JBL Boombox Buttons Meanings, Functions, Codes

The JBL Boombox waterproof speaker features several buttons and lights across its top and back, as well as battery charge status lamps across the front bottom. The power button lights in either white, blue, or both, to show Bluetooth speaker status. There’s also a port access panel on the back bottom, sealed with a press-down cover, that hides the USB charging ports for your phones as well as the auxiliary (AUX) power input and service port.  So here we offer our JBL Boombox buttons meanings guide.  We show you where the controls are on this speaker, what each button does, what any button combination presses do, when to press them, and how to use the buttons to work the speaker in general.





JBL Boombox Buttons Meanings, Functions, Combinations, and Codes

There is one row of buttons across the top of this speaker.  Plus, most buttons there have a unique shape.

Bluetooth Discovery / Pairing Mode Button

First, we begin our JBL Boombox buttons meanings guide tour with the Bluetooth Discovery / Pairing mode button, near the left side of the speaker top, as pointed at by the green arrow in the next picture. Note its squiggly Bluetooth logo shape.

How to Use the Bluetooth Discovery (Pairing Mode) Button

You press this button anytime you pair the JBL Boombox with a never-before-paired Bluetooth source device.  It works like this.  With the speaker powered on, press the  Bluetooth Discovery  button to place it  into discovery mode, often referred to as Bluetooth pairing mode. When in this mode, the Boombox sends its name and other connection information over the Bluetooth air channels. So this allows nearby Bluetooth devices to find and connect to it.

JBL Boombox speaker top view, showing the -Bluetooth- button.
JBL Boombox speaker top view, showing the -Bluetooth- button.

Volume Down and Volume Up JBL Boombox Buttons

The Boombox also sports volume controls. Near the center of the speaker and beside the Bluetooth pairing mode button, the volume buttons are shaped like minus and plus symbols. When pressed, these lower and raise the output volume of the speaker respectively, by adjusting the volume setting on the paired source device. See the Volume Down and  Volume Up  buttons pointed at by the green arrows in the next picture.





How to Raise (Turn Up) and Lower (Turn Down) the Speaker Volume

With the JBL Boombox paired and playing, press the minus shaped Volume Down button to decrease its audio output. Press the plus shaped Volume Up button to increase loudness.

Note that these controls have no effect when the speaker is not paired. Also, the volume setting may change from paired device to paired device. That is, each paired device remembers its own volume setting. So you might need to re set the sound output when you unpair the speaker from one source device and pair it to another.

Top view of the speaker, showing the -Volume Up- and -Volume Down- buttons.
Top view of the speaker, showing the -Volume Up- and -Volume Down- buttons.

Play-Pause, Voice Assistant Button on the JBL Boombox Speaker

The Play / Pause button looks like a right-pointing arrow.  We find it on the top, near the right side of the speaker, as pointed at by the green arrow we drew in, in the next picture.

Top view of the speaker, showing the -Play-Pause- button.
The speaker top view, showing the -Play-Pause- button.

How to Use the  Play-Pause  Button

As the speaker plays, press and release the  Play / Pause  button quickly to pause audio play. Rapidly press it again to resume audio play.

Note that the Play / Pause button is not a mute button. That is, pausing play in this way stops sound playback on the source Bluetooth device to which this speaker is currently paired. It does not merely just must the speaker while the stream continues going.  If streaming, the stream suspends.  So, you won’t miss any content when you pause the speaker when playing an audio file, as the source device (your phone, tablet, or computer) remembers where the content was paused. So it resumes playback at that spot when you press the play pause button again.  Live streams however, will continue advancing even when you pause playback.





Turn the Play / Pause Button into a Voice Assistant Action Button

When paired with an Apple device, once set up, you may press and hold the Play / Pause button to talk to Siri. Note that you must enable Siri on the source device (phone, tablet) to use Siri through the Boombox.  Furthermore, you must set this button’s function in the JBL Connect app to Voice Assistant.  The Settings screen where you do that we show next.

JBL Connect app on iPadOS, showing the JBL Boombox Bluetooth speaker Settings page, with the -Play-Pause- button function set to play-pause, and not the voice assistant actuator.
JBL Connect app on iPadOS, showing the JBL Boombox Bluetooth speaker Settings page, with the -Play-Pause- button function set to play-pause, and not the voice assistant actuator.

