Today we are taking a little look at JBL Bluetooth speakers under $500. We have looked at speakers at all ends of the pricing spectrum starting with our The 8 Best Speakers Below $100 article and going up to speakers you would find on our The Best Floor Standing Speakers Under $1000 article. Today, we are right in the middle ground of this price point. I do not think there is a company that actually makes more Bluetooth speakers than JBL so narrowing this down is going to be quite the challenge, but I also think it is going to be fun!
What Makes JBL So Special?
I have looked at many, many JBL Bluetooth speakers over the years so putting this JBL Bluetooth speakers under $500 list together is no small feat. However, I do want to take a moment to share with you why I think so many people love this company. To start with, JBL always try and make their speakers look cool from their BOOMBOX to their Flip, you cannot deny that JBL speakers all have their own funky style. They are also known for offering speakers that are made to be able to be used outside, speakers that can deal with water, dust, and the odd drop from either your drunken brother or one of the kids!
Our Best 4 JBL Bluetooth Speakers Under $500 Reviews
I know that it is usually the lower-priced JBL Bluetooth speakers that come to mind, but they do offer some more higher-end offerings which is what we are looking at today. I decided to go two I have personally tested as well as a couple that I thought looked cool deserve a little extra attention.
While I do not own the JBL Boombox 2 a good friend of mine does and he brought it around while we were having a BBQ recently so I got a good chance to play around with it, especially as forgot to take it with him! There is a more normal version of this that is plain black, but the one I have for you is the camo one which is what my friend has. This thing just looks so cool and fun and it is a perfect example of that JBL style. You are looking at around 420 bucks for this which is not a bad price and 80 bucks under our 500 bucks’ limit. I love the design of this how it has that large handle over the top of it (hence the name boombox) which is great if you are on the go with this, which is what I feel it is intended for. I know my buddy has taken this camping, to the beach and it regularly tours his house. It has a solid build; it is waterproof and the dimensions are 12.76 x 9.33 x 21.97 inches so it is one of the larger Bluetooth speakers from JBL. One other feature I have to mention, is that this can also be used to charge your phones as it has a power bank built in.
JBL proudly states that this is the loudest boombox they offer and I would have to agree with that. We cranked this sucker up and it can get very loud and it has some real punchy bass and very clear vocal clarity. There is no comparison from a sound point of view between this and one of the cheaper speakers that JBL offers. JBL state this offers 24 hours of battery life and I can tell you from my own personal experience that we had this thing on for around 9 hours and it showed no sign of slowing down! Connecting your phone to it is very easy and you can control it all from the app on your phone, but it does have some buttons on it to control basic functions like change volume and skip tracks.
What Other People Are Saying
You know in our quest to find the best JBL Bluetooth speaker under $500, I do not think I have come across one speaker from JBL that does not have a great reputation. This on Amazon at the moment has over 500 customer reviews and 95 percent of these are for either four or five stars. Check out this JBL Boombox 2 unboxing and first impressions if you want to see it in action.
Unfortunately, my buddy came back a couple of days later to take back his JBL Boombox 2. I just fell in love with this thing and thought that it was awesome. As a kid of the 80s, I have always had a soft spot for things that resemble a boombox. Not only does this look cool, but it also sounds great! I think that JBL has done a great job with this and I am very hopeful that Santa (or my wife) reads this and there will be one of these under my tree this Christmas.
- It has a very cool style that I love
- This thing is very loud!
- Even when loud, it has excellent vocal clarity
- It is built like a tank
- The boombox design may not be to everyone’s taste
- It is larger than it looks
2. JBL Xtreme 3
Next up on our list to find out what the best JBL Bluetooth speakers under $500 are we have the JBL Xtreme 3 which I have actually used a great deal. On Amazon, you can get this in camp, black and blue, the blue is the version I have personally used. This is priced at around the 350 bucks mark so if you have $500 to play with, this is excellent value for money. The overall “style” of this is your typical JBL style and I think it looks a bit like a fatter JBL Pill. You can pair this with another one of these and have stereo sound which is really cool. It is waterproof and it has that typical JBL strong and robust body that you would expect. At 5.28 x 11.75 x 5.35 inches it is very compact in its design. It does have a couple of extra cool features in that it has a carrying strap that has a bottle opener and it also offers you the ability to charge your phone! It also offers you around 15 hours of battery life which is more than enough.
I am very happy to report that the sound quality of this is great. I built a shed in the back garden and I had this blasting some awesome 80s rock the whole time and it was great. It manages to be loud, clear and it packs a nice number of bass too. As it is a Bluetooth, you connect your phone to it so you can stream your music. You can control it all from your phone and you then do also have various buttons on the actual speaker too. I know that it is a jump in price from some other JBL Bluetooth speakers, but I do feel that there is a noticeable improvement in volume and clarity over the JBL speakers that are priced in the 100 buck’s mark. I have to admit until I had my head turned by the Boombox 2, I would probably have been cool with this as my main and only portable speaker.
What Other People Are Saying
I found this pretty cool JBL Extreme 3 video review that not only shows off this Bluetooth speaker, it compares it to the two that came before it. I think that when compared to its two older brothers, the 3 does some cool stuff. Check out this video and you can make up your own mind if this is a step up. As of me writing this, Amazon has 421 customer reviews and a very awesome 91 percent of these reviews are positive.
