JBL Boombox 2 Review
As the name of the JBL Boombox 2 suggests, this Bluetooth speaker is a model developed for room-filling music reinforcement. As the manufacturer states, the speaker should impress with a first-class sound, long battery life, and a large Bluetooth range.
But the Boombox 2 is also one of the heaviest music boxes that we have tested. Moreover, the Boombox 2 is expensive and not for bargain hunters or church mice. In our practical test, we checked for you whether the speaker could live up to its price. Is the sound of the Boombox 2 that good, or is the manufacturer stacking it a bit too high? You will find answers to these questions in our test report.
- Powerful sound
- Very long battery life
- Waterproof (IPX7)
- It sounds a bit dull
- No tone control on the device
- A little heavy
Design and processing of the JBL Boombox 2
The Boombox 2 is a real Kaventsmann. The Bluetooth speaker measures a full 25.7 x 48.5 x 20.1 cm centimeters and is a lot larger than the other JBL models, such as the Xtreme 2 or the Xtreme 3. In addition, the Boombox 2 weighs almost 6 kilograms – this makes the speaker a real heavyweight and not quite as easy to transport as the manufacturer’s devices with a better grip.
There is a carrying handle on the top of the cylindrical music box to make transport easier, but we would have found a carrying strap, such as that of the lighter Xtreme 3, to be a lot more practical here. Why JBL does without a tarpaulin on this heavy model and instead uses a handle will probably remain a company secret forever.
However, the carrying handle makes the Boombox 2 look like the modern version of a classic ghetto blaster – which we like. There are two different color variants to choose from for the Boombox 2. In addition to a classic, black design, the wireless Bluetooth speaker is also available in a chic camouflage pattern.
In our practical test, we opted for the black model. A rubberized base is attached to the underside of the Boombox 2, which gives the speaker a secure footing and prevents the round speaker from rolling off the table or other smooth surfaces. In addition, the JBL logo is centered on the front. The speaker’s design is generally very tidy and kept simple, which we find typically positive.
This makes the speaker look very classy and discreet – after all, JBL doesn’t have to draw attention to its speakers with colorful, freaky designs. There are two cable connections on the back of the device, which can be sealed with a rubber cap to make them watertight and dustproof. The boombox has a USB-A port to charge the speaker’s lithium-ion battery.
In addition, the USB port can also be used to operate your Boombox 2 as a power bank to supply other mobile devices, such as your smartphone, with power on the go. In addition, the jukebox has an AUX-IN jack connection, thanks to which you can connect the speaker to a device such as a CD player.
This is especially useful if you cannot establish a Bluetooth connection and still want to play your favorite music. There are six control buttons on the top of the housing, which integrate well into the speaker’s design and have a pleasant pressure point; one button is used to switch the device on or off, another to establish the Bluetooth connection.
You can use the plus and minus buttons to regulate the playback volume of the speaker. The play button is used to start and stop music playback; a double press on the button allows you to skip the current song and jump to the next track. The last control element on the top of the device is the so-called PartyBoost button.
In the so-called PartyBoost mode, it is even possible to connect 100 JBL devices. You can find exactly how the PartyBoost mode works in the “Functionality” section below. In addition to the Boombox 2 itself, the scope of delivery of the Bluetooth speaker also includes:
- A power supply unit.
- A charging cable.
- A safety data sheet.
- A guarantee certificate.
- A quick start guide.
The Boombox 2 is equipped with two 106-millimeter woofers and two tweeters with 20 millimeters. The output power is a total of 60 watts. This makes the Bluetooth speaker a lot more powerful than the JBL Xtreme 3, for example, whose output power is only twice 25 watts. The frequency response of the Boombox 2 is 50 Hz to 20 kHz. The Bluetooth speaker’s built-in lithium-ion battery has a capacity of 10,000 mAh and takes 6.5 hours to be fully charged.
However, the battery can then supply your speaker with energy for a full 24 hours. This means that the JBL Boombox 2 has the second-longest battery life in its price range; only the battery in the Teufel Rockster Air lasts longer, which can last up to a whopping 30 hours.
However, the actual battery life depends on the playback volume and other influences, such as the ambient temperature. As a result, reality can deviate from the manufacturer’s information.
In addition, JBL states in the Boombox 2 manual that the device’s battery should be fully charged at least once every three months if the speaker is not used for a longer period.
Specifications of the Boombox 2
- Dimensions: 25.7 x 48.5 x 20.1 cm
- Weight: about 1000g
- Battery life max: 24 hours
- Battery capacity: 10000mAh
- Charging time:5 hours
- Protection class: IPX7
- Multiple speakers connectable: Yes
- Bluetooth range: 50 m
- Other inputs:5 mm jack
- Scope of delivery: mains adapter, charging cable
- Drivers: 2x 106mm woofers + 2x 20mm tweeters
- Power: 60 watts
To the JBL Boombox 2
This measure should contribute to the longevity of the battery. Thanks to its IPX7 protection class, the Boombox 2 is completely waterproof but not protected from dust and other foreign objects. In return, the Bluetooth speaker can remain in a water depth of one meter for half an hour without suffering any damage.
