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i-box Max Review: Portable and Powerful

i-box Max bluetooth speaker

Right on the back of the release of the i-box trax bluetooth speaker, this relatively new British audio brand also released a larger version, keeping it wireless and portable, but adding more power and options. Meet the i-box Max.

i-box Max bluetooth speaker

Image source: iboxstyle

While the Trax is small and lightweight, a purse speaker so to speak, the big brother Max is more one for the suitcase or a large bag. With the increased size, measuring 29x13x14 cm, they have also been able to add more functionality and power. The i-box Max comes with Bluetooth 4.0 technology, NFC for easy connection with compatible devices, and more importantly, support for higher quality streaming through aptX codec (requires compatible audio source).

The larger size also means that the drivers producing the sound are both larger in number and size. We are talking dual 2-inch full range drivers and a single 3-inch subwoofer, supported by a Class D amp providing a total power output of 30W (RMS).

Read more! i-box Trax review

A built in rechargeable battery provides up to 10 hours of play time between charges, with charging done using the included AC adaptor. A 3.5mm line-in cable is included for a wired connection, and at the back of the speaker you will also find Phono output, dual USB outputs allowing you to charge other devices, such as your smartphone. At the top of the speaker is a large power button as well as touch sensitive controls play/pause/hands free, skip tracks, and bluetooth pairing mode. There is also a large scroll wheel to control the volume output from the speaker itself.

Review

There are several things to like about the i-box Max. While the size has increased significantly, they have maintained the same design as the Trax, which means that you get the same hard plastic and rubberized build and feel that I liked about the smaller sibling. The speaker just feels like it can handle some roughness, and that it’s meant to be used both indoors and outdoors. Supporting that is also the included handle for easy carrying. Yes, the size is significantly larger, but it still feels portable.

While it’s helpful to have the controls at the top of the speaker, if you are like me you’ll find yourself doing most of the controlling from your smartphone or tablet instead. That said the touch sensitive buttons could have done with haptic feedback to give you a better feel for actual response. The additional ports at the back I found useful, such as the dual USB charging ports, and the dual knobs allowing for adjusting the trebble and bass (at least to some degree).

Set up and streaming was easy with no need to read instructions, and the 10 hours or so playback time ensures that you get pretty much a full day out and about with the speaker should you so choose.

As for the audio, the i-box Max brings a lot more power and finesse to the table compared to its smaller sibling. Cranked up, the Max can keep the party going while still producing a well presented sound with clear high’s and well balanced mid’s and low’s. Depending on your musical preference, it could have done with a slightly more dynamic bass, as it sometimes feels a bit flat. Some adjustments of the treble and bass knobs at the back helps.

Positives

  • The same distinctive design and build quality as the Trax
  • Easy portability thanks to the carry handle and the rechargeable battery
  • Good audio performance, especially at higher volumes
  • Dual USB charging ports for your other devices

Negatives

  • The touch sensitive buttons could have done with some sort of responsive feature
  • AC power charging only. Could have done with USB charging

Overall the i-box Max comes across as a well built portable bluetooth speaker with a clear and powerful sound, making it a good option to consider if you are after a speaker that can be used both at home as well as out and about. With the price tag it does h0wever enter a very competitive market with some strong contenders, such as the Bayan Soundbook.

Price & availability

The i-box Max is available from amongst other i-box from £149.99.

Filed in: Accessories, Others, Reviews, wireless speakers

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