Best Wireless Portable Speakers Faceoff – JBL Charge vs. Boombot REX

Portable Speaker Review- JBL Charge v Boombot REX

great sound comes in small and smaller packages

By the time we had pulled out the JBL Charge from the box, we’d already gone through handfulls of speakers.  We were expecting to hear something a lot like the Philips ShoqBox, but there might just be a little bit more to this Tall Boy sized guy.  Most of the products around this size got man-handled by the output of the little Boombot REX.  Finally, something stood its ground and provided a worthy opponent. JBL is certainly no stranger to making thumping sound systems, but this would really be the test on whether their brand could take their line into the world of portable speakers.  These are some of the loudest portable speakers in the game and we hope this article helps pick which is right for you.

Portable Speaker Review -JBL-Charge-versus-Boombot-REX-Chart

 Price

The JBL Charge goes for the Amazon street price of $149.99 while the Boombot REX tips the scale at $119.99.

features + DESIGN

JBL_Charge_blue_35613369_04

It was actually pretty interesting stacking these two competitors next to each other.  The JBL Charge seemed to be missing a lot of rudimentary features that would be expected from a speaker at that price point.  However, it has an internal 6000mAh battery that provides enough juice for a robust amp AND the USB out.  If you’ve ever uses a Mophie Juice Pack, you’ll love that you can get several charges on your smartphone from the speaker itself.  Pretty clutch feature.

The form factor of the JBL charge isn’t particularly amusing.  The plastic seems strong and the overall build quality is sturdy.  It has this design that seems to transgress between being a rugged outdoor product and a traditional gadget.  Seems to be a slight ID crisis, but there is nothing that’s standout ugly.  As mentioned, the JBL Charge is about the same size as a PBR 32oz Tall Boy so it’s easy enough to lug around, although I would hesitate on a longer hike as this has a pretty substantial weight.

Boombot-REX-Splash2

The Boombot REX maintains a much lighter frame while still having clean, sharp, bold lines.  At about one-third of the spacial volume of the JBL charge, the Boombot REX is a better alternative for those looking to travel greater distances with their speaker.  The Boombot REX includes several bells and whistles not found on the JBL charge including a track control interface and Siri/Voice-Control integration.  Boombot REX also incorporates daisy-chain capability.  If it can’t outdo the Charge with one, it sure as hell can with two!

SOUND

No joke, the JBL Charge was one of the most impressive sounding speakers we had tested.  The amount of bass generated from this thing is truly remarkable.  The Boombot REX actually had very similar mid range and high range to the JBL Charge, but the low end bass was certainly dominated by the JBL Charge.

the verdict

If you are more of a backyard horse shoe throwing candidate that doesn’t need a lot of versatility, OR  you just don’t mind size/weight, the JBL Charge is the ticket.  If you are a little more on the adventurous side and want a speaker that won’t slow you down, the Boombot REX is a standout player on that category.  Overall, the handsfree and microphone capabilities of the Boombot REX make it a more versatile product, but the JBL Charge certainly has its’ place in the world of top portable speakers.  Thanks for checking out our portable speaker reviews.  Let us know if there’s anything you’d like us to test.

Top Wireless Bluetooth Speakers Showdown

Poratable-Speaker-Review-BoombotREX-versus-Beats-Pill

Beats Pill v. Boombotix boombot REX portable speaker review

Today we compared the Beats Pill to our Boombot REX to determine what are some of the Top Bluetooth Wireless Speakers here in 2013.  Below is a chart showing you some the key differences between these two speakers.  Beats has become a household name in the headphone market owning more than 65% market share of premium headphones.  This will be a true test on whether or not they can take the headphone expertise and apply it to a slightly more challenging project in building a great sounding speaker.

Beats Pill x Boombot REX Portable Speaker Review

pricing

The Beats Pill retails for $199 although it is currently seeing an Amazon street price at $156.  SOMEHOW, despite this abysmal sound quality, it is maintaining a 4-star rating on there.   The Boombot REX is currently on pre-order at $119.99 with an anticipated launch date poised for June 1st from Boombotix direct and Apple.com.

sound

Despite the millions of dollars of R&D, the Beats Pill has some of the most bizarrely distorted acoustics we’ve seen out of all the portable speakers we’ve tested.  It’s almost as though whoever built it was on a pill of some sort.  The Beats Pill is driven on four small one-inch drivers while the Boombot REX runs off of two 1.5-inch drivers and a passive radiator.  To get an idea of just how bad the Beats Pill sounds, you should probably watch the video.

