JBL has been at the forefront of the speaker industry for over seven decades. The brand’s longevity is evidence of the quality of its speakers and other equipment, but this is also reflected in the price of its products.
Why are JBL speakers so expensive?
JBL speakers are expensive as a result of the reputation that JBL has built since it formed in the mid-1940s. Renowned for being a pioneer of speaker manufacturing, and producing innovative products, JBL can price its speakers considerably higher than most other brands.
Not all JBL speakers are expensive, and many other manufacturers charge even more for their products. However, compared to most everyday speakers which aren’t necessarily designed for audiophiles or professional use, JBL is generally quite expensive.
Many customers use JBL speakers because they have confidence in the brand due to its decorated history.
In this guide, I’ll explore every aspect of JBL speakers, so that we can determine why they are so expensive.
Are JBL Speakers the Best?
It’s fair to say that JBL manufacturers some very good speakers, but whether they’re the best comes down to personal preferences. The brand’s vast range of wireless Bluetooth speakers are certainly amongst the best sellers in the industry, and their popularity is a result of their quality.
- A strong argument can be made that JBL produces the best speakers in the affordable to the mid-priced category of Bluetooth speakers, loudspeakers, and portable speakers in general.
However, if you compare JBL speakers to high-end alternatives in terms of sound quality, the more expensive offerings are likely to come out on top.
There are many speakers out there that are louder and more powerful than the biggest speakers JBL produces, but these are likely designed for events rather than parties and everyday use.
It’s also undeniable that the smaller portable speakers produced by JBL rank amongst the best options on the market.
Several other brands rival JBL in terms of quality, but it’s difficult to definitively state who makes the best speakers, as there are many other factors to consider.
Why is JBL so Popular?
There are many reasons that JBL is one of, if not the most popular manufacturer of portable speakers. Firstly, the brand’s long history in the industry has helped them to become a household name. With over 75 years of experience producing speakers, JBL is one of the longest-standing companies in its field.
In the brand’s early years, it gained a reputation for creating innovative speakers that in hindsight, were well ahead of their time. For example, the D130, which was so good that it remained in production for 55 years, included an Alnico V magnet and a voice coil made from a flat ribbon wire.
JBL is viewed as a pioneer of the speaker and audio equipment industry thanks to designing products like the D130 or D175 HF driver. These early speakers helped to cement the company’s legacy.
Nevertheless, having a long and decorated history isn’t enough to guarantee popularity today. Another key reason for JBL’s success is simply the quality of the products they produce consistently.
JBL has never been afraid to move with the times, and when portable Bluetooth speakers became popular, the brand capitalized by shifting its focus toward producing this type of product.
One of the main reasons that JBL speakers are so popular today is due to their crisp sound quality, which features a particularly prominent bass output. Low-end frequencies are often weak on portable speakers, but JBL is renowned for its great-sounding bass.
Additionally, JBL speakers are able to reach impressive volumes while retaining their sound quality. This is a rare quality amongst smaller, portable speakers, as they often distort or lose their clarity when the volume is pushed to the max.
Another factor that contributes to JBL being so popular is the extensiveness of the speaker selection they offer. You can find speakers to suit all environments, from larger loudspeakers for parties and gatherings to compact speakers for listening to music in your home.
Is JBL Overrated?
When a company enjoys a lot of popularity, this often leads to people claiming that they are overrated. JBL is one of the most successful manufacturers of Bluetooth speakers, and some consumers claim that this popularity isn’t justified by the quality of these products.
In my opinion, JBL is not overrated.
The brand’s reputation is the result of many decades of producing a consistent quality of speakers, and while there certainly have been some JBL products that have not met their high standard, overall I feel that the hype surrounding the current line of speakers is warranted.
Indeed, there are many other options when it comes to Bluetooth and portable speakers that perhaps could be argued are better than JBL’s, at least when you compare certain aspects.
On the whole, however, JBL’s speakers rank amongst the best in their price range in terms of sound quality, frequency response, dynamics, and build quality. Not to mention, they are very easy to operate.
Whether JBL is overrated is a matter of opinion – some audiophiles may feel that the brand doesn’t meet the standard of other manufacturers. Overall, I believe that JBL deserves its accolades within the industry because of the consistency of its products.
