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JBL PartyBox 300 Speaker Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Dec 14, 2020 at 09:43 am
JBL PartyBox 300 Picture
7.1
Music
6.3
Videos/Movies
7.2
Podcasts
2.8
Voice Assistant
7.1
Outdoors
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi
No
Speakerphone
No
Voice Assistant
No
Battery Powered
Yes

The JBL PartyBox 300 is a large, tall speaker with eye-catching circular RGB lights. You can place it either horizontally or vertically, as its tweeters adjust to create a stereo image based on its positioning. This speaker has a long 18.3-hour battery life and can get very loud. It's lacking a lot of low-bass, but it has a Bass Boost feature. Also, the microphone and guitar ports make it suitable for musicians.

Our Verdict

7.1 Music

The JBL PartyBox 300 is decent for music. It has a balanced mid-range and should reproduce vocals and lead instruments clearly. However, it's lacking low-bass, and its recessed treble can make audio sound a bit dull. There's no EQ to help you customize its sound, though there's a Bass Boost feature.

Pros
  • Gets very loud.
Cons
  • Lacks low-bass.
6.3 Videos/Movies

The JBL PartyBox 300 is acceptable for videos and movies. Its balanced mid-range can reproduce voices clearly, but it lacks low-bass, so you don't feel the deep rumble in action-packed scenes. It can get very loud, but unfortunately, there's a bit of latency when watching videos on an Android or iOS device. Some apps compensate for latency, so your real-world experience may vary.

Pros
  • Gets very loud.
Cons
  • Lacks low-bass.
7.2 Podcasts

The JBL PartyBox 300 is satisfactory for podcasts. Its balanced mid-range can reproduce voices clearly and accurately, and it can get very loud. You can easily stream podcasts from your phone or tablet to the bar wirelessly over a Bluetooth connection, and it supports multi-device pairing. Unfortunately, it's quite large and isn't very portable.

Pros
  • Gets very loud.
  • Bluetooth-compatible.
Cons
  • Not very portable.
  • Not compatible with Wi-Fi.
2.8 Voice Assistant

The JBL PartyBox 300 doesn't have voice assistant support.

7.1 Outdoors

The JBL PartyBox 300 is decent for outdoor use. It can get very loud, and its 18.3-hour battery life is suitable for long days outside without a recharge. While it's well-built, it isn't rated for dust, water, or impact resistance, so you should be careful about where you use it. Also, its large and heavy design can be difficult to bring on-the-go.

Pros
  • Gets very loud.
  • 18.3-hour battery life.
Cons
  • Not dust, water, or impact resistant.
  • Not very portable.
  • 7.1 Music
  • 6.3 Videos/Movies
  • 7.2 Podcasts
  • 2.8 Voice Assistant
  • 7.1 Outdoors
  1. Updated Sep 08, 2021: Updated the text to provide more information regarding its performance while connected to a power source.
  2. Updated Sep 07, 2021: Updated the text to provide more information regarding the speaker's mic and guitar functions.
  3. Updated Dec 15, 2020: Review published.
  4. Updated Dec 15, 2020: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
RGB Lights Yes

The JBL PartyBox 300 is a big, tall speaker made mostly of plastic, with a metal grille on the front to help protect the speakers. It has a very imposing design, and it'll be noticed thanks to the circular RGB lights. This speaker can be placed either horizontally or vertically, as its tweeters adjust to stereo in both positions.

5.7
Design
Portability
Volume
4,177 inยณ (68,448 cmยณ)
Weight
35.1 lbs (15.9 kg)
Power Source
AC & Battery
One-Hand Carry
Yes

This speaker has sub-par portability. It's very tall and heavy, which may be inconvenient if you plan to move the speaker frequently or use it in multiple locations. On the upside, it has a handle to make it easier to carry, and it doesn't require a wired power source to work. If you wanted a more portable speaker for parties, check out the Bose S1 Pro System.

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

This speaker has an acceptable build quality. It's mostly made of plastic with a metal grille on the front side, and these materials make the speaker feel solid, durable, and well-built. However, this speaker isn't water-resistant, so you need to be careful if you plan to use it outdoors or near water. If this is a priority, consider the JBL Boombox 2, which has an IPX7 rating for water resistance, although we don't currently test for this.

