Confused about whether to go for JBL Charge 5 or UE Megaboom 3? Well, I wouldn’t blame you. Honestly, I also had a hard time picking out the winner.
Both speakers have superb build quality with mesmerizing sound quality. But as you go into the details, you find out they’re not as common after all. In this article, I’ll uncover all the disparities between these speakers. And I’m sure that by the end, you’ll have an answer to your dilemma.
JBL Charge 5 vs UE Megaboom 3: what’s the difference?
Before discussing any details, I want you to have a quick scan of the major differences between the two speakers.
|JBL Charge 5
|UE Megaboom 3
|Driver unit size
|50 mm (two drivers)
|Dust and water resistance
|Compatible with 3.5 mm audio cable
|Maximum connectivity range
|Built-in voice prompts
Comparing Sound Quality: JBL Charge 5 vs UE Megaboom 3
I spent hours trying several songs and movies on both speakers and here’s what I think:
For all the bass lovers who enjoy bass-heavy music, the JBL Charge 5 would be the right choice. With a larger bass driver, the JBL Charge 5 offers a more deep and punchy bass.
Plus the sound is well-balanced and has a natural tone with clear highs and impactful lows making it ideal for outdoor use. Up for a backyard barbeque party? The JBL Charge 5 will rock it.
On the other hand, the UE Megoboom 3 is for those who like loud and hypnotic sounds with deep bass. It has a roaring sound profile but struggles with low bass beats.
It has a 360-degree design with a sturdy build that makes it suitable for blasting rock parties. It shines with disco and EDM (electronic dance music) owing to remarkably clear sound effects. It makes you want to dance even if you’re not in the mood.
If we talk about sound clarity, the JBL Charge 5 would have a slight edge as it is more well-balanced, resulting in clear and crisp beats. However, for outdoor activities where you need loud and booming effects, the UE Megaboom is the right choice. Check out this video for a sound comparison between the JBL Charge 5 and the UE Megaboom 3.
Which One Has a Longer Battery Life?
When buying a new speaker, it’s crucial to note how much battery time it offers. Both these speakers boast an impressive battery life of 20 hours. However, in my experience, the Megaboom 3 kept rolling for about 21 hours.
As for the recharge time, the JBL Charge 5 took about 4 hours while the UE Megaboom 3 only took 3 hours. Maybe, it has something to do with the wireless charging feature on Megaboom 3. However, to enjoy this feature you’ll have to separately buy the charging dock.
Another convenient feature of both these speakers is that you can use them while charging. But I would recommend fully recharging them first for optimal performance.
The important thing is that both speakers can keep going for several days without a charge. This makes them great for long music sessions and weekend getaways.
For those who are interested in a more detailed comparison between the JBL Charge 4 and Charge 5, you can find comprehensive insights here.
How Do They Compare in Design and Portability?
Regarding the designs, the UE Megaboom 3 has a cylindrical shape and easily fits anywhere your water bottle would — whether your car’s cup holder or the pocket of your bag. While the JBL Charge 5 is a little oblong and looks more like a rugby ball.
Both speakers almost have the same weight of 2 pounds, so you can easily carry them around. The UE Megaboom 3 can be placed vertically and has two large volume buttons at the front. While the JBL Charge 5 rests horizontally on the silicone foot at the bottom of the speaker.
The UE Megaboom 3 also has a fabric loop at the back to hang it on a hook or clip it to your backpack. The JBL Charge 5 doesn’t have any such feature but still, it is small enough that it won’t weigh you down on a hike or a trip to the beach.
In my opinion, the UE Megaboom 3 looks more charming on your work table and is also more portable because of the cylindrical shape. If you are interested in comparing the design and portability of JBL Charge 5 with other models like the JBL Xtreme 2, you can read more about it here.
What about durability?
Regarding durability, both speakers are up to the mark with an IP67 rating. They are wrapped around with a similar fabric mesh having a solid build quality. I drop-tested both of the speakers from a meter height and they survived quite comfortably. So you don’t have to worry if they roll over the side of your bed or table.
Moreover, they are waterproof and also have dust resistance. The UE Megaboom 3 can even float on the water. Are you a pool party lover? You’re going to love this feature. On top of that, both speakers can be fully submerged in water for 30 minutes without any damage. Just make sure that the charging port flaps are firmly closed.
Curious, I decided to test this out. Both speakers performed as well as when they were dry. The fabric on the JBL Charge does get pretty wet but once it dries off, everything sounds normal.
Putting it in a nutshell, both the speakers are equally durable and able to withstand any accidental slips or hard falls.
Which One Offers Better Connectivity Features?
Both of these speakers can only be used via Bluetooth as they don’t have any ports or wifi-connectivity features. Apart from on-board controls, they can also be operated from a mobile app where you get loads of exciting features.
