DiamondBoxx XL2 Review 2019: Loud and Quality Sound
Imagine if people at your party continually keep raving about the quality of the music, loud yet pitch perfect and great to dance to. It may be because you lashed out and bought a DiamondBoxx XL2 portable Bluetooth speaker.
The XL2 model is not for every party and may not be your kind of design-look but many folks put that aside purely for the sound quality. So, in this review, I’ll help you figure out whether it’s for you.
My research revealed there’s a lot to this DiamondBoxx model so I’ll take you through how it’s made and what produces the sound. But most importantly I’ll tell you where it’s best suited to play it and whether that matches what you’re looking for.
If you have any burning questions, click to the answer in the table of contents below. Otherwise, keep reading.
- Hand Built for Durability and Sound Quality
- It’s Loud with a Hi-Fi Quality Sound
- A High-Quality Battery But…
- Portable But Don’t Go Too Far
- Find Out If It’s for You
- What’s in the Box
- What You Get for Your Money – Controls and Setup
- It’s simple to connect to Bluetooth
- It’s even simpler using the AUX input on the front panel
- Remember you can use the USB Port as well
- What I Like
- What I Don’t Like
Hand Built for Durability and Sound Quality
I like that it is handmade in the USA using quality materials.
You can stand on the enclosure
The quality starts with the construction materials. The enclosure is made with 500 mils. thick Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF), and the front panel (190 mils.) and rear panel (125 mils.) are made with aircraft-grade aluminum.
The MDF is braced with titanium for strength and provides sound quality that is better than plastic.
The aluminum is anodized and laser-etched keeping the amplifiers cool and preventing overheating or shut down when the music has been pumping for hours.
All in all, the enclosure is so sturdy you can sit or stand on it without causing any damage.
The rubber feet at the bottom keep it stable. but you may want to buy an additional set of feet if you want to have the same stability when you stand it vertically on its end.
There’s damage protection with the special finish
The whole unit has a DuraTex™ finish that is designed to handle all conditions. But I do have concerns about the extent of protection in wet weather. I discuss these concerns in the Portability segment later.
You might be interested in a novel offering from the manufacturer. If the enclosure suffers damage for whatever reason, they’ll replace it for a small fee. All you need is to return it in its original packing or equivalent.
You may not like the look but…
The retro-boxy look that harks back to the 1970s and 1980s is not necessarily to my taste. But if you have a nostalgic bent or just want the sound quality, loudness, and durability of construction, the DiamondBoxx XL2 could be for you.
Speaking of sound, let’s look at what you get for a rather pricey Bluetooth speaker.
It’s Loud with a Hi-Fi Quality SoundAt 121 dBa the DiamondBoxx XL2 comes to within 1 dBa of being the loudest portable speaker on my list.
High-End Quality components that produce a loud sound
There’s no protective aluminum or plastic mesh as you find with most speakers. So, you get to see the components in their full glory jumping as they pump out the music:
- Eight x 1 inch (25mm) high output titanium dome tweeters for the high frequencies.
- Six x 5.5 inch (150mm) aluminum cone woofers.
- Two 3-inch (76mm) bass ports with Helmholtz resonators tuned to 42 Hz.
It’s loud and has a quality sound from bass to highs
The amplifier is a Class A/B 12 channel high fidelity amplifier which:
- Provides a better sound quality than Class D amplifiers found in most competitive speakers.
- Uses optical analog distortion limiters which means you can turn the sound to the maximum level without hearing any distortion. At the same time, you’ll experience the same sound quality as you enjoy at the lower volume levels.
With the Mode button, you can switch from SPL to SQ.
Without getting too technical, the amplifier becomes a bi-amplified configuration in SPL mode and changes to tri-amplified in SQ mode. What it means to you is great sound quality in SQ mode for indoor use (though still loud) and then incredible loudness in SPL mode for outdoor use.
The frequency response ranges from 35Hz to 22,000Hz. At the low end of 35Hz, you’ll experience a deep, rich bass that is hard to match in other Bluetooth speakers.
The combination of components in the XL2 create a balance between the lows, mids, and highs that together sound natural to the ear even when you want to ramp up the sound.
A High-Quality Battery But…
The XL2 has a built-in latest generation Lithium-ion battery that is the same as used in Tesla cars. It is coated with a DuraTex™ finish that provides protection against all weather conditions.
There are two battery options both of which are rechargeable.:
- The 231 Watt-hour version lasts 25 hours if played at moderate volume levels. But at maximum, you’ll only get 3 hours.
- The 462 Watt-hour option provides 50 hours of music at moderate volume levels and 6 hours at full blast.
The number of hours at moderate and max levels varies depending on the mode and the music you play.
My beef is that the two batteries are not replaceable. Sure, you can recharge them, but that takes 3 hours for the 231 battery and 6 hours for the 462.
