Almost any JBL-branded acoustics from HARMAN are always distinguished by their incredibly attractive design, unusual features and, of course, high sound quality. The latter is aimed, as a rule, at a young audience that prefers electronic music, pop music, rap, hip-hop and other areas where bass coloring is important. What is there to hide – many people love JBL precisely for its expressive bass, and only then for everything else.
Today, a real king of bass appeared in our test lab! According to the manufacturer, the new JBL Boombox 2 speaker system is one of the loudest boomboxes in the JBL speaker range, with almost the same deep and powerful bass as a speaker in a good club. And you can also take this column with you to the pool, since nothing will happen to it, even if you pour water on it from a bucket, and then “accidentally” send it for a swim. And although it is not recommended to dive with it, the JBL Boombox 2 will withstand diving to a depth of one meter. And we will definitely test this today too.
⇡ #Contents of delivery
The speaker comes in a large cardboard box with carry handles on the sides. The box is heavy enough. We had at our disposal two JBL Boombox 2 speakers at once, differing from each other in colors.
The package is pretty simple. Together with the speaker in the box, we found the following accessories:
- power adapter;
- two detachable power cables of different standards;
- a printed user guide for getting started with your device.
Probably, for a column of this type, some kind of transport case would not hurt, but it was not included in the kit. However, the novelty is well protected from external influences, so the absence of this accessory is not critical.
|JBL Boombox 2|
|Speaker||2 woofers × 106 mm (4 inches) |
2 HF × 20 mm (0.75 in.)
|Power, W||In operation from the network: 2 × 40; |
In battery mode: 2 × 30
|Frequency range, Hz||50-20,000|
|Signal-to-noise ratio, more, dB||80|
|Features:||IPX7 water resistant |
PartyBoost technology for speaker linking
USB port for charging a smartphone, 5V / 2.0A
3.5mm audio cable input
The ability to work from the mains
|Battery||Lithium ion polymer, |
10,000 mAh (72.6 Wh)
|Battery life, h||up to 24|
|Full charge time, h||6.5|
|Wireless connection||Bluetooth 5.1 (2.402-2.480 GHz)|
|Bluetooth profiles||A2DP 1.3, AVRCP 1.6|
|Dimensions, mm||485 × 201 × 257|
|Average retail price *, rub.||24830|
* Average price for “Yandex.Market” at the time of writing.
The JBL Boombox 2 column is built on four speakers. The two woofers are 4 “large enough for a portable speaker, and the tweeters are 0.75” each. At the same time, the sound power during operation of the speaker from the mains is higher than when operating on battery power. It is not often that such an impressive set of speakers can be found in a portable speaker system, and even not so large in size. But the weight of the new item is decent: it gained almost six kilograms due to a number of reasons, including large woofers, a built-in rechargeable battery with a capacity of 72.6 Wh, and a protected case.
The case, by the way, can really surprise the owner of the JBL Boombox 2, because the column has the IPX7 standard, according to which it can be briefly immersed in water to a depth of up to a meter. Let us remind you, just in case, that this is not a headphones, not a small compact speaker that fits in a pocket, but a full-size boombox. It’s just that, unlike others, you can swim in the pool and listen to music in parallel. For this, the column can easily be forgiven for a large mass.
And the new product breaks records in terms of autonomy. According to the manufacturer, the built-in lithium-ion battery allows the column to work continuously for 24 hours. The volume level is not specified, but we will try to find it out during testing. And JBL Boombox 2 can also serve as a portable charger: among its interfaces there is a standard USB type A port, to which you can connect a smartphone – a sound source that has every chance of being discharged earlier than the speaker itself.
JBL Boombox is connected via Bluetooth specification 5.1 interface and A2DP 1.3 and AVRCP 1.6 profiles. However, the manufacturer is silent about codecs. Apparently, the column works only with the SBC codec. Also, the sound source can be connected to the JBL Boombox 2 using an audio cable with a conventional 3.5 mm jack. If you want and have a second JBL Boombox 2 speaker nearby or any other JBL speaker system compatible with PartyBoost technology, you can combine the devices into a single system and increase the power by two or more times. There will be one sound source for them, and several speakers. It is probably impossible to wish for something else for a portable speaker. The JBL Boombox 2 has everything you need.
⇡ #Appearance and ergonomics
The appearance of JBL Boombox 2 is so bright and expressive that it is simply impossible to pass by it without holding your gaze. The designers from HARMAN have worked hard on the new product, paying attention to the smallest details. The speaker is available in two colors: the traditional black color and the striking military-style protective color. Both options got to us for testing.
