JBL Boombox 2 vs Boombox: Which One Is Worth Buying?

JBL Boombox 2 vs Boombox

This is the review of the comparison between two speakers from the same brand and from the same series. The comparison here is between the JBL Boombox 2 and the Boombox the original one. To know which one is worth buying for the price, go to the detailed review.

JBL Boombox 2JBL Boombox 1
JBL Boombox 2 JBL Boombox
Very powerful audio performance, with booming bass and sculpted highs.
24-hour battery life.
Loud, distortion-free sound.
IPX7 water-resistant.
IPX7 rated.
Really loud and balanced sound.
Fantastic battery life.
Portable despite its power.
Can withstand outdoor elements.
Lacks a bit of low bass.
Missing the best Bluetooth codecs.
Doesn’t have an EQ.
Won’t work with the original.
Lackluster speakerphone.
Long time to recharge.
Buzzing sound at low battery.
The app lacks EQ.


ModelBoombox 2Boombox
Design Featuresfor portable usefor portable use
Amplification Typeactiveactive
Crossover Channel Qty2-way2-way
Frequency Response50 – 20000 Hz50 – 20000 Hz
Output Features360° omni-directional360° omni-directional
Output Level (SPL)80 db80 db
Audio Amplifierintegratedintegrated
Connectivity TechnologyWirelessWireless
Rechargeable Batteryrechargeablerechargeable
Run Time (Up To)24 hour(s)24 hour(s)
Power SourceAC power adapter, batteryAC power adapter, battery
OptionsUSB charging (powerbank function)USB charging (powerbank function)
Connectivity InterfacesBluetooth 4.2
Internet Streaming ServicesJBL Connect+
Speaker TypePortablePortable
Speaker Channel Qty22
Speaker Channel Typestereostereo
Driver Typetweeter driver, woofer drivertweeter driver, woofer driver
Driver Qty22
Driver Diameter0.79 m, 4 m0.79 m, 4 m
TypeUSB (power only)DC power output
Width19.1 in19.5 in
Depth10.1 in7.7 in
Height7.9 in10 in
Weight13.03 lbs11.57 lbs
FeaturesGet the loudest, most massive JBL Original Pro sound on our most powerful portable JBL Boombox 2 speaker.

The iconic grip handle makes it easy to transport the JBL Boombox 2 portable speaker.

24 hours of battery life.

JBL Boombox 2 is IPX7 waterproof for fearless outdoor entertainment.
Rally the crowd with monstrous sound and hard-hitting bass.

Pool and beach ready. This is equipped to endure epic pool parties with an IPX7 waterproof rating.

Listen all day long with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that supports up to 24-hour playtime.

Share the playlist. Wirelessly connect up to 2 smartphones and tablets so you can take turns DJ-ing the party.

Detail Review:


JBL Boombox 2

The JBL Boombox 2 is the updated version speaker of the Boombox 1. At first impression, you will find the Boombox 2 to be similar to Boombox 1 look wise. This speaker is retailing for around five hundred dollars currently on Amazon.

JBL Boombox

The JBL Boombox is an older product, I think it’s getting phased out but you might be able to find a good price on it while it’s being replaced by the new Boombox 2. This speaker is retailing for around four hundred dollars currently on Amazon.

JBL Boombox 2


JBL Boombox 2

The size of the two speakers is about the same but the JBL Boombox 2 is about two and a half pounds heavier and you can literally feel it when you lift the two speakers, and both are IPX7 rated, so completely waterproof. As far as the design, there are a few touch-ups in there but the mainframe is mostly unchanged. The buttons are still in the same place but instead of the Connect Plus button, we get the JBL Party Boost button. The battery indicator light has been touched up a little bit at the front there and when we go to the back, there is one more surprise that caught me by surprise. There is one more change that caught me by surprise that is there is no indoor/outdoor button.