What Does JBL Stand For?
Despite being an incredibly famous speaker brand, many people are unaware of what JBL stands for, and why the company has this three-lettered name.
The reason for this is simply because the company’s founder was named James Bullough Lansing. When thinking of names for his new venture in 1946, Lansing decided to use his initials. Interestingly, his birth name was James Martini, but his wife suggested that he change shortly before JBL was created.
Lansing originally manufactured loudspeakers under the Lansing Manufacturing Company name. However, this company was sold to Altec Service Corporation in 1941, after Lansing’s business partner tragically died in an airplane accident.
James Lansing continued as the vice president of engineering for the newly named Altec Lansing company for a total of five years, before leaving to start his own company, known as Lansing Sound Incorporated.
His previous employers were displeased with the similarities of this name to theirs, so he decided to rebrand his new company to James B. Lansing Sound, Incorporated.
After a while, this name was abbreviated to JBL so that it could fit onto products more easily, and eventually, this became the official name of the company.
James Lansing is regarded as a talented engineer and builder of loudspeakers, but he was plagued by business problems throughout his career, his legacy lives on through the JBL brand.
Best JBL Speakers
JBL is a prolific speaker manufacturer. The brand makes a wide variety of portable speakers, which differ in size, maximum volume, and design. Due to the extensive selection of speakers JBL produces, identifying the best is a difficult task.
We’ve tested a range of JBL speakers, to find the best in three categories. Firstly, we have the best loudspeaker for large gatherings or events. Next, we’ve chosen the best speaker in terms of design and functionality. Finally, we’ve identified the best affordable JBL speaker for those on a tight budget.
Firstly, the best JBL loudspeaker in our opinion is the JBL PartyBox 310. With its convenient design that includes a built-in handle and onboard wheels, this speaker is the perfect option for parties in the backyard.
JBL does lots of variations of the ever-popular “partybox”
Check out this YouTube video for an overview.
The PartyBox 310 is battery-powered and is rated IPX4 water-resistant. This means that it will survive the occasional drop of rain or splash of water from a pool. This speaker also has a set of RGB lights which can be modified to suit your preferences.
In terms of its sound, the PartyBox 310 is pretty versatile for a JBL speaker. It produces a powerful, prominent low-end, which can be increased by using the Bass Boost setting. This speaker also reaches an impressive maximum volume, making it a good choice for filling large spaces with music.
Also, the PartyBox 310 has two inputs for a microphone or line-level instrument, so it can be used for karaoke, vocal performances, or live performance with a guitar.
The best portable Bluetooth speaker by JBL that we tested in terms of its design and functionality is the Boombox 2. With its durable, compact design, this speaker is easy to transport.
Compared to most of JBL’s portable Bluetooth speakers, the Boombox 2 is slightly larger. However, this extra size means that the onboard tweeter and woofer are also larger, resulting in more volume, and a more powerful bass response.
One interesting aspect is the PartyBoost feature, which makes it compatible with any other speaker that also has this feature installed. You can then link up the various speakers to create a wireless sound system in a larger space.
Like with most of JBL’s smaller portable speakers, there is some compression of the sound, particularly in the mid and high-frequency bands. This is most noticeable when the speaker is cranked up to full volume.
The Boombox 2 also boasts an exceptional battery life. From a single full charge, you can use the speaker continuously for up to 24 hours, making it a great choice for vacations or road trips.
Finally, the best budget JBL speaker that we’ve found is the JBL Flip 5. This compact speaker is rated IPX7 water-resistant, meaning it can be fully submerged for up to half an hour without being seriously damaged.
The Flip 5 is highly durable, and despite its small size, it can project music with impressive clarity and volume. It’s a great choice for playing music while sitting around a campfire with friends, or having a barbeque in the backyard.
Furthermore, compared to most JBL speakers, the Flip 5 is pretty affordable. When you consider the good sound quality, robust design, and convenient size, it is worth the investment.
Which JBL Speaker is Loudest?
JBL may be best known for its conveniently designed portable speakers, but the brand also produces some powerful loudspeakers which are ideal for blasting music in large venues, or at outdoor parties and gatherings.
