Review: JBL’s Boombox does a fantastic job at bringing back an age-old classic

There are tons of Bluetooth speakers on the market. You’ve got budget options and super high-end options. There are also a few in the middle, and sometimes it’s hard to decide what speaker you should buy.

If you’re just looking to listen with a few friends, then most budget options will work great for you. Rugged? There’s an option for that as well. JBL has a speaker, the Boombox, that falls somewhere in the middle and if you’re looking for great sound, plenty of features, and a fairly decent price for it all, read on.

At $450 USD, there are many options out there that are far less expensive. But, you’ll sacrifice several key features that set this Bluetooth speaker apart from the rest.

Let’s start off with size. The JBL Boombox is massive. It’s not light, it’s not compact, and you sure can’t fit it in your pocket or backpack. From everything I can tell, JBL designed its Boombox to be like boomboxes of yesteryear. Built to carry with you on your shoulder and provide great tunes to listen to with your friends.

This new rendition of an age-old music device is fantastic at that. The JBL Boombox boasts beautiful near 360-degree sound, loud (but not distorted) passive subwoofers, and the ability to charge other devices off of the massive 20,000mAh battery.

You read that right. This speaker can keep itself going for up to 24 hours or your phone going for even longer. This is honestly one of my favorite features about the Boombox, as it means as long as I have a charging cord with me, I’ll really never be out of juice. Because of the amount of power the Boombox consumes, charging it is no normal feat.

JBL ships the Boombox with an included AC adapter that resembles most current-generation laptop chargers.

On the top of the Boombox, you’ll find the controls. There is a play/pause button, pair button, seek, and volume control. Volume control, at least with my iPhone X, was all done on the phone and not internal to the speaker. I prefer it this way as it means I can control my normal iPhone’s volume to control the Boombox.

The sound is amazing with this speaker too. Though at maximum volume there is some distortion with the bass, overall I was very pleased with the soundstage. The lows are very low, and the highs are great without getting too tinny. If you have the Boombox on your shoulder (or sometimes even the floor), you’ll feel the passive subwoofers in action for sure. You can also just look at the side and see those huge woofers moving tons of air as they provide the crystal clear bass you hear when listening.

Bluetooth range is normal for a speaker and nothing special, though pairing was near instant as soon as I hit the power button in most cases. You can even link up multiple Boomboxes if you want to hear stereo sound by using the JBL connect app.

JBL also built the Boombox to be ready for all conditions. With an IPX7 rating, the Boombox can handle dirt, sand, rain, cold, you name it. Living in Florida, that means I can bring the Boombox to the beach with me and not have to worry about it getting damaged due to waves or sand. It also means if you’re outside listening to music, rain won’t be a bother.

All in all, the JBL Boombox is a great speaker, if a little expensive. At $450, this isn’t a speaker everyone is going to run out and buy. But, if you’re looking for the feature set that the Boombox has to offer, like 24-hour battery, the ability to charge your device multiple times, IPX7 rating, and more, then it’s a perfect fit.

JBL’s Boombox is available from JBL directly or from most online retailers.

We would like to thank JBL for sending us the Boombox for review. Though JBL provided the speaker, JBL in no way influenced our views within this post. All views are our own.

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