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Feelings of overwhelm and powerlessness are all too familiar for those who’ve repeatedly postponed their wedding due to COVID-19.
Danish audio equipment maker Soundboks often market their speakers for outdoor parties, however, we opt to test their Gen 3 Bluetooth speaker at something a little different – my friend’s wedding earlier this year. Talk about high stakes…
I chose this as a great niche given the incredible claims of this innovative audio speaker, and its suitability for an outdoor wedding (which was moved indoor due to weather), over volume and battery life.
The Soundboks (Gen. 3) speaker (A$1,599/US$999) has bold claims. It’s known as the world’s loudest Bluetooth speaker, has a ~40-hour battery life and claims to be the only wireless speaker with a swappable battery.
If you’re tired of sending postponement messages or negotiating with vendors, and need a beacon of hope until your special day, it’s possible this multi-purpose speaker could be used with anticipation in your home until your special day. Then, it will stand as a reminder of all those great memories.
Here’s how it went:
I’d like to welcome audio & video production guru, Padraig Treanor, who I asked to use two of the Soundboks (Gen. 3) speakers at the #GlassbrookWedding and offer his thoughts in an interactive interview.
What did you think?
Honestly, it was kind of hard to figure out where to start when I was compiling my thoughts for this because it surprised me a lot more than I thought it was going to.
I’ve seen many speakers that promise all these things – compatible with cables, compatible with mics, compatible connecting two together, easy to connect with your phone and just work really simply etc. A lot of the time, they provide lots of issues especially when trying to connect with each other. They can be frustrating, and even trying to connect them to the accompanying app can be painful.
The Soundboks app and the experience of connecting two of the speakers together to play at the same time off one smartphone was so simple – the easiest thing I think I’ve ever possibly done with an audio device.
Wedding ceremony & wedding reception
We had the opportunity to use Soundboks in more of a setup environment at a wedding, where we used both the speakers to run a mic through. The ‘pro section’ on the back has the two XLRs and the two 3.5mm jacks, and was simple to plug a mixer straight into there, and then have all of the feed go through the speakers. Then two of the speakers were connected together.
For them to both play the same feed, even though we only connected to one, was incredible and overall so easy to set-up and so easy to use.
If I were to have a couple of gripes, one of them would probably be the battery charging set-up. The charging is a little bit strange, though overall is fine and works perfectly. If you take the battery out when charging, it’s less of a problem. But there’s this weird pass through connector, if you want to plug it in it’s fine though. To me, it just feels a little bit weird that that’s the chosen way. I guess it makes sense because you’re actually removing the battery to charge it. So you don’t have to take the whole speaker, you can just take the battery and charge it which overall does work really well.
The accessories were in the box, everything was very neatly packed. It was a good experience to open the box. And even though obviously it was quite a thick box and quite bulky, it actually worked really, really well to have both a good opening experience and offer protection for the device.
I know Soundboks are selling a ‘Backpack’ harness (A$249) to help move the Gen 3 speaker around. I know that their marketing and advertising is very adventure focused – you know, we’re going out and having a party or a rave in the bush. They’re trying to say you can just take the speaker with you and almost chuck it on your back. That seems somewhat odd to me, it’s very heavy. And I feel like I would not want to carry it on my back for a long time.
It’s quite awkward to carry normally though, so possibly the back strap backpack is going to be the best way to carry it. Because when you carry it normally it’s quite obviously a large speaker. So, I think it does have the portability side of things down pat with the battery charging. but in terms of the weight, and in terms of the shape and the size of the speaker, it’s not the easiest thing in the world to carry. It’s quite thick and quite heavy.
However, despite being very heavy the speaker has these little rubber balls on each corner. These are very, very good. And they should be on every speaker ever because they are so protective. You don’t have to worry about damaging the floor that you’re putting it on whether you’re inside or outside, or damaging the speaker.
Especially if you’re taking it outside and you’re going camping or whatever with it, you kind of don’t want to have to worry as the balls lift the speaker up from sitting directly on the ground. They also protect the speaker corners so they’re in a really, really cool spot.
The Soundboks (Gen. 3) speaker would be a go-to for outdoor events because of its battery life. We used it all day at a wedding, both at the reception and the ceremony. The speakers were phenomenal.
I pressed the little button on the battery to see how much was left at the end of the day and there was still three out of four bars left. So, battery life is awesome. And that was running through a mixer into the XLR port on the back and linking them via the app. The battery didn’t seem to budge much at all.
To sum up, I thought the Soundboks (Gen. 3) speaker was really, really useful and if I ever need something like that in the future again, this would be my go-to, especially for running events outside that don’t have any power or have access to limited power.
In terms of the app, that’s a positive as well, I’d say it’s one of the best audio speaker based apps I’ve ever used.
Thank you Padraig!