JBL PartyBox 100 Review
The JBL PartyBox 100 is the predecessor of the PartyBoxes 300 and 310. Compared to its successors, the PA system is relatively compact and light. The price is also quite lower; the PartyBox 100 is cheaper than the other models in the PartyBox series.
Except for the small difference in size, the PartyBox 100 is very similar to the manufacturer’s other models on the outside. LED light rings are embedded in the black plastic housing of the Bluetooth speaker, which shines in colorful light patterns to match the music being played. With this, JBL wants to bring a real club feeling into your own four walls.
Moreover, since the quite compact PA loudspeaker system is easy to transport, it is also ideal for wild celebrations in the park. In our practical test, we put the speaker to the test. Can the PartyBox 100 keep up with the other models in the series, or should you spend a little more money? We provide you with answers in our test report.
- Clear PA sound for outdoor parties
- Real deep bass conveys a festival/club feeling
- Light patterns create a party mood
- Stunning design
- Excellent for use on the move
- 12-hour battery life
- No EQ.
- Can struggle with high notes at noisy volumes
- Can overheat after extreme use
Design and artistry of the JBL PartyBox 100
With dimensions of 55 x 29 x 28.8 centimeters, the PartyBox 100 is one of the most compact PA systems in our Bluetooth speaker-test. Only the Bose S1 Pro system is smaller, measuring 28.2 x 24 x 33.2 centimeters. The Bose S1 Pro system is also around 2 kilograms lighter than the PartyBox 100, weighing approximately 9.7 kilograms. With this weight, the 100 model is weaker than the 300- and 310-party boxes, weighing 15.84 and 17.42 kilograms, respectively.
In order to make transporting the PartyBox 310 even easier, there are also two handles on the back of the housing that is quite comfortable to hold. Unlike the PartyBox 310, however, JBL does not have wheels on the speaker’s underside, which would make transporting the device even easier.
However, castors are unnecessary with the weight of the PartyBox 100, but they would have been a desirable feature here. However, in terms of design, the various PartyBox models from JBL are very similar. Like the manufacturer’s other Bluetooth PA systems, the PartyBox 100 is kept in classic black, with orange highlights, such as the JBL logo on the front, set visually appealing accents. In addition, the Front of the PartyBox 100 is completely encased in a delicate grille that protects the speaker membranes behind it from bumps and knocks.
Recommended alternatives to the PartyBox 100 Bluetooth speaker:
- JBL PartyBox 310
- Teufel ROCKSTER AIR
Two LED light rings are also attached behind the grille, which changes color to match the music played and enrich your party with chic lighting effects. The PartyBox 100 makes the speaker a real eye-catcher that will inspire your party guests. The controls of the PartyBox 300 are located on the top of the robust plastic housing. There are three buttons on the left that you can use to start or stop music playback and turn the playback volume down or up. Below these three control buttons is the so-called Bass Boost button, which you can use to increase the bass intensity of the PartyBox 100 in two stages and thus adapt it to your personal preferences. To the right of these control, buttons are three more buttons.
The lowest of these buttons is used to switch between different light patterns in which the LED rings on the front of the device should shine. If you press and hold this button for two seconds, you can also turn on/off a strobe light, which will bring a real club feeling to your next house party!
Above this button is the Bluetooth button, which you can connect your PartyBox 100 to a mobile device. Again, above this button is the power button of the device, with which you can switch the device on or off. A battery status indicator is also integrated into the housing above the power button. This gives you an overview of the charge status of the device battery with the help of five LED lights if all five lamps light up in white color.
Last but not least, there is a dock for mobile devices on the top of the speaker, on which you can place your smartphone, for example. The dock gives your mobile phone a secure footing. In addition, the cable connections of the speaker are built into the back of the PartyBox 100, thanks to which the Bluetooth speaker can be connected to a variety of external devices.
At the bottom, there is a connection for an AC power cable, which allows you to connect your speaker to AC power to charge the built-in lithium-ion battery. The PartyBox 100 also has a USB port that you can use to play music stored on a USB storage device such as a USB stick or an MP3 player.
If you connect such a device to the speaker, the music stored will be played back automatically. The USB port also serves another practical purpose. You can also use it to charge the batteries of other devices via your PartyBox. This allows you to use the Bluetooth speaker as a kind of power bank, with which you can charge your smartphone on the go, for example. The USB ports right are output and an input for a 3.5mm jack cable. You can use these AUX connections to connect the PartyBox 100 to analog devices that cannot establish a Bluetooth connection to your speaker. This could be a TV or a record player, for example.
