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Soundcore Boom 2 vs JBL Xtreme 4 speaker ➜ Champ Boom Friday, May 24, 2024 - by Soumya Roy watch on youtube

Soundcore Boom 2 just crashed the new JBL Xtreme 4 speaker

Boom 2 has massive power & way more bass impact this time Friday, May 24, 2024 - by Soumya Roy

photo of soundcore boom 2 and jbl xtreme 4 speaker

Xtreme 4 and Boom 2 are both pretty new speakers at the time of writing this article. Previously I published an article comparing the JBL Xtreme 4 and Xtreme 3, which is getting a lot of attention. Today, I want to compare the Soundcore Boom 2 with the JBL Xtreme 4 to show you guys that the Xtreme 4 is not that extreme anymore, compared to similar category cheaper speakers. Big news, the Boom 2 Plus is coming. I really like the design and have a feeling that the Boom 2 Plus is gonna be a banger. If you wanna reserve your Boom 2 Plus, please check the affiliate link - there are gifts. Back to the Boom 2 vs Xtreme 4, today’s article. I think you are gonna learn a lot today - please read the full article.

Overall Thoughts

The Xtreme 4 has a much better battery, but doesn’t have the powerful sound and fancy LED lights of Boom 2 speaker. To be honest, the beat-synced lights on the passive rads of Boom 2 look super attractive, they’re pretty bright too. The Xtreme 4 offers a premium design and build compared to the Boom 2 speaker. However, JBL Xtreme 4’s 330 USD price tag vs Soundcore Boom 2’s 130 USD makes the Boom 2 a no-brainer.

Inside-the-box Comparison

Soundcore Boom 2 comes with an updated packaging from previous Boom series speakers. There is foam protection inside the box now. The speaker is wrapped with thin soft smoky looking plastic foil. With the speaker unit, you will also get a quick start guide and a charging cable. Depending on where you’re located, you will probably get a safety card and a happy card. The packaging seems minimal and the cable is C to C.

On the contrary, the JBL Xtreme 4 has cardboard molds for the main speaker unit and cardboard inserts for the other accessories. I will say that the foam inserts on the Boom 2 will provide better shock absorption and protection than Xtreme 4’s cardboard molds. There are soft pouches on the X4 for the accessories. This is a quality addition for sure to have pouches for each accessory. The included Type-C charger is a proprietary one, with a non-removable cable. The USB-C to C cable on the Boom 2 is more versatile but comes without the charger. However, Xtreme 4 has the charger included in the box, all ready to go. With the Type-C charger, you also get a carrying strap and user guide inside the X4 pack.

So, I think overall the JBL Xtreme 4 has better packaging and additional accessories. Also, you need to remember that the X4 is way more expensive than the Boom 2. If you are from the UK, there will be a UK AC 2-pin plug adapter. They are all JBL-branded accessories. You should check out the manuals for Boom 2 and Xtreme 4 speakers.

Design & Build Analogy

I like many characteristics of Boom 2’s new design, but also there are some design choices that I don’t like. I don’t really like the look of the front metal grille. Sometimes you can make plastic look like metal or metal look like plastic. I think because of the color and coating of the metal grille, it looks a bit cheap and plasticky. But they did a better job this time with the plastic body and raw materials. The Boom 2 doesn’t feel that cheap, hollow or plasticky like the old Motion Boom. It feels solid with decent build quality but not premium. The passive radiators look more bold now, which I like. The back has Soundcore branding - a sign of quality. Overall, with just good design and solid build, the Boom 2 adds more value.

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There is a drastic change in the bottom design of the JBL Xtreme 4. The new removable battery design is very thoughtful and the large battery compartment is located at the bottom. Because of this removable battery design, the contact area for the bottom feet is changed in a good way. They’re more thicker and widespread, which adds sturdiness. The Xtreme 4 has solid build quality, which seems and feels like it’s been built to last for years. The new big bold logo on X4 with the red accent looks cool. JBL Xtreme 4 is heavier at 2100 grams vs 1700 grams of the Boom 2. So, even though the Boom 2 has a solid build, the plastic material feels pretty cheap. However, Xtreme 4 offers a premium build at a much higher price.

