JBL Party Box On The Go
JBL Party Box On The Go
PAT PILCHER boogies around his deck while quaffing sausages and avoiding the noise police, all to the juiced-up sound of the Party Box.
As days getting longer and things start to warm up, our attention inevitably shifts to the great outdoors – or at least as far as the deck and the BBQ. Outdoor entertaining needs great food, drink and human beings, but it won’t rock without music. That’s where JBL’s Party Box On The Go steps in.
The Party On The Go is an intriguing piece of audio gear which resembles the love child of an ’80s ghetto blaster, a buskers amp and a karaoke setup. It feels solidly built and resembles JBL’s commercial gear.
In essence, it’s built to withstand a thermonuclear war. Intended for use in the great outdoors, it’s also IPX4 rated. This means it can take a splashing or even the odd unseasonable Wellington BBQ-killing shower while cranking out its oonst.
In terms of its physical design, the JBL Party Box very much resembles an XL-sized ’80s-style ghetto blaster. There are a few 2020 twists. For a start, it packs a lot more grunt – 100 watts worth. This makes it more of a ghetto decimator (my neighbours loved it!) than a ghetto blaster. As the “on the go” part of its moniker suggests, it’s portable too.
A rechargeable battery delivers up to six hours of playback, although your mileage will vary depending on what volume you have it set to. It might not be petite, but the included shoulder strap makes it surprisingly portable. Throwing it in the car for a BBQ at the beach is not a huge ask. Buskers will also like that there is a recessed lip on its top which allows for an iPad or sheet music to sit securely.
If that were all there was to the Party Box that’d be fine. You’d have a portable super-powerful ghetto decimator that your neighbours would love (ha-ha), but the folks at JBL wanted more. To that end, they have added in a bunch of nifty (and slightly odd) extras that all make sense in a party setting.
Most noticeable is the addition of two wireless microphones, which transform the Party Box into a karaoke-capable machine that can carry off duets. Add to this some reverb tuning for your vocals, and even my tone-deaf yowling can be slightly improved from Godawful to slightly less Godawful.
If you are more of a guitar player, JBL has you covered too, thanks to a guitar input. This allows you to shred it with an electric guitar before the noise control folks turn up for a jam session.
Adding to the party feel is a light ring that surrounds the Party Box’s main woofer, which pulsates and flashes in time with your tunage. The addition of Bluetooth means that you (and other party guests) can stream music off devices directly to the Party Box.
Alternatively, there’s also a USB port. Plugging in a USB stick that contains music will also let you play music using the built-in play/pause/skip controls. One of the more useful but unlikely features is the built-in bottle opener located on the shoulder strap, which handily allows the Party Box to tick all the boxes (these being BBQ, Bevvies and Music).
Sonically, the JBL Party Box packs a real punch. There’s plenty of bottom end and oodles of volume to boot. If a friend also has a Party Box, you can use what JBL calls “True Wireless Stereo”, which allows you to pair up two Party Boxes for stereo reproduction and twice the oomph.
For adding some outdoor oonst to one’s BBQ or anywhere else outdoors, the Party Box On The Go has a lot to offer. Solid sonic performance, lighting, Karaoke and guitar are rounded out with six hours of mains-free playback for a pocket pleasing $639.95. Given its performance and versatility (plus votes of approval from the neighbours and the wonderful folks from noise control), we are giving a 10/10/