You can notice back there, the opening got smaller and when you open it, you also notice that they got rid of one of the USB ports that you could use to charge your device. You still have one back there but not to anymore like we used to have on the older JBL Boombox 1. Something to point out is the new passive radiators have a new design on them, they have a new 3d design on them. I personally don’t prefer one over the other but there’s one thing I noticed if you play the speakers same song, same volume, you can notice that the newer passive radiators can dance or reactor a very more visible in their reaction to the sound in comparison to the older ones. So if you’re the kind of person who just likes the way they look, it’s very more pronounced on the newer passive radiators in comparison to the older ones.

JBL Boombox

JBL says that this is a waterproof speaker, they’ve given it an IPX7 rating that means that it should be able to survive underwater for a short period of time, if it happens to fall into the pool or off the back of your boat, if you’re able to retrieve it from the bottom of whatever body of water it is sitting in you should be okay. But there’s one caveat to this waterproofing thing which is that the back panel there needs to be securely closed up because this is what makes it watertight. If this is open in any way or you’ve got stuff plugged into it when it does fall in the water, water can intrude through these ports. There are two USB ports there on the back.

A few other ports there on the back worth mentioning are you’ve got an analog audio input there an aux input, so you can plug in your music player directly if you prefer to do that for lossless audio or something, you can bypass the Bluetooth altogether. There is a USB port there, this is just for firmware updates you likely won’t use that at all. Next to the USB port here is the power port and that’s where you plug in the power adapter. These USB ports though are for charging only you can’t plug in a memory stick with mp3 files on it or something like that, it is strictly for charging whatever devices you plug in, and remember that when you’ve got stuff plugged in the speaker is no longer really waterproof.

With this being a Bluetooth speaker, you’re going to likely control it from whatever device is feeding audio in but you do have a few physical controls here on the top. You’ve got your Bluetooth pairing button up there it’ll pair up with two different devices simultaneously, you have your volume rockers here up and down on the left and the right of the power indicator, if you have it in the JBL connect plus mode the light will be activated and you do that through their app when you have more than one speaker to connect up to it. Then also, you’ve got a play button here for stopping and starting playback. You also have a battery indicator here on the bottom, so whenever you push one of these volume buttons here this will light up so you know how much time you’ve got left before your party gets boring.

JBL Boombox


JBL Boombox 2

Both the speaker’s Boombox 1 and 2 are running two 4 inch drivers and two 20 millimeter tweeters. The main difference here is that the old speaker used to run at 40 watts one plugged, I mean when not plugged in and when plugged in, it would run at 60 watts while the new Boombox 2 runs at 60 watts when not plugged in and 80 Watts when plugged in. The Boombox 2 was also upgraded to Bluetooth version 5.1 well as the old one was running at 4.2.

On that note, I was expecting the Boombox 2 to do a lot better between video and audio synchronization when watching videos but it’s about the same performance as what you’d get on the Boombox 1. Also, they still don’t support the AptX codex, I don’t know why. The frequency response rating is still the same on both speakers and they are still rated for up to 24 hours of playtime on a single charge obviously depending on how loud and what kind of music you’re listening to.

We moved away from the connect Plus that was on the Boombox to the JBL party boost on the JBL Boombox 2. The two protocols are not compatible so you cannot pair the two to play together. At this point, that is honestly no point in complaining about them not making the two compatible because they have been making a lot of speakers ever since the release of the Flip 5, they’re all party boost connectivity.

The Boombox 2 is a little more powerful about 10 more watts per channel, it has better bass and also, the new Boombox 2 supports the new party boost protocol for multiple speakers that the old one doesn’t support. So if your plan is to get multiple JBL speakers and you’re looking at the old one, just know that all the new JBL speakers are not going to work with the old one but the existing connect plus speakers will.

JBL Boombox

The weight on this one is pretty extensive, it is eleven and a half pounds or five and a quarter kilograms, easily the heaviest Bluetooth speaker I have ever used and it’s also the loudest Bluetooth speaker I have ever used. It sounds pretty good what it’s got onboard are two 4 inch woofers that are about 10 centimeters, and then it also has two 20 millimeter tweeters which are just under an inch in diameter and it’s got two bass radiators on either side. What’s cool is that when you’ve got some really bassy music going, you can see those things really thumping away there, which is pretty fun to watch.

