The Soundboks 4 is the latest generation Soundboks speaker that comes equipped with improved features and DSP processing technology, and is designed to be more power efficient than its predecessor, the Soundboks 3. Both the Soundboks 4 and Soundboks 3 deliver 126dB of loud sound performance and are capable of blasting music outdoors with really good bass performance, and both speakers are comparatively loud. Having said that, the Soundboks 4 does come with several minor improvements such as optimized battery performance and an improved DSP processor which helps to deliver a fuller sound performance with less battery consumption.
The Soundboks 4 is slightly heavier than the Soundboks 3 and weighs at 35.5 lbs compared to the Soundboks 3’s 34 lbs. Both speakers come equipped with 3 X 72W Class D amplifiers that deliver 72 watts to each of the speaker’s 3 speakers. Both speakers also come with a built-in battery that provides up to 40 hours of playtime on a single charge (the Soundboks 3 delivers 5 hours at max volume), but the Soundboks 4 is 20% more power efficient with DSP processing technology and is optimized for a longer playtime. The Soundboks 4 and Soundboks 3 feature a water-resistant grill design and durable enclosure which protects the speakers against outdoor elements, however, the Soundboks 4 has the added advantage of a new grill design that pops off and back on again (you can also spray paint the grill to customize the design of the speaker).
When we first tested out both the Soundboks 4 and Soundboks 3, we did not notice any difference in volume output between both speakers. Both speakers are capable of pumping up to 126dB of volume and you can really push up the volume on both speakers without any distortion. The sound profile of both the Soundboks 4 and Soundboks 3 are roughly similar and they deliver crystal clear highs and detailed midranges with good bass response.
Having said that, we did find that the Soundboks 4 delivers more rounded bass that feels slightly deeper with more depth; the midranges are also more well-defined and pronounced. We played a couple of hip-hop music soundtracks including JVKE’s “Golden Hour” and it sounded absolutely stunning on the Soundboks 4 with really good mid and sub-bass response, which felt much more pronounced and with more depth as compared to the Soundboks 3. We also tested out jazz music performances including Tony Bennett’s “Fly Me To The Moon” and it sounded really crisp and clean on the Soundboks 4. Overall, we felt that the Soundboks 4 delivered much cleaner highs and midranges than the Soundboks 3 with much more depth and detail, although both speakers sound quite similar above >70% volume level.
You can easily push both speakers to maximum volume and you will still get consistently clean and crystal clear sound without any distortion at higher volume levels. Both speakers have roughly the same loudness and we did not hear any noticeably difference in the volume output between the Soundboks 4 and the Soundboks 3. While the Soundboks 4 has slightly better bass and crisper, more pronounced highs than the Soundboks 3, it delivers the same level of loudness as the Soundboks 3. In this respect, the Soundboks 3 delivers roughly the same volume level as the Soundboks 4 and has a similar sound profile.
Both speakers are some of the loudest Bluetooth speakers that we have tested that deliver really loud sound performance with deep bass and powerful sub-bass performance for EDM, rock and hip-hop music genres.
Design and Specifications
The key improvement that the Soundboks 4 has over the Soundboks 3 is the optimized battery efficiency and DSP processing technology. The Soundboks 4 has roughly 20% longer battery life than the Soundboks 3 at full volume (it can deliver 6 hours of playtime compared to the Soundboks 3’s 5 hours at full volume), making it great for keeping the music going through the night. The Soundboks 4 also comes with an improved grill design which has smaller holes and an easy detach mechanism which allows you to pop it off, paint it and pop the front grill back on (the Soundboks 4 grills are available in metallic grey and black colors). Both speakers come with a built-in battery that delivers up to 40 hours of playtime on a single charge, with the Soundboks 4 having a more energy efficient power consumption.
Having said that, both the Soundboks 4 and Soundboks 3 have roughly similar specs when it comes to the speaker drivers. Both speakers are equipped with 3 x 72W Class D amplifiers that provide a total power output of 216W RMS. Both speakers also have the same frequency range of 40 Hz to 20 kHz, which is rather disappointing as the Soundboks 4 was expected to match the lower-end frequency range of the JBL PartyBox 1000 which has a wider frequency range down to 30 Hz (the extra 10 Hz makes a huge difference when it comes to lower bass notes). Both the Soundboks 4 and Soundboks 3 are equipped with dual 10” 96dB woofers and a 1” driver tweeter – they also both use Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity. The Soundboks 4 is also equipped with a pulse reflex port for added bass performance allowing it to deliver slightly deeper and more pronounced bass notes. Both speakers have the ability to connect up to 5 speakers together via SKAA network.
Apart from the detachable grill, both the Soundboks 4 and Soundboks 3 have a similar durable and water-resistant design, with both speakers having a dentproof steel grill and splashproof electronics with a shock absorbing silicon ball corner. This makes the Soundboks 4 and Soundboks 3 highly durable outdoor speakers. They also come with a removable battery pack that can be easily recharged.
Overall, we felt that the Soundboks 4 delivered slightly better bass and crisper highs than the Soundboks 3, but it fell short of our expectations as there was no noticeable improvement in terms of loudness and volume output. While the Soundboks 4 delivers up to 20% longer playtime at maximum volume (at 6 hours) as compared to the Soundboks 3 (at 5 hours), this improvement was marginal at best. The Soundboks 4 also features improved circuitry and DSP processing technology which does provide better vocals and midrange performance, however we felt that these improvements do not justify the cost of upgrading to the Soundboks 4 if you already have the Soundboks 3. Both the Soundboks 4 and Soundboks 3 are really loud and powerful speakers, but the improvements that you get with the Soundboks 4 are marginal. In this regard, we would recommend getting the Soundboks 4 only if you do not have the previous generation Soundboks 3 speaker, otherwise the Soundboks 3 speaker is still a good choice and has a similar level of loudness to the Soundboks 4.