JBL Partyboost Vs JBL Connect Plus

JBL’s newest speakers, specifically the JBL 5 and JBL Pulse 4, have gotten a lot of flak, specifically because they aren’t backwards compatible with older JBL speakers using JBL Connect+. Instead, JBL’s newest speakers are now using Partyboost. And from the outside looking in, this does look and feel like planned obsolescence.

Compatibility Issues

Oh, you got a Charge 4 last year and you’re planning on getting a new Pulse 4 and pairing them together? Nah, they’re not compatible. You need a Flip 5. So obviously this is rubbing people the wrong way, especially since older JBL speakers that are using JBL Connect+ won’t be upgraded to Partyboost through a firmware update.

JBL’s Claims

But JBL claims that the new Partyboost speaker pairing protocol is better than JBL Connect+. Specifically, they claim better clarity and better Bluetooth range.

Testing Partyboost

So I decided to put those claims to the test. I took a few of my speakers down to the football field and tested their wireless range. Now, just so that we’re all on the same page here, I got one speaker and paired it to my iPhone Ten S Max and then initiated a wireless connection to a second speaker.

Setting Up the Test

Now, only the second speaker is being walked down the field. The main speaker and my phone stayed in the end zone, so we’re only going to be testing the wireless range between one speaker and the second speaker.

Initial Test with JBL Connect

  • JBL Extreme 1 and JBL Pulse 2: Both using JBL Connect.
  • Connection Range: The JBL Pulse 2 managed to keep a stable connection all the way up to the 20-yard-line, but then after that, it started to stutter a little bit and then completely lost connection at the 24-yard-line.
SpeakerTechnologyStable RangeLost Connection
JBL Pulse 2JBL Connect20 yards24 yards

Updated Version with JBL Connect+

  • JBL Pulse 3 and JBL Flip 4: Both using JBL Connect+.
  • Improved Range: The JBL Pulse 3 managed to keep a solid connection all the way up to the 40-yard-line, but then completely lost signal at the 47-yard-line.
SpeakerTechnologyStable RangeLost Connection
JBL Pulse 3JBL Connect+40 yards47 yards

Testing Partyboost

But now let’s move on to the Flip 5 and Pulse 4, which are using Partyboost. Now remember, JBL claims Partyboost has better clarity in Bluetooth range than JBL Connect+.

Results of Partyboost

So just as you’d expect, the Pulse 4 manages to outperform both the Pulse 2 and Pulse 3 by keeping a solid connection with the Flip 5 all the way up to the 82-yard line. After this, the connection goes in and out, but for dramatic effect, I decided to plant the Pulse 4 squarely in the end zone. Now technically, the Pulse 4 is still playing music, but the connection is just bad.

SpeakerTechnologyStable RangeLost Connection
Pulse 4Partyboost82 yardsBeyond 82 yards

Comparing with Competition

But before we wrap up here, I also wanted to see how the rest of the competition stacks up.

Wonderboom Comparison

So I got my two Wonderboom twos, which used DoubleUp. And the Wonderboom two manages to keep a solid connection all the way up to the 31st yard line before losing signal.

Sony’s Wireless Party Chain

And finally, I got the Sony XB 32 and Sony XB 31, which used Sony’s wireless party chain. And to my surprise, they only made it all the way out to the 18-yard line.


So overall, yes, Partyboost does, in fact, have better Bluetooth range than JBL Connect+ and is significantly outperforming the competition. But so is JBL Connect+. Now obviously, you don’t need all this wireless range between your speakers, but Partyboost’s stronger wireless connection also means that you can have more walls between your speakers when you’re using them at home before you see your connection drop, which ultimately is what’s more important here. So in conclusion, yes, Partyboost is significantly better than JBL Connect+. And if you’re somebody that likes to pair multiple speakers on a regular basis, then you are going to notice significant performance improvements. Now, yeah, it does suck that Partyboost isn’t backwards compatible with JBL Connect+.

But if you don’t innovate and improve, then you’re going to end up like Sony and not even make it out to the 18-yard line. If you made it this far, I guess you enjoyed the video, so hit that like button and get subscribed to help someone you didn’t realize. If you want to pick out other products I mentioned in this video, those will be linked in the description down below. And you can also support the channel by checking out the merch store. But other than that, I’ll catch you next time.

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