JBL Boombox: Say Hello to the Star of Your Next Backyard Party

In a word: Fantastic.

Do you want more words? Try: Deep; Powerful; Resonant; Excellent

One thing I love about Harman products is that even though each of their sub-brands (AKG, JBL, etc) might be tuned slightly differently, they almost always sound very good to me, and the JBL Boombox definitely checks that box.

The JBL Boombox’s bass is incredible, yet not overwhelming (unless you want it to be). The music I enjoy listening to sounds electrifying on the Boombox.

The beginning of Nothing But Thieves‘ “Broken Machine” pounds the entire room, yet the vocals are clear and the mids are never muddy. To use Nothing But Thieves as yet another example (because I am currently obsessed with them), their song “Particles” is worth noting because the Boombox allows Conor Mason’s voice to dip and soar without sounding lost in the cacophony of sounds the band is producing. My usual mid-range test song is Radiohead‘s “Burn the Witch”, and the Boombox performs perfectly — Thom York’s voice is never drowned out or overpowered by the driving sounds of the orchestra — the song becomes a muddy mid-range mess with lesser speakers. Next up, Sir Sly‘s “Where I’m Going”, which crosses from a spare beginning to a full vocal and musical explosion without muddying Landon Jacob’s hypnotic voice. Booka Shade‘s “Babylon” sounds festive and clear enough (and it’s also loud enough) to get any party started, and BØRNSPast Lives” just keeps it going. MISSIO‘s “Everybody Gets High” pounds the outdoors, making an impromptu dance party on our back party an absolute possibility; follow it up with MGMT‘s “Little Dark Age” and marvel at how good it all sounds. I can’t wait to use the speaker for pool parties this summer, because as good as this speaker sounds, knowing that it is safe to take it literally anywhere makes the experience of using it even more enjoyable. Zero anxiety that anything will happen to the speaker.

If you want a speaker that is just as at home indoors as outdoors, one that can fill a large room or backyard with excellent sounding music, one that employs pounding, expansive bass without drowning out the vocals or muddying the midrange — the JBL Boombox is the speaker for you. This speaker is as amazing indoors as it is out — and that’s saying a lot.

The JBL Boombox retails for $449.95, and it is available directly from the manufacturer and from other retailers including Amazon [affiliate link].

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

What I Like: 20,000mAh battery — lasts ~24 hours; Can charge up to two mobile devices while listening to music; Can program the Play button to summon Siri or Google Play; The Boombox produces full, expansive, and expansive sound; IPX7 Waterproof — you can use it without worrying about rain or an accidental dunking in the pool; Did I mention how good this speaker sounds?

What Needs Improvement: It’s expensive — but you get what you pay for


About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
I've had a fascination with all types of gadgets and gizmos since I was a child, beginning with the toy robot that my grandmother gave my brother - which I promptly "relieved him of" in 1973. I'm a self-professed gadget magpie. I can't tell you how everything works, but I'm known world-wide for using a product until I have a full understanding of what it does, what its limitations are, and if it excels in any given area — or not.