Soundboks is one of the more ambitious audio prospects that has inserted itself into the forefront of the speaker industry. Their portable devices have become synonymous with eardrum-shattering decibel levels and a battery that can last the better part of a week.
Due to the bulkier dimensions and mass of these powerful speakers, the Copenhagen-based company decided to create a more mobile speaker in the new Soundboks Go.
The Soundboks Go weighs in at nearly half of its bulkier predecessor (the Soundboks Gen. 3) though some consumers might wonder what has been taken out to slim down the much sleeker product.
In the interest of alleviating the concerns of potential Soundboks consumers, we are going to take a detailed look at the subtle differences between both products.
The Soundboks Go is a speaker that feels like it has a lot of potential but struggles to find its identity.
It is loud, but the static at the higher end is very noticeable and the sound quality is subpar for its price. The battery is unbelievable and the durability is admirable but at the lofty price (well north of $500 MSRP) it would be nice if the sound quality had a bit more to offer.
The Soundboks Generation 3 is an expensive speaker that backs up a lofty cost with record-breaking volume, incredible battery life, quality, robust materials, and a competent, bass-heavy sound profile.
The listed price approaching a thousand dollars (but regularly discounted by $100 or more), it isn’t for the faint of heart or wallet. But if you have a bit of cash to spend and want to experience hearing loss for yourself, the Generation 3 is one of the best portable speakers on the market today.
The Soundboks Go naturally is going to be at a disadvantage in this category as it simply does not offer the same amount of internal space to fully compete with its larger and more expensive sibling. That does not immediately rule it out, however, and with a price disparity as large as these two have – simply staying competitive is a win for the Go in itself.
The Soundboks Go is a party speaker and it makes no apologies for itself. If you wanna listen to Gnossienne by Erik Satie at a considerate volume you are spending money on the wrong speaker.
This product gets absurdly loud (like all Soundboks products) though falls a bit behind its larger counterpart. The treble of most songs will be smothered by an overly present bass that most consumers will likely adore.
This speaker is made for someone who intends to permeate open fields, campsites, and house parties with enough decibels (and compression) to crumple a greenhouse.
It has an audio equalizer as well as three music presets (Outdoor, Indoor, and Bass+), I would recommend indoor for any situation that doesn’t involve a lethal amount of booze and a lot of space to fill. The Soundboks Go offers one 10-inch woofer, a 1-inch silk dome tweeter, and two 72 Watt continuous Class D amplifiers and boosts a frequency response of 40Hz – 20 kHz.
The Soundboks Gen 3. was developed with one singular thought in mind – making a product with a decibel level that cannot be replicated by any other portable speaker. They succeeded – though not without some drawbacks.
The device gets incredibly loud, though its audio projection feels very one-dimensional and limited. It also can sound quite staticky and compressed at max volume, if your ears can even register the noise past all the hearing loss.
That isn’t to say that the Soundboks is a one-trick pony, however. Its treble is still backseat to the bass, though it is easier to discern than with the Go and the mids and highs feel better represented. It is the loudest party speaker on the market and the Soundboks Go will not be the speaker to change that.
Looking deeper into this weighty product you can start to understand how it is able to outperform its smaller counterpart. It has three 72-watt RMS class D amplifiers, two 10-inch woofers, and a 1-inch compression driver tweeter. If the listed specifications are to be believed, the frequency response of the Generation 3 is 40Hz – 20kHz.
Verdict – The Soundboks 3 is noticeably better throughout the sound design and shows its internal horsepower when compared with the smaller product.
Design & Durability
Soundboks products will never win any design awards for their visual appeal, but these products are resilient enough to withstand any imaginable party foul, unexpected weather, or local dust storm you could conjure up.
Where they falter is in their design that is marketed as “portable” – despite the SoundBoks 3 weighing in at 34 pounds – they don’t even laugh at their own joke.
The Soundboks Go is a tough customer in a much more transportable body. Both the cabinet and grill are outfitted in a mixture of ABS + Polycarbonate which feels durable to light impact resistance and is backed by a silicone rubber guard that surrounds the product.
The topside handle feels much more efficient than the Soundboks 3 handles, though you can pay an additional fifty for their polyester carrying strap if you aren’t satisfied.
It has a very impressive IP65 rating to the surprise of no one familiar with SoundBoks and is a much better look for someone who has to lug one of these speakers around. Unfortunately, it does not offer the swappable grill that the Gen. 3 has, so those folks that like to customize their tech might feel slightly let down. It’s nearly a half of the size of the Soundboks 3 at 18 x 12 x 10 inches and weighs in at 20 lbs.
The Soundboks Gen. 3 could double as a self-defense weapon if you can muster up the physical vigor needed to lift the thing.
A passing glance would not do justice to how well-made this product is, even for how simple the design is. It has a tasteful hardwood poplar cabinet, powder-coated aluminum frame, steel grill (that you can swap out), and two side handles to help you work on your squats.
