JBL Boombox 3 Portable Speaker: Review and opinion

A new addition to the brand’s extensive catalog of Bluetooth speakers is the JBL Boombox 3. Designed to continue the success of the Boombox series, this new generation replaces the Boombox 2.

It offers several notable improvements over the previous version, such as a subwoofer that significantly improves the sound quality in the bass, an application with customizable equalizer and improved resistance. This waterproof speaker is ideal for party, beach and poolside. It is not the most portable or easy-to-carry speaker, but it gives you impressive sound quality and great autonomy.

In this JBL Boombox 3 review, we’re going to tell you what we think about it and whether it’s worth buying.

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JBL Boombox 3

JBL Boombox 3 review

  • High volume
  • Deep bass
  • In-App equalization
  • IP67 resistance
  • Heavyweight
  • High price
  • Supports only the SBC codec

Table of contents – JBL Boombox 3 review


Design and resistance

Exterior appearance and finishes

The JBL Boombox 3 is a Bluetooth speaker with a considerable size but with a handle on the top so you can take it everywhere. With a weight of 6.7 kg, it is quite heavy, so it is not a speaker to go moving it from one place to another every day.

JBL Boombox 1 vs Boombox 3 design comparison.Comparison of JBL Boombox 1 vs Boombox 3 design

The design is largely unchanged from the previous generation Boombox 2, although it is now slightly larger and heavier.

Another change is the prominent new JBL logo on the front. Directly underneath is the standard remaining battery display. At the top is a set of easy-to-use controls to activate the PartyBoost function, control the volume, Bluetooth pairing, and play/pause music. A double press of this button will skip to the next track, but unfortunately no option to skip to the previous track.

On the back, there is a rubber-covered compartment that houses a connector for the power cord, a USB-A port for charging other devices, and a 3.5mm auxiliary input.

And, as you would expect, the sides feature JBL’s signature passive radiators, which have become a hallmark of the company’s speakers, although they are also found on many other brands.

Like most JBL speakers today, the Boombox 3 is IP67 water and dust-proof, meaning it can be submerged in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes and is dust-proof. So you can take it to the beach or the park and even rinse it off if it gets dirty. Just make sure the connection cover is closed if the unit is going to get wet or dusty, and make sure the unit isn’t floating.

You can buy the JBL Boombox 3 in two different colors: black and a camouflage color.



Physical and wireless connections.

The speaker works wirelessly via Bluetooth 5.3 and uses the SBC codec. You can also connect your phone to the 3.5mm jack on the back for wired music playback, and the USB A port on the side lets you charge your phone.

You also have the option to download the JBL Portable app, which is available for both iOS and Android. This app lets you install software updates, adjust the equalization, and connect other speakers using PartyBoost mode.

The JBL Portable app is incredibly easy to use and includes a helpful speaker manual if you don’t want to search for the one included in the box. Other than the three-band equalizer, software updates, and user guide, there’s not much to look for, so it’s not a cluttered or complicated app.


Battery life

The 3º genration of Boombox has a battery life of up to 24 hours. It takes 6 hours and 30 minutes to charge. This battery life is achieved at moderate volume, so continuous use at maximum volume will reduce autonomy to approximately 12 hours.

JBL Boombox 3 speaker with up to 24 hours of battery life.JBL Boombox 3 speaker with up to 24 hours of battery life.

The speaker can also be plugged into an electrical outlet for a constant power supply.

The JBL Boombox 3 Bluetooth speaker features a subwoofer, two mid-range speakers and two tweeters, all front-facing. Two passive radiators are mounted on each side of the Boombox 3. One of the new features is that it now has a new subwoofer that delivers much deeper bass.

JBL Boombox 3 integrated speaker configuration.JBL Boombox 3 built-in speaker configuration.

When plugged in, you get 80 watts for the subwoofer, 40 watts for the midrange, and 10 watts for each tweeter. With the battery, the power drops slightly to 60 watts for the subwoofer, 30 watts for the mids, and 8 watts for the tweeters. The subwoofer, for its part, extends the bass frequency range down to 40 Hz, which is slightly better than the 50 Hz at which the Boombox 2 operates.

