The G-Project G-BOOM immediately comes off as a unique product. Its design matches that of the earlier G-GRIP, but with a whole different shape. It very much resembles a modernized boombox, something I know many people will like. It also throws some rugged design in there, with the accordion ridges on the sides and rubber cap at the bottom. And of course, you can see the metal supports inside the big handle.
It’s a boombox with a modern twist that can take a beating. With toughness in mind, and a fairly low price tag, does it end up being a good speaker? Can it take a bit of abuse?
Buy it in Target stores, online soon
Battery life: 6 hours
Connectivity: Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and 3.5mm in
External device charging: Yes, full size USB port
Charging port: Proprietary
Dimensions: 10.2″ tall, 11.8″ wide, 4.9″ thick
What’s in the box: G-BOOM, 3.5mm cable, proprietary AC charger
The front is dominated by a big grill, which has fine ridges in it. It’s quite an elegant twist on a very industrial device, which looks fantastic. The classic silver strip with the adorable G-Project logo goes down the middle, with three LEDs behind smoked plastic towards the bottom.
The bottom is covered by a big rubber cap, to keep scuffs away from plastic. The top has many control buttons, which is great. There is the obligatory power and volume buttons, along with a Bluetooth pairing button (which makes pairing dead easy). The extras not seen on many other speakers are a play/pause button, next/previous buttons, and an EQ button with three presets: off, rock, and pop.
Above that, there is a big handle for carrying, a feature I love. It has exposed metal supports to emphasize its durability. In fact, they claim you can sit on it. I had to test that for myself, of course.
The back has two big bass ports. This is to compliment the 2.2 speaker setup, with two 10W full range drivers and two 1″ dome tweeters.
Underneath the rubber cover on the back, you’ll find the proprietary charging port. It can only be charged from an AC outlet, which is expected from bigger speakers. There is also a 3.5mm jack for plugging in devices that don’t have Bluetooth built in. The 3.5mm cable is provided in the box, though it may be a bit short for some people. And the unique thing about this speaker, something that G-Project and Soundfreaq like to use, is a full size USB port. It’ll charge your device with a standard USB cable, which is a fantastic feature all larger speakers should have.
The sides have an accordion pattern, which was used on the G-GRIP for rigidity. It also has big metal bars in indents for a strap. It’s a very industrial look, but useful if you want to carry it on your shoulder for travel.
With a rugged product, build quality is going to be the focus. G-Project gear is made for taking a beating, and the G-GRIP could even survive being run over by a car. The G-BOOM is a lot bigger, but it’s still really tough. On their website, it says you can sit on the handle while it’s standing upright. I had my doubts; is this just marketing? Contacting G-Project, I was told that the creative director sat on it with no problems. So of course, I had to test it. For science!
It holds the weight like a champ! And the build quality is great in general. It’s extremely solid and rugged. Bumps don’t faze it, and even light mist from a garden hose for an hour didn’t do a thing (side note, it is not waterproof! I do not recommend exposing it to water, it was an accident on my part). It’s a tiny bit creaky around the handle casing, but just barely and nothing that indicates poor quality. There is no doubt in my mind that it’ll last a long long time.
G-Project and Soundfreaq are both known for their amazing sound quality for the price. And even with a fairly low price tag, the G-BOOM managed to really impress me with audio. This thing gets really loud and audio stays crystal clear until you hit full volume, where there is a tiny bit of distortion in the mids. I consider this a positive thing, and this is why:
Most companies would cap the volume before distortion kicks in. This gives the illusion of better sound quality, because you’ll never hear distortion, but in reality it is the exact same quality. G-Project, with both the G-GRIP and G-BOOM, gave them a little headroom to go louder than most companies would. This is appreciated because these are rugged devices, made for the outdoors. If you are using them outdoors, a bit of distortion won’t matter when maximum volume is necessary. And if you want no distortion, hit the volume down button once.
But unlike the G-GRIP, the distortion is barely noticable. It is literally unnoticeable unless you’re specifically listening for it. It’s exclusive to the mids, which are complicated in metal. The highs and lows stay clear at all volumes. And hitting the volume down button once makes it completely disappear.
The sound quality is amazing, especially for the price, and doesn’t disappoint. The highs are prominent and crystal clear, which brings out detail in the music. The bass is refined, not shaking the entire speaker, but producing a sound you can feel. It’s definitely far better sound than its $99 price tag portrays.
As a rugged speaker, it is far more versatile than most portable Bluetooth speakers. You wouldn’t put your $300 Bose speaker in the damp grass at a park, but the G-BOOM could easily handle it with its rugged, rubber bottom. Here is a situation where I would be afraid to take most other speakers to:
Dirty engine bay, water spray from a hose, and even some spray from coolant. It isn’t an environment I’d bring any other speaker to, yet the G-BOOM took it like a champ. You get the reassurance that it won’t die on you after a beating. However, you should still take care of it!
What doesn’t this speaker do well? The audio quality is great and definitely doesn’t disappoint, and I’m tough on speakers in that category. It is built well and can take a beating, something that usually comes at the expense of audio quality. And of course, it can be used as a chair, which blows its value through the roof. For only $99.99, you can’t go wrong with this product.
They are available at Target stores right now, and will be available on Target’s website along with G-Project’s website within the next few weeks. If you want a great sounding speaker that doesn’t have to be absolutely tiny, grab this one.