5.8
Design
Controls
Ease Of Use
Good
Feedback
Good
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

Update 09/07/2021: We updated the text to provide more information regarding the speaker's mic and guitar functions.

This speaker has middling controls. The buttons can be a little hard to press, but overall, the click is good. On the right, there are buttons for power, Bluetooth pairing, and RGB lighting. There are volume control and play/pause buttons on the left and the Bass Boost control. The lights above the power button indicate battery life. However, you can't use the controls to skip tracks. You can connect an external microphone and guitar to the mic and guitar inputs on the speaker's rear, and you can control their volumes using their dedicated volume knobs. If you want to add echo effects to your microphone, you can do so by pressing the speaker's Bass Boost and + buttons to switch between its two echo levels and turn the echo off. Unfortunately, unlike the JBL PartyBox 310, this speaker doesn't have a companion app you can use to access extra DJ effects.

Design
In The Box

  • JBL PartyBox 300 speaker
  • Recharge/power cable
  • Car power/recharge cable
  • User Manual

Sound
6.9
Sound
Frequency Response Accuracy
Slope
-0.52
Std. Err.
3.37 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
55.0 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
18.0 kHz

Update 09/08/2021: After retesting this speaker, we found that the JBL PartyBox 300 gets a performance boost while plugged into a power source, which causes its volume to increase by 3dB. There haven't been any changes to the test results since this doesn't seem to affect the speaker's sound profile. That said, you can find the graph for this test here.

The JBL PartyBox 300 has fair frequency response accuracy. Overall, the sound profile is pretty balanced and should be suitable for most music genres. The mid and high-treble range is a bit recessed, so music may sound slightly dark and veiled. The speaker lacks low bass, which may not be ideal for fans of bass-heavy music like EDM and hip-hop. The Bass Boost EQ setting may help with bass reproduction, although we don't currently test for this. For a similarly-designed JBL speaker with better bass reproduction, try the JBL PartyBox 310. That said, if you're looking for a party speaker with a graphic EQ and presets, check out the Sony XP700.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
Binaural Recording @ 1m
Binaural Recording @ 2m
6.4
Sound
Soundstage
Directivity Index
6.71 dB
Stereo
Yes

The JBL PartyBox 300 has a mediocre soundstage performance. It has a narrow and directional soundstage, which may not sound very natural or wide. If you're looking for a party speaker with a wider-sounding soundstage, check out the Sony XB90.

9.6
Sound
Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
103.3 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
0.33 dB

Update 09/08/2021: After retesting this speaker, we found that the JBL PartyBox 300's volume increases by 3dB while plugged into a power source. That said, there have been no changes to our test results since we expect most users to use this speaker wirelessly.

The JBL PartyBox 300 has an outstanding dynamics performance. This speaker can get very loud, making it ideal to use in large rooms or crowded environments like parties.

Active Features
8.2
Active Features
Battery
Battery Life
18.3 hrs
Charge Time
4.8 hrs
Power Saving
Yes
Charging Port
AC

The JBL PartyBox 300 has an impressive battery performance. It can last for just over 18 hours off a single charge in our testing conditions, which is great. You can even monitor the battery life using the lights above the power button. Unfortunately, this speaker can take a while to recharge.

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. If you want a speaker with an app that offers a graphic EQ for sound customization, check out the Sony XB72 and the Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM.

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

This speaker has several wired input options. There's an Aux input (1/8" TRS jack), so you can connect your smartphone directly to the speaker. The USB Type-A port means you can listen to music on a USB drive, and it also lets you use the speaker as a power bank to recharge your other devices. There's also a Stereo 2RCA input and output and two 1/4" TS jacks for connecting your microphone or your guitar.

7.7
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
4.2
Bluetooth iOS Latency
198 ms
Bluetooth Android Latency
176 ms
Bluetooth Range
184.4 ft (56.2 m)
Multi-Device Pairing
2 Devices

The JBL PartyBox 300 has good Bluetooth connectivity. You can pair the speaker with up to two devices, which is ideal if you want to be able to switch between devices quickly. Unfortunately, it may not be ideal for watching videos, as there's a bit of latency. However, some apps seem to compensate for lag, 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

This speaker is available in 'Black'. JBL also produces similar-looking party speakers, including the JBL PartyBox 100, the JBL PartyBox 200, and the JBL PartyBox 1000, but these may not have the same performance.