As for Bluetooth range, the UE Megaboom 3 takes the lead here with a 45 m range while the JBL Charge 5 only has a 10 m range. The difference is huge!
Moreover, the UE Megaboom 3 can actively pair up with 8 devices at the same time whereas the JBL Charge 5 only connects with 2 devices. This makes UE Megaboom 3 great for parties where everyone wants songs of their taste. However, I wouldn’t recommend telling this feature to your friends unless you want chaos, haha!
Speaking of parties, the UE Megaboom 3 also has a party-up feature that allows you to connect up to 150 speakers and build a sound wall. For this, you can use any BOOM speaker from the previous generations and rock up your party.
The JBL Charge 5 does have an interesting feature that it can be used as a power bank. Plus, it has the latest 5.1 Bluetooth version making the connection more reliable and also enhancing the battery life.
To sum it up, the UE Megaboom 3 is the clear winner to me! But it all comes down to personal preferences when you’re buying something. So, I would leave it up to you.
Which one has better software features?
Both speakers have a well-rounded software app with an array of features. The most exciting one is the graphic equalization tool that enables you to customize the sound of your speaker.
Both JBL Portable App and Ultimate Ears App have this amazing feature. For instance, you want to rock up your party with some extra bass. You can increase the bass from the graphic EQ tool. The older version of the JBL App doesn’t have this feature, so make sure your app is updated.
Thanks to the PartyBoost feature, you can connect two JBL speakers (any latest model) to make a stereo pair. However, this feature won’t work with older versions of JBL speakers. Not only this, you can also connect up to 100 JBL speakers to play the same audio simultaneously. The only requirement is that all the speakers should be in the same room or they will start to lose connectivity.
The Ultimate Ears App provides a similar Party Up feature that allows you to connect two Megaboom 3 speakers (no other model) to create a stereo pair. With this feature, you can pair up to 150 speakers to work in harmony.
UE Megaboom 3 outranks the JBL Charge 5 in software because it offers more value and better reliability.
How JBL Charge 5 is better than Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3?
- It has three drivers, one more than the UE Megaboom 3 (a driver enhances sound quality)
- It features a 5.1 Bluetooth version while UE Megaboom 3 has an older 4.2 version (a newer version means better transfer rates)
- You can also use it as a power bank
- It has built-in voice prompts for audio alerts like low battery or Bluetooth enabled etc.
- It comes at a cheaper price
- If you are still contemplating whether the JBL Charge 5 is worth the investment, you can explore more about its features and benefits here.
How Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3 is better than JBL Charge 5?
- It has stereo speakers that offer a more realistic experience
- A 3mm bigger driver unit generates more bass
- It has a 35m wider Bluetooth connectivity range (45m vs. 10m)
- You can connect it with 6 more Bluetooth devices and switch between them (8 vs. 2)
- It has a 10 db more signal-to-noise ratio (higher ratio means more clear sounds against background noises in the audio)
- It comes with a 2-year warranty (one year more than JBL Charge 5)
Final thoughts: Which one should you go for?
Now that you know about all the major differences between the two speakers, the question is: does it fit your budget?
The launch price for JBL Charge 5 was 180$ but you buy it at a discount here at 130$. However, the UE Megaboom 3 is slightly expensive with a price of 180$ after a 10% discount.
So, which one offers better value for money? In my opinion, the UE Megaboom is a better speaker with a brilliant soundstage owing to the 360-degree design. It is loaded with an array of connectivity features and has a long-lasting battery.
But this doesn’t mean you have to go with UE Megaboom 3. Only you can make that decision because no one knows what you want better than you, right?
If you’re on a budget and want a sturdy speaker with amazing sound quality and deep bass. The JBL Charge 5 would be a great option for you. However, if price is not your concern and you want the absolute best, you should stick with the UE Megaboom 3.
If you’re still unclear about your decision or have any queries about the speakers. You can always find me in the comments section below. Signing off!
Surprisingly, it does! Not only the volume but also the kind of music you’re playing can affect the battery time of your speakers. For instance, the JBL Charge 5 would play longer than 20 hours when kept at 50% volume. While the Megaboom 3 would offer better battery time when played at 25% volume or less. However, at full volume, their battery life depletes faster.
No. These speakers do not have a microphone so attending a phone call wouldn’t be possible.
The UE Megaboom 3 doesn’t have this feature. However, the JBL Charge 5 provides the ease of seamless streaming with Alexa, AirPlay, and Spotify Connect.
I’m Shaun Conroy, an audiophile & founder of HiFi Audios. Holding a Bachelor’s in Sound Engineering, I bring deep expertise in audio devices and offer insights & recommendations to fellow enthusiasts.