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JBL Pulse 5 and BoomBox 3 Bluetooth speakers offer light show and 360 sound

JBL Boombox 3
(Image credit: JBL)

JBL has just unveiled two new updates to its portable speaker line-up, both boasting fresh designs coupled with JBL's Original Pro Sound to improve on previous iterations both visually and sonically. 

The JBL Pulse 5 pairs omnidirectional sound with a vibrant LED light show, while the JBL BoomBox 3 (pictured, above), with its new three-way acoustic speaker design and 24 hours of playtime, promises to fuel any party from sunrise to sunset.

The JBL Pulse 5 (pictured, below) boasts a true 360° immersive sound experience and light show under an upgraded sleek surface. JBL tells us that the latest in this popular JBL Pulse series still delivers 12-hours of playtime on a single charge (same as the Pulse 4) but now there's an IP67 waterproof and dustproof rating, rather than IPX7 in the older model, to ensure the speaker can handle almost any environment – including beaches and pools. Its new rope strap also claims to make it more portable than ever. 

Through the JBL PartyBoost feature, music lovers can now wirelessly connect to "an infinite amount" of other JBL PartyBoost-enabled speakers, including the older JBL Pulse 4, to create an even brighter light show and bolder sound. You can choose colours and effects to suit any vibe through the JBL Portable app whether your music is on or off, and thanks to Bluetooth 5.3 support, you can connect two smartphones or tablets to the speaker at once and take turns playing DJ. 

JBL Pulse 5

(Image credit: JBL)

Now, the JBL Boombox 3, which claims to deliver a massive sound for any environment thanks to a new three-way speaker system consisting of a powerful racetrack-shaped subwoofer, two mid-range drivers and two tweeters. This newly designed portable speaker promises a deeper bass than its Boombox 2 predecessor, plus "intense clarity" and an even more powerful sound than before. 

Promising the same impressive 24 hours of playtime as the Boombox 2 as well as JBL's Original Pro Sound, the Boombox 3 should outlast even the most epic of soirees, but its new IP67 rating (upgraded from IPX7 in the older model) means it'll handle sand and dust as well as being thrown in the water at pool parties. 

You also get a sturdy metal handle with an eye-catching orange silicone grip designed with comfort in mind, to give the feel of a party with the convenience of portability. 

The JBL Boombox 3 even keeps your phone charged thanks to its built-in power bank, and with the PartyBoost feature you can connect it to other JBL PartyBoost-compatible speakers (including the Pulse 5, above) for an even bigger sound. And again, there's Bluetooth 5.3 support, so you can connect two devices simultaneously and hopefully never run out of playlists. 

The JBL Pulse 5 and Boombox 3 will come in JBL’s latest eco-friendly packaging, with availability starting in summer 2022.

The JBL Pulse 5 will be priced £220 / €249 (about AU$400) while the BoomBox 3, available in black and squad colour options, will cost £450 / €549 (about AU$800). When US and Australian pricing is known, we'll update this page. 

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Becky has been a full-time staff writer at What Hi-Fi? since March 2019. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, she freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 20-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance is of course tethered to a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo, This is Cabaret and The Stage. When not writing, she dances, spins in the air, drinks coffee, watches football or surfs in Cornwall with her other half – a football writer whose talent knows no bounds.