The model arrived with the proposal to unite a portable design with a premium sound quality. That way, it pleases those looking for a powerful accessory to take anywhere.
But is it worth it? JBL already has another model that delivers these two features — the JBL Boombox 2. So is it worth investing more in Partybox or another speaker?
In this review, I bring up the main positives and negatives of the Partybox Encore Essential to help you determine if it’s the right model for you.
Design and Construction
The JBL Partybox 100W has a very different design than what we see in a branded speaker. Instead of the traditional “cylindrical” shape, it bets on the look of a cube.
The box has its function and volume controls on the top and a handle for easy transport. There you can find the volume control, the Bass Boost button to improve bass, one to change the RGB lighting scheme, the Bluetooth key, and the power key.
On the back, the device has: a protected area with a lid that houses a USB input, a key to activate the TWS function, a P2 input to connect the sound via cable with the cell phone, and a gain controller.
There’s also a microphone input and volume control for the accessory. In this way, it is possible to expand the functionality of Encore Essential. Still on the back — but close to the bottom edge — you can find the power input for the JBL PartyBox.
On each side is a decorative branded exclamation icon. On the front, the protection for internal components, such as tweeters and subwoofer, is made with a very discreet metal grille (none of the fabric common in JBL boxes). I found this change very pleasant, which makes the device look more premium.
Visuals aside, you might be wondering about her weight. Yes, the JBL Partybox Encore Essential is quite “heavy.”
At 5.9 kg, it has the same weight as the JBL Boombox 2. However, its cube shape makes it “easier” to transport and gives the impression of being a little lighter. Its dimensions are 27.6 cm x 32.7 cm x 29.3 cm.
Finally, it has IPX4 certification, which guarantees resistance against water splashes. In this way, the box becomes a good option for a poolside party.
The JBL Partybox Encore Essential has excellent music quality — worthy of a premium device from the manufacturer. Its sound balance is very pleasant, and the frequencies do not get lost between each other.
The bass is accentuated, which can be noticed in electronic songs like Ininterrottamente by Italian DJ Gigi D’Agostino. However, it is also possible to enjoy rock music with great quality, with very powerful bass drums, which show up with great intensity in Periphery’s The Bad Thing.
In addition, the speaker itself offers a feature to push the lower frequencies even further. The Bass Boost function has two levels that allow you to make the bass even more intense.
Suppose that’s not enough within the Partybox app. In that case, a mini equalizer allows you to change the intensity of each frequency — with a slider for bass, one for medium, and one for treble — and make the sound more personalized.
It is important to note that, despite the bass being more striking, the mids and trebles also do not leave anything to be desired. For example, suppose you listen to Judas Priest’s Painkiller. In that case, you will notice the cymbals that make up the drums very clearly at the beginning of the song and the general vocals.
As for the volume, it’s pretty loud. JBL reports that the box has a power of 100 W, which translates into a very generous sound without losing quality, even at maximum. You can surely liven up a party.
Battery and connectivity
The connection between the JBL Partybox Encore Essential and the smartphone is via Bluetooth. So even though there is a dedicated app for the line, it is not essential for pairing. Instead, just find the phone’s settings and look for the speaker in the list when its Bluetooth is on.
After this initial connection, the smartphone can quickly locate the JBL Partybox for the next few times.
As for the application, although its use is optional, it is highly recommended as it offers extra equalization options. It also allows you to monitor the battery level more accurately.
And by the way, JBL reports that the Partybox has a battery with a capacity of 17.76 Wh, which is equivalent to 4,800 mAh. The brand also points out that this is enough for about 6 hours of music playback.
Of course, this estimate considers several factors. Still, in my tests, I could see that it is possible to easily achieve this expectation. For example, a three-hour music session at medium volume and RGB lights off consumed only 23% of the charge.
Oh, and just like the Boombox 2, the Partybox Encore Essential also has a power bank function, so it’s possible to recharge your smartphone with it. However, this isn’t such a sought-after feature in a speaker.
An elegant, discreet, and very powerful speaker, but is it worth it? (Yes, it is!)
The JBL Partybox Encore Essential is an excellent choice if you want a portable speaker with powerful sound. With sound performance similar to the Boombox 2 – a little less powerful, however – it becomes the best option if you want something more discreet and cheaper. After all, its “brother” is considerably more expensive.
Speaking specifically of the Partybox, it has strong bass and a loud sound — enough to liven up your party with friends. The mids and highs are also well present, but not in the same way as the lower frequencies.
The battery is also a plus. JBL promises that it lasts up to six hours and, in my tests, I played songs for three hours, and consumption was very low – which indicates that it can easily reach that mark.
The look is slightly different than what we’re used to seeing on JBL models, but that’s not bad. Quite the opposite — its cube design gives the impression that it is easier to transport than the Boombox 2, despite both weighing 5.9 kg.
Of course, it is a little more expensive than the competition. But the Harman Kardon audio signature, which offers attractive sound quality, makes up for it in this case.