet.

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  2. Klipsch is by far the best sounding (semi-)portable speaker with great amount of bass. The only problem with it is the whistling issue - port noise. Check this topic out before buying one. It comes out not only with some bass-heavy tracks like club music.
    The Teufel Boomster might be a gold spot, though it's not as powerful as the KMC 3. I still have to compare them each next to each. And I haven't heard the Marshall yet.

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  3. I listen to mainly rock, blues and jazz. So with the catcall might not be the problem, I think. Still, I like the Infinity One, he plays so well. I'll wait yet how it will play the JBL Xtreme.

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    1. The Klipsch has the widest sound scene and stereo effect. I really enjoyed it, though I'm into electronic music and it just whistled too often. Anyway - you shouldn't experience it at all with genres mentioned by you. An yea, I'm also waiting for some more in-depth info of the quality of this new JBL :)

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  4. I'm currently waiting for your review. Whatever that will bring, my order @JBL - may - be a no brainer, depending on the outcome. :)

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  5. This isn't on the JBL website. How can we preorder, it's not there. They have an I pad doc speaker listed as JBL Extreme. I wish I new the correct name for this great speaker that is comparable to the pill XL

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    1. It is on the German page. As well as Flip 3.

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  6. Already in two weeks will be available the smallest one of three JBL's Coke-Can-Brothers - Flip 3. :)

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    1. The Flip 3 has increased from 2 x 6 Watts to 2 x 8 Watts (see PDF specs), which is even a bit more than the Charge 2+. However, its bass frequencies go down to 85 Hz, whereas the Charge 2+ reaches 75 Hz (like the Charge 2).

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    2. The Flip 3 is considerably smaller, which means has less enclosure volume. The transducers and passive radiators are smaller as well. So it shouldn't be surprise, that Charge reaches deeper bass.
      But new Flip is in this area anyway much better, than previous models (Flip - 150 Hz, Flip 2 - 100 Hz).
      .
      Hopefully there won't be any DSP issues with new models.

      -nedj-

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    3. The JBL Xtreme has also only 70Hz but it wipes the floor with any other speaker I have heard so far, it is the tuning of JBL that makes them sound so special. The DSP issues at the beginning were maybe even a reason for that, it was not quite mature by then, but meanwhile after Infinity One (also around 70-75Hz only) JBL Charge 2+ and the Xtreme they have the DSP good under control. They seem to apply psychoacoustic tricks to make the bass appear stronger or deeper than it actually is. The JBL Xtreme sounds fatter and more full-bodied than the Sounddock Portable, although the Sounddock Portable reaches much deeper. I compared both at levels close to maximum today and the Bose lost, it could play even louder but with such strong distortion, that it was not possible to listen to. The JBL simply outperformed it, despite having only bass reaching down to 70Hz. I could even imagine the JBL Flip 3 to sound better than the JBL Charge 2...

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    4. If there is a duplicate, I am sorry...I hate Blogger...Do you know if this will ever come to American shores? Also, have you side-by-sided this with the KMC3?

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    5. I emailed JBL yesterday and they said it will launch in the US in mid-August

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  7. ExclusiveMontages : You can specify how long can play Klipsch KMC3 on the battery D 9000mAh at full power. You have tested? Or powerbank?

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    Replies
    1. Unfortunately not - I only used in with AC power. But under the Oluv's video with KMC 3 I think he mentions how long it lasts.

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    1. Beolit yet 15. Wow. A beautiful sound. But the battery lasts three hours at full power, what I read. It is for me a little.

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  9. http://uk.jbl.com/jbl_product_detail_uk/jbl-xtreme-black.html

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  10. Works out at €350 but ready to ship according to website

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  11. Bro which one is better for this price range Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay A2 or JBL Xtreme in
    1- sound quality & Bass
    2- battery life
    3- technology and options

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    1. They are too different to give any valueable opinion I am afraid. the JBL Xtreme is a power bazooka sound shooter granade for loudness and party fun. The A2 is not sure what... but the JBL runs circles around the A2 in overall performance, much fatter sound, pairable with another one for stereo, much better battery, the one on the A2 is a bad joke. but the JBL is also twice as heavy and quite a bit larger. It is maybe to early for such a claim, but the JBL is definitely one of the most impressive portable speakers I have heard so far. You must like bass to really appreciate the JBL, if you are rather after flat neutral sound, I would choose neither of them.

