JBL PartyBox 310 VS 320

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2024 is an exciting year for JBL fans as the company introduces its next generation of Bluetooth speakers. One of the most anticipated releases is the PartyBox Stage 320, an upgrade to the popular PartyBox 310. The PartyBox 300-series is the largest of the PartyBox range with a built-in battery, making it a versatile party speaker that produces powerful sound while retaining portability. In this article, we’ll examine how the PartyBox 320 compares to the 310 and whether it’s worth upgrading.

JBL PartyBox Stage 320

Winner

JBL PartyBox Club 320

The PartyBox 320 ushers in the next generation of the PartyBox range with improved sound quality, lighting effects, and multi-speaker pairing.

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ModelPartyBox 310PartyBox 320
Water ResistanceIPX4IPX4
Output Power240W240W
Bluetooth Version5.15.4
Bluetooth ProfilesA2DP 1.3, AVRCP 1.6A2DP 1.4, AVRCP 1.6
Battery LifeUp to 18 HoursUp to 18 Hours
Charging Time3.5 Hours3 Hours
Frequency Response45 Hz – 20 kHz40 Hz – 20 kHz
WoofersDual 6.5″Dual 6.5″
TweetersDual 2.25″Dual 2.25″
WheelsYesYes
TWSYesYes
Party PairingNoYes (Auracast)
Weight38.4 lbs41.7 lbs
Dimensions12.8 x 27 x 14.5″13.19 x 26.34 x 15.16″
App SupportJBL PartyBoxJBL PartyBox

Design, Build, & Durability

The PartyBox Stage 320 has several differences in design compared to the PartyBox 310. The 320 is slightly shorter than the 310 by just shy of an inch, measuring 26.34″ tall. The front grille design has also changed, with a different pattern – the same style as that found on the new PartyBox Club 120. JBL has also removed the discreet stands on the side of the PartyBox 310, and unlike the previous model, the PartyBox 320 isn’t advertised to support horizontal placement. JBL’s more recent logo also replaces the distinctive red JBL tag found on the front of the 310,

Durability

Winner: JBL PartyBox 320

The JBL PartyBox 310 and 320 sport a durable design that protects it in a party environment. While neither speaker is particularly well suited to outdoor use in challenging weather, they both sport an IPX4 water-resistance rating, which protects them from drizzle, accidental splashes, and light sprays. The new mesh design feels more durable, with the tighter-knit pattern providing additional protection from accidental damage.

Portability

Winner: PartyBox 320

The PartyBox 320 is slightly heavier than the PartyBox 310, weighing 41.7 lbs compared to 38.4 lbs. It retains the telescopic handle, which, in unison with the built-in wheels, makes the PartyBox 300-series easy to move around despite its weight. The handle has seen slight improvements in itself, and it can now lock into specific lengths, making it better suited to individual situations.

The wheel design on the PartyBox Stage 320 has been significantly improved, with a broader surface coverage that provides more stability. These new wheels perform better on rough terrain in particular. While the 320 is a slightly smaller but wider speaker, there are no noticeable differences in portability due to these minor size adjustments.

Lighting Effects

Winner: PartyBox 320

Vibrant lighting is a key feature of most party speakers and the PartyBox range is renowned for its bright, active lighting. The PartyBox 320 improves the lighting effects of the 310, replacing the two distinct LED rings around the drivers with a single, figure-8 design that increases the amount of light the speaker produces. Additionally, JBL has added an LED strip to the tops and bottoms of the speaker to create additional visual nuance. An additional eight small white LEDs run vertically along the left and right sides of the speaker.

Using the JBL PartyBox mobile app, you can control the colors, patterns, and even the specific light areas you would like to adjust.

Controls, Connectivity & App Support

The JBL PartyBox Stage 320 retains many of the same controls as the 310 but with noteworthy improvements to connectivity. The 320 has upgraded Bluetooth, moving from 5.1 to 5.4. Usually, newer Bluetooth versions come with negligible improvements, but 5.4 sees the introduction of Auracast support, which allows you to connect multiple speakers to the same source device using what JBL has branded as “multi-speaker pairing.”

JBL PartyBox 110

  • Bluetooth version
    5.1
  • Bluetooth profiles
    A2DP 1.3, AVRCP 1.6
  • Bluetooth frequency
    2.4 – 2.48GHz
  • Bluetooth transmitter modulation
    GFSK, π/4 DQPSK, 8DPSK
  • Bluetooth transmitter power
    15dBm (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 320

The PartyBox 320 retains most of the inputs and outputs in the previous model with a few small changes. There are two microphone inputs, one of the two supporting guitar inputs, and an associated toggle button. JBL has moved the microphone volume controls to the top of the speaker, with only the guitar input’s volume being controlled via the rear of the speaker. It retains the USB-A, aux-in connection, and daisy chain ports but says goodbye to the TWS pairing button. TWS pairing can still be done using the mobile app, where it’s titled “Stereo Group.”

Controls

Winner: PartyBox 320

The entire control panel has been changed on the PartyBox 320, now featuring raised buttons similar to those found on both the PartyBox 110 and 120. These buttons become much easier to use without a clear sight of the control panel.

The microphone controls have become more prominent and robust, with four dials that allow for changing volume, bass, treble, and echo. These controls only affect the audio from the microphone and will not adjust the sound of regular music played through the speaker. The 320 now has a visible label letting users know that the buttons are for microphone control, which was ambiguous in the 310.

We also now have access to a few somewhat novel soundboard buttons that play a soundbite over the audio. Unfortunately, they are limited to preset samples and don’t support custom audio samples.

The PartyBox Stage 320 falls behind the 310 in one area, and that’s the inclusion of a 12V DC input. This port wasn’t essential, but it gave more versatility to the speaker, especially when used away from home.

