Long recognized as a pioneering name in portable PA (PPA), JBL Professional’s EON Series products are literally everywhere—in clubs, rehearsal spaces, houses-of-worship, theaters and more. Over time, the EON range has been refined to offer more power and performance at an always-affordable price point for an increasingly demanding PPA marketplace.
JBL’s latest EON product, EON ONE, is the best example that I can recall to illustrate this line’s massive appeal. At 40.8 lbs. in total, its designers have managed to pack a notably powerful-sounding, configurable-height portable line array and Bluetooth-enabled six-channel mixer with stereo monitor outputs and one knob channel reverb in a truly scratch resistant, easy-to-carry polypropylene cabinet, all for under $1,000 street. As such, it’s an ideal PPA for one or two musician gigs and a super option for the modern DJ or KJ.
Many key features comprise the impressive EON ONE. Once configured (which takes seconds), the first thing I noticed from reference material playback was its balanced sound and notably full, deep-reaching bass response (with a frequency range from 37.5 Hz) thanks to its rigid main cabinet enclosing an unobstructed 10-inch bass-reflex subwoofer powered by a Class D 250 W amplifier. Up top, JBL’s proprietary Directivity Control Geometry technology employs six carefully splayed two-inch mid/high-frequency drivers, effectively distributing its 100-degree by 50-degree coverage pattern; in application, the sound is incredibly evenly distributed, whether listening from a distance or very off axis. Coverage of this quality simply isn’t possible via a traditional “speaker on pole” rig.
EON ONE’s I/O, while limited, is sufficient for most “singer/songwriter” applications. Channels 1 and 2 provide XLR/quarter-inch jack combo connectors (XLR is a mic level input, quarter-inch is a line level input), while channels 3 and 4 offer a quarter-inch balanced TRS jack or RCA jack each. Channels 5 and 6 input is via a 3.5 mm stereo jack. No phantom power is provided.
As mentioned above, this setup is a great portable DJ rig. Most private events (weddings, parties and so on) would be well served by EON ONE for playback, vocals and announcements. Not only is it just slightly over 40 lbs., it’s weight-balanced and designed in a way to be extremely easy to carry. And it is—I had no problem loading-in this PPA with one hand, up two flights of steps without breaking a sweat. Its portable design is unique to the marketplace and brilliantly designed—especially the main unit’s handle mechanism.
EON ONE’s integral mixer offers solid-feeling knobs as well as two shelf EQs (labeled “Bass” and “Treble”) and a medium/large hall-type reverb for channels 1 and 2. Most users would probably not need the reverb, but in small quantity, it sounds nice on acoustic guitar and vocal.
In all, EON ONE is a winner in that it provides the coverage and clarity features inherent in a modern portable line array, more than sufficient power for most club or small venue applications, built-in I/O and mixer and a most attractive price point. If you’ve never previously considered an EON setup for portable PA applications, I urge you to check out EON ONE, as it’s a completely different beast for its moniker.