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    2. i'm more into electronic dance music such as techno, tech house, Deep house music...
      as i understand from you for this kind of clubbing music JBL is a better choice ??

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    3. for this genre the Xtreme might be even the best speaker out there currently. no whistling bassreflex ports, no rattling passive radiators... there may be some slight distortion at very high levels especially with loud uncompressed house-kicks, but I have not heard a single speaker which would play this 100% clean.

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    5. Thanks a lot for your fast replies, i really can't waiting for your full video review of jbl speaker.

      i also want your opinion because i live in Portugal and i am wondering how can i get one, when trying to enter the jbl website on other countries of Europe there is no option to buy online, do you have an idea how and where can i buy it and ship it to Portugal ??
      it is also not available on any amazon website...

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    6. The UK JBL site has it available online for 350euro

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  12. Man im lovin what ims seeing in the revuew and the Comments! !!! Im already down for snagging 2 of these bad boys!!!! I love JBL'S Charge Line and i was set to Get an infinity one. ..until i ran into this ...main selling point for me was the JBL Connect feature im glad the finally added that in because o had been using aux cables and a headphone splitter to sync my 2 charges (2) together. ..But i sold 1 of them and got an Onyx Studio! !! But the Rxteme seems like more of a charge 3 than the Infinity. ..Hope these are sold at Best Buy soon!!!! Also waiting on some Vid Reviews!!! Cant wait to own these 2...wounder if i can fit them on my scooter!? XD

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    1. The Xtreme really met or even exceeded the expectations i had for this speaker. i cannot test JBL-connect yet, as I have only one, but my friend is going to dump his Kilburn after having heard the Xtreme so if he gets one soon, I could try pairing mine with his...

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    2. How you compared jbl xtreme to B&O Beolit 15? You not mention Beolit 15 when talking best speakers out there but still your review in amazon you tell that could be one of best speaker what you have listened.

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  13. Would it be possible for us to see some size comparisons between the Xtreme and other speakers like the Envaya mini?
    Thanks

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  14. As always thanks for the fantastic work, really gives a clear picture of what each speaker is capable of. For holiday use (in a small apartment), I have a bose soundlink mini but as you point out it does not sound great off-axis and suffers from some thin treble. I would imagine the JBL Xtreme has a much wider soundstage than the soundlink mini? What are your initial impressions of how it handles the mid and high range frequencies? I would not like something too boomy in a small space!

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  15. Thanks for the perfect job Oluv. Both speakers are playing very well. I like the fuller sound, so for me it is better to JBL. I would like to know which battery lasts longer if Marshall or JBL? But even so, I'll probably order the JBL. :-)

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  16. Please put it into an interactive database, so I can compare with the Beolit 15.Thank you.

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  17. Awesome! Xtreme seems like the One To Beat :) I definitely hear the same processing from the Charge series, a kind of isolation of frequencies, but I can live with that with the amazing battery and lack of distortion. I just ordered (for fun) some Xiaomi small speakers to maybe review as well; do you post your settings for your recorder anywhere? I have a little binaural similar to yours that I got for my daughter, but I have no idea the best way to set it up, turn the mics, etc for this kind of recording.

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  18. Great short review! As I can hear the Kilburn seems to have a more "precise" bass range whereas the Xtreme tends to sound more "punchy" (more like: in-your-face-mega-punch) as you wrote. Is it possible to lower the bass momentum on the Xtreme manually - or by using some JBL app? Thank you. Very excited for an in-depth review of the Xtreme!

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  19. Hi! What's the best in your opinion? The JBL Xtreme or the Marshall Kilburn? Soundwise which one has the most accurate sound? I know that the Xtreme plays louder. This it play much louder or there's not much difference?

    Thanks!

    P.S: Awesome blog!