Bluetooth

Winner: PartyBox 320

Bluetooth upgrades aren’t always a big deal, but the move from 5.1 to 5.4 is a noteworthy evolution in Bluetooth speakers as it allows connecting multiple speakers directly to a single source device. Traditionally, multispeaker connections were either TWS or relied on a speaker to take the master role and broadcast to the other connected speakers. The PartyBox Stage 320 can be connected en-mass to a single phone, tablet, or any other Bluetooth source device.

The Bluetooth on both PartyBox speakers is otherwise reliable and effectively retains the connection at range. Additionally, because the 320 has such low latency, it becomes a viable home multimedia speaker too.

App Support

Winner: PartyBox 320

The 320 and 310 use JBL’s PartyBox app (supported on Android and Apple). Despite both speakers using the same app, the 320 has more comprehensive control options. Toggle between four preset EQ modes (JBL signature, movie, vocal, chill) or create your sound signature using the custom 5-band graphic EQ. The app also provides speaker pairing control with TWS (True Wireless Stereo) pairing, available under the group pairing option.

Audio Performance

The PartyBox 310 has historically been divisive. The inherent warm and slightly dull sound signature split audiences and left customers struggling with the decision of downgrading to the 110 at the cost of features and volume or upgrading to the 710 but losing portability due to its AC requirement. The PartyBox 320 changes everything and makes the 300-series more tantalizing than ever.

JBL PartyBox 310

  • Power Output
    240W RMS
  • Frequency Response Range
    45 Hz – 20 KHz (-6 dB)
  • Drivers
    2x 5.25″ Woofers, 2x 2.5 Tweeters
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio
    > 80dB

JBL PartyBox 120

  • Power Output
    240W RMS
  • Frequency Response Range
    40Hz – 20kHz (-6dB)
  • Drivers
    2x 5.25″ Woofers, 2x 2.5 Tweeters
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio
    > 80dB

Frequency Response

Winner: PartyBox 320

The frequency response range has been improved on the new PartyBox 320, providing an additional 5 Hertz of depth to the low end. Despite the deeper bass extension, the 320 has a much more refined sound than the 310. The PartyBox 310 is a speaker that falls victim to excessive bass, drowning out the midrange and reducing vocal clarity.

The PartyBox 320 is a brighter-sounding speaker with much more detail in the midrange and highs. It removes the muddiness that the 310 would sometimes fall victim to and instead provides the clarity we haven’t heard before within the 300-series.

Neither speaker is what one would consider balanced, but the vibrant party-style design is not made to be a reference speaker. Instead, the 320 creates a thriving party sound with deep bass while retaining the midrange vocal clarity and nuance within the treble range.

For an additional punch, you can activate the bass boost feature, bringing the bass even forward and making it ideal for electronic dance music.

Soundstage & Dynamics

Winner: PartyBox 320

Both speakers have the same front-facing driver configuration with two vertically aligned 6.5″ woofers in the center and two horizontally aligned 2.25″ tweeters near the top. As a result, the soundstage between these two speakers is unchanged. When the PartyBox 310 was placed horizontally, the soundstage never improved. JBL’s removal of the horizontal placement feet didn’t impact the overall soundstage, with both speakers having a passable yet somewhat narrow dispersion.

The PartyBox 310 was never a slouch in its dynamics, reaching high volume levels while retaining details and clarity. The PartyBox Stage 320 performs similarly in this regard, with a slightly improved dynamic range that

Volume

Winner: PartyBox 120

Both speakers can breach over 100dB SPL, making them loud enough to easily host gatherings of 30 to 50 people indoors. Still, the PartyBox Stage 320 comes out on top, producing just a few more decibels than the PartyBox 310 in volume tests. At these volume levels, it is difficult to pick the two apart in comparison without the use of measuring tools. The PartyBox 320 retains slightly more detail and clarity at higher volume levels.

Battery Performance

JBL PartyBox 310

  • Battery Type
    Li-ion polymer (72 Wh)
  • Charging time
    3.5 hours
  • Estimated Playtime
    Up to 18 Hours
  • Cable Type
    AC power cable

JBL PartyBox 320

  • Battery Type
    JBL Battery 400 (68 Wh)
  • Charging Time
    3 hours
  • Estimated Playtime
    Up to 18 Hours
  • Cable Type
    AC power cable

Winner: PartyBox 320

The PartyBox 310 and 320 have similar battery capabilities, providing up to 18 hours of playtime from a charge. However, the battery life depends on the volume level and lighting effects. Real-world scenarios will net you around 7 to 9 hours of playtime with the lighting effects enabled, which is a little shorter than the 310, but the 320’s battery is slightly more efficient and can recharge in around 30 minutes less than the PartyBox 310.

The biggest benefit the PartyBox 320 has over the 310 when it comes to battery performance is the fact that JBL has elevated the PartyBox 300-series to feature a swappable battery, something that Soundboks has been doing for several years now. This ability improves your speaker’s longevity and can prove extremely useful when hosting a lengthy party.

Switching between battery and AC power will also have an impact on the audio, as when the speaker is plugged in, it’s able to achieve slightly more volume.

Price & Value

The JBL PartyBox 320 retails for $50 more than the PartyBox 310, with price drops expected on the 310 within the next several months. At around $600, it’s not a cheap speaker, but its quality justifies the high price point.

Conclusion

Overall, the PartyBox Stage 320 is a marked improvement over the already impressive PartyBox 310. The improvements to sound quality are remarkable and a selling point on their own, but when coupled with the new Auracast pairing support and vibrant new lighting effects, it’s a no-brainer which of these two speakers is worth investing in. If you already have the 310 and are thinking about upgrading, you will see significant benefits from doing so.

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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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