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JBL Partybox Encore Essential Review

True Score

84
82
2

Experts

94
2,479

Consumers

Product Awards

GR Certified

Customer Favorite

Expert Rankings

The JBL PartyBox Encore Essential is great for poolside listening thanks to its IPX4 water resistance rating and bass-boosted sound. However, it doesn’t work as a speakerphone and is incompatible with voice assistants. Its sound output also deteriorates at max volume.

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Table of Contents

Product Snapshot

Overview

The JBL PartyBox Encore Essential is an entry-level portable speaker first announced in early 2022. The portable speaker has an IPX4 water resistance rating, meaning it can withstand splashes of water, making it perfect for listening beside the pool. The speaker relies on Bluetooth connectivity for wireless playback, and like most highly-rated speakers, its sound output can be customized through its graphic equalizer.

The Encore Essential also has an 8.6-hour battery life, and although its 2.6-hour charge-time is pretty long compared to how long the best Bluetooth speakers take to power up, and the speaker comes with a well-laid-out control scheme that’s very easy to use.

Consensus

our Verdict

The JBL PartyBox Encore Essential is a bulky yet portable party speaker that features JBL’s iconic RGB light ring and a special Bass Boost feature that adds significant bass depth to its otherwise neutral and well-balanced sound output. Those who want to fine-tune its sound output can do so through its intuitive JBL PartyBox app, and since the speaker also features a mic input, it is a great pick for karaoke or live performances, especially because of its 8.6-hour battery life. The speaker also takes up to 2.6 hours to get to a full charge and is IPX4-rated for water resistance, allowing it to withstand poolside splashes.

Connectivity is only through a 5.1 Bluetooth connection, with 57ms and 94ms latency for iOS and Android devices. Unfortunately, the Encore Essential cannot be used as a speakerphone, and its sound output tends to deteriorate at max volume. .

ReasonS to Buy

  • Good, well-balanced sound quality
    • The JBL PartBox has a good bass output that doesn’t under-emphasize the bass and mids, as long as its volume is not maxed out. Owners can also fine-tune the sound output through the user-friendly JBL PartyBox app.

  • Long battery life
    • With a playtime of up to 8.6 hours, the JBL PartyBox Encore Essential works great for extended listening.

  • Good build quality
    • Made of rigid plastic, the Encore Essential has an IPX4 water-proof rating, allowing it to withstand poolside splashes or light rain. It also has a flap that protects its inputs and a handle on its top panel for easy carrying.

Reason to Avoid

  • Sound distortion at max volume
    • There’s a lot of sound distortion that occurs when the speaker is set to max volume.

JBL Partybox Encore Essential Specs

Battery Charge TimeBattery Charge Time3.5 hrs
Battery LifeBattery Life6 hrs
Built In MicrophoneBuilt In Microphonen/a
DepthDepth11.54"
HeightHeight12.87"
IPX RatingIPX RatingIPX4
SizeSize10.87"(w) x 12.87"(h) x 11.54"(d)
Smart AppSmart AppJBL PartyBox
Speaker PairingSpeaker PairingYes
Water ResistantWater ResistantYes
WattageWattage100W
WidthWidth10.87"
Wireless RangeWireless Range10 m

All Specs

Test Results

Battery Life (Hours)8.6
Volume Output (dB)95
Low End Roll Off (Hz)58.226
High End Roll Off (Hz)16,021.942

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Product Comparison

JBL Partybox Encore Essential Review

True Score

84
79
83
79

Ranking

#

21

/

260

#

81

/

260

#

36

/

260

#

74

/

260

Market Context

The JBL PartyBox Encore Essential is an entry-level portable speaker first announced in early 2022. The portable speaker has an IPX4 water resistance rating, meaning…

The JBL PartyBox Encore Essential is an entry-level portable speaker first announced in early 2022. The portable speaker has an IPX4 water resistance rating, meaning it can withstand splashes of water, making it perfect for listening beside the pool. The speaker relies on Bluetooth connectivity for wireless playback, and like most highly-rated speakers, its sound output can be customized through its graphic equalizer.

The Encore Essential also has an 8.6-hour battery life, and although its 2.6-hour charge-time is pretty long compared to how long the best Bluetooth speakers take to power up, and the speaker comes with a well-laid-out control scheme that’s very easy to use.

The JBL PartyBox Encore Essential cannot be used as a speakerphone, making it inferior to the JBL Flip 4 in this regard, which can. The…

The JBL PartyBox Encore Essential cannot be used as a speakerphone, making it inferior to the JBL Flip 4 in this regard, which can. The Flip 4 also features support for a voice assistant, which the JBL PartyBox Encore Essential lacks; however, the latter’s companion app has a graphic equalizer for more intricate sound customization, which the Flip 4 does not. Regarding battery life, the Flip 4 offers a slightly longer playtime, but the PartyBox Encore Essential offers a much longer Bluetooth range and is also more expensive. Here’s our JBL Flip 4 review for more information.

The graphic equalizer on the JBL PartyBox Encore Essential’s companion app allows for more precise sound customization than the JBL PartyBox On-The-Go speaker, which does…

The graphic equalizer on the JBL PartyBox Encore Essential’s companion app allows for more precise sound customization than the JBL PartyBox On-The-Go speaker, which does not have an Eq. The Encore Essential also has a longer battery life than the JBL PartyBox On-The-Go, despite having the same charge time and roughly the same price range.

In terms of size, the JBL PartyBox Encore Essential is much larger than the Marshall Willen, making the latter significantly more portable. However, the Flip…

In terms of size, the JBL PartyBox Encore Essential is much larger than the Marshall Willen, making the latter significantly more portable. However, the Flip 4 has voice assistant support, which the Marshall Willen does not, but the Willen comes out on top as far as battery life is concerned, and it is also submersible in water courtesy of its IPX7 water resistance rating, which the JBL speaker is not. However, the JBL has a better option in terms of inputs, featuring an AUX and ¼” mic input. We’ve also covered it in our Marshall Willen review if you’re interested, and it is still the cheaper alternative between the two.

Battery Charge Time

3.5 hrs

3.5 hrs

3 hrs

Battery Life

6 hrs

12 hrs

6 hrs

15 hrs

Built In Microphone

n/a

Yes

Yes

Yes

Depth

11.54"

2.8"

4"

Height

12.87"

2.7"

4"

IPX Rating

IPX4

IPX7

IP67

Size

10.87"(w) x 12.87"(h) x 11.54"(d)

6.9"(w) x 2.7"(h) x 2.8"(d)

9.6" (h) x 19.3" (w) x 8.8" (d)

1.6"(w) x 4"(h) x 4"(d)

Smart App

JBL PartyBox

JBL Portable

Yes

Yes

Dig Deeper

JBL Flip 4 Review →

JBL Partybox On-The-Go Review →

Marshall Willen Review →

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Score Card

E

Expert Score

82

*.75

We place a 75% weighted value on Expert Test Scores

C

Customer Score

94

*.25

We place a 25% weighted value on Customer Scores

True Score

84

Expert Scores

  • Rtings
    102.6

    Category Trust Rating

    74
    The JBL PartyBox Encore Essential is a portable party speaker from JBL’s PartyBox lineup. It… Read More

    By:

    John Panoryios
  • Popular Science
    34.59

    Category Trust Rating

    NR
    The JBL PartyBox Encore Essential is a great bass-reinforced speaker for anyone interested in syncing… Read More

    By:

    Carsen Joenk

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