The column has the shape of an elongated barrel with slightly beveled ends and a massive carrying handle. The outer part of the case is made of smooth plastic, pleasant to the touch, with soft inserts in some places. In particular, the inner side of the handle is made soft to make it easier to hold the speaker, and the side walls, where the protruding soft parts perform protective functions for the passive radiators located on the sides. The latter do not have magnetic heads and move only due to the movement of air inside the case when active speakers are working.
All four active speakers are located on the face of the barrel-shaped enclosure. Large low-frequency ones are in the center, and high-frequency ones are at the edges. The body is tightly covered with a large weave fabric. The fabric appears to be glued to the body, as it does not move, even with a lot of force. In general, the quality of materials and workmanship of the JBL Boombox 2 is ten points out of ten. It is impossible to find even the slightest flaws or manufacturing flaws.
The column rests on a large protruding stand, which is also made of some rather soft material. The stand is grooved to prevent the speaker from slipping when installed on smooth wet surfaces such as pool tiles.
The column also has elements with an exclusively decorative function. For example, these are the huge JBL and! Logos located on the passive speakers, or the corporate logos on the handle and bezel. But basically everything in it is done in order to either provide comfort in work, or to protect the device from external influences.
The control panel next to the carrying handle consists of six short-travel buttons, two of which are allocated in a separate backlit unit – these are the power buttons and connect to a sound source via Bluetooth. The rest of the buttons are designed to adjust the sound volume, connect additional speakers using PartyBoost technology and control playback. For the last action, only one button is allocated: a single click on it starts or stops playback, and a double click is responsible for moving to the next track. All buttons are characterized by a clear, pleasant touch. Well, at the very bottom of the front panel there is a built-in battery charge indicator in the form of a vertical luminous strip.
All JBL Boombox 2 wired interfaces are located on the rear of the case. They are hidden behind a large rubber (or silicone) plug with three sealing loops. The plug very tightly covers the panel with the interfaces, so you won’t have to worry about the tightness. Even if you do not close the plug completely, neither splashes nor even a waterfall will damage the column. But the chances that the plug will accidentally open, in this case, are much higher than if it was closed tightly.
Behind the plug there is a connector for connecting a power adapter, a USB type A port, a 3.5 mm mini-jack for wired connection of a sound source and an additional Micro-USB interface for servicing the speaker.
A few words should be said about the power adapter, which in the JBL Boombox 2 is made in an elegant case with rounded edges. Unlike similar products that come with other speakers, this power adapter is just a pleasure to hold in your hands. The power of the adapter is 100.8 W, so it will not be easy to find a similar one in case of loss or damage. In general, the aggressive expressive design, workmanship and thoughtful arrangement of all structural elements of the JBL Boombox 2 deserve the highest praise.
To get the JBL Boombox 2 speakers to their full capacity, we decided to head out into the woods. In a rather remote (by the standards of the Moscow region) thicket, where there are no people within a kilometer radius. Scaring indigenous forest dwellers with loud bass, of course, is also not good, but we had nowhere else to truly test the work at the maximum opportunity. We did not disturb the animals for so long, since it is not easy to withstand the maximum volume that the JBL Boombox 2 speaker system is capable of. It is truly the loudest portable speaker with the deepest bass we’ve heard. At the same time, the sound quality remains practically unchanged when the volume is changed – even up to the maximum level. In any case, we did not manage to notice any difference. Unless the speaker gets very hot at a high volume level – it’s better not to put it in the sun.
Low frequencies in this case are quite soft, but incredibly voluminous. If the speaker is used indoors, the pressure on the ears is applied at high volume, similar to what is felt from powerful club speakers. At the same time, absolutely any compositions acquire a bass coloration. If we were considering ordinary speakers, then this would be a serious drawback, but in the case of the JBL Boombox 2, intended primarily for noisy parties and out-of-town outings, this feature can be safely added to the list of its advantages.
But the bass coloration in no way means that the mids and highs of the JBL Boombox 2 are clogged and become inaudible or audible in the background. While the mid-frequency range can only be partially represented during song playback, the upper frequencies, on the contrary, are very clearly emphasized by the high-frequency speakers. In this case, whistle and squeak was not noted. In this case, we can talk about a certain frequency balance, which the manufacturer managed to find, placing a significant emphasis on deep bass and not forgetting that the task of JBL Boombox 2 is full-fledged music playback.
