JBL PartyBox 100 Speaker Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Dec 14, 2020 at 09:43 am
JBL PartyBox 100 Picture
7.4
Music
6.6
Videos/Movies
7.9
Podcasts
3.1
Voice Assistant
7.3
Outdoors
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi
No
Speakerphone
No
Voice Assistant
No
Battery Powered
Yes

The JBL PartyBox 100 is a large speaker with an eye-catching design thanks to the circular RGB lights. Its sound profile is quite neutral and balanced with a little extra boom in the bass range, so it's suitable for lots of different types of audio content. It can get loud, and there's a Bass Boost feature that can please fans of bass-heavy music genres like EDM. Unfortunately, it's quite large and bulky, and it doesn't support voice assistant technology. However, it has inputs for microphones and guitars, which is suitable for musicians.

Our Verdict

7.4 Music

The JBL PartyBox 100 is satisfactory for music. This speaker has a neutral, balanced sound profile with a touch of extra bass, making it suitable for listening to lots of different music genres. It has a good soundstage, and it can get loud, though there are some compression artifacts present at max volume. Unfortunately, there isn't an EQ to customize its sound, but the Bass Boost feature gives you some control over its bass reproduction.

Pros
  • Gets loud.
Cons
  • No EQ.
6.6 Videos/Movies

The JBL PartyBox 100 is fair for videos and movies. Its neutral sound profile can reproduce dialogue clearly, and the extra touch of bass helps bring action-packed scenes to life. It gets loud, too, though there's some compression at max volume. While its latency with Android devices is likely too high to be suitable for watching videos, fortunately, it performs a bit better with iOS devices. Also, some apps compensate for latency, so your experience may vary.

Pros
  • Gets loud.
Cons
  • High latency, especially with Android devices.
7.9 Podcasts

The JBL PartyBox 100 is very good for podcasts. Its sound profile is quite neutral and balanced, especially in the mid and treble ranges where voices are reproduced. It can get very loud, and while there are some compression artifacts present at max volume, you may not notice it while listening to your favorite podcasts.

Pros
  • Gets loud.
  • 10-hour battery life.
Cons
  • Not very portable.
3.1 Voice Assistant

The JBL PartyBox 100 doesn't support voice assistants.

7.3 Outdoors

The JBL PartyBox 100 is satisfactory for outdoor use. It has a solid and durable build, but it isn't water or dust resistant. Its sound profile is quite neutral, and while there's a little extra boom in the bass range, it's suitable for listening to lots of different types of audio content. It can get loud, and its 10-hour battery life should be enough to get you through long days outside.

Pros
  • Gets loud.
  • 10-hour battery life.
Cons
  • Not dust or water resistant.
  • Not very portable.
  • 7.4 Music
  • 6.6 Videos/Movies
  • 7.9 Podcasts
  • 3.1 Voice Assistant
  • 7.3 Outdoors

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
RGB Lights Yes

The JBL PartyBox 100 is a tall, large speaker, though it isn't quite as large as the JBL PartyBox 300. It's mostly made of plastic, and there's a metal grille on the front to help protect the drivers. The circular RGB lights are quite noticeable, and you can choose between three different patterns or turn them off. There are also two stroboscope lights, which you can also turn off. You can position this speaker vertically or horizontally.

7.1
Design
Portability
Volume
2803 in³ (45936 cm³)
Weight
21.6 lbs (9.8 kg)
Power Source
AC & Battery
One-Hand Carry
Yes

The JBL PartyBox 100 is decently portable. It's tall and heavy, so it may not be easy to carry around with you. On the upside, there are two handles to help you carry it, and you don't have to wire it to a power source to make it work.

6.4
Design
Build Quality
Material Quality
Good
Water Resistance
No
Dust Resistance
Unspecified
Impact Resistance
Unspecified
Floats In Water
Unspecified

The JBL PartyBox 100 has an acceptable build quality. Like the JBL PartyBox 300, it's mostly made of plastic, and there's a metal grille on the front. There are rubber feet on two sides and the bottom of the speaker, and the handles have a rubberized slip-proof coating. Overall, it feels quite solid and durable, but they don't have an IP rating for dust or water resistance, so you should be careful if you're using it outdoors. If you're looking for a more durable outdoor speaker, consider the Sony SRS-XB23, which has an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, although we don't currently test for it.

