JBL’s Xtreme 4 wireless speaker uses AI to boost sound quality

JBL Xtreme 4 in camouflage strapped over a man's arm
(Image credit: JBL)

At CES 2024, JBL has launched the Xtreme 4, the latest iteration of its successful, ruggedised Bluetooth speaker. And for this new model, the company has enlisted the help of AI (artificial intelligence) to boost sound quality.

AI Sound Boost won’t take over the world, but it does use the speaker’s built-in AI algorithm to analyse your music in real time and “optimise the acoustic output level”. This should, in JBL’s own words, lead to a “more powerful and less distorted sound”. Of course, the proof will be in the testing once the speaker makes its way to the What Hi-Fi? test rooms!

The Xtreme 4 is also one of the first JBL wireless speakers to support Auracast, a new Bluetooth feature that opens up the world of audio sharing between various compatible devices and sources, allowing you to tune into various audio 'streams' being broadcast.

The Xtreme speaker has always been a rugged and reliable bit of kit, and the features of this new iteration look to continue the trend. Battery life is 24 hours, with the wireless speaker also able to act as an emergency charger for your smartphone. You can even replace the battery if you need to further down the line.

We’ve been big fans of JBL’s Xtreme Bluetooth speaker over the years, and awarded the Xtreme 3 the full five stars in our review. No doubt the brand will be hoping to repeat this success with the Xtreme 4.

JBL Go 4 in three different finishes pictured outside

(Image credit: JBL)

JBL has also used the CES 2024 stage to announce the much smaller, much more affordable JBL Clip 5 and JBL Go 4 portable Bluetooth speakers. Like the Xtreme 4, both of these speakers also get Auracast compatibility, Bluetooth 5.3 and LE audio (low energy) support.

The Clip 5 features a redesigned carabiner over the Clip 4 which should make it easier to clip on, while driver power has been increased for a more consistent bass performance across all volume levels. Battery life is 12 hours.

The Go 4 is JBL’s smallest portable speaker and features a slightly tweaked design over the four-star Go 3, a wider strap, and seven hours of battery life. It’s available in six different colours.

Sustainability is high on the agenda for the new speakers, with 70 per cent of the plastic on the Xtreme 4 and Clip 5, and 80 per cent of it on the Go 4, using PCR (post-consumer recycled) materials. 100 per cent of the speaker grille material for all three speakers use that material, too.

All the new speakers will go on sale in March, with the JBL Xtreme 4 costing £330 (€350/$380), the Clip 5 £60 (€70/$80) and the Go 4 £40 (€50/$50).


CES 2024: all the latest news, highlights and product launches

What is Auracast? And when is the revolutionary Bluetooth audio-sharing technology coming?

Read our JBL Xtreme 3 review

Our pick of the best wireless speakers you can buy

Andy Madden

Andy is Deputy Editor of What Hi-Fi? and a consumer electronics journalist with nearly 20 years of experience writing news, reviews and features. Over the years he's also contributed to a number of other outlets, including The Sunday Times, the BBC, Stuff, and BA High Life Magazine. Premium wireless earbuds are his passion but he's also keen on car tech and in-car audio systems and can often be found cruising the countryside testing the latest set-ups. In his spare time Andy is a keen golfer and gamer.

  • Combat
    Hands up if you're already sick with the tech manufacturers talking about their use of AI in their? And were only in week 2 of 2024!

    Im actually less likely to buy something if they use the word AI because it shows that they don't have a clue what they're talking about. Why? Because they can't explain how they are using it well enough.