In the previous screenshot, the button we are calling Play / Pause is set to perform the Play / Pause function.  Note the orange checkmark near the left center in the picture above.

But if we want that button to get Siri’s attention, instead of pausing our music, we could tap the  Voice Assistant  screen item.  This changes the Play / Pause button into a Voice Assistant action button.  In this mode, pressing this button on the speaker awakens the voice assistant on your source Bluetooth device. Then, you may ask or command something of it. See this configuration shown in the next screenshot.

The app, showing the Boombox Settings page, with -Voice Assistant- function set.
The app, showing the Boombox Settings page, with -Voice Assistant- function set.

The Power Button

The Power button not only switches the JBL Boombox on and off, but also contains a multi-colored light to display speaker status when turned on.

How to Read and Use the Power Button and its Light Signals

Quickly press and release the Power button to turn the speaker ON or OFF.

Top View of the JBL Boombox BT speaker, showing the -Power- button glowing.
Top View of the JBL Boombox BT speaker, showing the -Power- button glowing.

Also, the Power button glows in various ways to signal a few differing speaker states, as follows.

  1. First, it flashes blue when the speaker has not yet been paired, and is in Bluetooth discovery mode.
  2. Then it glows solid blue when the JBL Boombox is paired with a source device. See this blue glow in the next picture.
  3. The Power button glows solid white when the speaker powered on but not currently paired.  This means that the Boombox is awaiting a pairing request (standby mode)  from a source Bluetooth device. But it is not in Bluetooth discovery mode.  So while waiting for pairing, the speaker is not broadcasting its connection data for nearby Bluetooth devices to discover.  See this button glowing white in the previous picture.
  4. Finally, the Power button glows a pale blue-white while the speaker is resetting to factory default settings.




The Connect+ (Infinity) Button

One way to use the Connect+ button to link two or more JBL Connect+ compatible speakers together, in party or stereo mode. In party mode, they all play the same audio. Like speakers in Amazon’s multi room music groups, all speakers are in sync. That is, they all play the same audio at the same time.

Also, another use for the Connect+ button is to pair two speakers together such that they play in stereo.  For that, you press this button and choose the stereo option in the JBL Connect app.  One speaker plays the left channel while the other plays the right. Further, you can choose which one plays what channel in the app.

How to Use the Connect Plus Button for Party Mode

Tthe -Connect Plus (Infinity)- button.
Showing the -Connect Plus (Infinity)- button.

The picture above shows the JBL Boombox not participating in Connect+, because the Connect+ button is dark. But that button lights up when the speaker is in Connect+ mode and ready to connect, or when it is currently connected.

In party mode, you can add from two to over a hundred speakers to the Connect+ group, as follows.  Note that these need not be the same model, although they all must support the Connect+ protocol.  If they don’t have the Connect+ button, then they don’t support it.

  1. Place all speakers you wish to group, close to each other as well as your BT source device.
  2. Pair the first speaker (the master) to your Bluetooth source device (phone or tablet).
  3. Press and release the Connect+ button on the master speaker.
  4. Then, press the Connect+ button on each slave speaker.
  5. Finally, after a short pause, they will all connect to each other. Then you can stream music from your phone / tablet, and it will play on all speakers in the group.

How to Use the Connect Plus Button for Stereo Mode

You join exactly two Connect+ compatible JBL speakers in this way. Note that unlike party mode both must be the same model for stereo mode to work.

1. Place the two speakers you wish to join for stereo, close to each other and your BT source device too.

2. Pair the first speaker (the master) to your Bluetooth source device (phone or tablet).

3. Press and release the Connect+ button on the master speaker.

4. Then press and release the Connect+ button on the slave speaker. This button should illuminate on both speakers.

5. Next, go to the JBL Connect app and get to the home screen for the master JBL Boombox (the one paired to your source BT device).  See this page, shown next.

JBL Connect app, showing the Boombox Home screen, that highlights the -Stereo- button.
JBL Connect app, showing the Boombox Home screen, that highlights the -Stereo- button.

6. Then, tap the Stereo button and get the following screen.

The app, showing the -Stereo Mode- page.
The app, showing the -Stereo Mode- page.

7. Finally, tap the I Pressed Connect+ button.





Your two speakers will now play in stereo, with one assuming the role of left speaker, and the other becoming the right speaker.

