Anker Soundcore Motion Boom Plus Review: Can it beat the JBL Xtreme 3?

Following the successful launch of the Soundcore Motion Boom in 2021, the audio brand brought to us by Anker have launched the Soundcore Motion Boom Plus, an impressively loud speaker with a surprisingly lengthy list of features, all for a pretty affordable price of £189.99. 

Heavy-duty portable speakers, like the Motion Boom Plus, are seeing a revival of sorts and becoming a popular choice for outdoor listening, room-filling audio on the go and of course, parties.

Now chances are, if you’re considering the Soundcore Motion Boom Plus, you’ve also considered the JBL Xtreme 3, one of the front runners in the heavy-duty portable speaker market. So, we’ve put these head-to-head in a series of tests to see whether the JBL at £299.99 is worth an extra £100 or if you’d get more bang for your buck from the Motion Boom Plus.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Soundcore. As always, all opinions are 100% ours.

Soundcore Motion Boom Plus JBL Xtreme 3
Price £189.99 £299.99
Weight 2.39 KG 1.96 KG
Speakers 2 x 30W woofer

2 x 30W tweeter

2 x 25W RMS woofer

2 x 25W RMS tweeter

Battery life 20 hours 15 hours
IP rating IP67 IP67
Bluetooth 5.3 5.1
Aux 3.5mm Yes Yes
Power Bank Yes Yes

While there is a notable difference in price, there are many similarities between the JBL Xtreme 3 and Soundcore Motion Boom Plus. However, spec isn’t everything when it comes to choosing a speaker. So, how did they perform in our real world testing?

Design & durability

Design-wise, there are a few things to highlight. First things first, the Soundcore Motion Boom Plus doesn’t look like the most premium speaker and as it uses a lot of plastic, it doesn’t feel the most premium either. The JBL offers a much more premium finish and for me, feels more sturdy and durable. Both have handy straps for carrying them around and the Motion Boom Plus also has an additional handle on the top which we’ve actually found more useful than the strap for moving it around.

Weight-wise, the Soundcore is just under half a kilo heavier than the JBL, but we can’t really tell the difference when holding them both. For their size, neither feel particularly heavy which will be handy if you’re carrying them to the beach or out and about. On the whole, the materials used and the overall design of the JBL Xtreme 3 does feel more expensive, which I guess it is, but side by side, the Soundcore Motion Boom Plus is definitely playing catch up to the JBL in overall build quality. Which style you prefer will be totally down to personal preference.

Both the Xtreme 3 and Motion Boom Plus also have an IP67 rating so you’d be fine getting them wet but the JBL would sink if dropped in a pool while the Motion Boom Plus floats. We’ve tested this out in our local pool and even when pushed down, it came straight back to the surface, making it a great option for taking to the pool or beach.

In terms of durability, I don’t think you’d be chucking these around the same way you might with something like a JBL Flip 6 or another smaller portable speaker. However, my money would be on the JBL to withstand drops and falls better. This grille on the Boom Plus feels like it would dent or scratch more easily and in the few more realistic drop tests we’ve tried (while there hasn’t been any damage done), it’s definitely sounded like it’s taken the hit harder! 

Setup, Control & Connectivity

In terms of setup and control, it’s a simple Bluetooth connection for both. The Motion Boom Plus offers Bluetooth 5.3 which is a reliable connection and it was really quick to get playing pretty much straight out of the box. For reference, the Xtreme 3 offers 5.1 so a few iterations before. In testing, I’ve not had any issues with dropouts or lag from either and both should offer up to 10m of range.

Looking at other ways of connecting, both the JBL Xtreme 3 and Soundcore Motion Boom Plus have an Aux 3.5mm input which you could use for connecting up a phone, CD player, or anything else you want to connect up. 

Now the good news is both speakers let you customise their audio profiles via handy apps. The Soundcore Motion Boom Plus definitely offers more customization: you get four custom sound signatures to choose from, or you can delve in deeper with a 9-slider EQ adjustment to create a custom EQ which you can save in case you fancy playing around with a few different custom presets.  You can also adjust the volume, turn the power on/off, change the auto power off time, and turn on the bass boost feature. While JBL also have an app, the adjustments come in the form of a simple 3-slider EQ so not as much room for adjustments there.