However, before diving with the Boombox 2, you should remove all connected cables and seal the cable connections on the back of the housing with the rubberized sealing cap. In this way, you prevent water from getting inside through the openings and damaging the sensitive technology. According to the manufacturer’s instructions, the Boombox 2 should also not fall into the water as long as it is connected to the power supply unit and the device’s battery is being charged.
However, if you observe these points, the Boombox 2 is completely protected from water and ideal for use at the bathing lake or in the outdoor pool. The speaker’s long battery life of 24 hours also favors outdoor use – the speaker will hardly run out of juice for too short a time.
Another advantage of the Boombox 2 is its large Bluetooth range. This is a whopping 50 meters. This means that the speaker has the highest Bluetooth range of all devices in its price range. In addition, you can pair the Boombox 2 with several JBL speakers using the PartyBoost button on the top of the housing. To do this, you must first press the party button on the Boombox 2 and then that on the second device.
If you add a third device to the connection in this way, the speakers switch from stereo to party mode. In party mode, all speakers play the music equally – stereo sound is not possible in this mode. Alternatively, you can also load the JBL Portable App (formerly JBL Connect App) onto your smartphone and connect several speakers via the app. A total of up to 100 JBL speakers can be connected – if you want to let your neighborhood share your favorite music.
In addition, the Boombox 2 also has the Connect+ function, thanks to which you can also connect the speaker to JBL devices that do not use party mode. As a result, the connectivity of the Boombox 2 is greater than that of the JBL Xtreme 3. However, this does not have the Connect+ function and can only be networked with other models in party mode.
In return, however, the Boombox 2 lacks a hands-free function that could be used to answer phone calls. But that’s not a big deal. The Boombox 2 was designed as a party speaker – and you shouldn’t make calls at a party anyway. But if you value a hands-free system, the JBL Xtreme 2 or the JBL Xtreme 3 are recommended. These two models are more compact and have a hands-free system that you can use to make good quality calls.
Practical test of the JBL Boombox 2
To connect the Boombox 2 to your smartphone or tablet, all you have to do is activate the Bluetooth function of the speaker and your end device. You then have to select the Boombox 2 from the list of available Bluetooth devices. A few seconds later, the two devices are paired, and you can start playing your favorite music on the Boombox 2. In addition, the pairing of several JBL loudspeakers in party mode is also very quick and uncomplicated with the speaker.
You can also install the JBL Portable App on your smartphone, which can be downloaded free of charge from both the App Store and the Play Store. Installing the app is unnecessary to use the speaker, but the app can make listening to music even more convenient.
Instead of using the speaker’s control buttons, you can control all the functions of the Boombox 2 via the app and, at the same time, expand the speaker’s range of roles a little further. Furthermore, you can personalize your Boombox 2 via the app; for example, rename it, and download additional software updates.
In addition, the app is very clearly designed, and the use turned out to be self-explanatory and problem-free in our practice test. However, since the app is not necessary for using the Boombox 2, the JBL Portable App is more of a nice addition than a “must-have.”
Sound quality and volume
The sound quality of the Boombox 2 is flawless; there is no other way to say it; the sound and the bass reproduction were more than convincing in the practical test, which is why we rated both with the maximum score of 10 stars.
The bass of the Boombox 2 is even better than that of the Xtreme 3 and gets the best out of every song – whether hip hop, electro, or R’n’B. Especially in the lower volume regions, the sound of the Boombox 2 is balanced and unobtrusive, whiter but also convincing at higher levels.
In addition to the UE Megablast, the jukebox is the loudest speaker in its price range, earning it full marks here. However, the sound of the Megablast is heavily compressed at higher volumes – this is not the case with the JBL Boombox, which is why it performs slightly better here.
The JBL PartyBox 310 is also very loud, but this is more of a PA box, i.e., a public access box used to fill the audience with sound at concerts or other events. All in all, it can be said that the JBL Boombox 2 is unparalleled when it comes to sound the quality is first-class, the bass is so intense that your ears are ringing.
Since the speaker is also particularly loud, the Boombox 2 is ideal for providing sound for large parties, the neighbors will certainly not thank you for using the speaker, but your guests will be all the more grateful.
The Boombox 2 has convinced us of its qualities in most aspects. The only points of criticism are the immense weight of the box of almost 6 kilos and the rather bulky size. JBL has provided the speaker with a handle, but a carrying strap would have been more appropriate for this heavyweight.
On the other hand, the sound of the Bluetooth speaker is clearly in the top league. The sound is impeccable; the bass is so intense that no stone will be left unturned at the next party.
In addition, the Boombox 2 is the loudest speaker in its price range – only the UE Megablast can do this to keep up with the boombox. The speaker’s battery life is 24 hours and is therefore extremely high – so nothing stands in the way of unlimited music enjoyment with the Boombox 2.