In the ’70s and ‘80s, Boomboxes (aka Ghetto Blasters) were all the rage. It wasn’t uncommon to see someone walking down the street with these large shoulder resting portable music systems that not only incorporated blasting speakers but AM/FM radios and even built-in cassette players.
The Monster Blaster 3.0 Concept
The Monster Blaster 3.0 doesn’t totally bring back that nostalgia, but it is the 3rd generation boombox from Monster that is designed to cater to the current mobile generation.
The Monster Blaster 3.0 doesn’t incorporate a built-in radio, cassette deck, or other internal music sources, but allows you to expand the portable music listening experience from external music sources such as smartphones and other compatible devices via Bluetooth and plugin physical music sources, via its aux input. It also has a dedicated microphone input.
Another modern convenience is that it is rechargeable, so no need to have a lot of batteries on hand. It is also IPX5 water resistant which makes it fine for the beach.
The Monster Blaster 3.0: Hands-On
As mentioned previously, the Monster Blaster 3.0 is portable. You can take it wherever practical, where an indoor or outdoor party, walking around, or from room to room. With its auxiliary audio input, you can also use it as a sound system for your PC or even to get better sound for your TV in pinch, if you don’t have a soundbar.
You can also plug in a microphone and audio source at the same time (separate inputs), and use the Monster Blaster 3.0 as a portable Karaoke player.
To get started with the Monster Blaster 3.0, you need to charge it up (the charger it comes with can also be used as an AC Adapter if you aren’t going to go mobile). It takes about 3 1/2 hours to charge from its zero charge state. Once charged you get about 12 hours of use – of course, you can recharge it from any point within that time which wouldn’t take as long.
This means it is a good idea to take your charger with you. There is also a USB connection to charge your smartphone or another compatible device, but that will decrease the playing time you might want for music listening.
As mentioned previously, the Monster Blaster is Bluetooth-enabled, so you can pair it with just about any iOS or Android phone. For smartphones, pairing can be done wirelessly or via NFC (Near Field Communication) tap. Using it in my office, I even paired it with my Amazon Echo Show for playing music, instead of using the Echo Show’s built-in speaker.
The Monster Blaster 3.0 doesn’t feature anything like Spotify Connect or TIDAL Connect but you can certainly stream from those specific apps to the speaker.
Bolstered by decently powerful built-in amps the Monster Blaster 3.0 can push out a lot of sound. I found the bass to not be as overpowering as I would have expected, but definitely more than enough to do the job for its intended use. This is actually a good thing, as the bass output of the Monster Blaster 3.0 doesn’t overpower the mids and highs.
The only audio tweaking available (besides volume) are preset Indoor and Outdoor listening modes.
Another thing to consider is that the Monster Blaster 3.0 weighs about 13 pounds which I found was heavy to rest on my shoulder when walking around. It is better to carry it by its handle and set it down when listening.
Monster Blaster 3.0 Features/Specifications
Speaker Compliment: Four full-range drivers (two on each side) and two passive radiators, plus a woofer
Power Output: Full-range speakers/60 watts (15 w x 4). Woofer: 60 Watts. No measurement reference provided.
Speaker Cabinet: Triangular cabinet design for delivering a broad soundstage – speakers placed on both sides. Ergonomic handle and grip.
Controls and Indicators: Volume, Bluetooth Pairing, Charging
EQ Modes: Indoor and Outdoor
Battery: 5,200 mAh battery rechargeable battery.
Charging Options: AC Adapter (provided), USB (for charging smartphones or other compatible external devices)
Charge Time: 3.5 hours (via AC Adapter)
Playtime: 12 hours on a single charge
- Power/Charger Input
- USB port for smartphone charging. 10-watt USB-C power delivery port for smartphones.
- 1x Stereo Aux 3.5mm
- 1x Mic Mono 3.5mm jack
Wireless Connectivity: Bluetooth with NFC Pairing Option
Weatherproof Rating: IPX5 (see details)
I had a lot of fun using the Monster Blaster 3.0. I took it on a walk to a nearby lake, set it down, and played some tunes from my smartphone without having to use headphones.
I also used it with my TV and PC using the AUX stereo connection. Although not providing an immersive listening experience, it did provide better sound quality for the TV. Likewise for the PC.
The microphone feature works well, enabling the Monster Blaster 3 to be used as PA for small group settings or as a Karaoke function in combination with music connected to the AUX or Bluetooth connection.
My favorite use was placing it in my office and using Bluetooth from my Amazon Echo Show to play music from several streaming services while working on my PC, including writing this review.
Also, although we are not talking about audiophile quality sound, I felt that the Monster Blaster 3.0 delivered pleasing sound for a portable speaker.
- Internal rechargeable battery
- Simple design
- Enough sound power for indoor and outdoor use
- Wireless Bluetooth and Wired Input connections
- Recently certified for IXP5 weatherproof rating.
- All music playback requires external devices.
- Heavy for “over the shoulder” listening.
- Limited EQ settings.
- Expensive for a portable speaker.
Availability & Pricing
Price: $399.99, available on Amazon in white, red or black.