Battery-life is crucial in a portable speaker as there is nothing more frustrating than the music cutting out mid-party. So, we’ve got 20 hours of battery on the Soundcore Motion Boom Plus which is pretty decent and outperforms the JBL Xtreme 3 at 14 hours of playback. In our testing, both of these have performed as stated though battery life does depend on playback volumes etc. The Xtreme 3 and Motion Boom Plus charge via USB-C and actually can be used to charge your device like a power bank which is a nice little feature that I personally would use to make sure my phone doesn’t die while I’m the DJ at a party - no chance I’m letting someone else take over the playlist. 

Both Soundcore and JBL also offer their own version of connecting multiple speakers so it’s Partycast 2.0 in the Motion Boom Plus where you can connect an unlimited number of compatible Soundcore speakers for either synchronised playback or stereo sound. JBL calls it Partyboost where you can pair 2 JBL compatible speakers for stereo sound or pair up to 100 for boosted performance - realistically that might be 2 or 3 at a party.

Sound performance

Spec-wise, the Motion Boom Plus offers 80W of power with 2 x 30W woofers and 2 x 10w tweeters and those are dual titanium, silk dome drivers. The Xtreme 3 offers 2 x 25w RMS woofers and 2 x RMS tweeters. Looking at the frequency response, Soundcore don’t state the full range but say that this speaker offers up to 40kHz while JBL state a range of 53.5Hz to 20kHz. Now going off all that spec alone and before going into testing I would be expecting more power in the mids and low end from the Motion Boom Plus and more clarity in the higher frequencies in the Xtreme 3.

From our testing, there was a clear difference in performance. On one hand, the Motion Boom Plus which really delivered - particularly in terms of overall volume. It offers a much bigger sound, fills a space really well and the bass performance was also pretty impressive. The Xtreme 3 sounded more detailed and we’ve found that it offers better midrange and vocals across a variety of genres. But, considering there is a £100 price difference here, I’d say the Motion Boom Plus performed surprisingly well and when we’ve taken them both outside, the loudness really shone through there.

On the whole, I have to say the Motion Boom Plus really did blow us away when we first got it playing. There’s just no denying that it outperforms the JBL in terms of volume and overall power and it’s clear now after looking at design and then sound performance where Soundcore have focused the budget on this speaker. We do miss some of the details in tracks but I don’t see many people buying a heavy-duty portable speaker to listen to the nuances of their favourite music. This is a speaker to take to parties, listen outdoors and listen loud to.

For me, that’s what it comes down to. If you’re looking for great volume, impressive bass, and a loud speaker for outdoors and filling larger spaces, then the Motion Boom Plus is great value for money plus it has some really good features to sweeten the deal. If you’re looking for a bit more, maybe a more premium and sturdier design, you’re in the JBL ecosystem already or you’d like a speaker with more clarity and detail then it’s probably going to be the Xtreme 3.

Soundcore Motion Boom Plus vs Soundcore Motion Boom

Now there is a curveball to consider, the Soundcore Motion Boom. At £94.99 this speaker offers a really impressive performance and is essentially a compact version of the Motion Boom Plus. 

We do lose out on a few features with that drop down in price, the Motion Boom offers IPX7, not IP67, Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity not 5.3, no aux in and there’s no Partycast feature but there is TWS so you can pair 2 motion boom speakers for stereo sound. It can still be used as a powerbank and it offers 24 hours of battery life so actually a step up of 4 hours over the Motion Boom Plus. In terms of sound performance, we’ve stepped down to two 15w full-range drivers and on the whole, again, this one stands out for value for money.

While it doesn’t offer close to the power and performance of the Motion Boom Plus, for half the price, the Motion Boom still offers a really decent performance. Most notably for me, at lower volume levels the bass is actually pretty good! So for those who like the package of the Motion Boom Plus but would prefer to spend a bit less, this might be a good choice.

The ultimate decision of which speaker is right for you is going to come down to what you want from a speaker but I do love to see companies looking to provide more bang for your buck and options at more affordable price points. Obviously you’ve still got the option of spending more and getting an extra step up in flair and build quality but for those looking to maximise their budget for sound performance alone, Soundcore have surprised us.