Portable speakers come in all shapes and sizes. Even though smaller ones are getting louder and offer impressive sound for their size, nothing beats a nice big “boombox” style speaker.
Estimated reading time: 9 minutes
Our Monster Blaster 3.0 review looks at an IPX5-rated portable Bluetooth speaker with four 15W active drivers and a 60W active subwoofer for big sound. Read on for our full review!
The Monster Blaster 3.0 we reviewed has the following features and specifications:
- Wireless Bluetooth Streaming with NFC Pairing
- 120 Watts of Pure Monster Sound
- Power Bass with 60 Watt-Powered Woofer
- Environment EQ Mode
- IPX5 Water Resistant
- USB-A Charge Out for Your Mobile Device
|Model No.||Monster Blaster 3.0|
|Transducers||• 4x 57.15 mm full-range active drivers|
• 1x 146.05 mm active woofer
|Rated output power||• 4x 15w full-range active drivers|
• 1x 60w active woofer
|Frequency response||80Hz – 15KHz|
|Battery type||Li-ion 5,200mAh|
|Battery charge time||6.5 hours|
|Music playtime||up to 12 hours (dependent on volume level and audio content)|
|Connection ports||Stereo 3.5mm AUX input, mono 3.5mm mic input|
|Bluetooth profile||HSP 1.1, HFP 1.5, 1.6, AVRCP 1.2, GAVDP (A2DP 1.2, VDP)|
|Bluetooth transmitter modulation||GFSK|
|Bluetooth transmitter power||+3dBm (1.42mW)|
|NFC pairing||Yes, Android devices|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||18.6 x 8.27 x 7.72″|
What’s in the box
- Monster Blaster 3.0 Bluetooth speaker
- AC Adapter with Power Cable
- User Manual
- Monster Stickers
The Monster Blaster 3.0 definitely looks like a portable outdoor speaker. Large in stature, it has a sleeker look as opposed to being rugged looking. While most speakers of this nature tend to be cylindrical in shape, the Monster Blaster 3.0 has a triangular prism shape with rounded edges and corners. As for physical dimensions, it is just over 18 1/2 inches wide, about 8 1/4 inches in height, and just under 7 3/4 inches in depth.
Our review unit was red, you can also get the speaker in black or white. On that note, the bulk of the speaker is a metal speaker grille which starts at the front and wraps around the bottom and up the back. Not only does it add to the look, but it also allows the sound from the four speakers, woofer, and passive radiators out more easily. Each end is capped with a thicker, solid, plastic and the top has a plastic strip moulded into a handle. On the top, there are eight bolts that give it a bit of an industrial look. The Monster logo and wordmark are stamped across the top of the handle.
On the left end of the speaker, you’ll find a rubber cover, slightly inset, with the Monster logo stamped into the middle of it and the letters NFC below it. There is a cutout of sorts towards the front of the speaker, pulling this open gives you access to the 3.5mm audio line-in for music, the 3.5mm audio line-in for a microphone, USB-A charging port to charge your smartphone or other USB devices, and DC charging port to charge the speaker.
The rubber cover on the right end of the speaker, also inset, doesn’t lift but instead houses the main controls for the speaker. In each angle of the triangular end is a round button. The top button is the Mode button to toggle between Indoor and Outdoor modes. The bottom two buttons are for adjusting the volume and are indicated with a + and – symbol. In between these two buttons are eight LED lights to indicate volume level. Centered on the right side is another round button with the Monster logo stamped into it. This is the power button, as well as the Bluetooth pairing button. Just below it are two more LEDs, one to indicate power (lit when the speaker is turned on) and another that is lit when the speaker is connected via Bluetooth.
Rolling the speaker over, there are two rubber strips, one on either side. Not only do these elevate the speaker up a bit from wherever you are placing it to help the down-firing woofer and passive radiators push out audio, but they also prevent the speaker from slipping around, even on slightly wet surfaces.
Even though the Monster Blaster 3.0 doesn’t scream rugged, it is solidly built and has a pretty decent design.
