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JBL PartyBox Club 120 Speaker Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Jun 07, 2024 at 10:40 am
JBL PartyBox Club 120 Picture
7.7
Music
6.6
Videos/Movies
7.7
Podcasts
3.0
Voice Assistant
7.7
Outdoors

The JBL PartyBox Club 120 is a mid-range party speaker with a customizable RGB lightshow and an adjustable 'Bass Boost' mode. It picks up where its sibling, the JBL PartyBox 110, left off with a similarly rugged design and intuitive controls. It's also rated IPX4 for resistance against water splashes and comes with mic and instrument inputs to facilitate any spontaneous karaoke shenanigans. One notable point of departure is the inclusion of a swappable battery pack, which opens up possibilities for extending the battery life beyond the advertised 12 hours.

Our Verdict

7.7 Music

The JBL PartyBox Club 120 is good for music. Using the 'JBL Signature Sound' EQ setting with Bass Boost set to 'Deep,' this speaker delivers an exciting, bass-heavy sound. True to its name, it's best suited to club music; from house to hip-hop, this speaker adds dynamism to kicks and basslines. Its mid- and treble-range response is relatively flat, meaning vocals and lead instruments come through clearly. You can always adjust the sound via the in-app EQ and presets. This speaker can get plenty loud without too much compression. While its front-facing design means directivity isn't the best, it can playback stereo content without downmixing to mono.

Pros
  • Two-way Bluetooth connectivity.
  • IPX4 rating against water splashes.
  • Swappable battery pack design.
Cons
  • Cumbersome to carry, even with the handles.
6.6 Videos/Movies

The JBL PartyBox Club 120 is okay for videos and movies. It delivers an exciting, bass-heavy sound that's well-suited to thrillers and action movies and can get loud enough for a home viewing party. It can playback stereo content without downmixing to mono, so you'll get some separation between left and right channels in movie audio. That said, it's latency with iOS devices isn't the best and can introduce some audiovisual synchronization errors. It's worse with Android devices, so you'll need to be wary of sync errors between your audio and video. That said, different devices and apps compensate for this differently.

Pros
  • Two-way Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Graphic EQ and presets via the companion app.
Cons
  • Latency with Android devices is quite high.
  • Cumbersome to carry, even with the handles.
7.7 Podcasts

The JBL PartyBox Club 120 is a good fit for podcasts. It reproduces mid- and treble-range frequencies with plenty of detail, so the voices of your favorite podcasters will sound clear and natural. There's even a 'Vocal' EQ setting you can choose to emphasize these frequencies further. While it can get pretty loud, its directivity isn't the best, so audio won't sound consistent across every listening angle. It's also not as portable as other Bluetooth speakers, so it's best not to move around too much when listening to a podcast.

Pros
  • Two-way Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Swappable battery pack design.
Cons
  • Cumbersome to carry, even with the handles.
3.0 Voice Assistant

The JBL PartyBox Club 120 doesn't have voice assistant features.

7.7 Outdoors

The JBL PartyBox Club 120 is a good outdoor speaker. It features more than 10 hours of continuous battery life, which is ideal for soundtracking your all-day BBQ without worrying about running out of juice. You can even buy an extra swappable battery pack if you feel like taking the party into the night. It's also plenty loud and delivers a fun, bass-heavy sound that's well-suited to both outdoor dance floors and karaoke. While there are built-in carrying handles, it's still not the most portable speaker due to its bulky design. It's decently well-constructed, thanks to its thick plastic build and IPX4 rating against water splashes.

Pros
  • Two-way Bluetooth connectivity.
  • IPX4 rating against water splashes.
  • Swappable battery pack design.
Cons
  • Cumbersome to carry, even with the handles.
  • 7.7 Music
  • 6.6 Videos/Movies
  • 7.7 Podcasts
  • 3.0 Voice Assistant
  • 7.7 Outdoors
  1. Updated Jun 07, 2024: Review published.
  2. Updated Jun 03, 2024: Early access published.
  3. Updated May 28, 2024: Our testers have started testing this product.
  4. Updated Apr 23, 2024: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  5. Updated Apr 17, 2024: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The JBL PartyBox Club 120 comes in one color variant: 'Black.' You can see the label for the model we tested here. If you encounter another variant of this speaker, please let us know in the forums, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Speakers

The JBL PartyBox Club 120 is a mid-range party speaker from JBL. It offers a very similar feature set to the JBL PartyBox 110, which is comparable in features and price. Both can get similarly loud and are equally portable, thanks to their built-in carrying handle. The main differences are in battery life, where the PartyBox Club 120 features a swappable battery pack design, although it has a less continuous battery life than the PartyBox 110. If you're looking for something to soundtrack even larger parties, you can also check out the louder JBL PartyBox 710. However, the extra volume comes at the expense of extra heft and an inability to operate off battery power.

See also our recommendations for the best speakers for parties, the best Bluetooth speakers for bass, and the loudest Bluetooth speakers.

