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JBL EON ONE Compact Speaker Review

Musicians are often faced with this all-too-common problem: you’ve got a small gig coming up, and while it’s not big enough (or doesn’t pay enough) for a full size PA, plugging right into your speaker’s onboard XLR/line in ports leaves you with a dry and inflexible mix. JBL EON ONE Compact is the perfect speaker to bridge this gap, with a few perks that take it up a level from most other portable speakers.

JBL has been a player in the pro audio world for over 75 years, and they’re mostly known for high quality speakers, so does the EON ONE fit the high profile that JBL has built for themselves?

JBL EON ONE: Features and Specs


This speaker, while compact, is a fully featured portable PA. It has an onboard mixer with 2 XLR/TRS combo inputs, a 1/4in Hi-Z guitar input, and a 1/8in aux input. It also has a pass-thru output for sending the sound to a second speaker, meaning you can easily combine two JBL EON ONE speakers for a two-speaker setup.

The onboard mixer has built in effects, like reverb and EQ, and you can control your mix from a phone or tablet using JBL’s Compact Connect app. The speaker weighs under 20 pounds, but offers 112dB of volume, punching well above its weight in the loudness per pounds category. Last, but certainly not least, the EON ONE has a 12 hour rechargeable battery, which is easily swapped for a fresh battery without any tools needed.

JBL Professional EON ONE
  • 12 Hour rechargeable battery
  • 8-Inch woofer with deep low-frequency performance
  • Ultra-compact loudspeaker, amp, mixer, and effects all rolled up in one easy-to-carry package with legendary JBL sound
  • Connect mics, instruments and playback devices with two XLR/TRS combo jacks, one 1/4-inch (6.3mm) Hi-Z guitar input and one 1/8-inch (3.5mm) aux input

How does the JBL EON ONE Compact perform?

This speaker is loud enough for jamming with a drummer, but may not project enough sound to gig with a full band

Let’s start with the good: this speaker is convenient. It’s smaller, easy to carry, and the rechargeable battery means you won’t have to search for power in less traditional venues. The Bluetooth connection also works exceptionally well; a huge gripe of mine is dodgy Bluetooth, and this speaker connects easily and without any fuss. This makes it easy to play changeover music or fill the dead space between sets without hassling with aux cables.

Another pro is the JBL Compact Connect app which allows you to mix from your phone or tablet – most musicians who would use a speaker like this aren’t bringing a sound guy, so being able to make changes without putting down your guitar, getting up, and awkwardly fiddling with knobs is a huge plus.

While a single speaker may not be loud enough to overcome a full drum kit and guitar amps, the sound is perfect for a single room party. a mobile DJ, acoustic artists, or anyone looking to quickly set up a mic and background music for events. I could see this becoming a mainstay for intimate weddings with a simple mic setup and one or two musicians. It’s also suitable for jamming or smaller full band rehearsals – just don’t expect it to overpower a Marshall stack.

I used the JBL ONE Compact as a playback speaker for a music video shoot, which was a fantastic use case for this speaker. The battery power allows you to quickly move it from scene to scene without messing with cables or finding an outlet, and the Bluetooth connections means you can cue the music from your phone, avoiding awkward breaks to go hit stop and start on a wired in laptop or phone.

The EON ONE is great for playback in video shoot scenerios


I also used it in rehearsals for a DJ set, in which it performed exceptionally well. While the bass of this speaker doesn’t match a speaker with a separate subwoofer, it’s still robust enough for this type of use.

When it comes to speakers and PA systems, price per watt/decibel is obviously a consideration on many people’s minds. While this speaker isn’t the loudest in the world, I believe that you’re paying for convenience and a high quality sound more so than for volume. The quality of the mic preamps and the usability of the onboard effects is also noteworthy – most built in effects on audio gear aren’t the highest quality or just feel like a cheap gimmick thrown in to pad out the feature list, but the effects on this speaker sound professional.

One nice aspect of this speaker is the form factor; it stands easily on its side or vertically, so you can use it as a monitor wedge, or you can mount it to a stand. The ability to slot this into almost any use case makes it a great Swiss Army Knife speaker.

Overall, this speaker has a great sound, a quick learning curve, and it is super flexible for multiple uses.

Should you buy the JBL EON ONE Compact speaker?

This speaker was awesome for listening to music while doing work in the garage, maybe not the use that JBL created it for…but it works!


Overall, the question of if this speaker is worth the money will be a personal one. If you’re a gigging musician who plays often and doesn’t want to pack a mixer, extra cables, and more to play simple gigs, this is a fantastic option. If you like the idea of having a loud, high quality Bluetooth speaker with a 12 hour battery for taking to BBQs, the beach, or for listening by the pool, you’ll probably love this speaker. If your main goal is to shake the walls with the most wattage possible, this is not the speaker for you. But if ease of connectivity, high quality sound at reasonable listening levels, and convenient cable free setup are your priority, you can’t go wrong with this speaker!

While you can find louder PA setups for a similar price, the built in features push this over the edge into the “daily driver” category. For the right person, this will become an essential part of their setup. For production companies, schools, gyms with fitness classes, or solo/duo musicians, this speaker will be a great buy. For quick run-and-gun type setups, the EON ONE Compact speaker is the perfect setup, and you can’t go wrong with JBL quality in a compact package!

JBL Professional EON ONE
  • 12 Hour rechargeable battery
  • 8-Inch woofer with deep low-frequency performance
  • Ultra-compact loudspeaker, amp, mixer, and effects all rolled up in one easy-to-carry package with legendary JBL sound
  • Connect mics, instruments and playback devices with two XLR/TRS combo jacks, one 1/4-inch (6.3mm) Hi-Z guitar input and one 1/8-inch (3.5mm) aux input

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About the Author: Adam Sliger

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I'm the founder of makethatlouder.com, and a producer, musician, and songwriter based out of Orlando, FL. I have 10 years experience producing and owning a commercial recording studio. I write and produce music for artists, TV, and for my solo project, Night Winds. When I'm not writing and recording, I'm into food, coffee, and riding rollercoasters!

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