You can also connect instruments to the PartyBox 100 if you want to present your self-written songs in front of an audience. Next to the microphone and the guitar input, there is a rotary control, which you can use to adjust the volume of the connected audio devices.
All of the controls on the PartyBox 100 make an impeccable impression. They are built into the housing of the Bluetooth speaker robustly. The processing quality of the chic PA speaker was able to convince us completely – just as we are used to from the high-quality Bluetooth speakers from the manufacturer. In addition to the JBL PartyBox 100 itself, the scope of delivery of the device also includes:
- A quick start guide.
- A safety data sheet.
- A guarantee certificate.
- A power supply cable.
The cable’s plug differs depending on the region to fit the common sockets. Unfortunately, JBL has not included a microphone in this model, such as in the scope of delivery of the JBL PartyBox On-The-Go.
The functional scope of the JBL PartyBox 100
The technical equipment of the PartyBox 100 consists of two 2.25″ tweeter drivers with a diameter of 57 millimeters and two 5.25″ woofer drivers with a diameter of 133 millimeters. The tweeters are tweeters that emit sound in the higher frequency ranges. On the other hand, the woofers are responsible for the lower tones, such as the bass. The full rated power of the Bluetooth speaker is 160 watts.
The frequency response of the PartyBox 100 is specified in the technical data sheet between 45 Hz and 18 kHz. The maximum Bluetooth range of the portable PA speaker is 10 meters. This means that the full Bluetooth range of the PartyBox 100 for PA systems is normal – including the PartyBoxes 300 and 310 have the same Bluetooth range.
Only the Bose S1 Pro system has a shorter range, with a maximum Bluetooth range of 9 meters. So, it’s not a big difference. The PartyBox 100’s rechargeable lithium-ion battery has a capacity of 25,000 mAh and takes a full 6.5 hours to be fully charged. This means that the PartyBox 100 has the longest charging time of the PA systems we tested. The PartyBox 300 has a charging time of 5 hours; the charging time of the 310 models is just 3.5 hours, which, together with the PartyBox On-The-Go, brings the shortest loading time of the test series.
Technical data of the PartyBox 100
- Dimensions: approx. 29 x 28.8 x 55.1
- Weight: approx. 9.7 kg
- Battery life max: 12 hours
- Battery type/capacity: 2500mAh
- Charging time: 6.5 hours
- Protection class: IPX5
- Multiple speakers connectable: Yes
- Range: 10m
- Frequency Response: 45Hz – 18kHz
- Other inputs: 3.5 mm jack
- NFC: Yes
- Scope of delivery: Loudspeaker, 1 x quick start guide, 1 x guarantee certificate, 1 x safety data sheet, one power supply cable
- Drivers: Speakers: 2 x Tweeter drivers – 57mm (2.25″) and Speakers: 2 x Woofer drivers – 133mm (5.25″)
- Power: 160 watts
To the PartyBox 100 operating instructions
With the PartyBox 100, a fully charged battery is enough for twelve hours of music enjoyment, which puts the playback time of the Bluetooth speaker in the satisfactory midfield. However, the actual battery life of Bluetooth speakers always depends on the playback volume and external influences such as the ambient temperature. As a result, the battery life may deviate from the manufacturer’s specifications.
Furthermore, the PartyBox 100 is equipped with an IPX5 protection class, protecting the portable PA system from spray and water jets. Jet water, for example, refers to the water that comes out of a showerhead. So theoretically, it is possible to take the PartyBox 100 in the shower to combine daily body care with listening to your favorite songs.
Unfortunately, the cable connections on the back of the case cannot be sealed with rubber caps, which means there is a possibility of water penetrating the device’s interior through the connections. You should, therefore, not point the showerhead directly at the back of the housing.
If you’re sitting in the park with your PartyBox 100 and suddenly it starts to rain, you don’t have to panic right away – rain does not pose a threat to the well-protected Bluetooth speaker. But you can’t take the speaker into the pool – its IPX5 protection class is insufficient to completely protect the Bluetooth speaker from the water. Also, the protection class does not completely protect the PartyBox 100 from dust, sand, and other foreign bodies.
So if you want to use the portable PA speaker on the beach or other very dusty places, you should place the device on a towel or another surface, for example. The PartyBox 100 also has an integrated battery status indicator and colored LED rings that light up in colorful light patterns in sync with the beat of the music being played. You can use the corresponding button on the device’s top to switch between different light and color patterns. You can also connect a microphone and a guitar to the speaker. Then, you can use the PartyBox 100 as a speaker at concerts to play your songs in front of an audience.
