If you’re looking for a small portable speaker to take to the beach, the SOUNDBOKS 4 isn’t it. This portable speaker is a beast.
Boasting an incredibly sturdy design, excellent sound quality, a 40-hour battery life and the ability to blast music at 126 dB, this is a speaker made for parties and events.
Add to that the ability to connect it to five other SKAA-enabled speakers, XLR and TRS inputs for instruments and microphones and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, and the SOUNDBOKS 4 can do it all.
At $1,899, this is an expensive portable speaker, though, and its capabilities will only benefit someone with a specific set of requirements. If you’re looking for an extremely loud speaker for events or performances, the SOUNDBOKS 4 is the best portable speaker on the market. If you’re looking for something a bit more inconspicuous, there are better options out there.
- Very sturdy design
- Brilliant sound quality
- 126 dB full volume
- 40-hour battery life
- App needs work
The SOUNDBOKS 4 costs $1,899. When compared to similar speakers, that’s expensive. The Sony SRS-XV900 costs $1,125.
The SOUNDBOKS 4 has a brilliant design. It’s sturdy, sleek and simple.
It’s immediately apparent how solid this speaker is. From the design to the controls, I felt like I could drop this speaker from a height, and it would survive.
Measuring 66cm (H) x 43cm (W) x 32cm (D) and weighing 16.1kg, this is a very big portable speaker. It’s heavy and hard to manoeuvre, but it’s incredibly sturdy.
Boasting a water-resistant cabinet and an IP65 electronics coating, you can take the SOUNDBOKS 4 anywhere and not worry about it getting damaged. While this probably isn’t the type of speaker you’re going to take everywhere with you, you certainly can take it to the beach or park and won’t have to worry about it getting damaged from a splash of water.
But while this is a portable speaker, portability isn’t its strong point. Unless you purchase the $250 back strap, carrying it around is more hassle than it’s worth. Add to that its lack of wheels, and it becomes a burden quickly. But that’s not really what it was designed for.
The SOUNDBOKS 4 is at its best as an event speaker. By that, I mean it’s best when placing it on a spot and leaving it there for a long period of time, a party or an event. Then, when the time comes, you can simply pick it up and take it home. Easy.
The box has silicone balls on each corner, protecting it from falls. It has steel handles on either side for easy lifting and a snap-on removable steel grid on the front that allows for DIY customisation.
Underneath, there’s a mounting slot for putting the speaker on a tripod stand and on the back, there’s a panel containing one XLR, one TRS, one AUX-in slot and an AUX-out slot.
On the side of the speaker, there’s a simple control interface with a volume knob that literally goes up to eleven, a power button and a TeamUP button for connecting the speaker with up to five other SKAA-enabled speakers. On the other side, there’s a slot for the massive battery.
Quite simply, this is the best-sounding portable speaker I’ve ever used. It’s loud without sounding distorted, the audio is crystal clear, and the bass capabilities are excellent.
When I say this speaker is loud, I mean really loud. With a max volume of 126 dB, it’s perfect for parties and events. To put this into perspective, the Sony SRS-XV900 has a max volume of 102 dB, and to get even more of a feel for how loud it is, a motorcycle peaks at around 120 dB.
The best part about it is it isn’t just loud for the sake of being loud. Audio sounds very good coming out of this speaker, even at those incredibly high volumes. Inside, there are three 72 W class D amplifiers, two 10-inch woofers and one 1-inch compression driver tweeter. It’s a lot.
No matter the genre, the SOUNDBOKS 4 sounds good, very good. Listening to intense tracks like Run Boy Run by Woodkid sounds brilliant. Similarly, rock music like Borderlines and Aliens by Grouplove has a good kick to it. More bass-oriented tracks, like I Can’t Stop by Flux Pavilion, generate pumping bass lines and wobbling subfrequencies without taking away from the mids or trebles. It all comes out clear and concise, feeling more like being at a concert than listening to a portable speaker at the beach.
The SOUINDBOKS app is relatively barebones. Here, you can EQ the audio, connect the speaker to other compatible speakers and update the firmware.
Frustratingly, the app doesn’t show how much battery the speaker has left. Similarly, I found I had to go into the app to turn the volume up and down. I couldn’t simply use the volume controls on my phone. For example, if I was playing music on Spotify and turned the volume up fully within Spotify, the volume wouldn’t be full on the speaker. To play that at full volume, I had to go into the app. Not ideal.
The speaker supports Bluetooth 5.0.
The battery is a monster. It’s a 12.8V battery with 99.84Wh capacity.
You can’t plug the speaker into an outlet. Instead, you have to slide the battery out and charge it independently, then put it back in. Fortunately, this isn’t a problem because the speaker lasts for days. At mid-volume, the battery lasted just over 40 hours. At full volume, it lasted 6 hours. It’s more than enough.
To charge the battery from zero to full takes 3.5 hours.
The SOUNDBOKS 4’s premium price may be a hurdle for budget-conscious consumers, but its exceptional design, unparalleled sound quality, robust build, and long-lasting battery life make it a standout choice for those who prioritise performance and durability.
While the app could benefit from improvements, the speaker’s overall package justifies its cost, particularly for users seeking a powerful and reliable portable audio solution for parties and events.
This is a massive portable speaker, and it’s the best one I’ve ever used. But it’s not for everyone. It’s big and extremely loud, and while it will survive a trip to the beach or park, that’s not its main use case. This is a speaker for parties and events, and if that’s what you’re looking for, you won’t be disappointed at all.
It’s sleek, simple and sturdy, has unrivalled sound quality and can be used for playing instruments as well as listening to music. In short, if you can afford the high price of $1,899, you’ll love this speaker. It’s brilliant.