The column easily copes with any electronic, dance and popular music. The voices of the performers are clearly audible. No need to guess the words of a song, drowned out by the bass, as is often heard on cheaper street speakers. Moreover, with the JBL Boombox 2, you can relax at home or outdoors in silence, quietly turning on light electronic music. To the sound of this speaker, you can even fall asleep sweetly, and not just come off well in a noisy company. Of course, ordinary good speakers will cope better with instrumental music, and solo works, and a lot of other things, but it is very difficult to take them out to the dacha, to the city streets or to the river bank. JBL Boombox 2 is easy!
By the way, about lightness. Despite the convenient carrying handle and relatively small dimensions, it is not so comfortable to carry this column in your hand for a long time. You can still carry a kilometer, but traveling with a speaker in hand all day is quite problematic, unless, of course, you visit the gym three or four times a week, where, by the way, there is also a use for the JBL Boombox 2.
As for battery life, the manufacturer did not lie. The column can really work continuously throughout the day, and not with a barely audible volume level, but at a very decent 50-60% of the maximum. So that you understand what we are talking about: with such a volume level, when the speaker is operating in the room, it becomes difficult to perceive the interlocutor’s speech. When working in an ordinary apartment, it is generally better not to raise the volume level above 30%. Neighbors, you know … Well, if you plan to use the speaker for listening to music alone in the evenings, then the battery charge will be enough for a week.
We also checked the PartyBoost technology. The two speakers we have are networked in just a few seconds. But in order to take advantage of all the possibilities of this function, you will have to install the proprietary JBL Portable application on your smartphone. With it, you can not only combine the speakers into one system, but also choose one of two possible modes of operation of such a “network”. By default, the columns are combined in “Party” mode, in which the second, third and any other subsequent columns play the same as the first. You can connect an unlimited number of speakers – at least five, at least ten, as many as you find. There were no delays during playback.
Well, the name of the second mode – “Stereo” – speaks for itself. In this mode, two speakers work. The first one starts to transmit the sound of the left channel, and the second one – the right one. Perhaps this is the only useful feature of the JBL Portable application. Also, here you can only find out the charge of the battery and turn off the sound made when you press the keys.
Well, in conclusion of our testing, we decided to check the level of protection of the speaker system. Alas, we did not have time to find a pool and a country villa in a week of testing, but we did not have to look for a spacious bath for a long time. The speaker was connected to a smartphone from which music was played. We first tested the JBL Boombox 2 under the shower and then moved on to submerging the device under water. You can find out what came of this in our short video below. The music in the video is not superimposed during editing – the speaker under test is playing!
It turned out that the JBL Boombox 2 is not at all airtight – it collects water inside when immersed and gives it out after being removed. Water pours out of the column, and at the same time it continues to play – a fascinating sight! But, of course, all electronic filling is reliably protected from moisture in a sealed inner compartment… In addition, this column is almost impossible to drown. There is so much air inside it that the column floats on the surface of the water, like a float, despite its six kilograms. Even if you drop it into a very deep pool or lake, then nothing terrible will happen to it. The column continues to play and swim as if nothing had happened. But if you turn it down with the speakers, under the water, then the sound will not be heard. So the water test of the JBL Boombox 2 went just fine!
If you are looking for an outdoor speaker with deep bass, loud, high-quality sound and a look that will surely impress any of your friends, then the JBL Boombox 2 is exactly what you need. If at the same time you still want to get a housing protected from moisture so that you can not be afraid of rain, a pool and not always adequate guests who, for example, can pour drinks on equipment, then JBL Boombox 2 is perhaps the only option offered on the Russian market. Well, in terms of sound quality, this speaker for many potential users may well become a universal speaker system that will be successfully used both on the street and at home. In any case, its capabilities will definitely be enough for watching movies.
Here are the main advantages of the new product:
- eye-catching attractive design and the highest quality workmanship;
- relatively compact body with a convenient handle for transportation;
- protection against water according to the IPX7 standard;
- PartyBoost technology to combine any number of speakers
- USB port for charging a smartphone;
- very high maximum volume level;
- very deep volumetric bass;
- sufficiently balanced sound for this type of speaker;
- long operating time without recharging.
At the same time, the JBL Boombox 2 has practically no shortcomings. The only thing that we managed to find was the lack of the ability to work with aptX or AAC codecs. Впрочем, для уличной колонки это вряд ли важно, ведь данное устройство явно не предназначено для аудиофилов. Стоимость новинки около 25 тысяч рублей для многих покажется чересчур завышенной, но найти этому устройству достойного конкурента, да ещё и с защитой от воды, будет весьма непросто. Колонка стоит своих денег. Она может стать прекрасным подарком не только для любителей уличных дискотек, но и для тех, кто, например, занимается спортом на уличных площадках, катается в скейт-парках и просто активно проводит время за пределами четырёх стен своего дома.
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