JBL Charge Essential vs UE Boom 3: Which One is Better? 

Updated on: November 19, 2023

Have you been hunting for a portable speaker and narrowed it down to JBL Charge Essential and UE Boom 3? And now you can’t decide which one to go for? Well, say no more! You’ve landed at the right place to get rid of your confusion. 

In this article, I’ll be discussing every minute difference between the two speakers. How do they differ in sound, portability, durability, battery time, and much more? Stay with me, as I help you decide which speaker is perfect for you. So let’s begin! 

JBL Charge Essential 

  • JBL Charge Essential speaker 
  • A micro-USB cable 
  • A quick start guide & warranty card 
  • A safety sheet 

UE Boom 3 

  • Ultimate Ears Boom 3 speaker 
  • A micro-USB charging cable 
  • User manual & warranty card 

What makes JBL Charge Essential better than UE Boom 3? 

  • It has a lower frequency (65 Hz vs 20K Hz) that produces a more juicier bass 
  • It has a longer battery time (20 hours vs 15 hours) 
  • The power bank feature allows you to charge your other devices 
  • It has a 3.5 mm port to connect your devices with an AUX cable 

Why is UE Boom 3 better than JBL Charge Essential? 

  • It has a shorter recharge time (2.75 hours vs 4 hours) 
  • It is 162 grams lighter (608 g vs 770 g) 
  • The PartyUp feature allows you to pair up to 150 speakers 
  • You can connect 6 more Bluetooth devices at the same time (8 vs 2) 
  • It has a convenient grab-and-go dock charging feature 
  • The BOOM App allows you to effortlessly control the speaker 

Before we get into the meat of the matter, take a look at the differences between the two speakers. 

Features JBL Charge Essential UE Boom 3 
Frequency Response 65 Hz – 20 KHz 90 Hz – 20 KHz 
Battery time Upto 20 HoursUpto 15 hours 
Charge Time4 hours2.75 hours 
Charging Cable TypeMicro-USBMicro-USB
Weight 770 g608 g 
IP Rating IPX7IP67
Bluetooth Version4.1Unspecified 
Powerbank Feature Yes No
Multiple Speakers Pairing Feature No Yes 
Voice Commands No No 
AUX input Yes No 
Charging Dock Compatibility No Yes 
App Compatibility No Yes 

After unboxing, I tried playing different electric and bass-boosted songs on both speakers. So here’s what I think: 

The JBL Charge Essential has an extremely clear sound even at full volume and it is quite louder than the UE Boom 3. The vocals get a little muffled by the bass at high volume. Nonetheless, it sounds far cleaner than the UE Boom 3.  

UE Boom 3

As for the UE Boom 3, the sound clarity is a little off. Upto 50% -60% volume, it has pretty decent mids and highs but as I turned up the volume to 100%, the treble got way too much. 

If you are a bass lover, I would suggest you go for the JBL Charge Essential. It has such a solid bass that on the low notes; you’d feel it in your nerves. While with UE Boom 3, the bass depth is not that strong. However, this wasn’t much of a surprise for me, as most UE speakers don’t have that thumping bass experience. 

JBL Charge Essential

If you’re looking for a speaker suitable for parties and outdoor get-togethers, the JBL Charge Essential would be a better choice. Contrarily, if you need a sleek speaker that looks cool on your work desk and also has a decent sound, then UE Boom 3 is your go-to option. 

In my books, the JBL Charge Essential steals the top rank in sound clarity and bass depth. 

Which One Has a Longer Battery Time? 

Battery Capacity JBL Charge Essential vs UE Boom 3

The JBL Charge Essential offers you 20 hours of non-stop playing at 50% volume and it takes 4 hours to fully recharge. However, at full volume, it would only last 3 to 4 hours. 

UE Boom 3 has a total playtime of 15 hours (at 50% volume) and takes nearly 2.75 hours to recharge. This means you get nearly as much playtime per charging hour as the JBL Charge Essential.

All in all, the JBL Charge Essential is the winner in battery time. 

Which One Offers Better Connectivity Features? 

Connectivity Features JBL Charge Essential vs UE Boom 3

The JBL Charge Essential has a USB port under the protective flap, that you can use to charge your other devices. You also get an AUX port to connect other devices via a cable. These features are not available in the UE Boom 3. 

However, with UE Boom 3 you can wirelessly connect up to 8 devices at the same time while with JBL Charge Essential, you can only connect two. You can also pair your UE Boom 3 with the Boom mobile app and operate it from your phone. With the customizable EQ option, you can adjust the sound to your liking. 

Are you a party person? If yes, then you’re going to the PartyUp feature of the UE Boom 3. It allows you to pair up to 150 compatible speakers and create an ultimate sound experience. Want to build a wall of sound? No problem. 

The UE Boom 3 also has wireless dock charging, but you’ll have to purchase the docking station separately. 

In my opinion, the UE Boom 3 takes the crown in the connectivity battle as it offers more valuable features. 

How Are They Different in Design And Portability? 

Design And Portability JBL Charge Essential vs UE Boom 3

The JBL Charge Essential measures 213 mm wide and 87 mm in diameter. On the other hand, UE Boom 3 is only 184 mm in height and 73 mm in diameter. Consequently, the JBL Charge Essential weighs 770 g, and the UE Boom 3 only weighs 608 g. So if you’re looking forward to a long tour and need a speaker that won’t weigh you down, UE Boom 3 would be a better option. 

As for design, both speakers have the signature design of their respective companies. The JBL Charge Essential is slightly oblong and looks like a rugby ball. Contrarily the UE Boom 3 has a cylindrical shape and easily fits anywhere your water bottle would — whether your car’s cup holder or your bag’s side pocket. It also has a hang loop on one side that allows you to clip to your backpack. 

Regarding design and portability, I’d go for the UE Boom 3 because of the compact size and sleeker look. 

What About Durability? 

Durability JBL Charge Essential vs UE Boom 3

Both speakers have a pretty rugged design that is built to last. They can survive any accidental drops or water spills. The JBL Charge Essential boasts an IPX7 rating meaning that it has water resistance but no dust resistance. While the UE Boom 3 has an IP67 rating with both water and dustproofing. 

Both speakers can withstand being submerged in one meter of water for 30 minutes, but on a stormy day with dust clouds, taking out your JBL Charge Essential would be a bad idea.  

In terms of durability, I think the UE Boom 3 has a slight edge because of the dust resistance. 

There! We’ve discussed all of the key differences between the two speakers. Now it’s time to find out which one fits your budget. 

The UE Boom 3 costs 150$ if you purchase it from the official website but on Amazon, you can get it for 100 bucks. Similarly, the JBL Charge Essential is priced 180$ on the official website but it’ll only cost you 160$ on Amazon

If you’re on a tight budget and looking for a sleek speaker with loads of features and has a decent sound, then UE Boom 3 would be the right pick for you. However, if you can afford to pay extra and want amazing sound and longer battery life, then JBL Charge Essential is the way to go. 

Can I use my JBL Charge Essential or UE Boom 3 as a power bank? 

JBL Charge Essential can be used as a power bank while UE Boom 3 doesn’t have any USB port to charge other devices. 

Can I use my JBL Charge Essential or UE Boom 3 for phone calls? 

No. These speakers do not have a microphone so attending a phone call wouldn’t be possible. 

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.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Scroll to Top