The loudest JBL speaker is the Professional EON715 Powered PA Loudspeaker. With a custom-designed 15-inch woofer and a powerful compression driver, this speaker has a maximum SPL rating of 128dB.
Additionally, the EON715 has a wide frequency response spanning from 45Hz – 20kHz. Even when the volume is set to near maximum levels, the speaker retains a crisp, clear sound. It does compress the high-end frequencies noticeably, but that is to be expected with this type of speaker.
JBL has invested time and effort into redesigning the high-frequency horn of the EON715. This has resulted in a less harsh treble output, which in turn allows the low end and midrange frequencies to stand out more.
The only downside to the EON715 is its size and weight. It’s not designed for portability and is fairly difficult to move. Therefore, this speaker is better suited to being used on stage or mounted on a stand so that it won’t need to be moved too frequently.
Do JBL Speakers Float?
Many JBL speakers are rated as IPX7 waterproof, which means that they can be submerged in up to 1 meter of water for around half an hour. However, not all JBL speakers can float.
Check out this water test video on YouTube of the JBL Charge 4.
Having a speaker that can float is great if you’re using it by a pool, as you won’t need to worry too much about it going in the water momentarily. It’s still not advisable to deliberately place any speaker in water, as even those with high resistance can still be damaged.
JBL produces a vast range of portable Bluetooth speakers, which come in many shapes and sizes. Here’s a breakdown of their most popular offerings, with information on their waterproof rating, and their ability to float.
|Speaker Model||Waterproof Rating||Floating Capability|
|JBL GO 3||IP67||No|
|JBL Clip 4||IP67||No|
|JBL Flip 5||IPX7||No|
|JBL Charge 5||IP67||Yes|
|JBL Pulse 4||IPX7||No|
|JBL Xtreme 3||IP67||Yes|
|JBL Boombox 2||IPX7||No|
Are JBL Speakers Sand Proof?
Any of the JBL speakers that are rated IPX7 should be able to survive being exposed to sand, in small amounts. No speaker is truly sandproof, but as long as there isn’t a lot of sand inside the speaker it shouldn’t cause too much of an issue.
Sand causes a problem when it gets inside the speaker and affects the way the tweeters, horns, or woofers work. If a lot of sand gets inside the speaker, these components may malfunction.
Getting sand inside the charging port can also cause problems, as the charger cable may not be able to make the connection.
What is the Warranty with JBL Speakers?
If you purchase JBL speakers directly from the manufacturer, or from an authorized dealer, you will get a generous warranty package. Buying JBL speakers from an unauthorized dealer may leave you with a different warranty or no warranty.
JBL speakers are split into two categories, each of which is under warranty for varying periods. Firstly, any JBL speaker that is non-powered is under warranty for up to 5 years.
A powered JBL speaker comes with 1 year of warranty. This is from the date that the speaker is purchased from JBL or another authorized retailer by the original customer. It covers any mechanical faults that are not caused by the customer.
If you drop your JBL speaker and it breaks, it will not be covered under warranty because you are at fault for the damage. If the speaker suddenly stops playing music at no fault of your own, then the warranty will cover the repair or you will get a new replacement speaker.
When you purchase a JBL speaker, it comes with a warranty card. This card will explain the terms and conditions of the product’s warranty. JBL speakers come with different warranty details, so it’s important to check your specifics of yours.
What do the lights mean on JBL speakers?
JBL speakers have colored lights that indicate different things. If the speaker’s light flashes blue, this means the speaker is turned on. If the light flashes blue and red, this means it is attempting to connect to a Bluetooth device. A constant blue light means that the connection has been successful.
How long should I charge my JBL speaker?
Most JBL speakers reach full charge after around 3-4 hours of being plugged into a power source. This time may vary depending on the size of the speaker, and the condition of the battery.
Can JBL speakers go in the pool?
Any JBL speaker that is rated IPX7 water-resistant can be submerged in up to 1m of water for around 30 minutes before it gets damaged. However, it is not advised to purposefully put the speaker into the pool.
Which Charger For JBL Charge?
Chargers for the JBL charge have changed over the recent years. Check out this article for more information.