SUNDAY is that one day of the week when I allow myself the luxury of sleeping beyond six hours without feeling guilty. So, you could probably imagine my rage when I was jolted awake at 8 am by the thunderous beats of gangsta rap coming from our neighbor.
Usually, I’d shrug off such disturbance, as there’s probably someone celebrating their birthday again and it was a mere prelude to another all-day videoke massacre. But the nonstop relentless pounding was giving me an unbearable headache, so I decided I was going to give them a sermon they’d never hear from any homily.
To my surprise, it wasn’t the usual suspects but a lone visitor who could barely sit upright, beer in hand, trying his best to slur along a verse about some stupid love. And just as I was about to mouth off my complaint, he started shouting: “Ako Tarzan, Tarzan lakas!”
Right then I knew I had a better chance of training my cat to bark, than reason with him, so I immediately turned around, huffed back to our bedroom and just put on my JBL noise-cancelling earbuds for solace. As soon as I put on some calming music, I realized that it wasn’t the loud music that actually irritated me, but rather the atrocious sound quality blaring through some JBL partybox knockoff that made his playlist sound even more terrible.
Lesson learned? Whether you’re in the midst of planning office parties, heartfelt reunions, or simply on the quest for the ideal gift for the audiophiles in your life, the last thing you want is get them speaker that would kill the holiday vibe.
That’s why, I’ve curated a selection of some of the best audio devices I’ve tried this year, just in time for the inaugural installment of our Technivore Gift Guide Series. These picks are sure to elevate any celebration with their superior looks and sound quality, ensuring your holiday gatherings are remembered for all the right reasons.
n JBL PARTYBOX ULTIMATE: JBL wasn’t kidding when they decided to slap the word “Ultimate” in this version of their popular Partybox series. It’s big, it’s brash, and at 1,100 watts RMS, it’s probably one of the most powerful party speakers on the market. JBL says the Partybox Ultimate (P79,999) has the power to “rock a place the size of two basketball courts,” and they weren’t kidding. Standing nearly 4 feet tall, this thing is a beast and can turn any impromptu gathering into a banger of a party.
But it isn’t just about the volume: the PartyBox Ultimate is also balanced, articulate, and one of the clearest-sounding speakers I’ve heard, making it a fantastic choice for those looking to invest in an all-purpose speaker they could use for all sorts of events. You can also use it for karaoke, plug a guitar into it, stream hi-res audio via Wi-Fi connectivity, and connect to your TV for movie night, as it supports Dolby Atmos.
The Partybox Ultimate is also a multi-dimensional, dynamic lightshow and can transform any place into a captivating full sensory experience with the biggest multi-dimensional lightshow of any party speaker. It’s got a unique starry night effect, cool light trails, strobes, and even lights that project onto any surface it’s sitting on. All of it syncs to your music and can be easily controlled via the streamlined, user-friendly dials on the top panel or through the JBL One app.
JBL PARTYBOX 110: For those looking for a smaller and more affordable version of the Ultimate, there’s the JBL Partybox 110. The Partybox 110 is the most affordable of the series with an SRP of P20,999. It features customizable RGB lights, a balanced mid-range sound with a ‘Bass Boost’ option, and a graphic EQ available via its companion app for tailored audio control. This speaker can easily fill a large room with its loud sound. It also boasts added durability with IPX4 water-resistance and 12 hours of extended battery life for prolonged use. Additionally, it supports mic and guitar inputs, enhancing its versatility for live music and performances.
JBL PARTYBOX ENCORE: Meanwhile, the Encore is priced at P22,999 and is a better choice for those who love to sing as it already includes microphones. The PartyBox Encore speaker gives you 10 hours of nonstop fun and with the easy grab-and-go handle and splash proof design, you can always take the party with you. True Wireless Stereo means you can even pair speakers for truly massive sound, download the PartyBox app to control your music and your lightshow colors for the perfect vibe. Get the beat pumping with amazing JBL Original Pro Sound and deep bass. Sync the lightshow’s rockin’ strobes, ring and club lights for an awesomely immersive experience.
