The frustrating thing about a passion or hobby is that they increase in complexity as you delve further into them. This very reason is why a lot of newbie audiophiles can often get discouraged by confusing terminology and pages of technical information that feel like a foreign language. So when you start seriously considering a quality speaker, you are often left with more questions than you started.
So when we say that the JBL Boombox 3 is often hailed as “one of the best speakers of 2022” it sounds nice but doesn’t offer much information about why. This new JBL product came with all of the trademark qualities the brand is famous for while also improving on an already smart design.
To see how it measures up, we will be comparing it with the UE Hyperboom – a speaker known for its superb sound and audio customization. By the end of this page, you will have a detailed understanding of each product and what it offers regardless of how oblivious to speakers you may or may not be.
JBL Boombox 3
The Boombox 3 is a great speaker that is justifiably being pretty favorably reviewed by many tech critics.
It offers good audio quality despite the slightly lower volume and is as durable as a speaker can get. The battery life is exceptional and despite a small list of features (including inputs), the mobile app is reliable and consistent.
We would strongly recommend this speaker for the outdoorsman that wants clear audio. At the time of this article, the Boombox 3 goes for an MSRP of nearly $500.
- Very durable
- Long-lasting Battery
- Great Sound
- Volume has been lowered a bit
- Lackluster list of features
Ultimate Ears really has something with the Hyperboom which is listed slightly below $450.
It gets loud enough for anyone who wants to preserve their hearing and offers a very competent sound. While its weatherproofing isn’t as good as the Boombox 3, you can still salvage this device if it gets a bit wet.
The battery and charge time is nothing short of exceptional and the list of features is straightforward and interesting. We would strongly recommend the UE Hyperboom to volume junkies that don’t plan to leave it outside often.
- Good Audio
- Good Volume
- Great Battery
- Not as tough as some may like
- Somewhat Pricey
- Unremarkable Design (this is admittedly subjective)
Despite the emphasis on efficiency and durability for the portable variety, speakers should always offer a pretty solid audio output when putting a fair amount of money down. For the price range that these speakers are in (sub-$500), there should be no reason you can’t get booming decibels, solid bass, and audio quality that borders on excellent.
Starting off we will go over JBL’s newest product.
The Boombox 3 has its shortcomings, though they are admittedly pretty difficult to spout when it comes to its audio abilities. The biggest would be the volume has been diminished since the Boombox 2 and the third iteration can’t get quite as loud.
If you want something that outputs the lion’s share of noise in the room – the Boombox 3 is a fine choice, however. The soundstage is also more than capable of filling out a fairly large room with crisp, clear audio.
The Boombox 3 comes with an adaptive equalizer which is always preferred when selecting speakers. The treble is very clear across all volumes though the drums can tend to drown out the rest of the sound at times.
The bass comes in nicely and offers a good punch for such a modestly sized device. Unfortunately, it feels less present at higher volumes as the capabilities of the speaker seem to reach their limit. The compression at max volume feels less present than most devices in this price range and the audio comes in clearly when pushed to eleven.
On the inside, the Boombox 3 comes with a large, oval subwoofer (7.4 x 4.5 inches) that crowds the middle of the speaker. There are also two 2.75-inch midrange drivers on either side and two .75-inch tweeters. The listed frequency response of the Boombox 3 is 40 Hz – 20 kHz, though no secondary testing has been done to verify this.
The UE Hyperboom has earned its acclaim and is a very solid speaker.
Offering an impressive 100+ decibels of sound, Ultimate Ears did an exceptional job at making a loud device with a great soundstage. If you are into mobile speakers for their ability to drown out your louder friends in social situations, the Hyperboom can comfortably do it.
This product does not have much lacking in the sound department so it’s hard to find a weak link, but the incredible clarity it offers is an obvious strength.
The audio quality of the Hyperboom is really pleasant to the ear and hard to overlook. In a move that is quickly becoming a standard for portable speakers, the Hyperboom comes with an audio equalizer.
Without tampering with the equalizer, the sound is clear and pleasant, yet treble-heavy. The bass is notable and impressive for a smaller-sized speaker, but it simply can’t keep pace with the Boombox 3.
Underneath the hood are two 4.5-inch woofers, two 1-inch tweeters, and two 3.5-inch passive radiators. The frequency response listed for the Hyperboom is 45 Hz – 20 kHz.
Verdict – The UE Hyperboom stays very competitive with the Boombox 3 and may even be preferable in terms of dynamics to certain ears. The Boombox 3 has superior bass, however, and the audio quality is so close it almost feels subjective.
Design & Durability
When perusing through the endless options available to you in portable speakers, it’s important to prioritize how effective it will be in the outdoors. If you have a portable speaker for indoor gatherings and the occasional bonfire then a speaker being waterproof isn’t incredibly necessary.
If you plan to go camping for multiple days at a time and don’t bother consulting your local weatherman – you will probably want to go with something more liquid-resistant.
The Boombox 3 doesn’t break the mold when it comes to JBL speakers, though it doesn’t have to. While it has improved on the previous iteration’s design, the Boombox line of products has always had an efficient and visually appealing design.
