Soundboks is a company that has become synonymous with loudness and has been featured on our list of the loudest Bluetooth speakers for nearly five years now. Their core series of speakers began as a Kickstarter project which was successfully funded, resulting in the release of the first iteration in the summer of 2015. The second-generation Soundboks came out three years later and offered improved volume, connectivity, sound quality, and features. Later the next year, in 2019, the Soundboks 3 was introduced, bringing portability, sound quality, and mobile app control improvements.
Four years later, Soundboks has released the Soundboks 4. Let’s look at what has changed with the Soundboks 4 vs. the Soundboks 3 and whether it’s worth upgrading.
Introducing The Soundboks 4
If you’re unfamiliar with the Soundboks series, the Soundboks 4 is a fairly large Bluetooth speaker with outstanding volume capabilities. While it’s smaller in size than the JBL PartyBox 710, it’s able to produce up to 126dB of volume, an impressive feat for any battery-powered speaker.
Build & Design
Unlike many other large Bluetooth speakers, the Soundboks 4 remains portable, weighing just 35.5 lbs, compared to 61.3 lbs of the PartyBox 710. It features conveniently placed handles for carrying, which allows it to be used both indoors and outdoors.
The speaker’s frame is made from powdered aluminum. In contrast, the front of the speaker features a steel grille, which can be removed relatively easily and is available in both grey and black. Behind the grille lies the three drivers responsible for the massive output. There are two 10” woofers, one of which covers the midrange and upper lows, while the second woofer covers the low frequencies. The upper frequencies are handled by a 1” tweeter along the center-left side of the woofers.
On the speaker’s corners are silicon spheres, which keep the speaker raised off the ground, providing additional stability and preventing damage to the edges and base of the speaker. It also features an IP65 weather-resistance rating, meaning it is protected from both dust and water to a degree. An IP65 rating indicates IP6 dust resistance, and a water-resistance rating of IPX5. While the Soundboks 4 is not waterproof, it is resistant to moderate water levels, such as light rain, splashes, and low-pressure streams of water.
The Soundboks 4 doesn’t have LED lights and is designed more with durability than features in mind. Similar to the Soundboks Go, this is a rugged speaker that can handle both outdoor events and lifestyles with ease. You won’t need to worry about damage when tossing it into the back of your pickup.
The audio performance of the Soundboks 4 is improved over earlier iterations. It features a wide sound signature that offers deep low-end bass, along with a surprisingly balanced sound (depending on which EQ setting you choose). The upper frequencies, while less sharp than the Soundboks 3, will sound more natural and still incredibly detailed.
One cannot talk about the Soundboks without discussing the massive amount of volume it can produce. Since their first Kickstarter project that brought the concept of the Soundboks to the masses, the volume capabilities have always been a highlight. The Soundboks 4 can produce 126dB at maximum volume, more than most people will ever need.
Using the Soundboks app gives you control over the EQ settings, allowing you to define the sound you get from the speaker. There are three EQ presets, each with a distinctly different sound.
The woofers have a sensitivity of 96dB (1W @ 1m), while the tweeters have a sensitivity of 104dB (1W @ 1m). To power these drivers, Soundboks uses 3x 72W RMS infinneon MERUS Audio eximo class D amps. The Soundboks 4 has a frequency response range of 40Hz – 20kHz.
The lounge EQ setting on the Soundboks 4 is intended for use in smaller spaces and for casual listening or ambient music. It reduces the amount of bass presence while providing more warmth in the midrange. The highs remain balanced yet detailed. This setting is intended for relaxed, softer listening, usually at lower volume levels.
The Dance Floor preset is what we’d consider the standard preset for the Soundboks 4. It is intended for party environments, where a deep, thumping bass is important. It is particularly good for playing dance music, where you want more emphasis on the low-end presence. This is almost a V-shape signature, with the high frequencies also boosted for additional detail to counter the heavy bass presence. It offers improved soundstage performance, too.
While the lounge setting offers a balanced sound for lower levels of volume, the stage setting carries the same balanced focus as the lounge setting but is intended for high volume. This setting is intended for DJs and musicians. The bass is less elevated than the dance floor preset and sounds warmer in the midrange. The highs aren’t as bright as the dance floor preset but are still accurate and detailed.
The battery used in the Soundboks 4 is the same as that of the Soundboks 3 and the smaller Soundboks Go. This 12.8 V, 7.8 Ah LiFePO4 battery can power the Soundboks 4 for up to 40 hours of playtime at 50% volume. The playtime will vary depending on the EQ setting and the volume level you’re listening at.
When using the less lounge setting, the Soundboks 4 can be played for 7 hours at full volume. If you opt for the more bass-dominant dance floor mode, you’ll get 6 hours of playtime at full volume, the same as with the stage setting.