So, what if your party is a blast and the battery runs out? You’ll need to be close to a power outlet, so you can keep the music going. It limits where you can take the DiamondBoxx if you need access to power.
And what if the built-in battery is a dud?
- If you’re still in the tw0-year warranty period of two years, you’ll be without the XL2 while the battery is being changed or the XL2 is replaced.
- If you’re outside the warranty period, you’re done. You’ll have to buy a new box. And they’re not cheap.
Yes, you have the assurance that the battery can be fully charged and discharged well over 1000 times (6 years if fully discharged and charged every other day), keeping 80% of its capacity after this. But it still makes me uneasy that my large investment could be for naught.
Portable But Don’t Go Too Far
The DiamondBoxx XL2 is portable but not light to carry at a weight of 41-43 lbs.
Yes, it has a handle but is awkward to carry. Combined with the weight, you wouldn’t be taking it too far without wanting to put it in a cart of some description. Carrying it on your shoulder would be a challenge as well.
That said, the handle is made of premium leather that will last a long time. A little stiff at first but easy enough to pull it up to lock in the upright position and push back flat when not in use.
While it’s built to last and all the panels have a DuraTex™ finish designed to provide protection in all conditions, the DiamondBoxx XL2 doesn’t have an IPX rating. So, there’s uncertainty around how much resistance it has to dust and water.
I mark it down because of this. I would be careful playing it too close to the pool, and I question whether it would survive a torrent of rain if you’re caught out in the open at a festival or a park.
Despite these misgivings, I still like that it is portable, with the battery giving you the freedom to blast your music for hours without the need for a power outlet.
Find Out If It’s for You
Despite my reservations on the battery and weatherproofing, the DiamondBoxx XL2 is a high-quality portable speaker.
It is ideal for a big gathering inside a large hall or function room. It has the loudness to play quality sounding music and won’t be drowned out by the sound of chatter and people enjoying themselves.
Using the SPL mode outside you can boost the sound to blast out great sounding music that can keep any party revved up and cut through outdoor noises.
It would be ideal for a block party, a backyard birthday bash, and mobile DJing. If the weather stays fine, it’d be great at a company picnic, a beach bonfire, or a wedding reception in the gardens.
If you want it to go all night at high volume, check the availability of wired power because the battery may not last long enough to keep the party going.
What’s in the Box
For such a big sized speaker there are not many items you’ll find when you open the package. So, don’t be too disappointed.
Be careful if you must lift the package because it’s not light at 50 lbs.
Inside the package is:
- The DiamondBoxx XL2.
- One 7A Lithium-Ion Battery Charger.
- A 3.5 mm stereo audio cable.
- The manual.
You’ll notice there’s no battery on the list because it is built-in. I’ve already said how unhappy I am that it’s not replaceable, so I won’t say anything more on that issue.
It’s a pain, but if you want to cover yourself should there be any defects, remember to keep the original packaging. You must use it should there be a warranty service or return.
Once unpacked the XL2 itself weighs approximately 41 – 43 lbs. depending on the battery option you chose and with feet and handle it measures:
- 19 inches high.
- 28 inches wide.
- 11.2 inches deep.
For California residents, there is a Proposition 65 warning. [provide link]
What You Get for Your Money – Controls and Setup
So, you’ve finished unpacking and want to hear the sound?
Let’s hold for a minute while I take you through how your new speaker works.
Here’s what you see when you’re ready to start
On the front panel:
- 8 tweeters.
- 6 woofers.
- 2 bass ports.
- 10 LEDs that sit above the tweeters.
These drivers are not protected by aluminum or plastic mesh like most speakers. They’re all in full view, so there’s no mistaking you have a speaker on hand and a massive one at that.
Above the bass ports and below the middle two of the tweeters are the controls:
- First, there is a large volume knob.
- Then above the volume knob is the mode button.
- Below is the power switch.
- To the left is the Aux input (3.5mm).
- And to the right is the 2 carat, CZ Diamond.
- Further to the right is the USB port.
In the low middle of the rear panel there’s a silver metal panel which has three jacks:
- One for the battery charger.
- And two (one input and one output) for linking multiple DiamondBoxxes (TRS (tip-ring-sleeve) 1/4-inch jacks for stereo sound).
So now you know what’s on the outside.
Let’s press the power switch and see the result.
Here’s what happens when you’re up and running
- The 10 LED’s will immediately light up and display the remaining battery life in 10% increments.
- With enough battery left you’re in full operating mode.
- Initially turn the volume knob down and connect to Bluetooth.
- Keep the Bluetooth source volume at maximum and turn the DiamondBoxx volume knob left and right to adjust the loudness. This action ensures the clearest sound possible by reducing the possibility of interference.