The power on this one is about 30 watts per channel when it’s plugged in and they include an 80-watt power adapter here for charging it and powering it. On battery, it goes a little less on the power about 20 watts per channel on battery. This is a stereo speaker, so you will hear some stereo separation but the speakers are so close together that it doesn’t really sound like stereo when you’re further away from it. They do have an option, where you can buy another one and connect them together through the JBL connect plus protocol and those speakers would work together where one would be the left speaker and the other one would be the right speaker.

There are a number of other speakers that they make that are compatible with this as well and you can connect up to 100 different speakers using that JBL connect. The big deal with the Boombox 2 is that it supports a different protocol and they call that one party boost and that is not compatible with this one. So all the new speakers that JBL will be putting out are going to be using party boost and not JBL connect and that means that if you bought this one and plan on buying more JBL speakers in the future the new speakers are not going to connect to this one and vice versa.

From the standpoint of operating with other JBL hardware, it’s kind of obsolete at this point given JBL has abandoned the protocol that this uses for multi-device operation. But it works fine with any phone that supports Bluetooth or any computer for that matter that supports Bluetooth. I do have my iPhone paired up with it and one thing to note about this thing is that it is loud and it just keeps getting louder and louder the more I turn the volume up. Then when you plug it in, it gets even louder, so it’s very well suited for pool parties, outdoor backyard parties, and things like large workspaces as well because it really carries quite far especially when you put it into that outdoor mode.

JBL Boombox 2


JBL Boombox 2

When it comes to loudness, both speakers are about the same, this is both indoors and outdoors. But depending on the song that you’re listening to the Boombox 1 older one might seem a little bit louder but that’s just because it has sharper highs in comparison to the new Boombox 2. As far as the highs, the highs on the Boombox 2 are not as sharp that I feel like the sound is slightly better than those on the Boombox 1 with slightly better details most especially indoors. The mids are also very close to the same but the Boombox 2 again sounds slightly better in this area too. When it comes to best performance I feel like this is the area where JBL put most of its emphasis on the Boombox 2. You are getting slightly deeper and slightly clean-up bass in comparison to the Boombox 1.

JBL Boombox

I found the sound quality on it to be really good. The bass is definitely there, it kicks quite a bit but it doesn’t have the deep booming that you would get with a subwoofer. So it’s bassy but not subwoofer bassy, if that makes sense. But the sound is very clear, it really does sound good, and there are two different modes that you can use here depending on the environment that you’re in. When you are indoor, you can use the indoor mode and I found that sounded a little bit better in my room and when I was outside, I switched it into an outdoor mode which does carry a little bit further.

JBL Boombox


In my opinion, the Boombox 2 sounds slightly better than the first Boombox but for $500, when you can get the Boombox 1 for even $400 I feel like the sound or the improvements that they did are not that much to me unless you’re someone who generally likes to have newer stuff. Unless you are not more into sound, the Boombox 1 is worth buying than the Boombox 2. 

Expert Reviews of JBL Boombox 2:

By PC Mag
JBL’s Boombox 2 speaker is built for backyard parties, tailgates, and anywhere else you want to bring big Bluetooth audio.

By Rtings
The JBL Boombox 2 is decent for music. Although it lacks a bit of low-bass, its mid and treble ranges are well-balanced, so vocals and…

By Tech Radar
JBL doesn’t reinvent all that much with this newer iteration of the Boombox, though did manage to change its multi-speaker connectivity and…

By Good House Keeping
This portable speaker is ideal for a camping trip or for use in a large garden. It’s big and expensive but the sound it produces is worth it.

Expert Reviews of JBL Boombox:

By Tech Radar
The JBL Boombox is a monstrous portable speaker that not only gets loud but stays pretty crisp when pumping the volume. It’s heavy, and…

By techaeris.com
The JBL Boombox definitely puts the boom back in a boombox with its big sound and easily earns a Top Pick of 2018 Award here…

By PCMag
The outdoor-friendly JBL Boombox delivers thunderous bass balanced with solid high frequency presence in a nostalgic design.

By ilounge.com
Every once in a while, we get the itch to go on eBay to find an old boombox from the 80s, open the case, and figure…