Review: Sharp SumoBox CP-LS100

Plays tougher than most

In collaboration with Devialet, Sharp has managed to combine brutal sound pressure with a touch of finesse.

Published 2023-10-25 - 8:00 am
Sharp SumoBox CP-LS100
Lasse Svendsen

It looks like something a roadie dragged onto a stage, ready for an overenthusiastic vocalist to put a mark on with his Dr. Martens boots that never fade. I suspect it could withstand that, for Sharp’s SumoBox seems like it will survive a long life on stages around the world.

But that would be a waste of talent because, despite its burly appearance, Sharp’s SumoBox is capable of playing music with both power and finesse. You probably won’t place it next to the TV in the living room, but this speaker was made for nobler tasks.

Photo: Sharp

Think of it as a leather-clad rock musician with worn-out jeans and unruly hair, suddenly performing a flawless version of Nessun Dorma on the piano. The sound from Sharp speakers is not exclusively suited for party music and rock.

How did they achieve this, you might ask? The answer lies in Sharp tapping into the expertise of Devialet’s development team and incorporating Speaker Active Matching (SAM) into the Sumo speaker.

SAM is something Devialet first introduced in its high-end amplifiers, and here it is implemented in the SumoBox CP-LS100 – and the larger LS200 – where it corrects the speaker elements while the music plays. All for a more resonant sound with power and minimal distortion.

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High Party Factor

It’s more reminiscent of a JBL Partybox 710 than a JBL Boombox 3 Wi-Fi and, like the former, it has two inputs for guitar and microphone. It also comes with a mixer on the back and tone controls. The speaker can also be wirelessly connected to an additional speaker, which can be paired in stereo for a larger and more impactful sound.

You can also connect even more Sumo speakers together, but you’ll have to use cables for that.

So, it’s both a DJ speaker, a guitar amplifier, a party speaker, and a mini PA speaker. With so many talents to juggle, there must be something it falls short on, right?

Removable rechargeable battery. Photo: Lasse Svendsen

Removable Battery

Not really. Okay, the 10-hour battery life isn’t anything to brag about. But the battery can be easily removed and replaced with a fully charged one in seconds. Alternatively, you can leave the speaker connected to power. The app also provides full access to the panel on the back, which can be controlled remotely from your phone.

While it handles Händel quite well, it truly has a feast with party music.

There is no volume control or input selector on the top next to the carrying handle. Instead, it’s intended that you control the music and volume through the Sharp Life app.

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Photo: Lasse Svendsen

No IPX certification

The speaker is not IPX certified, but it can handle a little rain. Sharp recommends considering the larger LS200 for those who need a speaker for outdoor use.

For home use, workouts, or as a DJ/PA speaker, the LS100 works very well. It weighs just under 10 kilograms, and with handles on the sides and on top, it’s easy to handle.

Volume and tone controls for two of the inputs at the back. Photo: Lasse Svendsen

Loud and proud

It easily fills a party with sound, and indoors, it’s even more powerful with bass you can feel in your gut. Unfortunately, there are no tone controls for the music streamed from your phone. Here, Sharp could have included at least a small five-band equalizer. Sometimes, you need to fine-tune the sound for the room the speaker is in. The closest you get is a button in the app that toggles between indoor and outdoor use. The latter boosts the bass noticeably, especially when the speaker is indoors.

Photo: Sharp

While listening to Amanda Bergman’s smooth Golden from the album Docks, I miss an equalizer that can enhance the guitar and vocal tones. But the sound is rich and full. There’s plenty of bass here, as evidenced in Weird Goodbye by The National and Bon Iver.

Turning up the volume helps bring out the midrange in the sound, but the midrange is darker than neutral, and I have to turn to Kylie Minogue’s Tension to check if it’s the recording or distortion. It’s the latter, but it’s not bothersome, even when playing Cecilia Bartoli’s interpretation of Lascia co’lo panga from Handel’s Rinaldo. Bravo.

Corner protectors are included. Photo: Sharp

However, there’s no doubt that the Sumo box excels when both woofers are put to work. While it handles Händel quite well, it truly has a feast with party music. It outperforms the more expensive JBL Boombox 3 Wi-Fi and is on par with JBL’s Partybox 710 on almost everything.

Photo: Lasse Svendsen

 

Karakter
Sharp SumoBox CP-LS100
Premium

We think

Plays robustly and loudly with control and bass you can feel in your gut. Can be paired with multiple speakers. High party factor for the money. Only 10-hour battery life. No IPX certification. Lacks an equalizer.

Speak no evil

We thought they were more expensive

They sound as good as they look

Wireless retro speaker

True portable home cinema

Top sound on a budget

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