Reverse Channels if you so Desire

The following screen then displays.

Displaying the -Switch Channels- page, highlighting the -Got It- button.
The -Switch Channels- page, highlighting the -Got It- button.

8. Swap assigned channels if you so desire, by tapping the blue circle in the center of the Stereo Mode screen, shown in the last picture. But if you do not wish to change the L + R channel assignments on your two speakers, then just tap the Got It button.  Then, the screen shown next comes up.

Showing the -Stereo Mode-Play Music- page, and highlighting the -Get Started- button.
The -Stereo Mode-Play Music- page, and highlighting the -Get Started- button.

9. Touch the Get Started button. This takes you back to the JBL Boombox home screen shown next.

The JBL Connect app showing the JBL Boombox home screen.
The JBL Connect app showing the JBL Boombox home screen.

Then finally, the two Boomboxes will now play in stereo once you start streaming to them from your Bluetooth source device.

The Indoor Outdoor Mode Button

Rear view of the JBL Boombox speaker, highlighting the -Indoor Outdoor Mode- button.
JBL Boombox speaker, back view, highlighting the -Indoor Outdoor Mode- button.

Press and release this button to switch the speaker from indoor (default) mode to outdoor mode.  In outdoor mode, you’ll notice stronger, lower bass, which is a more punchy bass that carries farther outside.

Press and release this button again, to return the speaker to indoor mode and cut back on the bass.

Note the two lights above and below the Indoor Outdoor button in the last picture.  The one above, the one that looks like a house, glows during indoor mode.  The other one that resembles trees, glows during outdoor mode. One or the other of these glows any time the speaker is ON.

JBL Boombox Buttons Combinations, Codes

All Lights On Test Mode

Entering the All Lights ON mode briefly lights all lamps on the JBL Boombox control panel as well as the battery meter, as shown in the next two shots.

Showing the -Power- and -Connect Plus- buttons glowing.
The -Power- and -Connect Plus- buttons glowing.

Note that all battery gauge lamps, found on the front, near the bottom of the JBL Boombox, also come on during this test, as shown next.

Showing the battery level gauge, which is reading full charge in this picture.
The battery level gauge, which is reading full charge in this picture.

How to Turn All Lights On Briefly

To enter this mode, press and hold the Volume Down and Play-Pause buttons that are highlighted in the next picture, for around ten seconds.  Hold this chord until you see the lights all come on, as shown in the last picture.

Top view of the JBL Boombox speaker, showing the -Volume Down- and -Play-Pause- buttons.
JBL Boombox speaker, top view, showing the -Volume Down- and -Play-Pause- buttons.

Once you enter All Lights ON, the lights remain lit for a short period before they all shut off.  Then, the speaker returns to normal working order once the lamps return to their pretest state.





Firmware Version Button Combination Code

Pressing the Volume DOWN and Connect+ buttons together, for at least two seconds make the JBL Boombox say its current firmware version.  It says  two or more numbers that comprise this version, in a female voice.

Highlighting the-Volume Down- and -Connect Plus- buttons on the top of the speaker.
The-Volume Down- and -Connect Plus- buttons on the top of the speaker.

Low Frequency Mode Button Code Combination

Another way to change how loud the bass is on the JBL Boombox, is by turning on and off its low frequency mode. When ON, this super bass mode makes the passive bass radiators vibrate more, and adds a low rumble quality to the playing program, that travels pretty far from the speaker.

How to Turn Off Low Frequency Mode

By default, the JBL Boombox has its bass mode ON.  This adds some treble and lots of extra bass to the audio output.

Top view of the JBL Boombox BT speaker, showing the -Bluetooth- and -Volume Down-buttons.
Top view of the JBL Boombox BT speaker, showing the -Bluetooth- and -Volume Down-buttons.

You can turn low frequency mode OFF by depressing the Volume Down (-) and Bluetooth buttons (circled in the last picture) for about ten seconds. Then hold in until the Power and Connect+ buttons light up, as seen in the next picture.

Top view of the JBL Boombox BT speaker, showing the -Power- and -Connect Plus- buttons glowing.
Top view of the JBL Boombox BT speaker, showing the -Power- and -Connect Plus- buttons glowing.

Low frequency mode turns OFF when all button lights illuminate.