Configuration Check

The Boom 2 has a unique configuration compared to other speakers. It has 1 big racetrack woofer in the middle and 2 tweeters on the corners of the front side. This setup can process stereo tracks but you don’t get proper stereo with the Boom 2. There will be less separation than a 2-woofer setup. The 2 tweeters will only affect the stereo imaging. New Boom 2 has 2 fancy-looking passive radiators on the lateral sides. They have massive flex/excursion. The back has a USB-C port for charge-in and a USB-A port for power bank feature. The woofer on the Boom 2 is 120 mm x 90 mm in size and the tweeters are 20 mm in diameter each. The power distribution is 50 watts for the single big woofer and 15 watts each for the tweeters. Maximum output power is 80 watts when the speaker is running on battery power.

photo of Soundcore Boom 2 vs jbl xtreme 4 speaker teardown

JBL Xtreme 4 has 2 front woofers, 2 front tweeters and 2 side passive radiators. The woofers are 2 x 70 mm in diameter and the tweeters are 2 x 20 mm. Not sure about the exact RMS power rating of the drivers and the differences between them but the woofers are around 20 watts and the tweeters are around 15 watts each on battery power. I really like the side passive radiators of the Xtreme 4 speaker. Their design is great with massive flex. So with better stereo imaging and separation, the X4 has a better configuration in my opinion. You can connect multiple units for wide-stereo or multi-mono - more on features section.

Sound Quality Comparison

Let’s check their frequency response first. The frequency response for the Boom 2 was recorded with BassUp turned on. Check out Alan Ross Reviews for detailed frequency response analysis. I am comparing both of them in their specific default sound signature with additional features (if any) turned on that can provide peak performance. Check out the JBL Xtreme 4 vs Xtreme 3 article that I wrote - a lot more important details there.

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So the Boom 2 has a v-shaped frequency response that shows a huge lift in the low and high-end. I am analyzing it at 60% volume with BassUp turned on. It’s a massive bass on the Boom 2. The bass and treble are more than 6 dB up compared to the mids. So mids are recessed, but lows and highs are boosted significantly. It’s a proper v-shaped frequency response. That’s a party-tuning and good for outdoors - lack in the mids.

Soundcore Boom 2 frequency response photo of jbl xtreme 4 frequency response

The Xtreme 4 has a bright sound signature, which is because of the upward slant in the highs. It has bass and treble boost, but nowhere near a proper v-shaped response, as the dip is in the lower mids at 320 Hz vs Boom 2’s midrange dip. Xtreme 4 has a pretty narrow bass peak at around 55 Hz, which is pretty deep for a speaker of that size. Boom 2’s bass peak is at 70 Hz, but it has a more rounded bass response than the Xtreme 4. So the X4 will sound deeper depending on tracks at average volume, but Boom 2 will sound more powerful.

So overall, from the frequency response analysis, we can predict that the Boom 2 will sound muddy because of the recessed mids. However, the Xtreme 4 will sound treble heavy and bright. Both will have less upper bass than the original track. Now let's check how they sound in real-world testing. Advanced speakers can make real-time changes.

Low Volume Check - 50%

At lower volumes, the Boom 2 has a massive bass boost going on. It’s more than 2 dB for the mid-bass and more than 4 dB boost in the upper-bass when comparing its track response to the original. Overall, it’s a huge boost for low-level listening. This makes the sound pretty muddy, which makes you lose a lot of details in the midrange. The boost in the high-end helps to provide some clarity and shimmer, but you don’t hear clarity in the mids. However, the vocals pop and have an okay definition with just okay details.

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Luckily Xtreme 4 provides a more critical listening experience at lower volumes. The bass is deep but not overpowered. Also, it has decent midrange details and the highs are pushed a little, which helps to provide clarity and openness. At these lower volumes, we are talking about mostly indoor listening. So the JBL Xtreme 4 is a clear winner here with overall better details, accuracy and deeper bass. Boom 2 needs low-level custom tuning.

