JBL Boombox 2 is a premium portable speaker that promises strength, whether in volume or stamina, and also provides 24 full hours of the highest professional sound from JBL ever, which combines bass with what JBL describes as brutal bass. There is even a power bank built to keep your phone charged, too.
JBL says Boombox 2 is now the most solid headphone in its range, and with the IPX7 standard; They can be immersed in water (at a depth of 1 meter) for up to 30 minutes and are still working to blow up your music list and songs.
These headphones are an update to the original Boombox headphones introduced in 2017, so they are very similar, but there were some design tweaks. The new model is 650g (5.9kg) heavier.
JBL’s lead designer explains: “One of the things we wanted to improve on is the handle grip. We were inspired by the motorcycle handlebar which has a grip designed to perform in all conditions,
and we also used advanced modern materials to make the headset very stable even when playing loud music. ”
There’s also JBL’s built-in PartyBoost feature, which is a great addition for anyone who wants to hook up the JBL Flip 5 or JBL Pulse 4 series of headsets to get more multi-room sound, and JBL Boombox 2 is now available on the JBL website for $ 499.95.
JBL Boombox 2 Design
Available in black or camouflage models, the 10.1-by-19.1-by-7.9-inch (HWD), 13-pound Boombox 2 isn’t the kind of portable speaker you can throw in a bag. It’s big and heavy and portable in the sense that it has a built-in handle for taking it to the backyard, rooftop, or to and from your car’s trunk. We don’t advise this, as Bluetooth doesn’t work well underwater, but the point is that the speaker can get drenched and work just fine.
Across the front face of the speaker, there are controls for power, Bluetooth pairing, play/pause (this button can also skip forward a track with two presses, but oddly cannot skip backward with three), and plus/minus buttons for volume control. There’s also a Partyboost button for linking the Boombox 2 with other JBL speakers to output the same audio. A status LED strip on the front face also gives a battery life readout.
The Boombox 2 is compatible with Bluetooth 5.1, but supports only the SBC Bluetooth codec, not AAC nor AptX. For a portable Bluetooth speaker, this isn’t really a surprise, but for a $500 speaker, it feels a bit off.
JBL estimates battery life to be roughly 24 hours, but your results will vary with your volume levels.
JBL Boombox 2 Specs
- Channels Stereo
- Bluetooth Yes
- Wi-Fi No
- Multi-Room No
- Physical Connections 3.5mm
- Portable Yes
- Water-Resistant Yes
- Speakerphone No
- Voice Assistant None
JBL Boombox 2 Performance
On tracks with intense sub-bass content, like The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” the Boombox 2 delivers powerful low-frequency response. At top volumes (this speaker can get quite loud), the bass doesn’t distort, though the DSP (digital signal processing) kicks in and thins out the lows slightly. Regardless, even when the DSP is thinning the bass to avoid distortion, the response is still quite intense. At moderate to high volumes, you get the most bass depth and the least DSP meddling.
The drums on this track sound borderline thunderous—there’s a great deal of bass boosting happening here. Callahan’s baritone vocals also receive an extra helping of low-mid richness, but thankfully, there’s plenty of high-mid and high-frequency sculpting to balance the boosted lows.
Overall, this is very sculpted,
boosted sound signature that is somewhat scooped—there’s lots of boosting in the lows and highs, with far less in the way of midrange presence.
Bill Callahan’s “Drover,” a track with far less deep bass in the mix, gives us a better sense of the Boombox 2’s general sound signature. The drums on this track sound borderline thunderous—there’s a great deal of bass boosting happening here. Callahan’s baritone vocals also receive an extra helping of low-mid richness, but thankfully,
there’s plenty of high-mid and high-frequency sculpting to balance the boosted lows. So while there’s a bass element that’s a little too dialed-up, the higher-register percussive hits and acoustic strums aren’t buried by the low-frequency blitz.
Overall, this is very sculpted,
boosted sound signature that is somewhat scooped—there’s lots of boosting in the lows and highs,
with far less in the way of mid range presence.
On Fiona Apple’s new album, Fetch the Bolt Cutters, the vocals are also clear and crisp. The lack of added sibilance is a hard trick to pull off when balancing the highs with lows that are this boosted, but JBL manages to make it happen.
Orchestral tracks, like the opening scene from John Adams’ The Gospel According to the Other Mary, have a somewhat natural sound despite the added bass depth. Purists won’t be pleased, but for all the boosting and sculpting in the Boombox 2’s sound signature,
it delivers a relatively balanced, crisp, rich performance that doesn’t lean too heavily on the lows.
When it comes to big, outdoor-friendly speakers, we’re also fans of Braven’s $399.99 BRV-XXL/2, while JBL’s PartyBox 300, also $500, is an even larger system complete with a light show, but is decidedly less easy to move around. The $400 Ultimate Ears Hyperboom is also an excellent, powerful portable Bluetooth speaker, though it has a less impressive water-resistance rating. This JBL Boombox 2 fits in with these speakers nicely, providing plenty of power for outdoor parties in a nostalgic design. Considering there’s no shortage of high-quality large, powerful models available right now, we suggest choosing the one that has the most features you’re looking for.
- Very powerful audio performance, with booming bass and sculpted highs
- Can charge mobile devices
- Heavy and bulky
- Sound signature not for those seeking accuracy