The JBL Boombox 3 is one of the top portable Bluetooth speakers on the market for those seeking thunderous bass and powerful sound. As the latest model in JBL’s line of rugged, high-performance boomboxes, the Boombox 3 delivers room-filling audio and improved features while retaining the iconic boombox design.
In this in-depth Jbl Boombox 3 review, we’ll cover everything you need to know about this speaker’s design, audio quality, features, battery life and more. We’ll also see how it compares against competitors and previous JBL models to help you decide if it’s worth the investment.
Design and Build – A Rugged, Portable Bass Machine
Kicking off this JBL Boombox 3 review, let’s first take a look at the design and build quality which are both seriously impressive.
Following in the footsteps of previous JBL boomboxes, the Boombox 3 has a very rugged, tank-like design that looks great and can obviously withstand a lot of abuse. The exterior is covered in a durable silicone rubber housing that feels premium and provides protection.
JBL also claims this model is IP67 rated waterproof and dustproof. That means it can be submerged in water up to 1 meter deep for 30 minutes without issue. You can bring it poolside without worry.
Despite its large size, the Boombox 3 remains surprisingly portable thanks to the integrated handle on the top. The strong nylon handle makes it easy to carry the 13 pound speaker from place to place. JBL also includes a shoulder strap for added convenience if you’ll be traveling longer distances.
Here are some more quick specs on the design:
- Dimensions: 11 x 20.5 x 9.5 inches
- Weight: 13 pounds
- IP67 rating: Water and dustproof
- Carrying: Integrated handle and shoulder strap
Looking at the top panel, JBL sticks with the same button layout…
Sound Quality and Performance – Room-Filling Bass and Crystal Clear Sound
Now let’s dive into the most important aspect of any speaker – the sound quality and audio performance. With its huge size and pumped up 120W power output, the JBL Boombox 3 delivers earth-shaking bass along with excellent mids and crystal clear highs.
Inside the Boombox 3, you’ll find a serious driver array consisting of:
- 2 x 6.5” woofers for deep bass
- 2 x 1.4” tweeters for extended highs
- 2 x passive radiators for enhanced low-end
This speaker is powered by a massive built-in digital amplifier that provides up to 120 watts of RMS power. That allows the Boombox 3 to generate a ton of bass while still delivering clean and distortion-free sound across the frequency range.
The bass performance from those dual 6.5” woofers is seriously mind-blowing. The JBL Boombox 3 absolutely digs deep and you can feel the bass reverberating in your chest on EDM, hip hop, or other bass-heavy tracks. Even at max volume, the bass stays powerful but tight without muddiness or distortion.
Beyond the bass, the Boombox 3 impresses with excellent audio quality across the board. Mids are full and rich sounding with great clarity for vocals and instruments like guitars or pianos. Highs are crisp and detailed without being overly sharp or sibilant.
With its loud max volume of over 100dB, the Boombox 3 can easily fill a large room or an entire outdoor space with audio. The angled design and radiator placement project the sound forward in a wider dispersion pattern.
Overall, while the JBL Boombox 3 emphasizes low end power, it still retains a very balanced and immersive soundstage. Whether you’re pumping bass tracks or listening to gentler acoustic songs, this speaker delivers excellent audio.
Features and Connectivity – Decked Out for Functionality
Beyond impressive sound, the JBL Boombox 3 offers a versatile set of features and connectivity options making it a functional powerhouse.
For wireless connectivity, the Boombox 3 has Bluetooth 5.1 allowing you to pair and stream from any Bluetooth-enabled device like your phone, tablet or laptop. I found the wireless range to be excellent, able to maintain stutter-free audio up to 30+ feet away through walls and obstacles.
NFC one-touch pairing is also supported for quick connections with compatible devices. Speakers can be daisy-chained together using JBL’s PartyBoost feature to sync audio in multiple rooms.
On the back panel, you’ll find two USB-A ports allowing you to charge your devices like smartphones directly from the Boombox 3’s big 20,000 mAh battery. No need for a separate power bank when this speaker can juice up your gadgets.
There is also a 3.5mm aux input for wired connectivity from MP3 players or other audio sources without Bluetooth.