An interesting variation in design between the two is the difference in silicone guards. While the Go has a rubber perimeter to keep it safe from impact, the Soundboks 3 uses an innovative rubber ball design that covers the corners of the speaker. I’m not an engineer, but I personally think this offers better protection if I had to choose.
The biggest thing working against this product is its massive size and weight compared to its competitors. This product weighs 34 lbs, which could prove to be a massive inconvenience for those who have to transport it by foot. Regrettably, it is also quite bulky and very awkward to carry, measuring out to 25 × 17 × 13 inches.
Verdict – For the ease of transportation I have to give the nod to the Soundboks Go, though I do prefer the design of the Soundboks Generation 3, if only slightly.
Due to the abundant marketing focus on the volume capability of SoundBoks products you would be forgiven for not knowing just how truly spectacular their battery power is. These products offer a battery that can play at full volume longer than most products can play at fifty percent (at a much lower decibel).
All batteries fade faster when played at higher volumes, though you can likely get away with for some time with these products.
The Soundboks Go is a smaller product and they could have very easily made it sleeker by putting in a subpar battery that was more compact – I’m overjoyed they choose not to. In fact, both of these products utilize the same 12.8V Lithium Iron Phosphate battery (LiFePO4 for those that managed to pass chemistry). Because of this, I’m going to focus on what both products offer in terms of battery life instead of comparing them, as they are virtually the same.
Both products will run you 40 hours of battery life at moderate volume, which is exceptional by any measurable standard. At full volume, the battery life will drain much quicker and can maintain a charge for around 5-10 hours depending on music choice, among others things.
This might sound limiting, but only because you haven’t heard how painful these speakers get at max volume. The truth is, these speakers will play incredibly loud music for unbelievable amounts of time, whether you are having a night out or going through a particularly long bender.
What’s also nice about these portable speakers is the ability to painlessly remove and switch out batteries, meaning you can get up to 80 hours of playtime before having to charge your device. Speaking of charging the device, it will take about 3.5 hours which feels like an afterthought considering how much juice this will get you.
If you have been burned by the countless Bluetooth speakers that start beeping after two hours of leisure time, you will feel like you have found your inanimate soul mate with either of these devices.
Finally, one last feature I really enjoy is that you can keep busting out tunes for both products while the battery is charging. With that said, for the sake of not damaging the battery try to keep the volume under 50% or you run the risk of battery damage which could lower the battery life and increase charge times.
Verdict – SoundBoks does not play around when it comes to their batteries and both of these products are luminous examples of this fact.
Features & Software
In 2022, if your product doesn’t offer at least three features that have absolutely nothing to do with its original purpose then it is falling behind the competition. Soundboks doesn’t let this unfortunate reality phase them and keeps a measured approach to features – making sure they benefit the product’s original vision (I swear I’m not on the payroll).
Neither of these products has an incredible amount of bells and whistles to talk about. What they do share in common are the necessary additions that every Bluetooth speaker should have to stay at the forefront of a highly competitive market.
The Soundboks Go can wrap up its features pretty concisely. It offers Bluetooth 5.0 compatibility, multispeaker compatibility (up to five Soundboks speakers), a swappable battery, and finally a graphic equalizer with presets through the app. It only offers one individual 3.5mm auxiliary input, which is subpar. It isn’t the endless list that other brands have, naming off dozens of superfluous additions you will never use, but what it does offer I would consider very practical.
The Generation 3 is equally focused on quality over quantity in the accessory department and the list feels pretty much the same throughout. Fortunately, it carries more input possibilities with 2 XLR inputs, and a 3.5mm auxiliary input and output. For the features, you have Bluetooth 5.0 compatibility, multispeaker compatibility (Up to five Soundboks speakers), a swappable battery, and the same graphic equalizer through the app with included presets.
The SoundBoks app is worthwhile and offers its exclusive streaming service known as DIREKT, though you will likely use it more for its graphic equalizer and firmware updates than anything else.
Verdict – Maybe we are a bit old school at Swift Moves, but I like my wired connections. For that reason, we will be giving the nod to the Soundboks 3.
It’s hard to conclusively choose one product over the other considering the interest of the consumer.
The Go is considerably cheaper, but also lacks audio clarity to the point that you may be better served looking for alternative brands in a similar price range.
The Soundboks Generation 3 has a much better sound quality, but it may also run you a cool grand once you include taxes. If you are on the more affluent side, the Generation 3 is a great product that will impress friends and infuriate neighbors.
The Soundboks Go is a high-volume speaker with a great battery that unfortunately fails when it comes to competent audio. It is considerably lighter than the Generation 3, though again has an inferior build quality and is still by no means lightweight.
For this reason, I would more quickly recommend the more expensive Soundboks 3 over its newer, smaller sibling.