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Marshall Kilburn vs JBL Xtreme: Comparison Review

by Chloe Parker
jbl xtreme vs marshall kilburn comparison

JBL Xtreme brings excitement wherever you need it:  whether indoors or outdoors, poolside or backyard barbeque, its splash-proof fabric design is trustworthy. With noise cancelling speakerphone for conference calls and JBL connect which wirelessly link multiple JBL connect speakers together it amplifies a clear listening experience. On the other hand, we have the Marshall Kilburn with the raw spirit of rock ‘n’ roll, unmistakable look and sound of Marshall to unplug the chords and take the show on the road.

Let’s see how these speakers compare and which one you should be buying:

JBL Xtreme


  • Weight: 4.65 pounds
  • Depth: 4.8 in.
  • Height: 4.9 in.
  • Width: 11.14 in.
  • Battery life: Built-in rechargeable lithium ion battery lasts up to 15 hours
  • Wireless: Built-in microphone with echo reduction and noise-cancellation for wireless speakerphone operation
  • Frequency response: 19930Hz lower low-frequency
  • Aux-input: Yes
  • Sub-woofer: No
  • USB charging: 2 USB ports to recharge smartphones and tablets
  • Weather-resistant: Yes
  • Waterproof: No
  • Speakerphone Mic: Yes


  • Good sound, great bass
  • Splashproof fabric
  • Shoulder strap makes it very portable


  • Lack of playback control
  • Less portable than most bluetooth speakers
  • No water resistance
  • Quite expensive
  • Highs can be a bit harsh

Marshall Kilburn

Weighing in under 7 pounds, Kilburn is a lightweight piece of vintage styled engineering. Being one of the loudest speakers in its class, Kilburn is compact with a well-balanced audio, boasting a clear mid-range and extended highs for articulate and pronounced music.


  • Weight: 6.6 pounds
  • Depth: 5.5 in.
  • Height: 5.5 in.
  • Width: 9.5 in.
  • Battery life: Up to 20 hours
  • Bluetooth range: 32 feet.
  • Frequency response: 62 – 20,000Hz
  • NFC: No
  • Aux-input: Yes
  • Sub-woofer: Yes
  • USB charging: No
  • Weather-resistant:  No
  • Speakerphone Mic: Yes
  • Waterproof: No


  • Magical sound
  • Incredible clarity
  • Vintage looks
  • Amplifier style design
  • Separate bass and treble control
  • Analog volume, bass and treble control knobs


  • Lack of playback control
  • Less portable than most bluetooth speakers
  • No water resistance
  • Quite expensive


JBL Xtreme: At 4.6-pound, this cylindrical boombox is wrapped in a slick, uniform sheet of mesh fabric. Its sides are capped in soft rubber to give the Xtreme some resistance from dings. Its dual bass radiators are detailed with a slick, spiraled etching and rather subtle brand placement.

On its back, the JBL Xtreme hides its ports behind a zipper-protected section. Unzipped, you can see the 3.5mm port that allows you to plug in music from an external source, as well as two USB ports for charging your portable devices. There’s also a power jack where you can plug in the power brick. And although the zipper is neat-looking and a novel way to keep things dry inside, it comes at the cost of cumbersome port accessibility. Plugging the cables in was a constant struggle.

Marshall Kilburn: Retro design with the iconic Marshall logo and velvety leather strap enables easy and stylish travel. The bass, treble and volume control knobs are a novelty as far as modern wireless speakers go.


JBL Xtreme: The play button on the right side of the panel has a few useful functions. Giving it a press while cranking out music will pause the playback. Tap it twice to skip songs, three times to go backward in the song selection. These extra commands are minor but welcome inclusions in any Bluetooth speaker.

Marshall Kilburn: As the Marshall Kilburn Bluetooth speaker features independent bass and treble controls, it is completely customisable as per the user’s preferences. There is no USB connectivity (input or output) so the Kilburn loses a few points on that front as well. It also can’t work as a power bank for your gadgets.


JBL Xtreme: Up toward the top of the speaker, JBL installed tough, brushed metal hooks that allow you to hook on the included strap. This adds versatility, making it easy to loop the speaker over your shoulder during a walk or hang it from a tree branch for an outdoor gathering.

Marshall Kilburn: Kilburn has two tweeters and a single woofer crammed into its rather large 242 x 140 x 140mm chassis. It tips the scales at a not-very-portable 3 kg (6.6 lbs). So it isn’t really ideal to pack along with your sandwiches for a park picnic. If easy portability is all that matters to you, then you might want to give the Marshall Kilburn a miss.

Bluetooth connectivity

JBL Xtreme: The buttons, which are located on its top, cover the usual list of functions found in a modern Bluetooth speaker. Featuring JBL Connect, a button that allows you to pair up with a second JBL Xtreme wirelessly. There’s a Bluetooth button that can be held down for a few seconds to pair a new phone, tablet or computer

Marshall Kilburn: Flip the fantastic retro switch on and choose from Bluetooth or aux input. While using bluetooth, press the pair button to make Kilburn appear in your device’s Bluetooth menu.

Audio performance

JBL Xtreme: This speaker is capable of the super-loud playback that you’d expect from its size, which is perfect if you’re trying to pump tunes through a large venue or outdoors. It handles jazz, hip-hop and rock songs well and highlighted the particular facets that make each genre unique.

Marshall Kilburn: This piece of vintage looking but modern sounding engineering brilliance is easily one of the loudest and clearest speakers in its class. The well balanced audio of the Kilburn has a crystal clear mid-range and extended highs for a sound output that’s both articulate and pronounced. And analogue knobs helps you fine tune the controls to your preferences.

If you’re weary of portable Bluetooth speakers with anemic bass response, the Kilburn is just for you. Its frequency response range is 62-20,000Hz. By way of comparison, the UE Boom 2’s frequency response range is 90-20,000Hz and the JBL Charge 3’s frequency response range is 63-20,000Hz.

Marshall Kilburn vs JBL Xtreme – which one is right for you?

When it comes to sheer portability and weather proofing, the Marshall Kilburn is definitely not the best compared to JBL Xtreme. Yet the quality of feel can be individualized as they offer two very distinct styles although the quality of sound is great with both. If portability is what you’re looking for, we suggest going with the JBL Xtreme. Whereas, if all you need is great music and an iconic design, you wouldn’t be disappointed with the Marshall Kilburn.

JBL Xtreme-

Buy on Amazon

Marshall Kilburn –

Buy on Amazon

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