For controlling playback and volume directly on the speaker, JBL includes a convenient control panel on the top with buttons for power, Bluetooth, volume up/down, and play/pause. LED light strips visualize volume levels and pulse along with your music.
Speaking of lights, the Boombox 3 has customizable RGB lighting effects you can control from the JBL Portable app. Choose from colors, patterns, and modes to match the vibe.
And lastly, the IP67 waterproof and dustproof rating means you don’t have to worry about getting this speaker wet by the pool or taking it to the beach. It’s ready for any adventure.
The JBL Boombox 3 is truly feature-packed to deliver flexible functionality along with awesome sound quality.
How it Compares to Other JBL Boombox Speakers
As the newest model in the popular JBL Boombox line, the Boombox 3 improves upon its predecessors in some notable ways. Let’s see how it stacks up against the original Boombox and Boombox 2 models.
Vs. Original JBL Boombox
The new Boombox 3 has a very similar tank-like design and form factor as the original JBL Boombox released in 2017. However, the Boombox 3 Steps up the audio power from 60W on the original to a booming 120W.
The Boombox 3 also adds newer features not found on the original like built-in Chromecast support, customizable RGB lighting, and PartyBoost multi-pairing.
Vs. JBL Boombox 2
Compared to its direct predecessor the Boombox 2, the JBL Boombox 3 includes some incremental upgrades:
- Integrated carrying handle for easier portability
- Improved IP67 waterproof and dustproof rating (Boombox 2 was IPX7)
- Brighter LED lights for better visibility
- Bluetooth 5.1 vs 5.0 for extended wireless range
In my testing, the Boombox 3 has a slight edge over the Boombox 2 when it comes to max volume and bass performance thanks to the power upgrades. But audio quality is excellent on both speakers.
Overall, the Boombox 3 builds upon the winning formula established by earlier JBL boomboxes while adding some nice upgrades each generation. It represents the best of the bunch.
Pros and Cons of the JBL Boombox 3
Let’s summarize the key positives and negatives of the JBL Boombox 3 speaker based on our testing:
- Massive, chest-thumping bass performance
- Loud maximum volumes over 100dB
- Durable design with IP67 waterproof rating
- Integrated handle and shoulder strap for portability
- 20+ hour battery life on a single charge
- Bluetooth 5.1 with good wireless range
- Charges devices via USB-A ports
- Customizable lights and JBL PartyBoost
- Crisp treble and clear midrange
- Bulky and heavy at 13 pounds
- Bass focus may not suit all genres
- Expensive price point
- Lacks WiFi connectivity
- No speakerphone for calls
- Controls could be more intuitive
On the whole, the exceptional sound quality, rugged design, long battery life and abundant features make the JBL Boombox 3 a top choice for bass lovers seeking a versatile Bluetooth boombox.
The main downsides are the high price tag and weight when compared to some competing speakers. But for a premium, portable bass machine, the Boombox 3 delivers.
Final Verdict – An Impressive Boombox Worth the Splurge for Bass Heads
After extensive testing and analysis, I can confidently say the JBL Boombox 3 stands out as one of the top Bluetooth speakers available today, especially for bass fanatics.
The Boombox 3 continues JBL’s tradition of delivering hard-hitting bass in a rugged, portable form factor. The build quality is top notch while the IP67 rating provides peace of mind against dust, dings and dunks.
While certainly not a compact speaker, the integrated handle and shoulder strap make it easy enough to transport the JBL Boombox 3 to parties, the beach, or wherever your adventures may take you.
When it comes to audio performance, the JBL Boombox 3 really shines. This speaker can generate chest-thumping bass while still providing crisp, detailed mids and highs thanks to the powerful driver array and dual passive radiators. The sound quality shines across various music genres.
The 20+ hour battery life means you can keep the dance party going from day to night without worrying about recharging. And features like the customizable lights, JBL PartyBoost, device charging, and aux input make the Boombox 3 a versatile boombox for any situation.
Considering its premium price point, the JBL Boombox 3 does face stiff competition from brands like Sony, Bose and others. But if your primary goal is take-anywhere bass on steroids, the Boombox 3 is hard to beat.
So for bass and music lovers seeking a boombox with unmatched low-end power, the JBL Boombox 3 warrants a strong recommendation. It’s an audio beast worthy of its name.
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