Soundboks 3 vs Soundboks 4

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Soundboks 3 vs Soundboks 4 1

Winner

Soundboks 4

The Soundboks 4 is a better buy than the Gen 3. While much of the design has remained the same, the Soundboks 4’s sound is clearer and has more bass. It also has longer battery life at high volume levels and sees several small quality-of-life improvements.

Frequently touted as the loudest Bluetooth speaker available, the Soundboks 3 became an iconic Bluetooth behemoth, representing power, portability, and partying. More recently Soundboks released the latest iteration of the Soundboks series, the Soundboks 4. The Soundboks 4 retains most of the Gen 3’s design but with improvements to durability, ease of use, and sound quality. Here’s how these two speakers stack up, side by side.

ModelSoundboks 3Soundboks 4
Water ResistanceIP65IP65
Output Power216W216W
Bluetooth Version5.05.0
Battery LifeUp to 40 HoursUp to 40 Hours
Charging Time3.5 Hours3.5 Hours
Frequency Response40 Hz – 20 kHz40 Hz – 20 kHz
Woofers2 × 10” 96 dB woofers2 × 10” 96 dB woofers
Tweeters1 × 1” 104 dB tweeter1 × 1” 104 dB tweeter
TWSYesYes
Multi-Speaker PairingUp to 5 speakersUp to 5 speakers
Weight34 lbs35.5 lbs
Dimensions25.6 × 17 × 13″25.6 × 17 × 13″
App SupportYes (SOUNDBOKS)Yes (SOUNDBOKS)
Price:Check PriceCheck Price

Design, Build, & Durability

There aren’t many physical differences between the Soundboks 3 and Soundboks 4. Both speakers are the same size (20.9 x 15.5 x 29.2″) and have similar weights. A new grille design aesthetically separates the Soundboks 4 from the previous generation. Both speakers have been built to produce maximum power in a portable design.

Durability

Winner: Soundboks 4

The Soundboks 4 has similar durability to the Soundboks 3, with minor advantages relating to the grille design. The Soundboks 4’s new grille has tighter meshing, which helps prevent things like sticks from accidentally penetrating through the grille and into the drivers. Otherwise, both speakers are extremely durable, made from durable plastics with sturdy metal accents. The controls on both speakers tend to last well and don’t have any known durability issues.

Additionally, the Soundboks 4’s revamped grille can be easily removed, while the process is not so simple on the Gen 3. This makes performing maintenance, such as cleaning, easier on the Soundboks 4.

Both the Soundboks 3 and Soundboks 4 are suitable for outdoor use, with the high-quality materials being coupled with comprehensive weather resistance.

Portability

Winner: Tied

Both speakers have the same dimensions, with a height shy of 30″. The Soundboks 4 retains much of the original Soundboks 3 shell, except for the grille. They have built-in handles to make carrying them easier and while they are relatively heavy, they can be carried with one hand. This makes the Soundboks a great choice for regular outdoor activities.

The Soundboks 4 is 1.5 lbs heavier than the Soundboks 3, but in practice, this extra weight is not very noticeable and both speakers can be considered easily portable. Still, at 35.5 lbs, there are limitations on who can carry it, and those with physical limitations may struggle.

Weather Resistance

Winner: Tied

The Soundboks 4 has the same IP65 weather rating as the Soundboks 3. An IP65 rating means the speaker is protected from dust damage, as well as offering an IPX5 waterproofing equivalent. It can be washed down gently with a low-pressure hose, or used in the rain without risk of damage.

Controls, Connectivity & App Support

The controls and connectivity are the same on both the Soundboks 3 and 4, with a relatively simple design that limits on-speaker track control. They also have the same wired and wireless connectivity, and both are supported by the Soundboks companion app.

Soundboks 3

  • Bluetooth version
    5.0
  • Multi-Speaker Pairing
    Up to 5 speakers
  • Wireless Stereo Pairing
    Supported by all Soundboks models
  • Inputs
    2x XLR, 1x 3.5mm Aux
  • Outputs
    1x 3.5mm Aux

Soundboks 4

  • Bluetooth version
    5.0
  • Multi-Speaker Pairing
    Up to 5 speakers
  • Wireless Stereo Pairing
    Supported by all Soundboks models
  • Inputs
    2x XLR, 1x 3.5mm Aux
  • Outputs
    1x 3.5mm Aux

Inputs & Outputs

Winner: Tied

Soundboks 3 vs Soundboks 4 6

Both speakers offer the same comprehensive wired connectivity, supporting two XLR inputs, which can be used for microphones, mixers, or guitars. They also both feature an auxiliary 3.5mm input and output. The input lets you connect your music to the speaker without the use of Bluetooth, while the 3.5mm output can be used to chain other speakers to the Soundboks, even outside of the Soundboks brand.

Controls

Winner: Tied

Soundboks 3 vs Soundboks 4 7

The controls are located on the upper side of the speaker and are the same on both the Soundboks 3 and 4. These controls are limited, featuring a power button, a volume dial, and a pairing button. This means you’ll need to use your phone to control the tracks you’re listening to. A fun, novel feature of the Soundboks 3 and 4 is the volume dial, which goes all the way to 11 (literally).

Bluetooth

Winner: Tied

Both the Soundboks 3 and 4 use Bluetooth 5.0 for their wireless connectivity. The result is a low-latency connection that can retain a stable connection with the source device (phone or tablet) around 70 to 80 meters from the speakers.

App Support

Winner: Soundboks 4

Both speakers use the SOUNDBOKS app, available for Android and Apple devices. You can pick from several custom EQ presets or dial in the sound to your liking using the graphic EQ. The graphic EQ lets you adjust 6 different frequency ranges, instead of the more frequently found 5-band EQs. Additionally, the app facilitates pairing and speaker channel assignment as well as volume control. The Soundboks 4 holds a slight advantage with its ability to adjust the microphone volume when using the XLR connections.

