JBL has been the silent assassin in the India audio space. It has over the years launched many wonderful headphones and speakers, but never really got the attention it deserved. The JBL BoomBox is one such device, that makes all the right noises but is seldom heard of. The JBL BoomBox is a portable Bluetooth speaker with a cylindrical design that comes with a handle. While the speaker is definitely portable it is also a bit heavy and weighs about 5.25 kg. And this weight could be one of the reasons this Bluetooth speaker sounds so good.
It comes with power, Bluetooth and volume buttons on top. There is also a JBL Connect+ button that lets you sync multiple JBL units to play in speaker or party mode. That is if you want to be really loud. Also, since this is a waterproof model, all the ports behind are secured under a rubberised flap. Strangely, this speaker comes with a large, laptop-like, power adapter which does not go well with the portability angle.
But all that is forgiven by the sheer audio quality of the JBL BoomBox. This is the sort of music that moves you. It is deep, soulful and touching the string inside, even when you are hearing something that you would not like otherwise. The four active transducers and two JBL bass radiators might have been put in place to liven up a pool party, but when these come into play while you are listening to a Bombay Jayashree or a Jagjit Singh the effect can be ethereal. So while this is all about bass, the bass has been configured in such a way that it does not overpower the music itself. Listening to the new soulful Aararo from Koode, I was nearly transported into some misty woods as the music wraps around you.
But if the party is what you wanna do, then the JBL BoomBox really up to the boom factor and offer music that can have everyone radiating the bass. Interestingly, the app offers the ability to switch between indoor-outdoor modes which I found to be very useful. And it is really fascinating to see the bass radiators vibrate on the sides.
There is another aspect to the speaker that is very unique. It comes with a 20000mAh battery inbuilt. So you can charge your phone or camera as the party rages by the pool. Also, you can take calls on the BoomBox if you are keen to have a really loud conversation. But despite all these features, I would recommend the JBL BoomBox just for its audio capabilities and for the fact that it plays up the bass without killing the experience. JBL BoomBox is priced at Rs 27,999 in India.