If you, like me, grew up in the 80s, then the Boom Box or (perhaps more problematically ‘Ghetto Blaster’) holds a special place in your heart. That brightly lit box pumping out implausibly-rated ‘Peak Music Power Output’ from an array of chromed-plastic grills. The Monster Blaster very deliberately calls back to this era of BMXs and breakdancers on the street with its rugged design and thumping output.
Like the Boom Box, you may want to transport the Monster Blaster on your shoulder: lightweight, it ain’t. But that weight is put to good use: serious drivers and a battery that has enough heft to keep your music sources charged for hours. This is festival-grade portable power. And if someone raids your tent, they’re not going to be running very fast if they steal it.
As we’ve come to expect from quality devices now, pairing is simple and quick and the performance of Bluetooth streams is pretty compelling. If you want big sound on the move these days it is going to be powered by your phone and the Monster Blaster will pull the most from it. A dedicated sub plus passive radiators gives some intense bass weight, and directed drivers up top share the love through the mids and highs. All that weight means lots of sound.
Build quality is suitably solid, though there’s no IPX certification of its weather-resistance. The handle makes lugging more comfortable than it might otherwise be. Charging is off a laptop-style PSU so bear that in mind when packing: you won’t be using your phone charger to top it up.
All in, this is a powerful product but it comes at an equally powerful price: £299. Yes, it will outperform other Bluetooth speakers at the £100 or £200 mark but whether or not this is good value depends on how often you’re really going to crank it up. Or whether the additional features (like mic input) make it worthwhile for you. If you need a really big sound in an equally big package, maybe this is the statement speaker for you.