TEST: JBL Boombox 2 – portable speaker with real pressure in the sound

Tested product: Boombox 2
Award: SEK 4,890 at Netonnet

Now is the time to take stock of suitable playback devices and prepare for the coming summer months, which many of us are more than happy to spend outdoors. Maybe it’s time to invest some capital in a new portable speaker?

Rating 3 out of 5

Opinion

The JBL Boombox 2 is a sturdy and durable portable speaker with enough capacity to be able to entertain a whole bunch of party-hungry guests in terms of volume. If you already have the predecessor, however, there is no reason to upgrade, the differences between the models are so small and they also lack compatibility to be able to connect with each other.

Positively

  • Good sound and impressive volume resources
  • IPX7 rated
  • Multiple compatible devices can be paired (Partyboost)

Negative

  • Long charging time
  • Heavy and awkward
  • Award
  • Not backward compatible with older models (with Connect or Connect +)

As you know, JBL has a number of models adapted for outdoor use, from the smallest in the Clip and Go series to the larger speakers Charge 5 and Xtreme 3. But if you want the opportunity to turn up the volume really and be able to scare blows on both seagulls and the beach neighbor the Boombox 2 that applies.´

JBL Boombox 2

The first generation of the JBL Boombox, which we tested almost four years ago, impressed us greatly and we praised its sound. Now the replacement is here and of course the expectations are high.

Design and functions

In terms of design, it is not entirely easy to distinguish the new Boombox 2 from its predecessor. The basic construction is the same with the carrying handle integrated on the top and the characteristic fat passive base elements on the sides. And just like before, the speaker is ipx7-rated, which means that it is waterproof and more than suitable for taking to the beach or pool area.

Technically, it has happened all the more. Boombox 2 communicates via bluetooth version 5.1 (previously 4.2) and the power has been turned up to 2 x 40 watts (2 x 30 W in battery mode) compared to the predecessor’s 2 x 30 watts (2 x 20 W in battery mode). However, the equipment is the same as before and consists of double 4-inch base elements and two 20 millimeter treble.

JBL Boombox 2
Connector for charging external devices (unfortunately not usb-c).

All function buttons are located on the top of the speaker: play / pause (and the next track), on / off, volume, activate bluetooth and “Partyboost” – which is used to connect Boombox 2 with one or more compatible speakers (which the predecessor can not).

The associated app is a really simple story, which in addition to making sure that the device’s firmware is up to date, can otherwise only be used to administer the Partyboost function. The possibility to adjust the sound image with an equalizer is thus lacking, which is sad, especially considering that the predecessor had at least two different sound modes (outdoor / indoor).

JBL Boombox 2
The app is used to pair Boombox 2 with additional compatible speakers

Sound quality and battery capacity

Boombox 2 has the capacity to play really loud and that with advantage outdoors. There is no question that JBL has focused on the speaker to convey a clear and distinct sound in the upper frequency range, which results in an almost perfect balance between bass, midrange and treble in an open environment. It sounds really good even in a more closed environment – to a certain level. At really high volume, the sound can be experienced as sharp and almost unpleasant.

JBL Boombox 2

According to the manufacturer, the battery life is specified as a full 24 hours. This is in good agreement with our measurements, but assumes that the volume is set to a maximum of 50 percent. If you pull the stand on properly and are constantly close to the maximum volume, the capacity drops to around nine hours, which is also clearly approved.

Specifications

Tested: June 2021
Model: Boombox 2
Manufacturer: JBL
Type: portable bluetooth speaker
Output: 2x40W (2x30W in battery mode)
Connection: Bluetooth 5.1, 3.5 mm aux
Battery life: up to 24 hours
Charging time: 6.5 hours
Frequency reproduction: 50–20 000 Hz
IP class: IPX7
Active voice control assistant: No
Weight: 5.9 kilos
Measure: 48.5 x 20.1 x 25.7 cm
Rec. Price for test: SEK 5,500
Award: SEK 4,890 at Netonnet