JBL is a recognized leader in speaker design and development, manufacturing everything from large concert array systems to affordable club systems. In the last few years, JBL has come out with the EON Series, which bridge the gap between affordability and great sound.
The EON 1500 ($599) is a nonpowered speaker cabinet constructed of a rugged, durable polymer material with a 15″ woofer and a 1″ liquid-cooled titanium driver. The driver is coupled to a cabinet-integral 90 by 60 degree constant directivity horn. Compression circuitry ensures that the driver diaphragm is not overpowered or damaged. JBL specs the 1500 at 225 W continuous at 8 ohms, and 900 W transient or peak. It is rated at 129 dB SPL maximum output and a sensitivity of 98 dB SPL at 1 W/1 m/1 kHz. The connections are on the back and are one TS 1/4″ and one NL4 Speakon.
The unique EON speaker cabinet can be both stand-mounted or tilted back on the floor to function as a monitor speaker. A recessed 35mm receptacle on the bottom surface allows stand-mounting. Four integral threaded receptacles on the back permit wall mounting. Accessories include a Cordura carrying bag, tripods, fixed wall-mounts and adjustable swivel wall-mounts.
At a weekend festival I mounted the 1500s on stands and powered them with a Carver PM1.5. While the Carver has more power available than the EONs are designed to handle, they handled it quite well. In the acoustic music application, the EONs were very smooth and natural sounding. The vocals were warm, the acoustic guitars sounded natural and the upright bass had great clarity.
Next, I plugged in a more electric band, forcing the EONs to compete with guitar amps for volume. I was quite pleased to discover that the JBLs were capable of easily overpowering the guitar and bass amps, as well as drums, without coming anywhere near audible clip. They remained smooth and clear, even at the higher volumes with almost no equalization. When Iused them as monitors, the EONs proved to have the same high-quality sound at stage monitor volumes (which sometimes exceeded the house volumes).
In either house or monitor mode, I found the JBL EON 1500s quite friendly for small (38 lb.), full-range speakers. Their sound quality coupled with their size make them an ideal piece of gear for musicians as well as sound companies.
Contact: JBL at 818-894-8850.