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My Review of the JBL Boombox Bluetooth Speaker

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The JBL bluetooth boombox with the carrying case, sold separately.

The JBL bluetooth boombox with the carrying case, sold separately.

Should You Buy the JBL Boombox?

I bought the JBL Charge 3 before ordering the Boombox, but I ended up returning the Charge 3, because I didn't like the sound quality. I like the compact size of the Charge 3 for portability, but I wanted a speaker with fuller, louder sound. I watched several sound comparison videos on the Internet before settling on the Boombox.

I use the Boombox bluetooth speaker as a work radio and for outdoor use when I grill out with friends. The sound quality is superior to my old school Makita work radio that I used for many years prior, which required a USB connection to listen to music on my phone. As of this 2021 update, my overall experience with the JBL Boombox remains positive, but I'll share both my likes and dislikes.

Awesome Sound and Bass

The bass sound from the two 4-inch woofers doesn't disappoint if more bass is what you want. Rock music sounds great on this bluetooth speaker, but rap and really any bass-heavy music sounds even better. The sound is very clear and balanced. The bass doesn't cause crackling or sound distortion at high volume.

My one dislike is the speaker doesn't have an equalizer to adjust the treble and bass, but instead includes an outdoor and indoor setting. These two settings don't provide much of a difference in sound, except for the outdoor setting sounding a little louder with slightly more bass, but that's about it.

The sound can be turned up louder when the speaker is plugged in instead of running off the battery. JBL says the speaker produces 60 watts when plugged into a power source and 20 watts when listening to music using the battery alone. It's loud enough for a small outdoor party near the speaker. Using the outdoor sound setting helps increase the sound and bass in an open space.

The Weight

With a weight of 11 lbs, the JBL Boombox is big and heavy. I knew this before buying mine, but the weight might be a problem if you want a radio to carry around outside on a walk or something. Your arm would be sore fast. Mine stays in one place when I listen to music. One of the smaller JBL bluetooth speakers would be the better choice if you want ease of portability.

The carrying handle and stability of the speaker is fine. The heavy duty plastic and rubber on the bottom add to the weight, but the material does feel very durable. I don't worry about anything damaging easily.

Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

The Boombox is waterproof and submersible down to 3-feet for those who care about that. The waterproof advantage isn't all that important, but it's definitely nice not having to worry about damage if it suddenly starts raining when I'm listening to music outside.

I don't plan on throwing mine into a swimming pool, but apparently this heavy weight speaker floats. The rubber flap on the back of the speaker is a waterproof seal that protects the internal components when closed.

Longer Battery Life

JBL says the battery lasts 24-hours, and while the battery definitely lasts longer than the smaller JBL speakers I've used, the length depends on the music volume. High volume drains the battery faster. I'm able to use mine at work for three days before the battery needs charging, which takes around six hours for a full charge.

Blasting music will drain the battery faster, but at normal volume, you can expect 20 to 24 hours of battery life, which is pretty good. I charge mine overnight.

JBL Connect

One of the cool features I really like about JBL blueooth speakers is having the ability to connect multiple speakers with a simple push of a button. With this speaker, you're able to connect up to one hundred JBL speakers at a time. I don't think anyone is connecting that many speakers, but it's nice being able to connect more than one. My friend connects his Charge 2 to my Boombox when we have parties outside.

The Price

At $400, this isn't a cheap radio. You can buy JBL speakers that cost less, but I do feel the price is justified for the excellent sound quality and long lasting battery.

You can buy the Boombox on sale if you shop around. I bought mine for around $350. I also bought the carrying case to protect the radio from getting damaged while transporting it in my work truck.

JBL Boombox bluetooth speaker.

JBL Boombox bluetooth speaker.

Is the JBL Boombox Worth Buying?

I've owned and used my black JBL boombox since 2019 without any sound or battery issues. I'm still very satisfied with the sound quality and bass this speaker delivers, especially for bass heavy music.

This is a good party radio with solid bass and a battery that lasts longer. Since 2019, the battery still holds a charge for the same amount of time as when I first bought it. An equalizer would be nice instead of only the two indoor/outdoor settings, but the preset sound setting you get is perfectly fine and noticeably better than some of the other JBL speakers I've listened to.

One of the radios I looked at first was the Xtreme. The Xtreme is slightly smaller than the Boombox, but the sound and bass is noticeably better than the Xtreme, and the Xtreme is only splash proof if it matters.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Matt G.


Matt G. (author) from United States on August 28, 2020:

Thanks for the clarification.

Crix on August 28, 2020:

Its actually 40 watts on battery (2x20) and indeed 60 on the net (2x30)