Ease of Use
The Monster Blaster 3.0 portable Bluetooth speaker is pretty easy to use. After you’ve fully charged the speaker for first use, turn the speaker on by pressing the button with the Monster logo on it (located on the right side of the speaker). Once you hear a prompt tone, you can either tap your NFC-enabled Android device on the Monster logo on the left side of the speaker or pair it via the Bluetooth settings on your phone. When using the NFC feature to pair, it will automagically pair your phone to the speaker via Bluetooth.
Once paired, you can adjust the volume using the + and – buttons on the right side of the speaker or your device. To switch between Indoor and Outdoor audio modes, press the MODE button on the right side of the speaker until the Indoor or Outdoor LED indicator is lit.
Finally, you can lift the flap on the left side of the speaker to access the USB-A charging port, 3.5mm audio-in port, and the 3.5mm microphone port.
As for the guts of the speaker, the Monster Blaster 3.0 has 4 15-watt full-range drivers, two facing outwards on each side, a down-firing 60-watt woofer for bass, and a pair of down-firing passive radiators. Based on this, one would expect full, loud sound.
While the Monster Blaster 3.0 can get very loud, the out-of-box audio balance is a bit off and hit-and-miss from song to song. Some songs sound great, others not so much. I didn’t really find any rhyme or reason either, as some songs from one genre would sound just fine while others from the same genre would sound hollow or not as balanced across the low, mid, and high ranges.
The good news is, that if your device or app is equipped with an equalizer, you can rectify this easily based on the type of music you are playing. For example, when streaming from Spotify, I adjusted between the Pop, Dance, Hip Hop, or Rock settings. While doing so gave a much better balance for that specific genre, it also reduced the volume of the speaker overall by about 20%. Given how loud it is, though, that wasn’t a huge deal. That being said, other speakers I’ve reviewed in the past handle this well enough without having to constantly play with the equalizer whenever you switch up music genres.
So, if your device has an equalizer and you are willing to dig into it from time to time, the Monster Blaster 3.0 can offer up pretty loud, decent, balanced sound across different genres. In addition, the Indoor and Outdoor modes do adjust the soundstage slightly, and I found that leaving it on Outdoor, even when inside, gave the best results when it came to sound quality.
On that note, while we scored the “out-of-box” sound quality an 8.5/10, if you adjust it using an equalizer of some kind, you can easily get a 9 or 9.5/10 for sound.
With Bluetooth 5.1, I found I had no issues with reception. When outside, I could place the speaker on my back deck and keep my phone in my pocket and no matter where I was in the backyard, there was no loss of connection. Even during the odd time I went out to the front of the house to grab something from the garage, people in the backyard mentioned that the audio continued playing without interruption.
The Monster Blaster 3.0 speaker has a 5,200mAh battery. Depending on your volume level and the type of music you are listening to, it did last close to 12 hours on a single charge. While all-day audio is great, a speaker this size should be able to last longer, and some others in this category do last much longer. If Monster could double the battery life in the next iteration, that would be a welcome update and give you all-weekend playback for those times you might be away from charging capabilities.
Of course, that 12 hours also assumes that you don’t have your phone plugged into it and using it as a power bank. Once drained, the speaker does take a while to charge, up to 6 1/2 hours or so, so you’re best off leaving it to charge overnight. Alternatively, you can use it while it’s plugged in as well.
With an MSRP of $349.99, the Monster Blaster 3.0 isn’t exactly cheap, but it’s also not far off the mark for pricing when compared to similar products from other brands. Fortunately, if you’re not picky about colour, it’s currently on sale on Amazon for as low as $214.20. Even though the out-of-box audio quality is hit-and-miss, if you’re willing to make adjustments with your device’s equalizer and potentially sacrifice a bit of volume, if you can pick one up on sale, it does offer pretty decent value for your money.
There is no question that the Monster Blaster 3.0 portable Bluetooth speaker offers up some loud sound. Unfortunately, it isn’t the greatest out of the box. If you have a device with a built-in equalizer to adjust the audio quality and can pick this up on sale, this speaker should be sufficient for backyard or tailgate parties.