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CNET First Look
JBL Charge 3: Top Bluetooth speaker takes one step forward and another backThe next generation of JBL's Charge speaker has improved in some key ways, but it should sound a little better given its larger size.
[SOUND] [MUSIC] This is the JBL Charge 3 wireless bluetooth speaker which looks similar to the highly rated JBL Charge 2 Plus. And at the same list price of $150, but the Charge 3 is about 20% larger and heavier. Well, the charge to plot is water resistant. This model is fully water proof with IPX7 certification which means, it can be completely submerge in water for a short period. Like it's predecessors, you can lay it flat or stand up vertically, it has a USB outport for charging your mobile devices. It delivers an impressive 20 hours of battery life and also has speakerphone capabilities Using the JBL Connect app, you can wirelessly link this to other JBL Connect enabled speakers to amplify the sound and create a bigger soundstage. The big question of course is does this sound better than the JBL Charge 2+? The short answer is no. It plays louder and delivers more bass, but the Charge 2+ sounds a little tighter, and by that I mean it's a better balanced speaker with slightly better definition. However, using the Charge 3 outside in a big open area, such as a patio, its bigger sound will be an asset. It will carry father. The bottom line is, I'm not sure how much of an upgrade the Charge 3 is over the Charge 2 Plus. It does play louder, is fully water proof, and has strong battery life. So it has a lot going for it. But I do have some small reservations about its sound quality. I'm David Carnoy for CNET.com that's the JBL Charge 3. Thanks for watching. [MUSIC]