When it comes to portable speakers, Sony and JBL have established themselves as industry leaders. However, a new player in the market, Soundboks, has been making waves with its impressive products. In this comprehensive comparison, we will delve into the sound quality, design, durability, battery life, features and software, and price of the Soundboks Gen. 3, JBL PartyBox 310, and Sony XP700. By the end of this article, you will have a clear understanding of which speaker is the best fit for your needs.
When evaluating speakers of this size, it is crucial to consider both volume and sound quality. All three speakers offer adjustable EQ settings to cater to individual preferences.
The Soundboks Gen. 3 boasts the highest volume among the three speakers, reaching an impressive 125 dB according to the manufacturer's specifications. It excels in reproducing lower-end bass frequencies that many speakers of its size struggle with. However, at maximum volume, the sound quality may suffer, with slightly flooded vocals and a narrow soundstage. Additionally, the speaker operates in mono unless connected to another speaker to create a stereo effect.
The Sony XP700, while quieter than the Soundboks, still delivers a balanced soundstage and the ability to play stereo content. It offers crisp acoustics and a good amount of bass, although distortion may occur at higher volumes.
The JBL PartyBox 310, the second loudest speaker after the Soundboks Gen. 3, provides excellent clarity and a soundstage comparable to the Sony XP700. It maintains its sound quality even at higher volumes, although some light distortion may be present.
Verdict: The JBL PartyBox 310 offers the best sound quality and overall package, providing great volume, decent sound direction, and superior performance at higher volumes.
Design & Durability
All three speakers are on the larger side of portable speakers, weighing over 30 pounds. While they may not be the most compact options, they compensate with other design features.
The Soundboks Gen. 3 is designed to withstand party environments, with rubber balls protecting its corners and an IP65 rating for water resistance. Its square design reduces the risk of tipping over, but it does add bulk to the speaker. The dimensions of the Soundboks Gen. 3 are 31.5 x 19.69 x 15.75 inches.
The Sony XP700 features a tower-shaped design with an IP4 rating for water resistance. It offers aesthetically pleasing low-light illumination and a rooftop handle for easy portability. Despite its robust nature, the sound quality remains consistent regardless of the speaker's positioning. The Sony XP700 weighs approximately 37 pounds.
The JBL PartyBox 310, another monolith-shaped speaker, incorporates two RGB circular lights and an IP4 rating. The RGB lighting can be customized through the JBL Portable app. The speaker can be positioned horizontally or vertically and comes with an expandable handle and wheels for convenient transportation.
Verdict: The JBL PartyBox 310 wins in terms of design, with its sleek appearance and thoughtful features that address its hefty size. In terms of durability, the Soundboks Gen. 3 takes the lead with its robust build and resistance to liquid.
When considering the battery life of these speakers, it's important to note that higher volumes will drain the battery more quickly. The following estimates are based on moderate volume levels.
The Soundboks Gen. 3 stands out with an impressive battery life of up to 40 hours. Recharging the battery typically takes three to four hours. While it lacks an auto turn-off feature, the extended battery life is truly remarkable.
The Sony XP700 offers an estimated battery life of around 25 hours, which is still commendable. It also features a power-saving mode that automatically turns off the speaker after a few minutes of inactivity. Additionally, the XP700 boasts a "stamina" feature that prioritizes battery life over LED and bass output. The speaker claims to provide three hours of playback for every 10 minutes of charging.
The JBL PartyBox 310 provides a battery life of 18 hours and includes a power-saving option that turns off the speaker after approximately 20 minutes of inactivity. The battery takes approximately three hours to fully charge.
Verdict: The Soundboks Gen. 3 dominates this category with its exceptionally long battery life, allowing for extended listening sessions at louder volumes.
Features & Software
All three speakers offer similar features, including an auxiliary input for use as an amplifier, Bluetooth compatibility (version 5.0), and wireless multispeaker connectivity. Additionally, they provide some form of audio equalizer, either through the speaker itself or a dedicated app.
Among the three, the JBL Portable app stands out as the most user-friendly and customizable. The Soundboks app can be somewhat convoluted, and while it offers an "upgrade" feature, it may feel unnecessary to some users. The Sony XP700 utilizes the Music Center and Fiestable apps, which have some user interface issues and minor glitches.
While none of these speaker-related mobile apps are perfect, the JBL Portable app provides the most comprehensive customization options, meeting the practical needs of users.
Verdict: JBL wins in terms of features and software, offering the most customization options. However, all three speakers fulfill the practical requirements of users.
Performance in Various Environments
In addition to technical specifications, it is important to consider how these speakers perform in different environments, both indoors and outdoors. Factors such as flooring type, room size, surrounding furniture, and weather conditions can affect performance.
The Soundboks Gen. 3 excels in outdoor environments, thanks to its IP65 rating and powerful volume and bass capabilities. It is perfect for garden parties or camping trips. However, in smaller enclosed spaces, the booming sound may feel overwhelming.
The Sony XP700 performs consistently well in both indoor and outdoor environments. With a balanced soundstage and the ability to adjust according to positioning, it delivers a pleasant listening experience regardless of the environment.
The JBL PartyBox 310 shines indoors, where the sound can bounce off walls, creating an immersive experience. However, it is also suitable for outdoor events due to its solid build and convenient portability features.
Verdict: The Soundboks Gen. 3 is ideal for outdoor use, while the Sony XP700 performs well in both indoor and outdoor environments. The JBL PartyBox 310 offers a great balance between indoor and outdoor performance.
Customer Service & Warranty
Apart from the speakers themselves, it is crucial to consider the customer service and warranty provided by the brands. These factors can greatly impact the overall ownership experience.
Soundboks offers a generous 2-year warranty and has received praise for its responsive and helpful customer service. Customers appreciate the brand's commitment to resolving any issues promptly.
Sony, being a global brand, provides a 1-year warranty and has a comprehensive support network. However, the quality of service may vary depending on the region, and some customers have reported difficulties with after-sales support.
JBL offers a 1-year warranty and has a mixed reputation when it comes to customer service. While some customers have had positive experiences with quick issue resolution, others have encountered less satisfactory support. JBL's global presence ensures widespread availability of customer service.
Verdict: Soundboks stands out with its 2-year warranty and responsive customer service. Sony and JBL offer 1-year warranties, with Sony providing a more consistent support network.
In conclusion, all three speakers—Soundboks Gen. 3, JBL PartyBox 310, and Sony XP700—offer exceptional performance and cater to different needs. While the Soundboks Gen. 3 may be considered overpriced by some, it delivers impressive volume and bass. The Sony XP700 provides a balanced soundstage at a reasonable price point. The JBL PartyBox 310 offers a great overall package with excellent sound quality and thoughtful design.
Verdict: The JBL PartyBox 310 emerges as the top choice for its sound quality and overall performance. However, all three speakers are built to excel in their respective areas and provide a solid audio experience.
For further reading and to explore the products in more detail, you can check out the following links:
*Note: The above article is a comprehensive comparison of the Soundboks Gen. 3, JBL PartyBox 310, and Sony XP700 portable speakers. It is intended to provide valuable insights and help users make an informed decision based on their specific needs and preferences.