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The JBL BoomBox is finally here! This is JBL’s biggest and most expensive consumer grade portable bluetooth speaker. And although pricy compared to other new speakers on the market right now of the same caliber…lets see how the JBL Boombox performs. Don’t forget to like comment and subscribe and you can watch some of my other videos here after you’re done watching this video. And there will be a sound test at the end of this video too.
The JBL Boombox currently only comes in black. But JBL says there will be an olive green color way of the BoomBox around January. Comment down below what other color ways you would like to see on the JBL Boombox. Currently the JBL Boombox retails for $449.95 which is a $150 price jump from the smaller JBL Xtreme which really isn’t as Xtreme anymore. If you want to pick this speaker up I’ll have links in the description below and I’ll keep them updated so you can get the best deal possible.
The JBL Boombox has the same classic design you can expect from other JBL portable bluetooth speakers. The Boombox is basically a JBL Charge 3 that got a hold of a Mario mushroom and got super sized. Its covered by the same nylon mesh weave that does a great job of repelling almost everything you throw at it. Theres a base on the bottom with a built in battery gauge that allows you to see its current battery status at a glance. On the top you’ve got the same buttons as the Charge 3 and Xtreme. Theres a multifunction button to control your music playback, volume controls, a bluetooth pairing button and JBL’s connect plus button. Also if you press and hold the multifunction button you can activate siri. On the back theres a rubber grommet that houses 2 USB ports so you can charge up to 2 devices at the same time, an AC in for charging, an Audio jack and a micro USB port for service. Aside from the power cable and owners manual, the JBL Boombox doesn’t come included with anything else.
When laid flat, the JBL Boombox is 10 inches tall, 19 and a half inches wide, and has a depth of 7.7 inches. And it weighs a modest 11 and a half pounds. For everybody else using the SI system… the JBL Boombox is 25.5 by 49.5 by 19.6 centimeters and weighs 5.25 kilos. Regarding speaker set up, the JBL Boombox has dual 4 inch woofers and dual .79 inch tweeters on the front. And on the side just like all other JBL Speakers there a dual passive radiators with a diameter of 4.17 inches.
Unique to the JBL Boombox is a plastic carrying handle. And unfortunately it doesn’t come off. And you cant attach a shoulder strap like the JBL Xtreme. Although the handle makes carrying the Boombox around easy, after awhile of luging the boombox around it does get hard. Personally I think JBL should have included the shoulder strap option as well. Cause for long walks you’re going to wish you had it. trust me.
The JBL boombox also has a new sound mode button on the back. You can choose from either indoor or outdoor mode. While in Indoor mode the sound of the speaker has little more depth and the bass is much deeper. But When set in outdoor mode the over all sound gets pushed forward and the bass isn’t as pronounced. Unless you know what to listen for or are listening to music with a lot of bass you’re not really going to notice a difference between the two modes at first.
Tech specs on the JBL Boombox is pretty standard when it comes to newer JBL speakers. You’ve got bluetooth 4.2 and you can pair up to 2 devices at the same time and its good for a wireless range of 70 feet with direct line of sight to your phone. Not bad if you plan on using this outside on a regular basis. Its IPX 7 certified so water isn’t a problem. You can even it submerge it and it wont even care. And Just like the JBL Pulse 3, the JBL BoomBox also floats in water and keeps playing music like a boss. The JBL Boombox is also rocking a rechargeable 20,000 milliamp battery and the box claims its good for up to 24 hours of playback time. And honestly, I’ve only managed to get that 24 hour battery life on the JBL Boombox by having it at a moderate volume and while in outdoor mode. When using the JBL Boombox in the slightly better sounding indoor mode at a moderate volume I averaged about 21 hours of playback time. And when the JBL Boombox was at max volume while in indoor mode I got about 17 hours of playback time. None the less, the JBL Boombox has a very solid battery life. But in order to charge the JBL Boombox from an empty battery to full its going to take a little more than 6 hours. And unfortunately there is no official quick charging.
Concerning sound quality, I feel JBL plays it safe with the JBL Boombox. It sounds good with almost every genre of music. This speaker has really good instrument separation and a wide stage. But the main focal of this speaker are the vocals and mids. Bass is also good and at times theres even spine tingling sub bass. But Although this speaker does get loud, I did expect it to get louder.
At max volume the JBL Boombox has an average decibel reading in the mid 80’s range. But at that max volume the sound stage gets a little narrow and stuff starts to roll off. Personally I think this speaker sounds its best all the way up to the 85% volume mark. And just to be clear this is while the speaker is in indoor mode. But let me the first to tell you that this speaker does require a break in period.
Its also worth mentioning that the JBL BoomBox does sound a little better when its plugged into the charger than when its simply being powered by the built in battery. And this isn’t surprising cause this is the same case with the JBL Xtreme. The combined output power of the JBL Boombox when powered by the AC charger is 30 Watts whereas when its being powered by the battery the combined output power gets reduced to 20 Watts. And obviously it does this for battery life.
The JBL boombox also connects to JBL’s connect app. And for the most part the app doesn’t do much. You can see your current battery status, toggle from indoor mode or outdoor mode and you can upgrade your speaker to the latest firmware. But unfortunately you cant adjust the EQ, so you’ll have to use a third party app to do that. But the app is handy when you have to manage multiple JBL speakers when you have them paired together.
As mentioned before, the JBL Boomboox is using JBL Connect plus. With JBL Connect plus you can connect up to 100 JBL Connect plus enabled speakers together and have them play music in sync. Right now the JBL Boombox can only be paired to the JBL Flip 4 and the JBL Pulse 3 because they are both using JBL Connect plus. So you can’t pair the JBL Boombox to the JBL Charge 3 or the JBL Xtreme which are using the older JBL Connect. But theres still hope. Representatives on JBL’s forums have stated that the JBL Charge 3 should be receiving a firmware update so they can connect to JBL Connect Plus enabled speakers. The update for the JBL charge 3 should be available in mid October but its still subject to change. So it could still get pushed back or it might not even come out at all. The representatives however have also stated that due to technological limitations the JBL Xtreme will not be receiving any such firmware update. So theres still hope that the JBL Charge 3 will still be able to pair with the JBL Boombox, Flip 4, and Pulse 3. But the JBL Xtreme will never be able to pair to the JBL Boombox at all. And its worth mentioning, if you have 2 JBL Boomboxs you can pair them together and have them play left and right stereo audio. And pairing multiple speakers together is super easy, all you have to do is press the JBL Connect plus button on each speaker and you’re done.
overall the JBL Boombox is a very durable and good sounding speaker. Its built like a tank. It gets louder than the JBL Xtreme and JBL Charge 3 but its still small and light enough that carrying it around isn’t as big of a hassle like other larger speakers in its price segment. Although I would really like to have a shoulder strap option as well. Whether you’re using the JBL Boombox at a moderate listening level for personal use or at full volume while hosting a get together the rechargeable battery while last you multiple listening sessions, something the Sony XB60 or XB90 cant do. Sure its pricy but if portability and battery life are your top priorities while still having big sound then the JBL Boombox is right for you.
Time for the sound test. Just a heads up the JBL Boombox is in indoor mode. As always all of these speakers are playing in the same room at the same decibel level streaming from the same device so hopefully the only difference here is sound quality.