JBL is one of the best-known Bluetooth speaker manufacturers on the market. If you exclude the party box models, the Boombox 3 is JBL’s largest box. We tested the Boombox 3.
More than Xtreme
Yes, the JBL Xtreme is not JBL’s largest speaker, the Boombox trumps the Xtreme, and is therefore the Xtreme+ or
The similarity to the smaller speakers is intentional; the Boombox 3 is almost 50 cm wide, 25 cm high and 20 cm deep. Weighing 6.3 kg, it weighs more than three times as much as a JBL Xtreme 3.
A lot comes out of the speaker, the low frequencies in the room are provided by an 80 watt subwoofer, the mids are taken care of by two 40 watt speakers, and the highs by two 10 watt speakers. The setup is supported by two passive membranes that you have never seen in this size before. A total of 200 watts of music power is available when you turn the speaker up to full power – with one restriction: This power is only available when the speaker is plugged into the socket. Otherwise it is “only” 60 watts for the sub, 30 watts per mid-speaker and 8 watts per tweeter. So you only have 136 watts available when mobile.
Let’s stick with battery operation, charging is done via a power plug, so you need 230V to charge the speaker. At medium volume you can listen to music for 24 hours; the speaker charges in 6 hours. Overall good values, you can also charge your smartphones via USB-A.
Sound comes to the speaker via Bluetooth 5.3 or via a jack cable.
Processing and design
JBL doesn’t really surprise us when it comes to design; the boombox belongs in the same line as the JBL Flip 6, Charge 5 and Xtreme 3. Accordingly, the speaker is perfectly manufactured like its smaller siblings. Here too, most of the speaker is covered with fabric and the sides are rubberized. However, the speaker is only available in black or camouflage.
The JBL logo is emblazoned large on the front and looks excellent here too.
The speaker is carried with a solid aluminum handle that looks fantastic, but for longer distances we would have preferred a carrying strap like the one on the Xtreme – at least optional.
The Boombox 3 is also waterproof and dustproof, according to IP67.
The Boombox 3 can do that
In our JBL Boombox 3 test we also looked at the other functions that the boombox offers.
First of all, the Boombox 3 supports JBL PartyBoost, with this function you can connect the speaker to other JBL speakers wirelessly. You can use two boomboxes as a stereo pair or network up to 150+ speakers together. You can find out more about PartyBoost here.
Then the speaker is compatible with the JBL Portable app, here you can make software updates and also use a 3-channel equalizer.
Competition from within the company
What you have to ask yourself in the context of the boombox is who the speaker is intended for. Why? Because, strictly speaking, JBL is competing with itself. If you want to listen to mobile music very loudly, you can also choose a product from the PartyBox series from JBL. Products like the JBL Partybox Encore start at less than 300 euros. There is less music output here, but the larger diaphragm makes it sound just as loud.
So if you’re looking for a speaker for parties, the Partybox Encore or Partybox 110 is actually the better speaker.
The Boombox 3 looks more elegant, does without LED lighting and has a more detailed sound – but that brings us to the topic:
This is what the JBL Boombox 3 sounds like
Basically, sound is a subjective impression, but I’ll still try to classify for you what the Boombox 3 sounds like.
Thanks to the built-in 3-way speaker system, the Boombox 3 offers a sound that is rarely experienced in this form with Bluetooth speakers. The Boombox 3 benefits from the dedicated speakers, especially in the midrange, and offers details that you don’t often hear with Bluetooth speakers. This makes the speaker a very good device even at lower volumes.
The bass also benefits from the subwoofer, which doesn’t have to do more than the bass, so the speaker has particularly deep and voluminous bass.
Overall, the sound quality is excellent and absolutely appropriate in the price range. So it’s absolutely fun to listen to music with the boombox even at medium volume.
Regarding the volume: We already mentioned it. There are two different operating modes, once when the speaker is plugged in and once when it is running on battery power. As you can imagine, the difference is noticeable, especially in terms of volume. As long as the speaker is connected to the socket, it surprises with a particularly powerful and very loud sound that is absolutely suitable for a party. Even larger rooms can be filled with sound from a speaker.
The whole thing is a little more difficult in battery mode. The speaker still offers a very good sound experience, but the third less power is clearly noticeable. Not only the overall volume, but also the bass decreases somewhat. In this state it still offers more volume than a JBL Xtreme 3 can, but the difference is noticeably smaller.
So if you want a party with very loud music, you can buy the speaker, but you should still make sure there is a power supply. Otherwise, the speaker is suitable like no other, even for lower volumes, where it impresses with a particularly detailed and linear sound.
The JBL Boombox 3 is a fantastic large mobile speaker, we expected nothing less from JBL. But, it’s a prestige device, a JBL speaker this size is really cool, but for very few of you the speaker will be worth it in that sense. Ultimately, everyone has to decide for themselves, but the target group is not exactly large. For many of you, products from the Partybox series could be the better choice, but if you can’t do without waterproofing, you’ll have to choose the Boombox 3.
Nevertheless, the speaker is a lot of fun, it looks great on the shelf and impressed us in the test.
You can get the JBL Boombox 3 from 465.90 euros