Review

JBL Boombox

ReviewJBL Boombox
JBL Boombox

Small speaker, big boom

Despite its relatively small size, JBL Boombox has a great sound with proper bass rendition.

IPX7-waterproof. Long battery life. Potent bass and good sound quality.
No tone controls. High price tag.

We have tested many of the JBL’s portable speakers, like the bass heavy JBL Flip 4 and the smart JBL Charge 3. With the JBL Boombox, they’ve taken everything they’ve learned from travel speakers and taken it to the extreme. The Pringles-size has increased to more than double in all aspects. Despite that, this is actually the lightest speaker in the test, making it very easy to carry around by its comfortable carrying handle. You do not need to be particularly afraid of it either, as it can handle a brief dip in the pool or stand outside while it’s snowing.

All the fine tunings can be done directly from the mobile app.

 

You find the usual volume, power and Bluetooth buttons on the top. All are elevated so you can easily find them using your finger. The JBL Connect button is also easy to find, allowing you to connect multiple compatible JBL speakers. You can either connect two as a stereo pair or you can connect up to 100 (!) speakers in the party mode. You’ll find the changeover switch between indoor and outdoor mode in the back. You can also set this from the JBL Connect app. There you can also choose whether the play button should function as a play button or if it should enable the voice assistant in the mobile phone, whether the speakerphone is to be activated and whether you want voice confirmations.

(Photo: Manufacturer)

 

On paper it seems that the JBL has less power resources than the stats from some of the competitors, but don’t be fooled by it. The boombox plays strong enough to anger your neighbours. And with the two bass drivers in the ends, it’s like having a portable sub-woofer. At the beach party you can turn up the power to 11 by switching to outdoor mode. We do not recommend you do this indoors, as the bass becomes deafeningly exaggerated. As would be expected, this is not for hi-fi ears, but if you have a more relaxed setting, it provides a compelling and festive boost to most music. It is not at the expense of the treble and the mid-range, as they emerge well in the mix.

Conclusion

JBL has taken the essence of the boombox of the old days and made the best modern version of it. The size is adequate, the design is modern and it’s actually easy to carry. It also has a battery that allows you to use it all day and night. Despite the relatively neat format, the Boombox has a level of volume that can more than keep up. Along with the pounding bass, you can get any party started. You can even throw a pool party since it is waterproof, and connect up to 100 speakers to cover an entire festival area. A clear favourite for summer parties.

 

Facts

Drivers: 2 x 20 mm, 2 x 4”

Frequency range: 50 Hz–20 kHz

Amplifiers: 2 x 30 watt

Max sound pressure: –

Connections: Aux, Bluetooth 4.2, USB (charging)

Battery life: 24 hours

Dimensions: 50 x 25 x 20 cm

Weight: 5.25 kg

Website: jbl.com

Price

5000 £

Best price

    6 wireless boomboxes Boomboxes are back
    Also in this test
    Sony GTK-XB60
    More flashing than thumping

    Despite its party exterior, the XB60 does not play as gripping as its competitors.

    Aiwa Exos-9

    You can't complaint about the sound, but it has its limitations as a boombox.

    Braven XXL
    A multi-faceted tank

    An armoured vehicle on the outside that turns out to have unexpected music qualities on the inside.

    Monster Superstar Blaster

    Monster’s boombox is brutal to look at, but it sounds nicer than expected.

    Vooni Boombox
    Bigger is not better

    Just like the gadgets in the Hobbex youth catalogue, the Boombox is too good to be true.

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