JBL EON ONE MK2 review: What is it?
If you are a working musician looking to be heard, you aren’t exactly short of options when it comes to sound reinforcement. That said, it can be difficult to navigate your way through the sea of interchangeable black cuboids that take up residence in venues up and down the country - throw the portable column variety into the mix, and things get even more confusing. Luckily, JBL has a system that looks to take the fuss out of setting up a PA while also being super lightweight and powerful enough for a multitude of situations - enter the JBL EON ONE MK2.
Building on the previous generation, the new EON ONE MK2 is a feature-rich, all-in-one rechargeable column PA which benefits from an onboard mixer and DSP effects. Boasting five channels, effects powered by DBX and Lexicon, as well as Bluetooth streaming and a mobile control app, this transportable PA has a lot of functionality hidden away inside its lightweight frame.
Standing at six and a half feet tall, the EON ONE houses an array of eight two-inch tweeters which disperse sound at 140° horizontally and 30° vertically, while the 10-inch woofer at the foot of the system delivers the punchy low end down to 37Hz. Couple that with the 1500-watt (peak) amplifier and 123dB output, and you have a system that can handle a legion of scenarios – from pub gigs to houses of worship, conferences to busking and so much more.
JBL EON ONE MK2 review: Performance & verdict
If you're a performer hopping from venue to venue, gig to gig, you require a PA that won’t break your back every time you load it in and out of the van. With this in mind, it’s easy to see why the column units have become so popular in recent years. Thankfully, the JBL EON ONE MK2 delivers everything you want from this style of system – especially when it comes to portability.
Clocking in at a very manageable 19.3kg, this PA is remarkably easy to carry - and better yet, there’s a very clever lockable dock at the rear of the sub for storing the top array and spacing bars. So, much like a music gear transformer, this PA collapses down into a single unit you can literally carry with one hand. This makes storing the EON ONE very easy, as it doesn’t take up too much space at all when it’s not in use.
When it comes to setting up the EON ONE, it literally could be simpler. Much like other systems of this nature, you merely have to slot the two spacers into the sub - with the bottom one housing the battery - and topping with the line array.
RCF EVOX JMIX8: This clever little line array is portable, powerful and also a breeze to set up. Included is an intuitive 8-channel digital mixer, it's incredibly flexible, too. Read our full RCF EVOX JMIX8 review for more details.
Yamaha Stagepas 1K: This portable line array from PA legends, Yamaha, is ideal if the thought of using a PA puts the fear in you. With a one-knob EQ and simplified controls, it's impossible to get a bad sound out of this system.
Despite standing relatively tall at over 6ft, once slotted together, the unit feels sturdy and robust, with little to no movement in the column - and that’s not something we can say for all column PA units. This is a testament to the overall build quality of the JBL and we must say, we are impressed.
Moving on to the built-in mixer, and it’s a fairly standard affair. On the backside of the sub, you’ll find a digital mixing console that includes a trio of XLR combo jacks, a 1/4” Hi-Z input, a 1/8”/Bluetooth input for streaming music and a single 1/4” thru. This combination of inputs and outs should be enough for an acoustic duo, a solo performer or a rudimentary speech set-up. For larger acts, you may want to use your own mixing console to expand your options.
The mixer also includes three fixed EQ knobs - bass, mid and treble - meaning you can quickly make adjustments to the sound on the fly. These dials also double up as channel select buttons. Simply hold down the appropriate button to select that channel. Usually, we aren’t a fan of dual-function controls, but the dials on the JBL are fairly intuitive and simple to use.
The EON ONE comes loaded with studio-quality effects, which are powered by Lexicon and include all the mainstays you’d expect from reverb to delay and chorus. All the effects present are of a very high standard and will certainly add that extra spice to your performances.
In terms of sound, we believe the JBL EON ONE has a somewhat hi-fi quality. The high-frequencies are bright and shimmery, while the low end is tight, focused and powerful. However, in our tests, we found the mid-range could get a little boxy at times. Thankfully the EQ controls are broad enough to scoop the problem frequencies out with relative ease.
The sonic signature of this system shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering JBL’s pedigree in the consumer audio space as well as the pro audio sphere. Now, don’t get us wrong, the sound that’s produced by this relatively small system is rather impressive and we believe it will do most styles of music justice.
It may not be as warm sounding as the RCF EVOX or as sonically balanced as a Bose unit, but what it lacks in warmth and tonal harmony, it more than makes up for in sheer ease of use and build quality.
Overall, we are very impressed with this do-it-all PA system from JBL. This is a truly idiot-proof PA unit, perfect for novice performers looking for a lightweight audio solution. What’s more, the integrated battery means the EON ONE transforms into the ultimate busking rig whenever you are out of reach of mains power.
JBL EON ONE MK2 review: hands-on demos
JBL EON ONE MK2 review: specifications
- System Type: Powered Column PA Speaker
- Woofer Size: 10”
- Tweeter Size: 2”
- Tweeter Count: 8
- Max SPL: 123 dB/119 dB AC/Battery
- Horizontal Dispersion: 140°
- Vertical Dispersion: 30°
- Power Rating: 1500W Peak/ 400W RMS
- Crossover Frequency: 230 Hz
- I/O: 3 - XLR Combo Jacks, 1 - 1/4” Hi-Z, 1 - 1/8”/BT Summed, 1 - X1/4” balanced
- Weight: 19.3kg (42.5 lbs.)
- Weight: 22.38kg (49.3 lbs.)
- Dimensions: 452 x 627 x 730mm (WxDxH)
- Contact: JBL