JBL PartyBox 110 VS 120

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JBL PartyBox 110 VS 120 1
JBL PartyBox 120

Winner

JBL PartyBox Club 120

Aside from being slightly heavier, the PartyBox 120 is a better speaker than the 110, offering improved sound quality, cutting-edge wireless technology, and versatile app support.

JBL has just released the latest iteration in their PartyBox 100 series, following the recent introduction of the aptly named PartyBox Ultimate. The PartyBox Club 120 is a direct upgrade to the PartyBox 110, which replaced the PartyBox 100 in 2021 and lies on the budget end of the PartyBox range. The 120 introduces awesome new features and technology, but is it worth buying over the PartyBox 110? Let’s take a look at how they stack up.

ModelPartyBox 110PartyBox 120
Water ResistanceIPX4IPX5
Output Power160W160W
Bluetooth Version5.15.4
Bluetooth ProfilesA2DP 1.3, AVRCP 1.6A2DP 1.4, AVRCP 1.6
Battery LifeUp to 12 HoursUp to 12 Hours
Charging Time3.5 Hours3.5 Hours
Frequency Response45 Hz – 20 kHz40 Hz – 20 kHz
WoofersDual 5.25″Dual 5.25″
TweetersDual 2.25″Dual 2.25″
WheelsNoNo
TWSYesYes
Party PairingNoYes (Auracast)
Weight23 lbs31 lbs
Dimensions11.6 x 22.4 x 11. 8″11.35 x 22.44 x 11.69″
App SupportJBL PartyBoxJBL PartyBox
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

Design, Build, & Durability

The overall design between the two speakers is similar, but several small changes create a slightly different silhouette between the two models. The most noticeable change is the removal of the short stands that came out on the sides of the PartyBox 110. These were added to the 110 to allow the speaker to be placed on its side. No longer will the 100-series support this positioning, as JBL has changed the tweeter location, which we’ll cover more in the audio portion.

Durability

Winner: JBL PartyBox 120

The JBL PartyBox 120 and 110 feature similar materials that create a durable exterior. A small change was made to the speaker grille, which now features a tighter mesh design, adding a small amount of additional durability. The PartyBox 120 retains the IPX4 water resistance of the 110, which protects it from accidental splashes, spills, and sprays.

Portability

Winner: PartyBox 110

The PartyBox 120 is just over 30% heavier than the PartyBox 110, weighing 31 lbs compared to 23 lbs. To compensate for the increase in weight, JBL has changed the handle design from a fixed cutout to a hinged handle that extends out from the upper center. This new approach to the handle makes the PartyBox 120 a little more comfortable to carry, but with an additional 8 lbs of weight, the 120 is still less easily portable than the 110.

Unlike the larger PartyBox models, the 110 and 120 don’t have built-in wheels. This is something to consider now that the PartyBox 120 falls just 6 lbs short of the PartyBox 310 in weight.

Lighting Effects

Winner: PartyBox 120

The PartyBox series has always focused on lighting, as any good Bluetooth party speaker should. And there are distinct differences in the lighting of the 110 compared to the newer 120. On the PartyBox 110, the tweeters were situated in the middle of the speaker towards the sides and featured their own LED lighting. On the PartyBox 120, JBL has moved the tweeters to the top and removed the associated LED effects. Instead, the PartyBox 120 has a light panel near the top and bottom with additional supplemental lights on the top panel.

Ultimately, both speakers produce vibrant lighting effects, but the addition of the panel lights on the top and bottom of the PartyBox 120 creates a more comprehensive ambiance.

Controls, Connectivity & App Support

Several changes were made to the controls, connectivity, and app capabilities. Small refinements and additions were made to the inputs and outputs, while the JBL PartyBox app has introduced substantially more audio refinement. Additionally, substantial changes were made to the way you connect multiple speakers.

JBL PartyBox 110

  • Bluetooth version
    5.1
  • Bluetooth profiles
    A2DP 1.3, AVRCP 1.6
  • Bluetooth frequency
    2.4 GHz – 2.4835 GHz
  • Bluetooth transmitter modulation
    GFSK, π/4 DQPSK, 8DPSK
  • Bluetooth transmitter power
    ≤ 15 dBm (EIRP)

JBL PartyBox 120

  • Bluetooth version
    5.4
  • Bluetooth profiles
    A2DP V1.4, AVRCP V1.6
  • Bluetooth frequency range
    2.4 GHz – 2.4835 GHz
  • Bluetooth® transmitter modulation
    GFSK, π/4 DQPSK, 8DPSK
  • Bluetooth transmitter power
    ≤ 18 dBm (EIRP)

Inputs & Outputs

Winner: PartyBox 120

There are some noteworthy changes to the inputs and outputs. The PartyBox 110 could use TWS for wireless multi-speaker pairing with one additional PartyBox 110, while the new PartyBox 120 incorporates Auracast speaker pairing for multi-speaker connections. The 120 retains the capability of daisy-chaining multiple speakers using a wired connection, now providing dedicated daisy-chaining ports. Additionally, the 110 had a single microphone input and guitar input. In contrast, the PartyBox 120 has a dedicated microphone input and a second input that supports a microphone or guitar, with a button letting you toggle between each mode.

Controls

Winner: PartyBox 120

The PartyBox 120 retains much of the same control panel design as the 110, with a primary control panel in the center and two dials on each side. The new model adds an Auracast multispeaker pairing button in the center, making it easier to pair multiple speakers together than ever. A new series of buttons are also located between the control panel and the handle. These buttons add effects that are somewhat gimmicky and limited in their purpose. Overall, the PartyBox 120 has better controls due to the inclusion of the multi-speaker pairing button.