5.6
Design
Controls
Ease Of Use
Good
Feedback
Decent
Music Play/Pause
Yes (Physical)
Call Answer/End
No
Volume Up/Down
Yes (Physical)
Track Next/Previous
No
Microphone On/Off
No
Additional Controls
Yes

The JBL PartyBox 100 has sub-par controls. You can play/pause your music, turn the volume up or down, turn the power on/off, control the Bass Boost and Mic Echo settings, control the RGB lights, and activate Bluetooth pairing mode. The Bass Boost has three different settings: Off, Level 1, or Level 2. You can even adjust the volume for the mic and guitar inputs. The LED lights also indicate the battery level for a few seconds after you turn the speaker on or when you click the buttons. The buttons feel solid and clicky, but they don't always register the command immediately after you press it, which can be frustrating.

Design
In The Box

  • JBL PartyBox 100
  • Power cord
  • Quick Start Guide

Sound
7.3
Sound
Frequency Response Accuracy
Slope
-0.57
Std. Err.
2.95 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
49.0 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
18.2 kHz

The JBL PartyBox 100 has a decent frequency response accuracy. When set to 'Bass Boost 1', it has a fairly neutral sound profile that's suitable for lots of different audio content. There's a little extra boom in the bass range, which can please fans of bass-heavy music genres like EDM and hip-hop.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
Binaural Recording @ 1m
Binaural Recording @ 2m
7.5
Sound
Soundstage
Directivity Index
4.76 dB
Stereo
Yes

The JBL PartyBox 100 has a good soundstage performance. It can create a stereo image using its separate speakers for the left and right channels, which creates a wide soundstage. However, its soundstage may be perceived as a bit narrow and directional, which may not sound very natural.

Note:While this speaker has one less tweeter than the JBL PartyBox 300, it can still use its woofers to create a stereo image. You can it use in a vertical or horizontal position and still get stereo sound.

9.0
Sound
Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
104.7 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
2.01 dB

The JBL PartyBox 100 has a superb dynamics performance. It gets very loud, making it suitable to use at large, crowded parties. There's a bit of compression at max volume, but it may not be noticeable with real-life content.

Active Features
8.2
Active Features
Battery
Battery Life
10.0 hrs
Charge Time
2.5 hrs
Power Saving
Yes
Charging Port
AC

The JBL PartyBox 100 has an impressive battery performance. The manufacturer advertises 12 hours of playtime, but in our tests, it lasted 10 hours off of a single charge. It also goes into Sleep Mode after 20 minutes of inactivity and Standby Mode after 20 minutes when disconnected from a Bluetooth source, which can help conserve battery life. If you're looking for a speaker with an incredibly long battery life, consider the JBL Boombox 2.

0
Active Features
Voice Assistant
Alexa
No
Google Assistant
No
Siri
No
Voice Activation
No
Microphone Mute
No Microphone
Far-Field Performance
No Microphone
Ambient Noise Performance
No Microphone

This speaker doesn't support any voice assistant integration.

0
Active Features
App
App Name
No App
iOS
No
Android
No
EQ
No
Stereo Pair Mode
No
Party Mode
No
Multi-Room
No

This speaker doesn't have a companion app. However, you can use True Wireless Stereo to connect up to two party speakers together using Bluetooth technology. If you want a speaker with more sound customization features, consider the Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Wired
Aux Input
Yes
USB Audio
No
Other Ports
Yes

This speaker has several wired inputs. There's a 1/8" AUX port, so you can plug your phone directly into the speaker. There's also a Mic-in 1/4" port with a volume knob and a Guitar-in 1/4" port with a volume knob. You can use the USB Type-A port to listen to music on a USB drive. Also, you can connect a device to the speaker with this cable to use the speaker as a power bank.

