Just when we thought JBL’s wireless speakers couldn’t get any bigger (or smaller for that matter), they go ahead and shock us with another portable player, the JBL Boombox. Get the details on this handheld speaker in our JBL Boombox Review.
JBL Boombox Review
JBL Boombox Review – Build & Design
The exterior of the JBL Boombox is like that of all of its predecessors (Flip 4, Charge 3, Xtreme) in that it’s a cylindrical-shaped speaker with two passive radiators on the ends. TBH, it looks like a slightly larger Xtreme with a handle so you can hold it on your shoulders in a b-boy-esque manner with ease.
That being said, there are no speakers on the rear, and while that would be awesome for party purposes, it also makes sense in terms of functionality. If you were to sport this baby on your shoulder, you’d probably blow out your eardrums.
On a table, this unit stands at about 10 inches and is at a width and depth of 19.5 x 7.7 inches. TBH, I really can’t stop telling you exactly how big this baby really is. Also, it weighs in at a whopping 11.6 pounds.
PSA: Attention readers, this boombox is not for the faint of arms. Please do not try this at home unless you lift.
JBL Boombox Review – Features
A major staple of JBL speakers, aside from their fabric mesh exteriors and barrel-shaped frames, are their water resistant bodies. The JBL Boombox measures up to an IP rating of IPX7. This grade means this speaker is able to function when fully submerged under water. It is able to do so for up to 30 minutes, 1 meter deep. P.S. This gargantuan unit actually floats, which is super cool.
Following suit of other members of the JBL wireless speaker family, this unit possesses Connect+. This allows users with multiple Connect+ enabled products to sync multiple speakers together, like the Charge 3 and Flip 4. Once paired in the JBL app, you can select whether to play the two speakers in either stereo mode or party mode. You can actually pair up to 100 speakers together to make a truly immersive experience.
One of the coolest functions of the JBL Boombox has to be the ability to switch between an indoor and outdoor mode. This does, in fact, affect the sound signature, but it’s in accordance with the environment it is in. More on that in the “Sound” section below.
Additional buttons include, pause/play functionality which also acts as a means to answer and end calls in speaker mode. There’s also a Bluetooth button to rebroadcast the pairing signal, and volume controls. On the bottom of the speaker is a rubber grip with LED lights. These are status indicators of how much battery life your JBL Boombox has left. Operating over Bluetooth 4.2, the speaker can run for up to 24 hours. Though, this number varies based on the volume level it’s being played at. Take note, that it’ll take about 6.5 hours to fully rejuice this beast of a portable speaker. I mean, it is holding a Lithium-ion polymer battery with a capacity of 20,000 mAh.
On the backside you’ll find a water seal. Behind it you’ll find two USB ports for charging your devices (Oh, hello iPhone) as well as a micro USB port, aux port, and a port for a wall adapter. The JBL Boombox also includes the wall adapter and necessary power cable.
JBL Boombox Review – Sound
This speaker is large, so you’d hope to hear sound that’s just as big, and wow is it impressive.
This speaker is perfect for parties, backyard gatherings, and more. The waterproof ability and multiple speaker functionality is the cherry on top of a truly powerful, yet pleasant listening experience. Indoors, the speaker can sound like a bit much at higher volumes, but at mid-volume it makes for a much more enjoyable experience. Like the rest of the JBL wireless speaker family, there’s nice detail in the lows, mids, and highs. Again, this is at mid-volume since there is a bit of distortion at max volume.
What I find truly impressive about the Boombox is it’s bass performance. The sub-bass, which can be lost among other speakers of this nature, resonates nicely indoors and outdoors. As long as you are using the correct sound mode.
Outdoors, bass is often lost, but switch Boombox over to outdoor mode and it compensates for this flaw with an added bass boost. Granted, the bass won’t rattle your cage like it does indoors, but it’s got a nice subtle presence. As for the mids and highs, they are placed a bit more forward when in outdoor mode which highlights details throughout the mid-range and higher frequencies. All-in-all making for a very satisfying listening session.
JBL Boombox Review – Specs
Frequency Range 50-20,000 Hertz
Battery Life 24 Hrs
Charging Time 6.5 Hrs
Dimensions 10 x 19.5 x 7.7 inches
Weight 11.6 lbs.
Water Resistance IPX7
JBL Boombox Review – Overall Performance
So is it worth the $449.95 price tag? If you have the money to burn, go for it. This speaker is incredibly powerful, but also has the sweet features to make for a perfect party partner; It’s loud, but with detail. It’s portable and waterproof. The Xtreme is a good alternative if you can’t quite afford JBL Boombox, but I’ll make it quite clear, the Boombox has got more power behind it and is very satisfying to sport both indoors and outdoors.
Grab it at the lowest price at Audio 46 using discount code “majorhifi” at checkout. The speaker is also available at a competitive price on Amazon.