If you would like to expand the soundscape of your speaker further, you can couple several PartyBoxes with each other. This can be done via a 3.5mm jack cable or a Bluetooth connection. For example, you can connect two PartyBoxes in TWS (True Wireless Stereo) mode via Bluetooth for clear stereo sound. The JBL PartyBoxes 300 and 310 also have this feature. When it comes to connectivity, the PartyBox 100 is still slightly ahead; the compact PA system is also equipped with the option of establishing a connection via NFC technology. NFC is the abbreviation for Near Field Communication and, like Bluetooth, is a radio standard for the wireless connection of devices.
The difference, however, is that an NFC connection can only be established over a distance of a few centimeters. As a result, the connection is even faster via NFC than with Bluetooth. In most cases, it is sufficient to activate the NFC function of your cell phone and bring it close to the Bluetooth speaker to pair both devices. Sometimes you have to confirm your smartphone’s connection process, but that’s usually unnecessary.
Another advantage of NFC technology is that due to the proximity of the transmitter and receiver of the box, it is clear which device it should connect to. With Bluetooth, you usually select the appropriate device from a list. However, NFC is only one function to connect two end devices. In this case, data is still transferred via Bluetooth – NFC only speeds up the connection process.
Practical test of the JBL PartyBox 100
The device’s integrated lithium-ion battery must first be fully charged before you can start playing music via the PartyBox 100. This contributes to the longevity of the rechargeable battery. The battery level indicator on the top of the housing gives you reliable information about the battery’s charge level during the charging process; if all five LED lamps light up white, the battery is fully charged, and your PartyBox 100 is ready for the Commitment. Now you can either connect the speaker to a sound source via a cable connection or establish a Bluetooth connection to a Bluetooth-enabled device to play music. To connect the Bluetooth speaker to your smartphone or tablet, for example.
You then have to select the PartyBox 100 from the list of available Bluetooth devices. Within moments, the two devices will pair automatically, and you can start playing your favorite songs through the portable Bluetooth PA speaker.
Pairing multiple JBL PartyBoxes in TWS mode is also easy with the speaker; press and hold the Bluetooth button on both speakers for 5 seconds simultaneously. This is how the TWS connection is established. By default, the speaker connected to your smartphone is the master speaker (L channel), the second Bluetooth speaker is the slave speaker (R channel).
If you want to disconnect the two paired PartyBoxes and end the true wireless stereo mode, all you have to do is press and hold the Bluetooth button again or switch off one of the two speakers using the power button.
Sound quality and volume
Since the PartyBox 100 is the manufacturer’s smallest PA system, the sound of the Bluetooth speaker is inevitably weaker than that of its larger siblings.
Nevertheless, the PartyBox 100 cuts a good figure that music fans will enjoy. The speaker has a slightly lower volume level than the JBL PartyBox 310, and the bass of the Bluetooth speaker is not quite as intense as the of the 300 and 310 models.
Nevertheless, the bass of the smaller device is still very booming and oppressive and a lot stronger than that of the JBL PartyBox On-The-Go. Moreover, the bass can be boosted even further with the Bass Boost button, so the PartyBox 100 is also ideal for electro parties where the bass should go through the dancers’ bones and bones.
As is usual for public access systems, the mids of the sound image of the PartyBox 100 are quite thin, but the voices still sound very good and are understandable. All in all, it can be said that the sound quality of the PartyBox 100 is slightly worse than that of the larger successor models. But the word “bad” is already an exaggeration – the PartyBox 100 provides you with a very solid and clean sound that is good to hear. Especially with a view to the lower price and the smaller size of the speaker, the PartyBox 100 does not need to hide from the other models in the PartyBox series or the competition.
Conclusion on the PartyBox 100
Although the PartyBox 100 has minor weaknesses compared to its larger siblings in the model series, it still knows how to trump with its advantages. The relatively small dimensions and the comparatively low weight of the PA system mean that the practical Bluetooth speaker can be transported without any problems.
The two handles on the back of the housing also contribute to this. The general sound quality of the JBL PartyBox 100 is not bad either; the Bluetooth speaker provides you with rich public access sound for open-air parties, with the speaker’s real deep bass conveying a real festival and club feeling.
The LED light rings on the front of the device also provide atmospheric lighting effects that will make people talk about your last house party for a long time, dim the lights, turn on the music, and the powerful PartyBox 100 takes care of the rest.