JBL PartyBox 110

There's not too much to split the JBL PartyBox 110 and the JBL PartyBox Club 120. They're both similarly sized party speakers with RGB lightshows and bass-heavy sound profiles. They're pretty evenly matched in almost every regard, as both are well-built with IPX4 ratings against splash damage and get similarly loud. However, the PartyBox 110 has a longer continuous battery life. That said, the PartyBox Club 120 features a swappable battery pack design, so you can replace an empty battery immediately without waiting for it to recharge.

JBL PartyBox 310

The JBL PartyBox 310 and the JBL PartyBox Club 120 are both equipped with JBL's signature RGB lights show, as well as inputs for mics and guitars. While both are aimed at users who like to entertain, choosing between them depends on the scale of events you like to put on. Although both speakers have similar sound profiles, controls, and build quality, the JBL PartyBox 310 can get a fair bit louder with less compression at max volume. Plus, it has a longer continuous battery life. It's well-suited to larger indoor events and outdoor parties, but this comes at the expense of portability. The JBL PartyBox Club 120 is certainly easier to carry around from room to room and features a swappable battery pack, so you can keep the party going without recharging the battery. It's a better choice if you'll likely have the odd karaoke party or backyard BBQ.

JBL PartyBox Encore Essential

The JBL PartyBox Club 120 and the JBL PartyBox Encore Essential are party speakers within the same product line with slightly different uses. The Encore Essential is great for those who want a more affordable, portable party speaker with karaoke features. However, its small frame and lower price point come with some compromises. It can't get as loud as the PartyBox Club 120, and there's more compression at max volume. It also can't deliver as much bass, and its continuous battery life isn't as long. It does have lower audiovisual synchronization errors with both iOS and Android devices, though, so it's a better choice for those who need a larger Bluetooth speaker for movies.

Sony SRS-XV500

The Sony SRS-XV500 and the JBL PartyBox Club 120 are both similarly sized party speakers. That said, the JBL is better in quite a few areas. It has a more balanced sound profile, with better low-frequency extension, and it has better directivity. While both speakers can get equally as loud, there's less compression at max volume with the JBL. As a result, the JBL is a better fit for getting a dance floor going at your next party. However, the Sony model does have some strengths that you might find appealing. It has a longer continuous battery life, although it lacks the JBL's swappable battery. It also has significantly lower Audiovisual synchronization errors with Android and iOS devices, so it's better suited for users who will use it to watch movies and videos.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
RGB Lights Yes

The JBL PartyBox Club 120 is a large party speaker with four RGB ring lights on the front and two white strobe lights on the top and bottom that you can customize via the companion app. You can place it horizontally or vertically, depending on your preference, but unlike previous PartyBox iterations, this model doesn't have side feet. The speaker is mostly made of black plastic with subtle orange accents. There's even a groove on the top of the speaker that can house a phone or tablet.

6.9
Design
Portability
Volume
2,875 inยณ (47,111 cmยณ)
Weight
23.7 lbs (10.8 kg)
Power Source
AC & Battery
One-Hand Carry
Yes

This speaker is quite portable. It's around the same weight and size as the JBL PartyBox 110 but has two handles to help you lug it around. Unfortunately, it lacks the integrated wheels of larger JBL speakers, like the JBL PartyBox 310. As a result, it can be cumbersome to carry around with you. Thankfully, it's battery-powered, so you don't need to worry about staying connected to an outlet. This version also features a swappable battery pack, so you can bring an extra charged battery with you to swap in when the original one runs out of charge.

7.0
Design
Build Quality
Material Quality
Good
Water Resistance
Water-resistant (IPx4)
Dust Resistance
Unspecified
Impact Resistance
Unspecified
Floats In Water
Unspecified

This speaker is decently well-built and features an IPX4 rating for protection against water splashes. However, this only applies if the speaker is positioned vertically, as laying it on its side makes it more susceptible to water damage. It has a very similar feel to the JBL PartyBox 110 and uses similar materials. It's primarily made of solid plastic, with rubber feet on the bottom of the speaker (when positioned vertically). The grill covering the drivers is made of metal, and a plastic carrying handle is on the top side. All the dials and controls are constructed from rubber, with thick rubber flaps to cover the back inputs and power. One point of departure for this model is the inclusion of a door that houses the removable battery. You can latch this shut to secure the battery compartment. This removable battery can come in handy for longer events, as you can purchase another battery pack separately to swap in if you run out of charge.

7.0
Design
Controls
Ease Of Use
Great
Feedback
Great
Music Play/Pause
Yes (Physical)
Call Answer/End
No
Volume Up/Down
Yes (Physical)
Track Next/Previous
Yes (Physical)
Microphone On/Off
No
Additional Controls
Yes

The JBL PartyBox Club 120 has decent controls that will seem familiar if you've ever operated another PartyBox-series speaker. There are dedicated dials to adjust the volume and light levels and dials on the back to adjust the levels for the mic/instrument inputs. The dials are responsive and easy to turn, so you can easily switch between settings.