As I said, the JBL Extreme 3 is something I know very well and I think it is great. I have used other Bluetooth speakers that cost considerably more than the 350 bucks that this costs and they are nowhere near as good. At the end of the day, the sound quality of music that is pumped through here is great. However, the impressive build quality, the fact it serves as a power bank, and the impressive battery life really do all add up to make this one of the best JBL Bluetooth speakers under $500.
- I like the chunky, but compact design of this speaker
- It is waterproof and could probably stop a tank!
- It sounds fantastic no matter how loud you have it
- You can also use this as a power bank and a bottle opener
- It may shock you how chunky this is
- Some people think it is not that much of an upgrade over the previous models
While I do not own the JBL Partybox 100 it is something I have had the pleasure of experiencing. This thing is all about having a good time! It has awesome-looking lights that can change colors and it is 26.14 x 13.86 x 14.02 inches so it is great if you want something larger that can really keep the party going. Currently, this is priced at around $350 and this is a very popular speaker, I say that because over the last week this thing has come in and gone out of stock on Amazon a few times! This is a Bluetooth speaker, but it does also have an input for a guitar and a mic which is cool. This has a built-in rechargeable battery and it gives you 12 hours of use. I was at a birthday party and this was what they had in the backyard for the music and I was there most of the day and this thing did not stop!
As this is quite large, you get some very impressive sound out of this. JBL has designed this to be not just loud, but also clear as well. I can tell you first hand that even at louder volumes, this is very impressive in the clarity it provides. The party I was at was playing some current top 40 garbage, but I must admit the sound quality was great even if the music was not. I think that JBL managed to cram all they could in here without putting the price over the 400 bucks mark and that is something I really respect.
What Other People Are Saying
I found this fantastic unboxing and first impressions video which is done by a family and I think that (and party animals) are probably who this is aimed at. What I like here is that the guy tinkers with some of the settings so you can not only see what this looks like, but you also get a good idea of how the sound is too. As of me writing this, there are 1300 reviews for this on Amazon and this has a phenomenal 97 percent five and four star reviews!
I think what they have done with the JBL Partybox 100 is awesome. It is a great party speaker that can get the party going thanks to its loud volume and excellent clarity. I will say that this as far as I know is not waterproof so that is one thing to take into consideration. Still, if you want something that has that extra kick, you have to consider this speaker.
- I love the LED light show it puts on
- This thing can produce some very loud sounds
- You also have an input for a mic and a guitar which is neat
- The clarity of the music even at louder volumes is very impressive
- This thing is not waterproof which means you will have to be careful using it outdoors
- It might be a bit on the large side for some people
4. JBL IRX108
Next up we have this awesome looking JBL IRX108 which is part of the Professional range from JBL. I was very shocked to see that this was priced at around 350 bucks which is a great price. What really drew me to this though was the design. It looks like a professional speaker that you would see Slash having one foot on while doing a riff for Guns n Roses. This is not a “party” speaker like the others we have looked at today, this is for those that want something which is more “professional” and as a result, JBL have made it look as professional as possible. This does have Bluetooth which is why I have selected it for this best JBL Bluetooth speakers under $500 list, but due to the “professional” nature of this, it offers more.
On the back, you also have a mic and line source input too. Not to mention buttons on the back that let you select from one of four presents, a bass boost, and two gain dials for your mic and line source inputs. This offers far more, but as a result, this does not have an internal battery and it does require mains power. The dimensions of this are, 10.15″ x 12.32″ x 19.1″, and this increased size does mean that it should have some real kick in terms of the sound. Although, this is the smallest speaker from this range. I have not personally tested this one out, but I can say that I know JBL very well and I have no reason to doubt the professional sound of this.
What Other People Are Saying
There are many great videos on YouTube for this, but I recommend that you check out this video review which is pretty damn good. What I like about this is that you get a real good sense of the size of this thing, but the dude also showcases the sound capabilities too and he gives it a pretty glowing review. There are not exactly a ton of reviews for this on Amazon, but there are still 239 (as of writing) so we can get a decent sense of what people think about this. The stats show that 91 percent of the reviews are for four and five stars and that is pretty solid if you ask me.
I have to be honest and say that the JBL IRX108 is not aimed at the same kind of person as the other three JBL Bluetooth speakers on this list. This is not a “party time” kind of speaker. It is more for people who want something a bit more professional, perhaps a band, perhaps a person who likes to do demonstrations or speeches. This is the kind of person this speaker is for, but at the same time, for playing music, this thing is great so you are getting the best of both worlds with this.
- I like how it looks like something you would see on a stage
- It has various inputs for line in and a mic
- Plenty of ways to tinker with the sound
- It is great if you want a speaker that offers more than just listening to music
- The design might not suit everyone
- Probably not the ideal option if you want something to just play music
What Is The Best JBL Speaker Under $500?
I always say that we have not looked at a bad speaker today and that 100 percent rings true for all of the speakers that make up this best JBL Bluetooth speakers under $500. While I do not yet own it (if my wife is reading this, come on Christmas is not that far away) I am going for the JBL Boombox 2. This thing offers all that I want in a Bluetooth speaker. To start with, it sounds amazing, I used this with family and friends so I heard all kinds of music played through this. Not only that, the build quality is truly amazing and I just love that boombox design.
I will say that the JBL Xtreme is a close second. That also offers some very impressive sound and it really is built like a tank and I have dropped mine and got it wet like a million times. At 350 bucks it may be the option for you if you want to be considerably under our 500 bucks price limit. If you want “cheaper” be sure to have a look at our Best Bluetooth Speakers Under $200 article which features Bluetooth speakers that are way under 500 bucks.