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    1. He definitely prefers the Xtreme, though it's tuned more for fun, whereas the Marshall is more flat I guess. And the Kilburn tends to lower the volume by much when you listen to it at high volume and when the bass comes in - it's very annoying. I will avoid this speaker thanks to that.

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  20. Ordered the Xtreme 2 days ago, cant wait to get my hands on it! I was looking for a great sounding bt-speaker, and bought the Beolit 15 but it didnt work at all, (broken already when i unboxed it) so i returned it and got my money back(which was a bit tricky, they did not want to give my money back at first. I wont be buying any B&O products anymore, that's for sure. ) After that i almost bought the (over?)hyped Bose Soundlink 3, but luckily i saw your video of the Jbl on Youtube and was so intrigued that i had to buy the Xtreme right away! I have the Klipsch Kcm3, and dont know how well the Jbl will do against it yet, but if it even comes close i will be very impressed. And i dont have buy Dbatteries anymore so that's a plus!

    Keep up the good work,

    -Tony

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    1. please let us know how you like it against the Klipsch. I had the impression that at lower levels the JBL might even have an edge, it simply sounds huge already when played low, the Klipsch needs some volume and of course shines at high levels and it can also play quite a bit louder, but the difference between both is much less than you would have had with a Soundlink 3.
      I would have prepared a review of the Xtreme, but this takes some time and I think it will take another week or 2 until I can publish something really worth reading.

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    2. Sure, i'll do some testing as soon as the Jbl arrives next week. I had to order it directly from Harman since only a few stores in Finland had it in stock, and those places only had the blue and red versions of the speaker for some reason. I think the black version looks the best. But, i'll update when i get it!

      -Tony

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    3. Good luck! I ordered mine one week ago when it was still "in stock", but was told by the customer support that the "stock changed" to mid-July. So my order was postponed to the 15th of July. :-(

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  21. Thanks for your great reviews and comparisons!! I love how real and accessible they are to the average user who wants to skip out on the marketing speak and know what the speaker will actually do! After my Beats Pill XL got recalled by Apple, I'm now keen to try out the JBL Xtreme. It looks like it will tick all the boxes for me. The annoying bit is that in Australia we will have to wait until September!!

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    1. Any indication of price when it releases in Australia?

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    2. AUD $399 is what I've been told. Seems inline with similar speakers

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  22. Hi Oluv,

    does JBL Extreme have Apt-X? If not, is big dissapoitment... the size is also a bummer, seems gigantic, even bigger than Infinity.
    I would not call it portable anymore...

    Without apt-X...it will have again big latencies (youtube, like my BOSE mini) unlike Denon which plays amazing synchronized movies/music, but pauses for half second to buffer stuff (annoying).

    The sound will also be compressed much more...no matter how good the DAC/speaker is, you get weaker source music... simply if I send half the data into the speaker it's no go, not for £250 pounds (I'm London based). Note - Android can't use same codecs as iPhone can via bluetooth (iPhone never has aptX so you should get some device for comparison that does have it) so they sound worse if AAC is not used... (iPhone can use it). Myself, I simply require Apt-X from any bluetooth speaker... as the source I'm giving into speaker is of most importance!

    btw, reading your blog for some time now (half year I guess) having couple of speakers, DENON being my favorite, Bose mini being biggest dissapoitment (can't understand that halloo around it). Denon has 3-4 hours of battery life which is annoying for me and would not recommend it. I'm charging it twice as often as I did with Bose, but maybe I'm listening to it more. Anyway, good luck with your side work - is fantastic job you do here!

    Karol (London)

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  23. Hello :)

    I am curious to know at the end of the day, which one is more powerful and better sounding overall, the infinity one or the new extreme. Thank you!

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  24. Dear Oluv's
    Congratulations for your great reviews and research!!!
    How about the expensive Sony srs-X9?
    Have you tested it before?
    Regards, Gustavo.

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  25. I wouldn't expect a big sound from the SRS-X9, just a very clear sound. I shortly owned it and compared it directly to the much, much cheaper Bose Soundlink Air (which is like Sounddock portable). It was not more room-filling than the Soundlink Air, just a lot clearer. The bass is quite limited given the wattage of 154 and the price.

