15 Jun 2021
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Hands-on review: SOUNDBOKS Gen 3 Bluetooth Performance Speaker

By Darren Price

With an outdoor party speaker sure to get your neighbours calling the cops, SOUNDBOKS turns the volume all the way up to eleven.

Designed in Denmark, I’m guessing the Soundboks Bluetooth Performance Speaker cut its teeth on Scandinavian death metal. Cranking the volume all the way up bought tears to my eyes, but likely evoked a different emotional response from others within a 1KM radius.

The Soundboks is a big beasty. It looks like something a roadie left behind. Only a proper metalhead would find such a unit acceptable for general lounge audio. Saying that, I’d love to link up five of these bad boys, as the peeps at Soundboks say you can.

To think that such a massive speaker is a Bluetooth device is amazing. Pairing my phone with the Soundboks was as easy as any other device. 

The Soundboks app grants users advanced settings. As well as the usual EQ customisation, the app allows users to link multiple Soundboks units and configurations for Guitar, DJ mixer, mics and other inputs. The app can also be used to update the Soundboks’ firmware. 

The audio is supplied courtesy of three drivers. 2 × 10” 96dB woofers and 1 × 1” 104dB compression tweeter. This gives, according to Soundboks, an effective frequency range from 40Hz to 20kHz and a volume topping out at 126 dB! All this is achieved via three Merus Audio eximo amp switching 72W RMS class D amplifiers with advanced bass digital signal processing.

The 66 × 43 × 32 cm speaker unit looks fabulous and built to last. It has a wooden cabinet with an aluminium frame and a steel front grill and handles. The grill is removable. Each corner has a silicon ball protective foot, so there’s no fear of damaging the unit if you rest it on the floor, similarly, the huge speaker is not going to scratch your flooring, although it may leave a black rubber smear if you slid it around (so don’t do that). The electronics have an IP65 rated electronics coating, but it’s not a device that I’d really want getting wet.

There are two carry handles on each side. At 15.4 kgs the speaker pushes the boundaries of what can be really be considered portable. Moving it is really a two-person job. Compared to the size of some of the stereos me and my mates used to carry around shopping malls in the 80s, its weight to audio output delivers the goods.

On the right side of the speaker there’s a recessed panel. Here you can find the on button, illuminated volume knob and a button to switch the speaker from solo mode to pairing with other Soundboks speakers (which I can only imagine how awesome that would be). 

The left side of the speaker has a thumping great rechargeable 12.8V, 7.8Ah Lithium Iron Phosphate battery, the size of which I’ve only seen on huge agricultural drones. One full charge will apparently give you 40 hours of battery at mid-volume (i.e. very, very loud) and 5 hours at full volume (!?!). The battery takes 3.5 hours to fully charge. The battery charge cable can also be used to plug the speaker into the mains for an extended session.  

The rear of the speaker has a unique ID plate that matches the devices Bluetooth ID, perfect for professional settings whereby multiple speakers and equipment is in use. Below that are two microphone/instrument (XLR, 1/4”) inputs as well as a 3.5mm stereo input and a 3.5mm stereo output. There’s even a socket on the bottom of the speaker for an optional stand to elevate the sound to new heights.

The Soundboks Bluetooth Performance Speaker is an awesome bit of kit and the ultimate in party speakers. The wireless operation has the ability to turn your favourite mobile music app into an audio powerhouse. Whilst one of these speakers is enough, two would be fantastic. Five linked to together could get you arrested. This is the sort of speaker you want to own, but you don’t want your neighbours to own.

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