JBL's Party Box 110 and 310 are good but are definitely not high fidelity.
However, if you’re looking for a portable, one-piece stereo speaker to listen to music to on the go that can double as a small PA system for small events, you will definitely want to have a look at the JBL Party Box 110 and 310.
While usable as a PA system, that is not their primary niche either. Portability is the forte here.
In summary, the JBL PartyBox 110 is more compact and portable than the JBL PartyBox 310 but needs more time to charge. The 310, on the other hand, offers longer battery life and sounds more powerful, but doesn’t come with the handy pole-mount the smaller sibling does.
The 310 is the more expensive of the two (by about $150). Both sound reasonably good in their price range, but the bass can get muddy on the 310.
Also, do make sure to check out the side-by-side spec comparison of JBL PartyBox 110 vs 310 on Crutchfield.
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Now let’s have a closer look.
Both these speakers come with a light show that some will love while others might find tacky. The good news is that you can always turn them off, depending on the kind of atmosphere you want to create. They definitely do add to a fun vibe to things, though! The otherwise black exteriors look pretty standard and include the signature JBL logo in the middle.
They feel rugged, heavy-duty, and like the kind of thing that would be just fine outdoors at a barbeque or beach party, just as much it would work indoors with guests over for dinner or a mid to small social event.
JBL PartyBox 110
Weighing in at 23 lbs (10.84 kg), the JBL PartyBox 110 is the smaller and more portable of the two. It also comes with a pretty neat pole mount. This gives you more flexibility to position it so it sounds (and looks!) it's best in the specific environment you're in.
- Dimensions: 22.5 x 11.6 x 11.8 inches
JBL PartyBox 310
The bigger sibling of the two is very similar in design. But, sitting at 38.5 lbs (17.5 kg), it's about 15.5 lbs (7 kg) heavier. So while technically still portable, it’s definitely not the winner in this department, even though the carrying handles make it easy enough for the average adult.
Additionally, the pole mount feature is not available on it either. So you’ll have to place it like most other wireless one-piece speakers. On a flat surface, vertically or horizontally.
- Dimensions: 27 x 13 x 14.5 inches
Note: Neither of the two is weatherproof.
JBL PartyBox 110
The smaller sibling gives you 12 hours of battery life when fully charged, which takes about 6-7 hours to complete.
JBL PartyBox 310
The JBL PartyBox 310, on the other hand, outshines its smaller sibling by a considerable bit here with 18 hours of battery life on a full charge. Which takes about 5 hours.
Let me tell you something right off the bat.
The sound quality performance you'll end up getting from a speaker will always depend on your room acoustics - particularly room dimensions and speaker positions.
The impact of the combination of these two is actually so strong that in most cases, it doesn't even make sense to utter a single word on sound quality without speaking of them.
This is also why it's not unusual to see completely different reviews of the same speaker.
In one case the speaker might be placed in a sweet spot inside the room and hence the user might be satisfied. In other cases the same speaker might be ill placed and hence user might even have returned it.
The point most people miss here is that it mostly isn't even about the engineering behind the speaker itself. It's about where you place the speaker inside which room.
So, in order to solve this problem, I've partnered with Acoustics and Audio Engineering PhD Andrea Cicero from AC Acustica and created Soundton - a simple, 2D, browser accessible online speaker placement calculator.
With Soundton, now there's a way to figure the sound quality of most speakers before you buy them.
Read more about its working principles at soundton.com/documentation/.
The end colormap provides you the locations with the best (green) and worst (red) acoustics.