Monster's latest Bluetooth speaker brings a modern spin on the boombox

a man sat next to the monster blaster 3.0 boombox bluetooth speaker
(Image credit: Monster)

The boombox was instrumental in the rise of hip-hop culture in the 1980s - but it's now been re-imagined for the modern age, with audio brand Monster releasing a Bluetooth speaker that harks back to the golden age of the so-called 'ghetto blaster'. 

The Monster Blaster 3.0 is a portable Bluetooth speaker that comes with 12 hours of playtime, and IPX4 water-resistance rating, and doubles up as a USB-A powerbank for charging up your smartphone

Despite these thoroughly modern credentials, the Monster Blaster 3.0 comes with an carrying handle that means you can sling it on your shoulder - just like early hip-hop enthusiasts would have done in 1980s New York. 

Aside from that handle, the outdoor speaker looks quite different from the clunky boomboxes of old. Coming in bright red, white, and black, the Blaster 3.0 sports an angular, modern design that combines a steel speaker mesh with a heavily textured polymer to prevent scratches.

Damping rubber feet mean the speaker can be placed on any surface without damaging its inner mechanisms - and they also ensure that your music is isolated, avoiding unwanted vibrations. 

60W dual stereo speakers work in tandem with two passive radiators and a bass woofer to deliver what the company describes as a "monstrous" sound with deep bass, while a push-button EQ means you can adjust the sound of the Blaster 3.0 to your liking. 

As well as Bluetooth connectivity, the speaker comes with a stereo AUX-in port, and a 3.5mm Mic Mono jack. 

Mo Money Mo Problems

a man holding the monster blaster 3.0 bluetooth speaker on his shoulder

(Image credit: Monster)

All that will set you back $399 / AU$649 - UK pricing is still to be confirmed, but that works out at around £290. 

That might sound expensive, but it's cheaper than one of our favorite boomboxes on the market, the JBL Boombox 2, which impressed with its loud, distortion free sound, IPX7 water-resistance rating, and 24-hour battery life. That particular model comes in at $449.99 / £399.99 (around AU$650). 

Recently, JBL announced a new version in the lineup, with the Boombox 3 launching at CES 2022.

It'll be available to buy later this year for the same price as its predecessor, and comes with a host of improvements, including a new three-way speaker system with a racetrack-shaped subwoofer. The Boombox 3 will also come with Bluetooth 5.3, which should deliver impeccable connectivity and enhanced energy efficiency. 

If you're not bothered about the boombox look, there are plenty of excellent Bluetooth speakers on the market that won't put such a large dent in your bank balance. 

Our favorite, the Sonos Roam, costs $179 / £179 / AU$299 and delivers Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, a powerful sound, rugged design, excellent connectivity features, and smart home control. 

Or, for those on a really strict budget, we'd recommend checking out the Anker Soundcore Flare 2, which costs $80 / £64.99 / AU$140, and delivers a cool light show as you play your music, thanks to LED rings that encircle each end of the speaker.

Olivia Tambini

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.