JBL Boombox 3 with up to 180W of power.JBL Boombox 3 with up to 180W of power.

We tested the speaker both plugged in and in battery mode. While it’s clear that the speaker delivers a bit more punch when plugged in, we were just as impressed with its performance in battery mode. The drivers deliver deep bass at high volume levels in both modes.

The speaker delivers a powerful bass response for songs with intense sub-bass. There is no distortion at high volumes, but the bass is somewhat reduced in this scenario. At medium and high volumes, the bass still sounds robust, which is an advantage outdoors where other speakers sound flat. The speaker’s rumble is centered above the subwoofer range. However, it reaches all the way down to the floor, providing a subwoofer-like rumble.

JBL’s speakers are aimed at people who like to enjoy powerful bass, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a more neutral and balanced sound. By default, we found them to sound very good, but you can always use the app to reduce the bass and increase the presence of mids and highs if you want.

In our opinion, we like the way it reproduces the voices and they sound clear and do not compete with the bass for attention.

If you want more power, you can connect more Boombox 3 speakers or other Party Boost compatible speakers from the brand.

When you connect another speaker, you can have them both play in stereo at the same time, or have one play the left channel and the other play the right channel.

The Boombox 3 is Bluetooth 5.3 compatible and supports the SBC codec, but not AAC or AptX.

To sum it up: The JBL Boombox 3 sounds great and delivers high power and punchy bass. It doesn’t sound bad when you turn it up, so it’s a good choice if you need a more powerful speaker for parties.


JBL Boombox 3 vs Boombox 2

Features comparison table
frequency response
battery life
JBL Boombox 3
Portable speaker
180W mains plugged in / 136W in battery mode
1 x 189 x 114 mm subwoofer + 2 x 80.9 x 80.9 mm midrange speakers + 2 x 20 mm tweeters
40 Hz- 20 kHz
24 hours
48.2 x 25.7 x 20.0 cm
6,7 kg
JBL Boombox 2
Portable speaker
80W mains plugged in / 60W in battery mode
2 x 106 mm speakers + 2 x 20 mm tweeters
50 Hz- 20 kHz
24 hours
484 x 201 x 256 mm
5,9 kg

View price JBL Boombox 3



Conclusions JBL Boombox 3

The third generation Boombox features several improvements over the previous version and is positioned as a great choice for party, pool or beach use. The Boombox 3 is a very powerful speaker that delivers a well-defined sound, but stands out for reproducing very powerful bass.

If you connect it to the light, it reaches up to 180 watts of power, but if you cannot connect it to the power, do not worry because in battery mode it reaches 136 watts. At the same time, if you want even more power, you can connect more compatible JBL speakers to sound all at once.

This is not a speaker to carry from place to place every day, as it weighs 6.7 kilos and has a considerable size, but thanks to the handle you can carry it comfortably. Its price doesn’t make it an affordable speaker either, considering there are similar options for less.

However, despite this, if you are looking for a powerful portable speaker with great sound quality that you can enjoy at parties and gatherings with your friends, the JBL Boombox 3 is a great option.

9.4 Total Score
JBL Boombox 3 review and opinion

The JBL Boombox 3 is an ideal speaker for any house, pool or beach party. It has a durable IP67 rating, so you can be sure it will survive wherever you take it.

  • High volume
  • Deep bass
  • In-App equalization
  • IP67 resistance
  • Heavyweight
  • High price
  • Supports only the SBC codec

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  1. Nachtvlinder 05/03/2023 at 2:57 am

    I find the in app equaliser a big contra, it’s only 3 bands and not 10 as it should be at least to work a bit properly, because the frequency curve of jbl is surely not flat. That’s always my problem with jbl, super low is too loud midlow fails, midhigh is always too expressive…. Capacity of the speakers is super, better then soundcore motion boom plus, a speaker with hifi potentions with the 9bands equaliser…. But it’s far more cheaper. Less then halve the price. I hope that soundcore will build a motion ultra with more power, lower bass, a little but sharper midhigh… ☺

    Also a contra is automatically swith off, for me personally.

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