It wouldn’t be CES 2022 without plenty of new Bluetooth speakers, and JBL’s most exciting entry is the Boombox 3: an IP67-rated beast offering big sounds and a day’s worth of battery life.
As the name suggests, this isn’t the first entry in the series, and JBL has built on its predecessors with a new three-way speaker system made up of two tweeters, two mid-range drivers and a “powerful racetrack-shaped subwoofer.” The company claims that, as a result of these changes, the new speaker will offer deeper bass and “intense clarity” that’s perfect for large outdoor parties.
The design, while familiar, has also been tweaked. The handle is metal with an “eye-catching” orange silicon grip for comfort, and it comes in two colors: an understated black shade or a more conspicuous “squad colors” design (pictured above).
Like its predecessor, it’ll go 24 hours on a single charge, and features a built-in power bank for charging devices without a break in the music. Two phones or tablets can connect to the speaker at a time, and it can also be paired with other JBL PartyBoost-compatible speakers for more volume or stereo sound.
While we didn’t test the JBL Boombox 2, our sister site TechRadar did, praising its loud, distortion-free sound in a four-star review. “It’s fine indoors, but really shines when playing music for a small crowd outdoors,” the review concludes.
In fact, grumbles about missing Bluetooth codecs aside, the biggest downside our colleagues could find was its high MSRP — which is unfortunate, as it looks like JBL has raised the price of the Boombox 3 by $50 to a hefty $499. We’ll have to see if it justifies the cost and makes it to our list of the best Bluetooth speakers when it’s released in “select retailers” this summer.