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

Compared To Other Speakers

The JBL PartyBox 300 is a large speaker with an eye-catching design thanks to the circular RGB lights. It has a similar design to the JBL PartyBox 100, but it's a bit bigger and its sound profile isn't as well-balanced. It can get very loud, and it comes with microphone and guitar ports that make it suitable for musicians.

JBL Boombox 2

The JBL PartyBox 300 and the JBL Boombox 2 are similar speakers with a few different features. The Boombox has a more open soundstage, and it's more portable thanks to its smaller size. It's also rated IPX7 for water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. However, the PartyBox can get louder and it has much less compression at max volume.

Sony XP700

You may prefer either the JBL PartyBox 300 or the Sony XP700 depending on your listening habits. The JBL can get louder with significantly less compression present at max volume, resulting in cleaner audio at louder volumes. It also has a more neutral sound profile than that of the Sony out-of-the-box. That said, the Sony can produce a more extended low-bass, and you can tweak its sound to your liking thanks to the graphic EQ and presets featured in its companion app. It's also rated IPX4 for water resistance, so it's certified to be protected from small splashes of water.

JBL PartyBox 310

The JBL PartyBox 310 is a better speaker for music than the JBL PartyBox 300. The 310 has an IPX4 rating for water resistance, although we don't currently test for it, and it has more sound enhancement features for mic audio. Its sound profile is better-balanced and boomy too, and it's compatible with the JBL PartyBox app, which is nice if you like to customize features like its RGB lighting. It also has wheels to make it easier to move around. However, the 300 has fewer compression artifacts at max volume.

JBL PartyBox 100

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.

Sony XB90

The Sony XB90 is a slightly better speaker than the JBL PartyBox 300, though they have different strengths. The Sony is more customizable than the JBL, thanks to the graphic EQ and presets available on its companion apps. It also has a more natural-sounding soundstage and can be paired to three devices at once, so you can easily switch between your audio sources. That said, the JBL has a better-balanced sound profile and can get louder than the Sony with less compression at max volume. 

Sony XB72

The JBL PartyBox 300 is a slightly better speaker than the Sony XB72, though you may prefer one over the other since they have different strengths. The JBL is battery-powered and is more portable than the Sony. It can also get louder with fewer compression artifacts at max volume. That said, you can adjust the Sony's sound to your liking thanks to the graphic EQ and presets available on its companion app. Its ClearAudio+ feature adjusts the speaker's sound to better suit your chosen audio. Also, it supports voice assistants through your smartphone, though its performance isn't good.

Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM

The Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM is a better speaker than the JBL PartyBox 300. The Ultimate Ears is more portable, and it has an IPX4 rating for water resistance, though we don't test for this. It has a better soundstage performance and a longer battery life, and it's also more customizable thanks to its graphic EQ and presets. However, the JBL does get a bit louder, and it has RGB lights.

Bose S1 Pro System

The JBL PartyBox 300 is better for music than the Bose S1 Pro System. The JBL has a better soundstage performance, and it can get louder. Also, it has longer battery life. However, the Bose is a smaller, less heavy speaker, so it's much more portable.

SOUNDBOKS (Gen. 3)

The JBL PartyBox 300 and the SOUNDBOKS (Gen. 3) are similar speakers, though they have different strengths. The JBL has significantly fewer compression artifacts present at max volume, resulting in cleaner audio during louder listening sessions. It can also play stereo content without downmixing it to mono. However, the SOUNDBOKS can get louder and can produce a deeper low-bass than the JBL. It also comes with a graphic EQ and presets you can use to tweak its sound to your liking.

Apple HomePod

The Apple HomePod and the JBL PartyBox 300 are very different speakers, so depending on your usage habits, you may prefer one over the other. The Apple is better for most uses, as it has a more balanced sound profile and a better soundstage. However, the JBL is bigger and it gets louder. Also, since it's battery-operated, it can be used outdoors.

Google Nest Audio

The JBL PartyBox 300 and the Google Nest Audio are very different speakers, so depending on your listening habits, you may prefer one over the other. The JBL is better for most uses, as it has a better-balanced sound profile and can get a lot louder. However, the Google is a better choice for voice assistants. It also comes with bass and treble adjustments to help customize its sound.

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