Small, portable Bluetooth speakers have become almost as common as the smartphones they connect to. The boombox was an object of adornment for rebellious teens. But, somehow, the Bluetooth speaker has attracted young and old alike.
This has brought about a flood of products in recent years. The average consumer, whether experienced at shopping for electronics or not, is, therefore, often overwhelmed when searching for a new purchase.
On a tight budget?
Don’t think this will make it easier for you. The majority of products being released by well-known and unknown brands are aimed at average consumers. So, you’re in for a long scrolling session when you search “Best Budget Bluetooth Speaker.”
The DOSS Soundbox Plus is one option you’ll find on quite a few lists. It comes in at around $50, making it a great low priced portable speaker with extended features. So, I decided to find out just how big of a bargain I’ll be getting for my money, in my in-depth DOSS SoundBox Plus Review.
Design and Build
The SoundBox Plus certainly is shaped like a box, one that, while being made of plastic, does not feel cheap in the slightest. The plastic used in the construction feels high-grade and bendy instead of creaky. The SoundBox Plus has an aluminum grille wrapped around the speaker.
Having one or two color options at this price range would already be asking a lot in my mind. But, DOSS believes the users should settle for no less than five colors to pick from:
- Navy Blue.
- Tiffany Blue.
Cheap, but not cheap…
The SoundBox Plus doesn’t feel cheap, nor does it rattle or creak when you give it a shake. Still, I can’t help but think it won’t hold up too well against falls and bumps. But, at $50, you’re getting an IPX4 rating. That means the SoundBox Plus will hold up against splashes and the first few drops of rain; just don’t take a swim with it.
On the top, there are touch controls. They work well enough but more on that in a bit. The only physical buttons are on the side. One is for power and the other to control the RGB lights surrounding the drivers.
A small rubber flap covers the compartment where you’ll find a 3.5mm jack, a micro-USB port for charging, and a slot for a micro-SD card.
In The Box
Along with the SoundBox Plus, you’ll get a 1-meter long 3.5mm aux cable, a Micro-USB cable for charging, and a user manual.
Controls and RGB
The SoundBox Plus features Bluetooth 4.2. That might be a problem for some, but it’s less than $100. And honestly, testing this in my apartment (around 100SQ FT), I was able to get coverage of about 90% of the place.
Connecting to Bluetooth is fast and easy. And, for the users who wish to do so, you can use the 3.5mm jack. You can also use the SoundBox Plus with a voice assistant like Google or Siri.
There is a slight visual delay when viewing content on certain websites. YouTube comes and goes, but when there’s is a lag, you can lower the video quality, and it should sort itself out. Netflix, on the other hand, played smoothly.
Furthermore, if you happen to have two SoundBox Plus speakers, you’ll be happy to know you can connect them up as a stereo pair.
The touch controls function flawlessly. There’s a button for Play/Pause, Mode (Source), and two buttons for skipping forward and back, respectively. The control wheel in the middle is used to turn the volume up and down.
Fortunately, unlike previous models from DOSS, this one has just the right amount of sensitivity to make it practical.
The SoundBox Pro features not only RGB lights at this price but controllable RGB lights. By using the button on the side, you can choose several different lighting options:
- Fade in and out in one color.
- Fade in and out in multiple colors.
- Pulsate at different intervals in one color.
- Pulsate at different intervals in multiple colors.
At first, you might think it’s pulsating to the rhythm of your tunes. But, it’s merely on a set interval. Still, at this price range, it’s one of the best Bluetooth speakers with RGB lights you can buy.
Without the RGB lights active, the SoundBox Plus can last between 18 to 20 hours, depending on your volume. With the RGB lights on, you’re looking at around six to eight hours, depending on your volume.
Because it charges with Micro-USB, it does take a while. But, once again, you’re paying fifty bucks. So, just make the effort to charge it beforehand.
The most surprising thing about the SoundBox Pro is how loud it gets considering its size. This speaker will handle a small to medium-sized room easily. If you’ve got two paired up and placed right, you can go even larger.
Something very pleasing to note is that there is minimal compression when pushed to the maximum volume. That is not often seen in small portable speakers.
There is plenty of volume…
However, not a lot of it is directed towards the low-end of the spectrum. This is not such a bad thing as no one will buy a speaker of this size expecting earth-shattering bass. That being said, the SoundBox still has a nice, defined, and audible low-end that doesn’t muddy up the mids.
Speaking of the mids…
That’s where this baby shines, and it’s all the better for it. Vocals and lead guitar stick out like a 3D object off a movie screen. As a result, it’s one of the best sounding budget Bluetooth speakers on the market.
Surprisingly, when you turn the volume up, you can hit a sweet spot where the SoundBox Plus will reveal quite a bit of detail. Nothing to impress an audiophile, but still very impressive for something that’s meant for casual listening.
The highs are equally present…
This is, in a way, the best and worst thing about them. They are never recessed to the point of sounding weak. But, sometimes, they are almost as loud as the mids and can get in the way. Then again, that’s only sometimes.
When used as a single piece, the soundstage and separation on the SoundBox aren’t great. Those two small speakers are simply too close to one another for any kind of soundscape to be created. However, this is remedied when you connect up to a stereo pair.
DOSS SoundBox Plus Review – Pros and Cons
- Many colors.
- Decent build quality.
- 3.5mm jack.
- Good battery life.
- Above-average sound.
- Stereo Pairing capability.
- IPX4 rating.
- Micro-USB and Micro SD cards are outdated.
- High-mids and Highs weaken at higher volumes.
Looking for a Great Bluetooth Speaker?
We can help. Check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Bluetooth Speakers With Radio, the Best Bluetooth Speakers with Light Show, the Best Bluetooth Speakers with Alarm Clocks, the Loudest Portable Bluetooth Speakers, and the Best Solar Powered Bluetooth Speakers you can buy in 2023.
Also, take a look at our detailed reviews of the Best Party Speakers, the Best Wireless Outdoor Speakers, the Best Tailgate Speakers, the Best Smart Speakers, the Best Sonos Speakers, and the Best Waterproof Speakers currently on the market.
DOSS SoundBox Plus Review – Conclusion
The SoundBox Plus is the perfect budget speaker for a bedroom, on your desk in a dorm, or when you’re doing some light entertaining. It’s compact and pretty sturdily built, and the IPX4 rating is reassuring when you’re having a party.
The SoundBox is plenty loud enough and sounds more than good enough to keep any party going. And, thanks to its long battery life (provided you keep those cool lights off), it will keep going all night.
If only DOSS could make a USB-C version and give us more battery power with the lights on, instead of a redundant Micro-SD card slot. Regardless, the final score is a 7 out of 10.
Until next time, happy listening.