The Bottom Line
The Soundboks, and its 3 generations, have always been one of our favorite Bluetooth speakers. Appearing on several of our best lists, most notably for its loudness, the Soundboks 3 is the loudest Bluetooth speaker we’ve reviewed. The only unfortunate aspect of this incredible speaker was its monstrous size, so we’re incredibly pleased to see the Soundboks Go version hit the market. It promises almost the same speaker quality and volume (5dB short of the Gen 3), just housed in a smaller enclosure for improved portability.
The Soundboks Go Is The Latest Portable Bluetooth Speaker With a Focus on Loudness
- The Soundboks Go weighs in at 20lbs, meaning it is around 40% lighter than the Soundboks Gen 3.
- A carry handle adds to the portability of the Go over the Gen 3.
- Easily portable for most people, though some may still find it a little tough to carry around.
With the aesthetic of a professional PA speaker or bass amplifier, the Soundboks Go looks impressive and muscular and has the features to match. While the Go is essentially the portable version of the regular Soundboks speaker, it is still considerably larger and heavier than most portable Bluetooth speakers. Weighing 20 pounds and measuring just short of 20 x 13 inches, the Soundboks Go can still cause some discomfort after carrying it across a beach or parking lot. A carry strap is available separately.
The polyester carry handle is situated on top of the speaker, and while it is effective in helping you carry the unit, for this price, I would have expected an integrated, molded carry handle or even just some better material.
Soundboks Go Features A Relatively Durable Design
- IP65 weather-proofing means you shouldn’t worry about light splashes or even light pressured water contact.
- ABS + Polycarbonate construction results in a durable design.
The Soundboks Go has a weather resistance rating of IP65, allowing for exposure to water, dust, snow, sand, and other potentially hazardous elements. Aside from being able to function throughout a storm, the Soundboks Go is also incredibly well-built. The enclosure is made from ABS and polycarbonate, and the silicon-type rubber strip runs along the edges to protect the speaker from bumps and drops (or your shins, if you’re carrying it in one hand)
Looking At Connectivity
- Pair multiple speakers together using the Soundboks pairing feature, a great asset for large parties.
- The lack of input connections compared to the Soundboks Gen 3 is one of the Go’s few negatives.
The Soundboks Go runs on Bluetooth 5.0, which provides a long listening range and high-quality signal transmission. It doesn’t support higher-fidelity codecs such as aptX, but Bluetooth 5.0 is more than sufficient in this case.
For wired connections, the Soundboks Go supports 3.5mm auxiliary input connections. In contrast, the regular Soundboks provide an auxiliary output and an XLR/TRS combo jack for microphones, guitars, and other instruments or sources. Soundboks clearly had to cut back on some features in order to get the Go to be as portable as it is.
The Soundboks Go also supports party chaining, so you can pair 2 speakers together to form a widened stereo field for a DJ set or simply get some more volume to your party. This can be done using the Soundboks companion app.
The Soundboks Go’s replaceable Battery Is a Game-Changer
- The replaceable battery of the Soundboks Go is a great addition that means your Soundboks Go can last for years to come.
- Powerful batteries can provide up to 40 hours of runtime at lower volumes.
The Soundboks go runs on a removable battery known as the Batteryboks. These can be purchased separately at just under $150.00 each and are small, easy-to-fit batteries that you can switch for the dead cells to keep the party going.
The batteries are powerful, providing up to 40 hours of runtime on a single charge. This figure will dramatically drop as you push the volume levels, as around 10 hours can be expected when using the Soundboks Go at full volume.
The Soundboks Go Brings Massive Sound Driven by a 10″ Woofer
- At 121dB, the Soundboks Go is one of the loudest Bluetooth speakers in the world.
- Thumping low ends, warm midrange, and crisp highs create a great, full-body sound.
Driven by 10” and 1” speakers, the Soundboks go projects sound in one direction, ideal for party environments, though it still sounds full-bodied and powerful all around
One can expect thumping, low-end, warm midrange, and crisp highs, suitable for all styles of music, and the Soundboks Go sounds incredible at high volumes, especially where no distortion is present and the speaker ‘opens up’ a little more. The lower midrange can sound a little muddy at lower listening levels, particularly when the speaker is used indoors.
To help the Soundboks Go sound a little cleaner in indoor environments, an ‘Indoor’ listening mode can be activated on the speaker or using the companion app, which alters the sound signature to provide a more balanced listening experience suitable for indoor environments.
The sound quality reminds me of a JBL-type sound signature, which will lead me to recommend the Partybox Bluetooth speakers if you’re after something a little more eye-catching with some party-friendly features like LED lights and karaoke modes. There are several models in the Partybox range, though I’d recommend the 310 or 710 for party-like situations. The Partybox 1000 is the least portable speaker in the Partbox range but does pump out earth-rumbling sound.
Mobile App Support
Aside from controlling speaker pairings on the app, iOS users can enjoy control over the speaker on their phone, allowing you to turn the speaker on/off, adjust volume levels, bass boost, and sound modes. The app is also available from the Google Play Store.
For the party hosts running short on playlists, the Soundboks Direkt App also live-streams DJ sets from around the world every Friday and Saturday. The streams can also be viewed on demand for 24 hours after the end time.
So How Does It Stack Up Next To The Turtlebox Gen 2?
- The Soundboks Go offers slightly better quality sound and a bit more volume.
- The Turtlebox Gen 2 offers more portability and better weather-proofing.
Soundboks weren’t the only ones to bring 120dB or more to this market space. The guys over at Turtlebox recently released the Turtlebox Gen 2, another powerful Bluetooth speaker that is only a decibel shy of the Soundboks Go in terms of loudness.
Both speakers sound great, and you can see more information on the Turtlebox Gen 2 in our review post. The Soundboks Go does perform slightly better in the audio department, with a slightly lower bass response and just a bit more volume and clarity – but the Turtlebox Gen 2 is no slouch in these departments either.
If you feel as though 20lbs is too heavy, the Turtlebox Gen 2 comes in at 7lbs lighter and is a bit more portable. The other area where the Turtlebox may be the better choice is if you’re planning on using the speaker a lot outdoors, as it has a higher water-resistance rating of IP67 and is extremely durable.
The Soundboks Go Is A Powerhouse In The Loud Portable Bluetooth Speaker Market
The Soundboks Go has made a great impression on us and cements itself as one of the best portable Bluetooth speakers on the market with a heavy focus on volume capabilities.
The sound characteristics, build quality, and design are phenomenal, though the Soundboks Go is a little unaffordable to some. The speaker’s performance and companion app are very impressive. However, I would have liked to see some more versatile connectivity options for a party-specific speaker and a little more focus be drawn into the battery life and portability.