7.9
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
4.2
Bluetooth iOS Latency
151 ms
Bluetooth Android Latency
207 ms
Bluetooth Range
301.8 ft (92.0 m)
Multi-Device Pairing
2 Devices

The JBL PartyBox 100 has very good Bluetooth connectivity. You can pair it with up to two devices, which is ideal for listeners who like to switch their audio sources frequently. There's a bit of latency with Android devices, so it may not be ideal for watching videos. However, it performs a bit better with iOS devices, and some apps compensate for latency, so your experience may vary.

0
Connectivity
Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi Version
No Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi Frequency Band
No Wi-Fi
Apple AirPlay
No
AirPlay Latency
N/A
Google Chromecast
No
Chromecast Latency
N/A

This speaker isn't Wi-Fi compatible.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The JBL Party Box 100 comes in one color variant, 'Black'. You can see the label for the model we tested here. JBL also sells several other party speakers, including the JBL PartyBox 200, the JBL PartyBox 300, and the JBL PartyBox 1000. These speakers have similar designs, but they may not perform similarly.

If you come across another variant of this speaker, let us know in the discussions so we can update our review.

Compared To Other Speakers

The JBL PartyBox 100 is a speaker with eye-catching RGB lights. It has a similar design to the JBL PartyBox 300, but it's a bit smaller, and its battery life isn't quite as long. It isn't water or dust resistant, so it may not be ideal to use outdoors. It also doesn't support voice assistants, and it isn't Wi-Fi compatible. However, its balanced, neutral sound profile makes it suitable for listening to lots of different audio content.

JBL Boombox 2

The JBL PartyBox 100 is a better speaker than the JBL Boombox 2. While both speakers have fairly neutral sound profiles, the PartyBox gets louder with less compression at max volume. However, the Boombox has a longer battery life as well as an IPX7 rating for water resistance, although we don't currently test for this.

JBL PartyBox 300

The JBL PartyBox 100 is a better speaker than the JBL PartyBox 300. The PartyBox 100 is better-built and more portable thanks to its smaller size. It also has a more balanced sound profile and a better soundstage performance. However, the PartyBox 300 has less compression at max volume, and its battery life is longer. It comes with a 'Karaoke Function' as well, but we don't test for this.

JBL Xtreme 3

The JBL PartyBox 100 is a better speaker for most uses than the JBL Xtreme 3. The PartyBox 100 has a better-balanced sound profile, a larger soundstage, and can get much louder with fewer compression artifacts at max volume. However, the Xtreme 3 is more portable and feels better-built. It's also compatible with the JBL Connect app, and it has lower Bluetooth latency on Android and iOS.

Bose S1 Pro System

The JBL PartyBox 100 is a better speaker than the Bose S1 Pro System. The JBL has a more balanced sound profile and a better soundstage performance. Also, it can get louder than the Bose, though it does have some compression artifacts present at max volume. However, the Bose is more portable.

Sonos Move

The Sonos Move is a better speaker for most uses than the JBL PartyBox 100. The Sonos is better-built and has a more portable, lightweight design. Also, it's compatible with voice assistants, and it has bass and treble adjustments so you can customize its sound. That said, the JBL is better for music, thanks to its better soundstage and the fact that it gets louder.

Bose SoundLink Revolve

The JBL PartyBox 100 is a better speaker than the Bose SoundLink Revolve. The JBL has a more neutral sound profile with a more extended low-bass and a better soundstage. It also gets louder. However, the JBL is better-built and its smaller design makes it more portable. Also, it supports voice assistants, unlike the JBL.

Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM

The Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM is a better speaker than the JBL PartyBox 100. The Ultimate Ears has a slightly smaller, lighter design, which some users may prefer. It also has a longer battery life and an IPX4 rating for water resistance, though we don't test for this. Also, its graphic EQ and presets make it easier to customize its sound profile to your liking. However, the JBL has RGB lights.

Bose SoundLink Micro

The JBL PartyBox 100 is a better speaker than the Bose SoundLink Micro. The JBL has a better-balanced sound profile capable of reproducing more bass. It also has a stereo soundstage, it can get much louder with fewer compression artifacts, and it has longer-lasting battery life. However, the Bose is more portable and better-built, especially as it has an IPX7 rating for water resistance, although we don't currently test for this. You can also connect your smartphone's voice assistant to the speaker.

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