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  26. Hey Oluv,

    Hoping that you have time to share your opinion and expertise to make the best choice of what is available in Europe at the moment.

    Here in Niederlande (with the price category not being relevant just want the best quality for outdoor and reasonably compact usage) I am looking at this JBL Extreme and the Beolit 15. Or perhaps wait for the Riva Turbo X to come available.

    What would you recommend? Or is there another available or upcoming model that is superior?

    I have listened to the JBL extreme, marshall kilburn and Bose soundlink III in Mediamarkt Amsterdam today and preffered the JBL extreme by sound and volume although the styling/design kind of sucks and can't judge battery life at max volume.

    In the B&O store I did like the beolit 15, but have doubts about battery life after reading your Notes in your database.

    Vielen dank,

    Take care,

    Sandor

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  27. How does the JBL Xtreme compair to the good old Go + play, in sound, punch and loudness?

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    1. The go&play when run from batteries or from mains?

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    2. the go&play has a wider frequency response and deeper bass due to larger drivers and a larger housing. i would say that the go&play was more refined, quite a bit boosted but still refined, the Xtreme is more the kind of car subwoofer kind of style, you know, bass to 11 and volume to the max. it is not bad and quite punchy but bass can be a bit too much especially if not listened outdoors.
      loudnesswise the go&play should have an edge here, i only remember that mine farted quite a bit at high levels, probably the bass reflex port, the Xtreme doesn't fart as it has passive radiators. Overall I would say the Xtreme is a scaled down go&play with a more bloated bass.

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    3. Fart, yes that's true☺️ But sound is quite high before that happends. I'm still amazed of the sound quality of the go&play.

      I guess it then come down to shape and form. I love bass, so usually not a problem. But the rest must also follow, refinement is a keyword I think.

      The Xtreme shape reminds me of the old JVC boomblaster. Witch also gives me good old memories.

      And it's cool that you can connect two Jbl's together for the ultimate party outside.

      I'am definitely going to check it out when it comes to the stores in my hometown.

      Thanks for your insight and a throughly great page.

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  28. hi oluv! will you review the MARSHALL ACTON? i am curios...thank you and compliments

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  29. JBL Xtreme oder Beolit 15 ?

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  30. Hallo,

    in meinem örtlichen Elektromarkt steht seit heute ein JBL Xtreme, auf den ich eigentlich, nach dem Lob hier, ein Auge geworfen habe. Ich habe ihn direkt ausprobiert und gegen mein SoundLink Mini I verglichen. Nicht der beste Vergleich, aber mir gefällt der Klang des Mini auf Achse gut.

    Das JBL finde ich in allen Tonbereichen spritzig und knackig, bei Bässen und Höhen, aber auch bei den Mitten. Es ist deutlich weniger vom Hörwinkel abhängig als das SoundLink Mini, sprich: Das Abstrahlverhalten ist nicht so fokussiert. Das gefällt mir ausgesprochen gut. Von Neutralität kann keine Rede sein, es ist ein Spaßlautsprecher, wie auch das SoundLink Mini.

    Was mir nicht gefällt: Der geringere Tiefgang! Ich finde, dass das SoundLink Mini - bei moderater Lautstärke - hörbar tiefer spielt. Sicherlich kommt es auf die Musik an, aber ich hatte eine Reihe HipHop-Stücke abgespielt, bei denen für mein Empfinden beim JBL Xtreme nichts zu vernehmen war, beim SoundLink Mini hingegen schon. Das finde ich sehr, sehr schade. Ich hätte mir gewünscht, dass JBL bei geringeren Lautstärken eine geringere untere Grenzfrequenz zulässt und diese bei steigender Lautstärke anhebt, bis eben die nun angegebenen 70 Hz erreicht sind. Der JBL Xtreme ist nicht bassarm, ganz im Gegenteil. Er könnte nur für meinen Geschmack tiefer spielen, insbesondere bei geringer Lautstärke.