JBL AUTHENTICS 300: For those who love a classic, gift them with a sense of “newstalgia” with the only portable speaker from JBL’s new Authentics lineup. The JBL Authentics 300 (SRP P26,999) is a fusion of retro aesthetics and modern technology, offering superb sound quality in a stylishly portable package. Its design is a nod to the ‘70s, featuring the iconic Quadrex grille and a leather-like enclosure, complemented by a convenient handle. This speaker is not just about looks; it delivers a wide soundstage with crystal-clear highs and deep bass, ensuring an immersive audio experience for all types of content. The built-in rechargeable battery enhances its portability, making it perfect for moving from the kitchen to the bedroom or any space in your home.
What truly sets the JBL Authentics 300 apart is its integration with contemporary technology such as Wi-Fi audio streaming and seamless Bluetooth pairing, facilitating easy access to various music sources. The speaker also features intuitive controls and is compatible with the JBL One App, providing multi-room playback capability and automatic self-tuning for optimal sound quality in any environment.
JBL SPINNER BT: Let the good times rock and roll and rekindle that love for your vinyl record collection. The Spinner BT (SRP P30,999) is a turntable that elegantly blends simplicity with JBL’s renowned build quality, perfect for vinyl enthusiasts. It features aptX HD encoding, ensuring high-fidelity sound whether connected wirelessly or with wires. This turntable allows instant playing of your record collection through any Bluetooth speaker or headphones without sacrificing sound quality. It also includes analog outputs and a built-in phono preamp, making it compatible with both existing Hi-Fi systems and active speakers. Its aesthetic appeal is enhanced by vibrant design accents in orange or gold. It is an ideal choice for those who appreciate the timeless charm of vinyl records coupled with modern wireless convenience.
JBL PULSE 5: This is not just a speaker; it’s a portable light and sound spectacle that enhances every moment. The Pulse 5 (P15,499) offers an immersive 360-degree light show that perfectly syncs with your music’s beat. Its eye-catching design is further enhanced by the ability to customize the light show via the JBL Portable app, making it a perfect companion for setting the mood at any gathering. Equipped with a separate tweeter and an upfiring driver, the Pulse 5 delivers bold JBL Original Pro Sound from every angle, while a passive radiator at the bottom ensures deep, resonant bass for a truly enveloping music experience. It also has an IP67 rating for waterproof and dustproof protection so whether it’s a pool party, a day at the park, or an impromptu dance session in your backyard, the JBL Pulse 5 is ready for any adventure. It also promises 12 hours of playtime, ensuring your music keeps going as long as you do.
JBL GO 3: Finally, for those who plan on gifting or getting their first JBL speaker, the JBL GO 3 (P2,399) would make a fine choice for its combination of bold style, portability, and exceptional sound quality. Its fresh, edgy design, adorned with colorful fabrics and expressive details, aligns perfectly with current street fashion, making it not just a speaker but a trendy accessory for any outing. The speaker’s compact size belies its powerful performance, delivering rich JBL Pro Sound with punchy bass, ensuring your music always sounds great. The JBL Go 3 also has an IP67 waterproof and dustproof rating, making it a resilient companion for outdoor adventures, whether it’s a day at the pool or a trip to the park. Adding to its appeal, the JBL Go 3 is available in a wide range of vibrant shades and color combinations, offering more than just functionality; it’s a statement piece that complements your style.
As an added bonus, get the chance to win a barkada travel package for four to one of these destinations: Seoul, Tokyo, El Nido, Siargao; or JBL products with the JBL Barkada Travel Tunes promo. You’ll also get free JBL Soundfest 2023 concert passes for every purchase of any JBL products worth at least P3,000.
The complete mechanics are available at www.jblchristmaspromo.com.