The biggest problem most people will encounter with this product is its tendency to roll around, an eternal burden for spherical objects. It also is a tad bit bulky at 15 pounds and 22 x 10 x 12.7 inches, but the handle does make it easier to carry.
The biggest advantage of the Boombox 3 to the UE Hyperboom has to be its lofty durability.
If you are concerned about a speaker getting damaged from the outdoors whether it be rain, rivers, dust storms, or party fouls then the Boombox 3 is the superior choice. With an IP (Ingress Protection) 67 rating, the JBL speaker has been tested to be submersible in water and dust-proof. If a friend overtaken by jealousy at your fancy new speaker tosses it into the ocean, it will float across the tide!
The UE Hyperboom has a minimal design and offers some light protection against the elements. The topside menu feels good to the touch and seamlessly fits into the discreet outer layer of this subtly high-end speaker.
It also offers an on-speaker menu, should you miss the palpable excitement of physically skipping a track. While it also sits at 15 pounds, it is a fair bit easier to store at 7.5 x 7.5 x 14.3 inches.
The biggest downside to the Hyperboom is its limited durability, though it should hold up well against some amount of splashing. At an IP 4 rating, it can resist liquids but dust or physical trauma isn’t recommended. The minimal size mixed with the convenient built-in shoulder strap is really nice, the wildlife junkies may wanna steer clear.
Verdict – The Hyperboom will be a bit easier to store and possibly carry, the Boombox 3 might get caught smashing beer cans on its forehead. The Boombox 3 is easily a tougher device, though it is dense and bulky.
If you want to party until the sun comes up, it helps if your battery doesn’t have a 9 o’clock bedtime. What the author of this article is poorly trying to convey is that a great speaker with a bad battery is no longer a quality speaker.
In the world of portable products, long-lasting battery life is crucial to the consumer. Thankfully, both of these products offer very impressive batteries.
Battery life is affected by a number of factors (volume, features, etc) that can make specified times feel more like an average than a reliable answer. Bear this in mind when considering battery life.
Sitting at an unbelievable 24-hours per six-hour charge, the Boombox 3 is comfortably at the upper echelon of speakers in this category. It has a battery indicator just below the logo on the front of the device and offers a battery-saving mechanic that shuts off the speaker after a few minutes of inactivity. The only downside about this device is you may want to plan around the lengthier charge time.
The Hyperboom also boasts the same 24-hour battery life, though at a far smaller 2.5-hour charge time. Like its competitor, when not plugged in or in use the device will shut itself off after a handful of minutes to preserve the battery. While both speakers are exceptional in longevity, the much smaller charge time of the Hyperboom is hard to ignore.
Verdict – Both have great batteries, but the smaller charge time of the Hyperboom makes it more desirable.
Features & Software
A dense list of features can sometimes overemphasize the significance of otherwise forgettable add-ons while distracting from bigger issues with a speaker. This does not mean that devices should forget features entirely, however.
In the following few paragraphs we are going to go over the features, inputs, applications, and accessories that come with these speakers.
Both devices utilize a Bluetooth connection and have the ability to connect to multiple speakers. The Boombox 3 uses version 5.3 and utilizes its “Party Boost” feature to allow multiple JBL speakers to play simultaneously.
On the other side, the UE Hyperboom uses version 5.0 and can connect to multiple Hyperboom, Megaboom, or Boom speakers. While the JBL speaker has a slightly more up-to-date Bluetooth, the multispeaker functionality feels pretty similar.
The two speakers offer a graphic equalizer through their apps, past that you have a few presets to choose from if you don’t want to fuss with it.
While neither offers an incredible amount of variety in their audio features, the Hyperboom has something interesting called Adaptive EQ. The idea behind this feature is that the speaker will balance the sound to better fit the song that’s playing. This feature has been used by other tech giants like Apple, so you can expect to see more of it in the future.
Ports & Accessories
The Boombox 3 comes with a fairly barebones Aux input and USB outlet. In the box are the typical contents of safety sheets, a quick start guide, a warranty, and the power cable. While it doesn’t offer the carrying strap of the Hyperboom, the handle feels more than sufficient as a replacement.
The Hyperboom on the other hand has a bit more to work with as far as ports are concerned. In addition to bluetooth, you get aux and an optical input, as well as a USB charge outlet. It also offers a built-in carrying strap should it become too awkward to carry by hand.
The Boombox 3 utilizes JBL’s Portable app which maintains a solid rating of 4.2 on Google and 4.6 on The App Store. It may be a bit straightforward, though it is fairly glitch-free and easy to work with. It will primarily be used for Party Boost, the graphic EQ, and updates.
The Hyperboom’s Boom app is a bit more disappointing with a 2.6 on The App store and a 3.6 on Google Play.
While it may come across as fairly obvious, both of these speakers are still terrific purchases. While they both definitively favor certain consumers, if either checks your mental boxes for a potential product; we would comfortably recommend either device.
For more comparisons with either of these speakers, how-to guides, or even articles on products in a different price range – check out other articles here on Swift Moves.