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JBL PartyBox On-The-Go Review

Summer may have ended, but you can always use a beach-ready and portable karaoke/boombox.

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It's near impossible to go the local electronics store without being assaulted by a barrage of portable, wireless speakers, most of which try to tell a story about the ability to play at Woodstock, while having long battery-life. There is a reason why they sell like cold water in the Sahara: JBL alone has a whole range of these things in multiple sizes. The PartyBox On-The-Go is one of the latest, and is a bit more handy at seven kilos, and with dimensions of 60x37x31 (all in cm) roughly, it is actually portable, but only just.

Such a thing is not meant to be alive without RGB lightning, because that is what all the kids want, and the adults will love the bottle opener integrated in to the carrying strap. This proves a theory of mine - engineers are actually real people, and they like beer.

But let's jump right to it. Pairing is easy, and uses the same TWS protocol as more or less all JBL products, and two identical products can be paired to make true stereo. The battery indicator is easy to read, so is the light controls, and there are feet on its underside so to not scratch the surface. Even a 3.5mm plug has made its way onto the device. The only surprise is the use of a Mickey Mouse style of plug for the power.

JBL PartyBox On-The-Go

A wireless microphone is included, and spare / extras can be bought pretty cheap, both with and without wires, and yes - you can duo-sing all night if you like. It might not be something you would use for an major concert, but given that you most likely are pretty inebriated when you decide to sing, it makes no difference in a long line of bad decisions that night.

To the joy of those forced to listen to you, there is an EQ built-in, but it won't mask your absolute total lack of any musical talent. It also comes with an input for a guitar, making for an even bigger problem for anyone who isn't attending your beach party, but has functional hearing. The system is also IPX4 certified, and supports direct play from USB. Multiple Bluetooth connections are also possible, making it even easier to blast your favourite songs.

HQ

It costs 330 Euro, and I find that to be decent pricing. My main concern is the six hour-long playtime on one charge, which isn't a lot for a 7 kg loudspeaker. I had expected at least 10 hours from such a heavy package, especially as it doubles as a power bank for your phone. Turning off the lights and bass boost does help, but 18 Wh / 2500mAh is way too little for something like this.

The strap for carrying is wide and multi-layered on your shoulder, providing ample support. It does however, not feature charging via your car's 12V outlet like most others in the PartyBox range, which is a bit odd.

The unspecified 100 Watt amp drives dual 1.75" tweeters and one 5.25" midrange driver that also functions as a bass unit. That isn't a size that ensures bass enough to shake your body, but enough to get the party started. Especially if you do at at 8am at an office, and your colleagues didn't expect it, like I did. If you really insist on being annoying to everyone else there is also a Bass Boost, however, I don't find it to be needed.

JBL PartyBox On-The-Go

The sound will always be impaired by not having a real enclosure. Instead having it in a closed density box enforces some echoing, but let's be honest, this is not for audiophiles sipping fine wine and listening to Bach, this is for blasting Major Lazer at the beach where timbre, tweeter resolution and midrange dynamics don't really matter. This is not made for subtle integration into your living room.

JBL provides exactly what their marketing material say, and many young people will love this product for what it can do - just pray to your deity of choice that they don't sit next to you on the beach, because it seems to be pretty kick-proof as well.

08 Gamereactor UK
8 / 10
overall score
is our network score. What's yours? The network score is the average of every country's score

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