Regarding connectivity, the Soundboks 4 is not short of options. It features a 3.5mm auxiliary input and output, allowing you to either play music through a source device using an aux cable or use the aux out to daisy chain another speaker with the Soundboks. There are two XLR inputs, which can be used to attach guitars, DJ controllers, or microphones. This allows for the speaker to be used as a karaoke speaker.
Wireless connectivity is done via Bluetooth, using Bluetooth 5.0, which remains a broadly adopted version, even with the subsequent releases. It offers a stable connection over fairly large distances. You can also wirelessly pair the Soundboks 4 with up to 5 speakers. While we have seen larger chaining possibilities with other speakers, there are very few situations where you’d need this amount of Soundboks speakers paired together.
The Soundboks 4 can be wirelessly paired with the Soundboks 3 or the Soundboks Go. This may cause some existing Soundboks 3 owners to consider keeping their older model around, as the two can be stereo-paired together for increased soundstage and coverage.
Still, the pairing capabilities of the Soundboks 4 are intuitive, with a control panel that lets you toggle between pairing modes. Additionally, further pairing options are possible via the app, which allows you to set each speaker as a left or right channel, with the mono option being the default.
The mobile app features a well-designed UI that is intuitive and versatile in its capabilities. You can use the app to control how you pair your Soundboks and toggle between the various EQ modes. The app will also illustrate information about the EQ setting that you’re on, providing the estimated battery life and maximum volume for that setting.
|Weight||35.5 lbs||33 lbs|
|Size||25.6 x 17 x 13″||25.6 x 17 x 13|
|Amps||3 × 72W RMS Infineon MERUS Audio eximo® class D||3 × 72W RMS Infineon MERUS Audio eximo® class D|
|Woofers||2 x 10″ Farrite-magnet||2 x 10″ Farrite-magnet|
|Tweeters||1 x 1″ Polyethylene Naphthalate||1 x 1″ Polyethylene Naphthalate|
|Battery Life||Up to 40 hours||Up to 40 hours|
|Battery Info||12.8 V, 7.8 Ah Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4)||12.8 V, 7.8 Ah Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4)|
|Inputs||2 x XLR, 1 x Aux In||2 x XLR, 1 x Aux In|
|Outputs||1 x Aux Out||1 x Aux Out|
|Frequency Range||40Hz to 20kHz||40Hz to 20kHz|
|Sensitivity||96dB (1W@1m) Woofers, 104dB (1W@1m) Tweeter||96dB (1W@1m) Woofers, 104dB (1W@1m) Tweeter|
Soundboks 3 VS. Soundboks 4
While previous iterations of the Soundboks saw fairly substantial changes to the design, connectivity, and features, the changes between the Soundboks 3 and the Soundboks 4 were more marginal. Despite the number of changes being less substantial, the Soundboks 4 is still a superior speaker, owing primarily to the improvements around the speaker’s audio performance.
Regarding build quality, the Soundboks 4 has a new-found flare, with the new grille design featuring smaller gaps between the holes, reducing driver visibility. This new steel grille offers better durability and versatility than the Soundboks 3. Removing the grille on the Soundboks 3 is challenging, while it is simple to do with the Soundboks 4. Other than that change, the overall design of the frame has mostly stayed the same. The Soundboks 4 weighs just over two pounds more than the Soundboks 3, owing primarily to the changes in the grille design. Both speakers have the same dimensions.
The Soundboks 3 is a good-sounding speaker, but the Soundboks 4 focuses on providing a sound with noticeably more depth and detail. Soundboks replaced the Digital Signal Processor on the speaker and improved the drivers. While the Soundboks 3 had more of a mid-bass thump to it, the Soundboks 4 uses these new improvements to create a deeper low-end that extends further towards those sub-bass frequencies. The Soundboks 4 sounds more balanced than the Soundboks 3 and more refined.
Despite the upgrades to the drivers and processor, the Soundboks 4 is not louder than the Soundboks 3, with both speakers being rated at 126dB of maximum volume.
The battery performance is improved on the Soundboks 4. While both speakers are rated for up to 40 hours of playtime at 50% volume, when pushed to maximum volume, the Soundboks 4 provides up to 20% additional battery life over the Soundboks 3.
The connectivity from the Soundboks 3 remains unchanged, with the same Bluetooth version (5.0) and the same auxiliary and XLR connections available.
Is It Worth The Upgrade?
If you already own the Soundboks 3, the Soundboks 4 offers a few viable reasons to consider the upgrade—most notably, the increase in audio quality, especially the additional low-end depth and further detail to the upper frequencies. The increase in battery life is also a welcome change.
Because the front grille can be more easily removed, it also makes cleaning the speaker a lot easier. This will benefit those who take their Soundboks into the outdoors frequently and need to do routine cleaning exercises.
While the Soundboks 4 isn’t quite the leap we’ve seen between previous Soundboks iterations, the changes are significant enough to justify the new release.