- With the music up and going the LED lights switch to displaying the volume (each dot represents 3dB in SQ mode or 6dB in SP mode).
- And the diamond acts as the battery level indicator while the DiamondBoxx is playing. The 2 carat CZ Diamond is not there only for its unique look. With a LED behind it, it changes color from White (greater than 50% battery life left), to Yellow (between 25 and 50%) and Red (less than 25%). Don’t worry if it blinks between colors because that’s normal.
- A quick press and release of the mode button and you switch between SPL and SQ modes. The indicator light on the button is blue when in SPL mode. SQ mode is for normal listening and SPL for maximum sound.
And the LED lights change again when you realign the XL2
When the DiamondBoxx is horizontal, the LED lights sweep from the center to the outside both left and right. This indicates the music is playing in stereo mode.
When you flip the XL2 on its side to sit vertically, the mode changes to mono. The LED lights sweep from bottom to top indicating left or right mono mode depending on which side is facing up.
Whenever you reposition the DiamondBoxx, either vertically or back to horizontally, you should turn off the power switch for a few seconds and then power back on. This recalibrates the mono modes based on readings from the internal 3-dimensional G-force sensor at startup.
But you’re not stuck with the mono mode in the vertical position. You can switch back to the stereo mode by pressing and holding the mode switch until the LED bar graph sweeps from inside to outside.
It sounds like it’s complicated and a lot to learn, but it doesn’t take long before it becomes second nature and you can concentrate on the clear and loud sound of your music.
It’s simple to connect to Bluetooth
Once you’ve powered up the DiamondBoxx XL2:
- turn the volume knob to the minimum position.
- Start the Bluetooth service on your mobile device (aptX HD Bluetooth 4.2).
- Click on “DiamondBoxx”
- Enter “0000”, if the device asks for a code.
That’s it. You’re connected.
With a line of sight, you can play the DiamondBoxx using a Bluetooth device 50 feet away. Any obstructing object will reduce that distance.
It’s even simpler using the AUX input on the front panel
Plug in the 3.5mm cable that’s connected to almost any device and you have sound.
The list of devices is impressive: iPhone/iPad/iPod (all generations), any other phone with a headphone jack, Tablet, TV, XBOX, PlayStation, Wii, other gaming, laptop, PC, MAC, and Projector.
If the jack from your device is not 3.5mm, you can buy an adaptor from your local electronics store.
Daisy Chain to your Heart’s Content
Using the In and Out jack, in the rear panel, you can connect an infinite number of DiamondBoxx XL’s and Model L’s by daisy chaining from one to another.
Think of the sound you’d hear if you did this – loud to say the least. You and your friends could hook up to create your own concert system anywhere you like.
Remember you can use the USB Port as well
You can be charging your phone and tablet at the same time as you’re enjoying the music.
From your buy date, you have a two-year limited warranty. That is better than a one-year warranty that comes with most speakers.
It’s typical of all such warranties:
- It covers all defects in materials, electronics, battery, charger, and workmanship.
- It covers the parts and labor to fix those defects.
- You must pay the shipping costs and insurance if you return the XL2 for warrant repair.
- You must return it in the original packaging and with the original sales receipt. How good are with your filing?
And the list goes on in that the warranty:
- Is not transferable. That’s not your concern, but maybe for the person, you sell it to.
- Doesn’t cover damage caused by most anything once you receive it.
- Doesn’t cover misrepresentations by the seller, so it pays to check what the seller tells you against the specs in the manual.
There’s no call center, so you must email DiamondBoxx at Info@DiamondBoxx.com for service and any inquiries you have.
What I Like
- At 121dBs, it’s so close to being the loudest portable Bluetooth speaker available.
- The high-quality components make for rich bass and crisp, high-quality sound that doesn’t distort even at the highest volume.
- It is handmade to be sturdy and durable – you can even stand or sit on it.
What I Don’t Like
- At full blast, you only get 6 hours of playtime with the larger 462 Watt-hour battery (it is a reasonable 50 hours at moderate volumes).
- The battery is not replaceable but does have over a 1000 full discharge cycles so it should last a few years.
- Only has a handle for carrying. You might want to have a cart handy to take it to your get-together.
- Limited protection from water.
- The cost is well above other similar products, but it’s worth it for the sound quality, loudness, and durability.
Our review shows the DiamondBoxx XL2 is a durable portable speaker ideal for indoor and outdoor parties or celebrations. You shouldn’t take it too close to a pool or if you haven’t got any protection from the rain. And if you’re playing full volume all night long make sure you have access to a power outlet.
But if you want a natural sounding speaker even when it’s playing at top volume take a long hard look at the DiamondBoxx XL2. Yes, it is pricey but you won’t be sorry with the quality loud sound.