JBL PartyBox 100 vs Boombox (2020): Which Portable Bluetooth Speaker Is Better?

The PartyBox 100 and Boombox are two of JBL’s most popular portable Bluetooth speakers, and with good reason: They are light enough to be carried around and capable of producing high-quality audio to boot. Between the two, there are a few key differences that are important to take note of depending on what you’re going to use them for. For instance, the Boombox is more suited for outdoor use because of its IPX7 waterproof rating, while the PartyBox 100 can double as a guitar amp.

JBL PartyBox 100 vs Boombox Comparison Chart

ModelJBL PartyBox 100JBL Boombox
JBL PartyBox 100 - High Power Portable Wireless Bluetooth Party SpeakerJBL Boombox - Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker - Black
PriceCheck Price on AmazonCheck Price on Amazon
Dimensions (W x H x D)11.3″ x  21.7″ x 11.4″19.48″ x 10.01″ x 7.69″
Weight21.4 lbs11.57 lbs
Transducers2 x 5.25″ Woofers, 2 x 2.25″ Tweeters2 x 4″ Woofers, 2 x 0.78″ Tweeters
Output Power160W2 x 30W (AC mode), 2 x 20W (Battery mode)
Signal-to-Noise Ratio80dBA80dB
Frequency Response45Hz – 18kHz50Hz – 20kHz
Expected Battery Life12 hours24 hours
WaterproofNoIP7X
Year of Release20192017
ColorsBlackBlack, Camouflage, Forest Green

Design

While they’re both portable speakers, the Boombox weighs less than the PartyBox 100.

JBL PartyBox 100 vs Boombox Design
The Boombox (left) has a smaller form factor compared to the PartyBox 100 (right).

Both the PartyBox 100 and Boombox sport the familiar JBL design. The Boombox looks more like a big pill-shaped speaker rather than an upright, rectangular one, like the PartyBox 100.

Since we’re talking about portable Bluetooth speakers, weight and size are two of the defining factors here. First off, the PartyBox 100 weighs at 21.4 lbs and measures at 11.3 inches by 21.7 inches by 11.4 inches (width, height, and depth, respectively). On the other hand, the Boombox is only 11.57 lbs and measures at 19.48 inches by 10.01 inches by 7.69 inches. At that, the Boombox is smaller and weighs only about half as much as the PartyBox 100, making it the more portable speaker out of the two.

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The Boombox is available in three colors: Black, Camouflage, and Forest Green. Meanwhile, the PartyBox 100 only comes in Black.

Sound Quality

The PartyBox 100 can produce a weightier sound and deliver more consistently at high volume than the Boombox.

JBL PartyBox 100 vs Boombox Sound Quality
The PartyBox 100 (in photo) has bigger woofers and tweeters and a higher total output power than the Boombox.

Under the hood, the PartyBox 100 packs two 5.25-inch woofers paired with two 2.25-inch tweeters, while the Boombox has two four-inch woofers and two 0.78-inch tweeters. The PartyBox 100 also has a 160W max output power, a signal-to-noise ratio of 80dBA, and a frequency response of 45Hz to 18kHz, while the Boombox offers an output of 2 x 30W when plugged in or 2 x 20W when running on battery, a signal-to-noise ratio of 80dB, and a frequency response of 50Hz to 20 kHz.

The PartyBox 100 can deliver better audio quality, but going by what’s on paper, that was more or less expected. That doesn’t necessarily mean the Boombox is bad, though. The two of them produce quality sound, although the PartyBox 100 can perform better at higher levels, while the Boombox loses some bass as the volume goes up. As its name suggests, the PartyBox 100 is the better option for parties since its sound can not only be heard but also felt farther than the Boombox.

Features

The PartyBox 100 and Boombox each have their own unique features that set them apart.

JBL PartyBox 100 vs Boombox Features
The PartyBox 100 (left) has mic and guitar inputs with volume control, while the Boombox (right) is IPX7 rated, which means it can survive spills or being immersed in water.

At their core, the PartyBox 100 and Boombox share some similarities, both being portable Bluetooth speakers and all, but beyond that, they start to differ.

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For starters, the PartyBox 100 features Bass Boost to give it an extra oomph in the bass department and True Wireless Stereo that lets you connect to up to two party speakers via Bluetooth. It also has mic and guitar inputs with volume control so you can use it as a karaoke speaker or amp. On top of that, it has aux-in and aux-out terminals and a USB port so you can just plug in a thumb drive with your playlist and listen to music right away. Apt for its name, it’s equipped with RGB LED lights that add a visual treat to a party you’re throwing. To make sure everyone can see it and hear it loud and clear, you can even mount it on a speaker pole stand.

The Boombox is not without its charm, though. It boasts a waterproof rating of IPX7, making it the perfect audio companion for pool parties or a day at the beach since you won’t have to worry about it getting wet or dropped in water.

With JBL Connect+, the Boombox can simultaneously play alongside more than 100 other Bluetooth speakers that support the feature. Speaking of Bluetooth connectivity, it supports up to two smart devices connected at the same time, allowing you to take turns in playing, say, from a smartphone and a tablet. Its software can be upgraded at the tap of a button too using the JBL Connect app, where you can also conveniently change the speaker’s configurations. Its Indoor and Outdoor modes make it flexible as well, adapting to your environment to produce a richer sound and deeper bass inside or an expansive sound and more powerful bass outside.

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Battery

The Boombox has a longer battery life than the PartyBox 100.

JBL PartyBox 100 vs Boombox Battery
The Boombox (left) is equipped with a bigger battery capacity compared to the PartyBox 100 (right).

Another important feature of portable wireless speakers is battery life, and in this regard, the Boombox blows the PartyBox 100 out of the water. Thanks to its 20,000 mAh battery, it can offer up to 24 hour of music playback and even charge other devices using its two USB ports. To put things into perspective, the PartyBox 100 has a 2,500 mAh battery and is rated to last up to 12 hours, which is only half of what the Boombox brings to the table.

Verdict

Not only is the PartyBox 100 a better bang for your buck, but it’s also capable of delivering better overall sound quality than the Boombox.

While the two are good options for a portable Bluetooth speaker, the PartyBox 100 takes the cake. Between the two, it has the better sound quality, and even though it isn’t the best out there, it does produce decent treble and deep bass, which can be taken up a notch with its Bass Boost feature. As an added bonus, it can even double as a guitar amp or karaoke speaker and provide a little light show to liven things up more, not to mention that it’s newer and cheaper than the Boombox.

For the record, the Boombox does earn some points because of its IPX7 waterproof rating, longer battery life, and more portable design.

Last update on 2020-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Vincent Lanaria
Vincent Lanaria