Design + function

The Beats Pill has a couple of bells and whistles including NFC pairing.  For those of you that use Android, this is pretty useful.  If you’re familiar with the Jawbone Jambox, the Beats Pill is like the round version of the Jambox without nearly the low end frequency performance.  We actually maxed out the Beats Pill to the point where the amp seemed to just quit and make a static humming noise.  We thought that was very interesting.  The Pill is wrapped 360-degrees in a fine speaker mesh.  While it looks good, I worry a little that it will get bumped very easily.  It is small enough to slide in my pocket, but it kind of looks like a banana if you catch my drift.

The Boombot REX is quite a bit lighter and more compact that the Beats Pill.  If you are looking for a more adventurous companion, this could be a better bet.  The integrated clip makes this unit infinitely more versatile and mobile than the design of the Beats Pill.  The Boombot REX also incorporates built-in Siri/Voice-Control allowing for a more seamless handsfree experience.

The Beats is available in a narrow selection of 3-colors (red, white, and black) while the Boombot REX will be launching with 4-colors in the initial run and a full Limited Edition series to be released in July 2013.

Check out some of our other Portable Speaker Reviews and comparisons if you want to get the pulse on all the best mobile audio gear on the market.

Best Outdoor Portable Speakers Showdown

Best Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker- Turtle-Shell-v-Boombot-REX

a wireless portable speaker match up for those craving adventure

The Boombot REX and the Outdoor Technologies Turtle Shell have quite a lot in common as outdoor portable speakers.  Both of them were designed for the outdoors.  Both ran almost equally successful launch campaigns on Kickstarter.  Each has a somewhat sharp edged geometric design.  They each feature microphones, dual drivers and passive radiators.  So what’s the difference?  That’s what we’re here to tell you.  In December we did a comparison of an older model of the Boombot REX and the Jambox.  Check that out as well if you want a little more data.

the differences in size shape

The OT Turtle Shell is at least 40% larger than the Boombot REX.  If you are ACTUALLY looking to make moves, you might want to think hard on which unit you’d like to lug around.  The Turtle Shell has a loop where you can dangle it… but to be quite frank, I’d be worried about that unit hitting me where the sun don’t shine.  The Boombot REX is more of a palm-sized piece with a built-on clip for much more seamless transport.  Much more of an on-the-go product.

differences in sound

In our recording of Basement Jaxx, the OT Turtle Shell was barely clipping into the mid 70s on the decibel meter.  We saw it max out around 75dB on even the punchiest part of the song.  The Boombot REX on the other hand put out well over 85dB exhibiting sheer dominance in output.  It is odd because typically a larger cabinet allows sound designers to build a lot more around better acoustics, but this is one case where the David destroyed the Golliath.  Watch the video and you can really hear and see the difference.

the verdict

The OT Turtle Shell retails for $149.99 while the Boombot REX starts at $119.99.  Call me crazy but bigger isn’t necessarily better.  If you want the best outdoor portable speaker, look no further than the Boombot REX.

 

Portable Speaker Review: Jawbone Jambox v. Boombot REX

Portable Speaker Review- Jawbone Jambox v. Boombot REX

comparing the best wireless speakers in the game

In December we ran a comparison on our Boombot REX going up against the Jawbone Jambox and the Outdoor Technologies Turtle Shell.  At the time, the Boombot REX was holding it’s own on the Jambox.  It was  outputting about the same volume across most of the spectrum with a little bit less bass.  Both of the units performed significantly better than the turtle shell.  After a couple more months of fine tuning, we’ve actually manage to accomplish even more with our nano acoustic engineering.

the evolution in audio

The Boombot REX features a CSR BC5 bluetooth module.  We realized that there were certain frequencies that the unit responded to better and some that caused distortion. We spent numerous hours understanding exactly which frequencies these were.  We modified our firmware profile have a built-in profile in the DSP (digital signal processor).  What we were able to do is bring up even more mids and highs out of our device while also providing robust bass output.

This is all about allowing each driver to move more air in a crisp fashion.  You need a full understanding of exactly which frequencies cause distortion and which ones you can increase the gain on.  We isolated each frequency band with a pretty tight resolution and created a custom equalization curve to get exactly the acoustics we were looking for.
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Music Bullet vs. Boombotix Boombot2

Music Bullet speakerWhen comparing and contrasting a Red Delicious to say, a Florida Naval, we’re likely to turn up empty on all comparisons other than one; they are both fruit. The same can be said about comparing the As Seen on TV gimmick product ‘Music Bullet’ and the BoomBotix Boombot1 or Boombotix Boombot2.  They both amplify sound. The rest? Apples. Oranges.

With the big promises we know and love about infomercials, it appears the Magic Bullet has overpromised its customers according to reviews.

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