    Ansonsten macht der JBL Xtreme eine sehr gute Figur: Robuste Verarbeitung, gute Funktionalität, kraftvoller Klang. Mit den 2 kg ist er mit einer Hand etwas schwerer zu greifen als ein etwas leichteres SoundLink III. Klanglich finde ich den JBL besser als das SLIII, aber auch hier fehlt mir der Tiefgang im direkten Vergleich.

    Das sind ein paar erste Eindrücke von mir. Vielleicht lege ich ihn mir noch zu, allerdings würde ich eher 240 € als angemessen empfinden.

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    1. Den Xtreme bekommst Du im saturn Baunatal aktuell für 249 Euro, im Angebot (war er schon) für 199 Euro. (so weit ich weiß, liefernd die auch)
      PS: wenn Du "Tiefgang" magst, ist vielleicht der KLIPSCH KMC1 eine Alternative für Dich. Der geht bis unter 30Hz, ohne die Bässe besonders zu betonen (wie es SLM I und II und der Xtreme machen, mit erstaunlichen Ergebnissen beim SLM).
      Der KMC1 ist tw. um 100 Euro zu bekommen.

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  31. Hello. What about this Xtreme by JBL and the Braven 850/855? what is more powerfull and clear?

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  32. Something I appreciate from JBL is the fact that their speakers never over emphasise the midrange to give the impression that they are louder, and that's exactly what I hear from the Marshall, especially at high volume.
    I've always been a huge JBL fan. Started of with the old JBL Onstage 200ID, which was I think still sounds great despite the fact that it has no bottom end.
    The Charge 2 changed my life! The technology behind passive radiators made a massive impression on me, and I fooled a lot of people into thinking that the Charge 2 is bigger than what it actually is.
    After I saw your review on the JBL Extreme I went out and got one the very same day. And I have to say, I am thoroughly impressed.
    JBL smoothed out the DSP issues that were an irritation of the Charge 2 (If you don't know what I mean, play any track by "Lorde")
    I prefer a flat, more natural sounding speaker, but the high and low boosts that JBL have applied toe the Extreme is great. It just adds that crispness and punch that you want when jammin' to your favourite music!
    Also think that the Bi-Amplification improved the quality of sound. In my opinion the Extreme has a "cleaner" high frequency response, unlike the Charge 2 which has a "digital harshness" to high frequencies.

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  33. Estética
    MARSHALL KILBURN > JBL XTREME

    Graves
    MARSHALL KILBURN < JBL XTREME

    Medios
    MARSHALL KILBURN > JBL XTREME

    Agudos
    MARSHALL KILBURN > JBL XTREME

    Potencia Global
    MARSHALL KILBURN < JBL XTREME

    Autonomía
    MARSHALL KILBURN > JBL XTREME

    Precio
    MARSHALL KILLBURN < JBL XTREME


    Estáis de acuerdo?

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  34. Is Jbl extreme worth extra 100€ compared to the kilburn?

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  35. Dear friends,
    may i have your help?


    I've bought my JBL Charge 2 (Blue) in Portugal, one year ago, infortunately it stop to work.
    I´ts a very nice speaker. I was very happy, until a few days ago...
    Even after completely charged, when i press the on/Off buttun it stays On only for one more second, after this few moments it turns off. Is there any solution to solve this problem?
    Thanks!
    Felisberto
    email- familiacontente@sapo.pt

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  37. Hello Oluv
    I would be grateful for some advice, purely based on sound quality which of the two would you recommend :
    JBL Xtreme or Riva Turbo X
    Thx in advance
    popsys

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  39. Hello Oluv
    Since posting my last post, I have become aware that there are other great-sounding speakers worth checking out, would you have a firm recommendation from the following : JBL Xtreme, Fugoo XL, Riva Turbo X, Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 2 and Sony srs x-55, my use would be purely indoor but also to double up as TV speaker instead of cheap Soundbars Many Thx in advance popsys

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  40. For me JBL extreme sound poor on middle frequency, the sound is colored not natural.
    On the comparison what's about potentiometers? Was there on middle range for bass and treble?

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