“The Soundboks Go will make sure any crowd starts bopping.”
- Great sound at loud volumes
- Sturdy cabinet and bumpers
- Good battery life
- Effective app support
- Awesome when paired with other speakers
- Not as useful indoors
- Limited codec support
Bluetooth speakers come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and styles. Some are super-portable, some are meant to be poolside pals, and others are happiest when you keep them at home. But if you want to rock an entire block party, or maybe even a small concert, you’re going to need some serious power.
That’s exactly where the $699 Soundboks Go finds its niche. This isn’t just a speaker, it’s a party in a box, and that means it can get loud. Real loud. We pumped it up to 11 to hear it for ourselves and whomever else showed up.
What’s in the box
Unboxing the Go won’t reveal much inside. Apart from the speaker itself, you get a battery, charging cables, and a user manual. While I did test out the speaker with the carrier strap, it’s a $50 add-on at the time of purchase (or $59 if you buy it later).
I’ve previously listened to the larger flagship Soundboks Gen3, which is practically double the size of the Go, so I had a good sense of what I was getting into. The Gen3 is a monster of a speaker, sporting the kind of rumbling boom a DJ would want to keep a crowd bopping. So is the Soundboks Gen2, which is still available. The Go follows much of the same design philosophy, albeit in a smaller frame.
The grille in front is a carbon copy, as is the button layout and battery. In fact, the battery is exactly the same, so if you have a Gen3 already, you can use its battery with the Go. Soundboks has also ruggedized the Go as much as possible. It can effectively take a beating, and keep on playing, though I would certainly advise not being reckless given the speaker’s price tag. Rubberized silicone bumpers all around give it some good cushioning, while the cabinet can withstand heavy splashes of water, courtesy of its official IP65 rating.
It weighs 20 pounds, so not the lightest thing to carry around, but once you park it somewhere, it’s good to go. A sturdy rubberized handle at the top is your ticket to lugging it around, unless you opt for the carrier strap, or you’re simply in the mood to treat it like an old-school boombox. It even has an opening at the bottom to mount it onto a compatible tripod or rig.
There’s a slot in the back to slide in the battery, which you plug into the power port nearby. You can also plug the wall charger directly into this same port if you plan to use this near a power outlet. Outdoors, however, you will probably need to rely on battery power a whole lot more, and buying an additional battery ($149) might become necessary.
The only other port is a 3.5mm Aux-In. Unlike the larger Gen3, there is no audio output or 1/4-inch input for microphones and guitars (or other instruments). You can still DJ with it if you want to, but you can’t get creative with instruments, unfortunately.
That’s kind of a shame, given the power the Go wields. It has two 72-watt Class D amplifiers, along with a 10-inch woofer and 1-inch silk dome tweeter. The speaker was built to push audio out in a linear direction, so it doesn’t have drivers facing the sides, back, or top, for instance.