Average Volume check - 75%

At this sort of average 60 - 70% listening volume, the Boom 2 still shows a boost in the bass compared to the original track, but the boost is not that insane now. Also, as you leave the low volume range, the mids will increase more than the bass because of the limitation of power. So, the mids are brought back to life now at 70% volume. The Boom 2 by default has a brighter nature - the treble boost. That continues here but now it sounds more detailed and mature. It is a little bit more balanced now with no lack of clarity - not bass-heavy now. However, the lack of stereo separation is present but instrument separation is a bit better.

Boom 2 vs xtreme 4 custom EQ frequency response

Soundstage, stereo separation and instrument separation are a bit better on the Xtreme 4. However, the gap we discovered at the “low volume check” is closing now. The Xtreme 4 still sounds slightly deeper but overall even less powerful bass. This is because the X4 starts to limit the bass response after 65% volume. The Boom 2 doesn’t limit the bass that early in the volume scale. When I say “X4 sounds deeper” - it means that the X4 has more gain at 50 Hz than Boom 2. However, throughout the 50 Hz to 100 Hz range the Boom 2’s average gain is a bit higher than Xtreme 4. For this, even though the X4 may sound deeper, the Boom 2 sounds more powerful in the bass area. Mids are better on the Xtreme 4 speaker.

Max Volume Check - 100%

It seems like, the configuration of the Boom 2 has a clear disadvantage (less stereo) here. But from a different angle, one big woofer setup is able to pack massive power in a much smaller body. So you gain some and you also lose some with the Boom 2 - some innovation. The loudness is pretty great, good for small house parties. It’s powerful but the bass doesn’t seem as powerful as lower volumes. So the mids and highs increase but the bass doesn’t increase proportionally towards maximum volume. The Boom 2 sounds bright but not very screamy and scratchy like other (JBL Xtreme 4) even smaller speakers. The sound can definitely be improved to achieve a more balanced pleasant sound. However, Boom 2 is good for outdoors.

Boom 2 vs xtreme 4 maximum volume frequency response

This is ridiculous, a lot of interesting things going on here. The Xtreme 4 provides a bit more clean, precise and tight bass response. But it’s not pushed like the Boom 2, in its default mode. So, after 70% the X4 keeps going on sounding less and less powerful than the Boom 2 speaker. What’s very interesting, the Xtreme 4 comes out as the loudest on average loudness measurement (LUFS). This is because of the mids and highs being pushed so hard on the Xtreme 4. So, the X4 sounds very scratchy and screamy now. Even though the X4 comes out as slightly louder, the Boom 2 almost crashed the Xtreme 4 by its powerful bass. Boom 2 is a clear winner, which sounds more balanced, powerful and enjoyable.

Custom EQ Check

I did analyze the Boom 2 in its BASS mode, however, if the bass is too much you can turn it off. But what if the bass is too low with BassUp off, you then use the custom 9-band eq. The crazy thing about Soundcore speakers is that they have app support with custom 9-band EQ there. So if you don’t like the default sound signature, you can tailor the sound to your personal taste using the EQ sliders. The Boom 2 has a heavy bass boost when BassUp is on. So you can use the custom EQ to bring the bass down a bit. Also, the mids and highs can be changed too - lots of flexibility for 130 USD. The image shows a custom EQ that produces close to flat frequency response. You can tune the new JBL Xtreme 4 too in a similar way.

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You can significantly change the sound signature by using a custom EQ. The custom EQ got upgraded from 3 bands to 5 bands on the new Xtreme 4. Probably the 5-band EQ will not come to the X3 via any software update, because there will be one less reason to buy the new speaker. The default custom with sliders in the middle is the JBL signature sound. The default signature sound is nowhere near a flat or balanced sound.

