Battery-powered Soundboks speaker rocks parties, may require permit to play
Most portable speakers have a limit to size and/or output. Increases beyond that tend to require AC adapters or wall plugs to supply continuous power. But if you've been craving truly wireless music at extreme volumes, the latest crowdfunded speaker may be the wish come true. Soundboks is designed to deliver up to 30 hours of nightclub-level decibels off a single battery charge.
For pool events, camping, or backyard cookouts, boombox-sized speakers can be found supplying ample amounts of audio. We've reviewed the audiophile-grade Nano HiFi NH1 as well as the rugged JBL Xtreme, both of which delivered appreciably well. But they likely pale in comparison to the Soundboks, which houses a pair each of 96 dB low-frequency drivers, 98 dB high-frequency dynamic drivers, sound pressure level (SPL) speaker units, and 42 W digital amps.
Soundboks uses custom-designed amplifiers that help to enhance battery life while optimizing sound for outdoor usage. With its dual-phase boost function, this speaker is designed to generate up to maximum 119 dB of sound. The volume dial – quite literally – turns to an 11 for an experience similar to that of a live concert.
Measuring 26 x 17 x 13 in (66 x 43 x 32 cm) and weighing 32 lb (14.5 kg), Soundboks is not much greater than your typical carry-on luggage. The plywood- and aluminum-constructed case is designed to be lightweight, shockproof, weatherproof, and temperature-resistant. With an integrated side handle, this is the kind of speaker one can bring to the beach about as easily as a cooler filled with ice and beverages. For connectivity, Soundboks features extended-range Bluetooth 3.0 as well as 3.5 mm audio input.
But what makes Soundboks truly unique is its ability to violate county noise ordinances without needing to be plugged into a wall socket, portable generator, or vehicle power inverter. The speaker comes with two swappable external batteries, each capable of playing up to 30 hours at 113 dB.
Instead of your typical lithium-ion, Soundboks uses a lithium-ferrophosphate (LiFePO4) batteries that are safe, can meet power demands, and only need three hours to recharge. So for six hours of quiet time, one can entertain a weekend-long festival. Or a full week with the volume toned down to that of a 2016 Harley-Davidson.
The Soundboks speaker is currently funding on Kickstarter, having raised 174 percent of its US$100,000 goal in a day, with another 32 days left to go.
Tooling has been finished and production has already started for the Soundboks. So if everything proceeds smoothly, backers can expect shipments to start as soon as this April.
Update (Dec. 5, 2016): The Soundboks speaker is now available through the company for $768 in the US and €669 in Europe.