Audio Performance

Sound quality is where the Soundboks 3 and 4 differ the most. Despite both speakers having the same general driver configuration, there have been several improvements made to the Soundboks 4 that make it a definitively better-sounding speaker.

Soundboks 3

  • Power Output
    216W
  • Frequency Response Range
    40Hz – 20kHz
  • Drivers
    2 × 10” woofers, 1 × 1” tweeter

Soundboks 4

  • Power Output
    216W
  • Frequency Response Range
    40Hz – 20kHz
  • Drivers
    2 × 10” woofers, 1 × 1” tweeter

Frequency Response

Winner: Soundboks 4

The Soundboks 3 is by no means a bad-sounding speaker, but compared to the Soundboks 4 it comes off as slightly thin, with a lack of upper midrange presence that can cause vocal integrity to be lost. The Soundboks 4 has a lot more midrange presence which makes it sound more balanced, allowing vocals to shine through and not be drowned out by the powerful bass. The bass itself is slightly more powerful in the Soundboks 4 too, and creates window-rattling lows that can please the most demanding basshead.

Soundstage & Dynamics

Winner: Soundboks 4

The Soundboks 3 and 4 both have the same driver setup, with two front-firing 10″ woofers and a single 1″ compression driver tweeter. The soundstage is unchanged between the two speakers and is fairly narrow in its dispersion. This means that the placement of your speaker is important. Additionally, pairing two Soundboks models together in stereo can drastically improve the soundstage and create a comprehensive sound that covers even large rooms with good soundstage.

The dynamics on the Soundboks 3 are decent, but the Soundboks 4 is much better in this regard. The Soundboks 4 can reach the same high volume levels while retaining more detail than the Soundboks 3. This is especially true for the clarity of vocals and upper mids that can sometimes sound drowned out on the Soundboks 3 at high volume levels.

Volume

Winner: Soundboks 4

The Soundboks 3 has been widely considered the loudest Bluetooth speaker on the market, owed primarily to Soundboks marketing it as a 126 dB speaker. However, both Soundboks models have been unable to meet these readings in standardized testing setups at a distance of one meter. Instead, they measure somewhere in the range of 110 to 115 dB. Despite this difference, they are still both extremely loud speakers that can cover large areas.

The Soundboks 4 measures the same general volume readings as the Soundboks 3 but is perceived as louder because of the increased clarity and dynamics. Because the Soundboks 4 retains more detail and has more midrange presence, the speaker sounds noticeably better than the Soundboks 3 at high volume levels.

Multi-Speaker Pairing

Winner: Tied

Both the Soundboks 3 and 4 have comprehensive multi-speaker pairing options. You can chain together 5 speakers wirelessly, from any of the Soundboks range (Soundboks Go, Soundboks 3, and Soundboks 4). Additionally, they can be paired in left and right channels, regardless of the model. This is different from many other brands that only support TWS for speakers of the same model.

Battery Performance

Soundboks 3 vs Soundboks 4 8

Soundboks 3

  • Battery Type
    12.8V, 7.8Ah LiFePO4
  • Charging time
    3.5 hours
  • Estimated Playtime
    Up to 40 Hours
  • Cable Type
    (AC 110 V – 230 V) into DC 14.6 V

Soundboks 4

  • Battery Type
    12.8V, 7.8Ah LiFePO4
  • Charging Time
    3.5 hours
  • Estimated Playtime
    Up to 40 Hours
  • Cable Type
    (AC 110 V – 230 V) into DC 14.6 V

Winner: Soundboks 4

The Soundboks 3, 4 and even the Soundboks Go all use the same replaceable battery, meaning you can easily swap one battery between any Soundboks speaker you own. Both the Soundboks 3 and 4 are rated for 40 hours of playtime at 50% volume, but the Soundboks 4 is far more efficient and at higher volume levels can provide a lot more battery life. In fact, at full volume, the Soundboks 4 has around double the playtime when compared to the Soundboks 3. The Soundboks 3 has a playtime of around 3 hours at max volume, while the Soundboks 4 achieves closer to 6 hours.

Price & Value

The Soundboks 3 and 4 are not particularly cheap speakers, both retailing for $999. The Soundboks 3 saw some discounts down to $850 but has become difficult to find, with most retailers now just stocking the Soundboks 4. Regardless, the Soundboks should be considered an investment, and its high price tag isn’t unwarranted. Creating a speaker with this power that retains its portability is a feat in itself and for those seeking big sound in a relatively compact speaker capable of reaching more than 110 dB, the Soundboks 4 is the best choice on the market.

Conclusion

Overall, the Soundboks 4 is a better speaker. It retains all the beloved features of the Soundboks 3 but further enhances the sound quality, with a more balanced and detailed sound that retains more clarity at high volume, as well as having a bit more bass. Its efficiency improvements allow the same battery to last nearly twice as long at full volume and the subtle changes to the grille make the speaker easier to clean. Go for the Soundboks 4, it’s a no-brainer.

Soundboks 3 vs Soundboks 4 1

Winner

Soundboks 4

The Soundboks 4 is a better buy than the Gen 3. While much of the design has remained the same, the Soundboks 4’s sound is clearer and has more bass. It also has longer battery life at high volume levels and sees several small quality-of-life improvements.

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Author: Bryn De Kocks

Bryn has worked in the field for several years, writing in-depth speaker reviews for various audio publications. His work has historically focused on headphones and Bluetooth speakers, while incorporating his understanding of the Bluetooth speaker market to help educate potential buyers.

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