How to Turn On Low Frequency Mode

To turn low frequency mode back on, again, press and hold the Volume Down (-) and Bluetooth buttons in until the Power and Connect+ buttons light white.  Then release the buttons.  When the buttons inside the circled oval above light white, the low frequency mode has resumed once again.





Warning

The speakers inside the JBL Boombox really thump when you switch on the low frequency mode.  So be cautious in how loudly you play this speaker, to avoid harming the drivers. If the bass is crackling, tapping, or otherwise distorting, turn it down !

Reset Button Combination Code

You can reset the JBL Boombox to factory default settings and state by pressing the  Volume UP  and   Play / Pause  buttons at the same time and holding them in until the hard reset occurs. See these buttons pointed at by the green arrows n the next picture.

Top view of the JBL Boombox portable speaker, showing the -Volume Up- and -Play-Pause- buttons.
JBL Boombox portable speaker, top view, showing the -Volume Up- and -Play-Pause- buttons.

You may wish to reset the speaker to fix any weird behaviors you see from it such as failing to pair, sound distortion, failure to power off when you press the  Power  button, and so on. Note that resetting invalidates any saved connection info about this speaker  on your source Bluetooth devices. So you’ll have to forget those connections and manually pair the speaker again after a reset, to play your audio content through it once more.

Service Mode Button Combination

When in this (often called ‘weird’ or ‘secret’) mode, the JBL Boombox does not power ON unless you connect its external power source. Thus, it will not run on the internal battery while in Service mode.  And then, it powers up without you pressing the Power button.  I.e. It comes on as soon as you apply outside power.

Further, you cannot turn it off in Service mode unless you disconnect the external power source. And then, it powers off without pressing the Power button.  So when this service mode is active, the Power button does not work.

Indeed, none of the buttons seem to work in Service mode, except for the ones needed to exit service mode.  E.g. The speaker won’t pair with any devices or other speakers when you press the Pairing button, and as mentioned, the Power button does not switch it off either.

How to Turn On Service Mode

To turn on this Service mode on the JBL Boombox, power up the speaker first, and then press the Connect+ and Volume UP buttons at the same time, until the speaker powers OFF, which usually takes ten seconds or so.  Find these buttons pointed out in the next picture. Note that you can enter this mode as long as the speaker is ON, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s connected to external power or not.

Top view of the JBL Boombox speaker, showing the -Connect Plus- and -Volume Up- buttons.
JBL Boombox speaker, top view, showing the -Connect Plus- and -Volume Up- buttons.

How to Turn Off Service Mode

But once you activate this Service mode, then to switch it back off , you must connect external power again. Why?  Because the JBL Boombox won’t come on without outside power, and you can’t change modes without the unit being powered UP.

So, connect your speaker to AC power and turn on the speaker.  Then, with the speaker Power button glowing, you press and hold the Connect+ and Volume UP button combo for ten seconds or so, until the unit powers off.  Then, normal speaker operation returns.





The JBL Boombox Battery Status Meter

Finally, to round out our JBL Boombox buttons meanings guide, this speaker also has five lights that show the amount of charge left currently in the built in power bank battery.

How to Read the Battery Status Gauge

When the internal battery is fully charged, all five battery charge level LEDs glow white.  As the battery runs down, fewer of the lamps glow. In the next picture, the speaker is shown at one hundred percent charge. Note that all five lamps are lit in this case.

Showing the battery level gauge, all lights lit.
The battery level gauge, all lamps lit.

As the battery further depletes, more battery level lights go out, until the charge amount reaches between 0 and 20 percent. In this case, only one lamp, the one on the far left, glows.

Finally, when the battery discharges to extremely low levels, the far left battery light blinks red. Speaker shutdown then happens soon after that.  So, as soon as you see red, recharge the battery for continued musical enjoyment.

Other Posts About the JBL Boombox Power Bank Speaker

  1. How to Tell if JBL Boombox is Charging
  2. JBL Boombox Firmware Update Instructions
  3. Boombox JBL Speaker Low Frequency Mode, Extra Bass
  4. JBL Boombox Factory Reset Instructions
  5. How to Bass Boost JBL Boombox BT Speaker




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References

  1. JBL Boombox Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker Product Page, on JBL.com

Revision History

  • 2021-07-27: First posted.

 

 

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