Bluetooth

Winner: PartyBox 120

The PartyBox 120 is among the first mainstream party speakers to introduce Bluetooth 5.4 support, a defined step up from the 5.1 offered by the PartyBox 110. While new Bluetooth versions often see minor changes, the move from 5.1 to 5.4 has revolutionary wireless communication improvements.

The recent improvements to low-energy audio have allowed modern Bluetooth versions to introduce Auracast, a brand-new way to pair multiple speakers together. Unlike previous Bluetooth versions, which required speakers to have a master and slave relationship, Auracast allows multiple speakers to connect directly through the source device.

This represents the next generation of wireless speaker pairing.

App Support

Winner: PartyBox 120

Both speakers use the JBL PartyBox app for versatile speaker control (available on Android and Apple). However, the PartyBox 120 introduces additional EQ control that wasn’t available with the previous model. These EQ options include Movie, Vocal, Chill, Signature, and Custom. The custom EQ provides a 5-band graphic EQ. The ability to adjust the EQ profile is a handy feature that allows users to create a personalized sound.

Note: While the PartyBox 110 was initially released without mobile EQ support, firmware update 1.34.0 introduced a simple 3-band EQ to the speaker.

Audio Performance

While features and design play an integral role in any speaker, in the end, the sound quality is the ultimate decider of what makes a good speaker. The PartyBox 120 retains the same driver configuration as the PartyBox 110 but shifts the position of the tweeters away from the sides and to the top of the speaker.

JBL PartyBox 110

  • Power Output
    160W RMS
  • Frequency Response Range
    45Hz – 20kHz
  • Drivers
    2x 5.25″ Woofers, 2x 2.5 Tweeters
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio
    > 80dB

JBL PartyBox 120

  • Power Output
    160W RMS
  • Frequency Response Range
    40Hz – 20kHz
  • Drivers
    2x 5.25″ Woofers, 2x 2.5 Tweeters
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio
    > 80dB

Frequency Response

Winner: PartyBox 120

JBL has improved the frequency response depth on the PartyBox 120, extending 5Hz deeper into the low-end. This increase in depth is immediately noticeable when listening to the PartyBox 120, which has a deeper and more substantial bass than the 110. The 110 is no slouch in this department, but the improvements to the 120 move it closer to the type of bass we are used to from the PartyBox 310.

The midrange and treble also sound brighter in the PartyBox 120, giving more nuance and detail to the higher frequencies. If you found the PartyBox 110s mid-treble range was too flat, the 120 will likely be more to your taste.

Overall, the JBL PartyBox 120 sounds better across the board. Vocals are more distinct, minor subtleties in mixes are more noticeable, and the bass is deeper and more powerful.

Soundstage & Dynamics

Winner: PartyBox 120

The soundstage on both speakers is relatively similar. Both use the same combination of drivers and similar build; there isn’t much improvement over the soundstage with the release of the PartyBox 120. A slight benefit comes from having the tweeters higher up on the speaker and closer to the listener’s ears in most positions, but otherwise, they perform similarly in this regard.

The PartyBox 110 allowed the listener to place the speaker horizontally, with the idea of improving the soundstage. However, when put into practice, it didn’t result in the broader spread of audio. This is likely the reason why the 120 can’t be placed horizontally.

With regards to dynamic range, the PartyBox 120 performs better than the 110, with more subtle variations in volume audible in the mix. Additionally, there is an improved retention of clarity when the volume is pushed up high. JBL has been focusing on the dynamic range with their 2024 releases, and the PartyBox 120 follows this positive change.

Volume

Winner: PartyBox 120

Both speakers can get impressively loud and cater to parties of 30 or more people with ease. The PartyBox 120 performs better than the 110, producing several more decibels than the PartyBox 110 at maximum volume. Additionally, aside from just getting louder, it’s able to retain more clarity at these high volume levels without distortion.

Battery Performance

JBL PartyBox 110

  • Battery Type
    Li-ion polymer 36 Wh
  • Charging time
    3.5 hours
  • Estimated Playtime
    Up to 12 Hours
  • Cable Type
    AC power cable

JBL PartyBox 120

  • Battery Type
    Li-ion polymer 34 Wh
  • Charging Time
    3.5 hours
  • Estimated Playtime
    Up to 12 Hours
  • Cable Type
    AC power cable

Winner: Tied

The JBL PartyBox 110 and 120 provide similar battery life, with both speakers rated to provide up to 12 hours of playtime, depending on the volume level and features used. They can also both recharge in a period of around 3.5 hours.

Price & Value

While the United States pricing hasn’t officially been announced for the release of the PartyBox Club 120 at the time of publication, international pricing has suggested a slight markup in price of around 15% over the PartyBox 110.

Compared with other speakers on the market, the PartyBox 110 and PartyBox Club 120 stand their ground, with a more affordable price tag than the Sony XP700.

Conclusion

In conclusion, whether you’re interested in the PartyBox 110 or the PartyBox 120 – both speakers have value. Both speakers have merit, with the PartyBox 110 remaining a viable choice for a party speaker in 2024. The PartyBox 120 is a solid upgrade to the 110 with better EQ control, better bass, brighter sound, and new technology.

The new features added by the PartyBox 120 make it the better choice for a new speaker, but if you’re limited with budget, a used PartyBox 110 is also a reasonable consideration.

JBL PartyBox 110 VS 120 1
JBL PartyBox 120

Winner

JBL PartyBox Club 120

Aside from being slightly heavier, the PartyBox 120 is a better speaker than the 110, offering improved sound quality, cutting-edge wireless technology, and versatile app support.

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Author: Bryn De Kocks

Bryn has worked in the field for several years, writing in-depth speaker reviews for various audio publications. His work has historically focused on headphones and Bluetooth speakers, while incorporating his understanding of the Bluetooth speaker market to help educate potential buyers.

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