Best close to flat custom eq for Soundcore Boom 2 speaker

However, you can change the sound to a somewhat balanced sound signature using the 5-band EQ. Whether it’s getting more balanced or not, the important thing is that the EQ bands have a significant effect on the sound. So you can control the bass, mids and highs in a good way to your personal taste. But still the app doesn’t have the ability to set more than one custom EQ. Remember, initially Soundcore also didn’t have it, but now they do.

jbl xtreme 4 best balanced custom EQ settings

Features & Battery Check

The new Boom 2 has a lot of cool features. The passive radiators can glow with lots of lighting effects. Also, the new BassUp 2.0 makes a huge impact on the sound. A lot more bassy and louder sound with that enabled, even at max volume. They say it bumps up the power output from 60 to 80 watts. Old BassUp didn’t have much impact on bass at max volume, but now it’s a nice effective upgrade. Soundcore is saying it has a subwoofer and it’s a 2.1 channel setup, which is not correct - the subwoofer is actually a woofer.

So, Boom 2 is IPX7 rated, meaning only waterproof, but not dustproof. However, the X4 has IP67 support, so it's both dustproof and waterproof. You can submerge them underwater up to 1 meter for 30 minutes, make sure you close the back-flap for Boom 2. Both support Type-C charging and Boom 2 comes with an updated USB-C to C cable. None of them has a 3.5 mm AUX-in, but both support power bank feature. Both have the default SBC codec, no higher-end codecs like LDAC or aptX. The Bluetooth version is BT 5.3 on both.

jbl xtreme 4 vs xtreme 3

The new Xtreme 4 has some new features that are worth discussing. The AI Sound Boost is a pretty interesting one. This feature measures the power consumption and frequencies in real-time. I am not sure yet if this feature is changing the original sound significantly or not, but they are saying that this will reduce distortion and push the speaker to the limits for more powerful dynamic sound. The new speaker has Auracast support, which is a new tech. It’s about wireless audio/video streaming via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. But JBL is using it to connect unlimited Auracast-supported speakers via Bluetooth for audio.

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JBL Xtreme 4 has PartyBoost support vs Soundcore Boom 2’s PartyCast 2.0 feature to hook up multiple units. They can be connected in a stereo configuration or a mono configuration with multiple speakers. JBL X4 has support for the JBL Portable app vs Soundcore app for the Boom 2. Their app support is a huge deal, more so for the Boom 2 because of more features and flexibility. Also, Boom 2 has a beat-synced light feature - pretty cool.

The Boom 2 has a 37.8 Wh battery pack. The Boom 2 is rated for 24 hours of playback, which I think is at lower volumes with lights and BassUp turned off. The docs say that the Boom 2 takes 5.5 hours to fully charge. The X4 has a 7.2-volt Li-ion battery pack with 9444 mAh 68 Wh capacity. This is a lot bigger than the Boom 2’s battery pack. The X4 supports the power bank feature via the Type-C out, USB PD tech. Power bank out 5V / 3A from the Type-C port of the X4. Charge time is 3.5 hours for X4. It’s also rated for 24 hours of playback at average volume. The Xtreme 4 has better battery life and charge-in/out technology.

Conclusion | Pick Wisely

At max volume, the Boom 2 Completely outperforms the Xtreme 4. The power in the bass is massive on the Boom 2. Because of the overdosed mids and highs, Xtreme 4 becomes very screamy and appears slightly louder. In measurement, X4’s -13.3 LUFS vs Boom 2’s -13.6 LUFS justifies that Boom 2 is way more pleasant sounding. Although, I would say that for lower-level listening the Xtreme 4 is a better choice, but who would buy it for just bedtime fun ..? Boom 2 is a great outdoor speaker with some cool features.

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The Xtreme 4 has a much better battery, but doesn’t have the powerful sound and fancy LED lights. To be honest, the beat-synced lights on the passive rads of Boom 2 look super attractive, they’re pretty bright too. The Xtreme 4 offers a premium design and build compared to the Boom 2 speaker. However, X4’s 330 USD price tag vs Boom 2’s 130 USD makes the Boom 2 a no-brainer. I recommended the X4 in my X4 vs X3 comparison to those who are deciding between the X4 and X3. But today, I am only recommending the Boom 2.

IF you are interested in even smaller speakers - check out my Soundcore Motion 300 vs Bose Soundlink Flex article. Both did well in a head-to-head comparison.

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motion+ bass response


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