The New Soundboks is impressive. It has everything: a sturdy housing, Bluetooth, large battery, XLR-inputs and several methods to connect multiple Soundboks. Indoor or out, the New Soundboks sounds great.
The Soundboks isn’t shy. It’s an extrovert. This speaker will stand tall among strangers and be the loudest in the room. It doesn’t try to compensate for lackluster sound with a quirky design, either. There’s nothing fancy to the style of the Soundboks 2, and to me, that’s part of its appeal. This speaker is here to party.
Quick note: This product is called the New Soundboks. It’s the third speaker from the company and it doesn’t follow the previous naming scheme. The previous version was called the Soundboks 2, yet this one is called the New Soundboks. The naming is a touch confusing.
Click the speaker on and the New Soundboks comes alive. There are two 10-inch woofers and one compression driver tweeter. Together the company says they produce 126 dB of noise, which I found is mostly free of distortion at high volumes. This speaker sounds great at moderate volumes. When cranked up, it still sounds good enough, as the dual woofers pound and rattle windows.
Three 72W class D amplifiers live inside the plywood cabinet. That’s key, and explains the endless power. Forgive the cliche: this speaker goes to 11 and does so on a battery. A large removable 12.8V, 7.8Ah battery lives on the side of the speaker. The company says it’s good for 40 hours of listening. I cannot confirm it lasts that long, but I know it’s good for at least 10 hours at moderate volume.
This battery is what makes the Soundboks stand apart from other speakers. It opens up opportunities. This is a portable loudspeaker. The company knows this, too, and sells accessories such as a backpack and cart to assist in getting the 34-pound speaker to the party no matter the location.
This latest version of the speaker packs a couple of upgrades from previous models. First, it sports Bluetooth 5.0 for improved audio quality and connectivity. The new speaker can also be daisy-chained to five other Soundboks speakers either through wires or Bluetooth.
Connecting several together is silly easy. I was sure I did something wrong and reset all the settings to test it again. But no: It just works. First, connect one of the speakers to Bluetooth. On the side of the speakers is a large red button to put the speaker in solo or multi-speaker mode. Select host on the speaker connected over Bluetooth and join on the other speaker. Bam. Two loud speakers. Or the speakers can be connected with 3.5mm or XLR cables.
Soundboks was founded in 2014 and participated in Y Combinator’s Winter 2016 program. The company saw $13.5 million in revenue in 2018 and sold more than 50,000 of its first two products.
In the end, not everyone needs a speaker the size of a Coleman cooler. This is a big speaker with a big $999 price. It’s a party speaker. It’s for sports teams and house parties and tailgates. And in those situations, the Soundboks excels because of its power, portability and ability to link more speakers together. It’s a party in a box and I love it.