The dials on the front panel feature buttons embedded in the top of the dial. These let you toggle the lights and access various playback features. You can press the 'Play' button once to play/pause audio, twice to skip forward, and three times to skip backward. There are also dedicated buttons to toggle through the 'Bass Boost' feature, to cycle through different RGB lightshows, and to connect to up to two devices via Bluetooth. Additionally, there are assignable buttons on the top panel that you can use for DJ effects, and a button on the back panel lets you pair another PartyBox speaker for True Wireless Stereo (TWS). A bar above the power button also lets you see how much battery life remains. All in all, the buttons feel responsive and springy thanks to their rubberized finish.

Design
In The Box

  • JBL PartyBox Club 120
  • AC Power cord
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Swappable battery pack

Sound
7.8
Sound
Frequency Response Accuracy
Slope
0.05
Std. Err.
2.51 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
39.4 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.1 kHz

The JBL PartyBox Club 120 has good frequency response accuracy. Using the 'JBL Signature Sound' EQ setting with the Bass Boost set to 'Deep,' it produces a bass-heavy sound that helps bring out low-frequency elements, like kicks and basslines, particularly in genres like house and hip-hop. The mid and treble ranges are well-balanced, too, and reproduce vocals and lead instruments in a clear, detailed way. You can modify the bass response via the 'Bass Boost' button in case you want to opt for a 'Punchy' sound (which boosts the mid- and high-bass) or no bass boost at all. There's also a variety of EQ presets you can choose from and a graphic EQ that's available through the companion app.

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

The soundstage performance is good. This speaker can playback stereo content without downmixing to mono, so you can hear clear separation between the left and right channels. However, its unidirectional design means its directivity isn't the best, so audio won't be consistent across different listening angles.

7.7
Sound
Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
98.8 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
3.16 dB

The JBL PartyBox Club 120 has a good dynamics performance. It can get louder than the JBL PartyBox 110, although some compression at max volume can cause some pumping artifacts.

Active Features
8.4
Active Features
Battery
Battery Life
10.2 hrs
Charge Time
2.3 hrs
Power Saving
Yes
Charging Port
AC
Battery Powered
Yes

The JBL PartyBox Club 120 has an impressive battery life performance. The manufacturer advertises it lasts up to 12 hours on a single charge, but we tested a little more than 10 hours. However, battery performance will vary according to factors like volume level and audio content. Although the manufacturer didn't advertise a power-saving feature, we found that the speaker would turn off automatically after 20 minutes of inactivity. The manufacturer also advertises a quick charge feature that gives you 80 minutes of playtime from a 10-minute charge. One novel feature of this speaker is the swappable battery pack. This can open up new possibilities for extending the battery life, as you can purchase another battery to swap in after you exhaust the initial charge.

0
Active Features
Voice Assistant
Alexa
No
Google Assistant
No
Speakerphone
No
Siri
No
Voice Assistant
No
Voice Activation
No
Microphone Mute
No Microphone
Far-Field Performance
No Microphone
Ambient Noise Performance
No Microphone
7.9
Active Features
App
App Name
JBL PartyBox
iOS
Yes
Android
Yes
EQ
Graphic
Stereo Pair Mode
Yes
Party Mode
Yes
Multi-Room
No

This speaker is compatible with the JBL PartyBox app, which other speakers like the JBL PartyBox 310 also use. It gives you control over a wide range of parameters and features, including the lightshow and music playback settings, but also allows you to dive deeper into customizing the sound via the 5-band graphic EQ and presets. You can even program specific DJ effects, toggle the 'Bass Boost' feature, and pair the speaker to another for True Wireless Stereo (TWS). You can see a video of the app here.

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

This speaker features an AUX input to connect a device via a wired connection. While it doesn't support USB audio per se, you can plug in a USB stick (formatted to FAT16 or FAT32) and play music from there. You'll need a Windows computer to format this drive, though. You can also use this port to charge devices like your phone. There's also a mic input with its own volume knob and gain adjustment, as well as a guitar or instrument input.

8.0
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth
Yes
Bluetooth Version
5.4
Bluetooth iOS Latency
154 ms
Bluetooth Android Latency
193 ms
Bluetooth Range
334.6 ft (102.0 m)
Multi-Device Pairing
2 Devices

The JBL PartyBox Club 120 has great Bluetooth connectivity. It features Bluetooth multi-device connectivity, so you can wirelessly connect up to two devices and switch between them in case you and a friend want to take turns DJing. Latency with iOS devices is passable, so there's not too much audiovisual synchronization error. However, latency with Android devices is a bit higher, so you'll likely experience some lip-synch issues if you're watching video content. However, different apps and devices compensate for latency differently, so your experience may differ. This speaker also has the option to connect wirelessly with multiple other JBL PartyBoxes via Auracast for a huge multi-room sound.

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