Review: The Many Uses of the JBL Eon One Compact

The JBL EON line has been a tried and true favorite with working musicians since its introduction in 1995. Their durability, portability and crystal-clear sound put these speakers on stages around the world. Now, 25 years later, the manufacturer takes it to the next level with the EON One Compact, their newest addition to the line and the perfect full-functioning speaker for the working singer/songwriter.

The EON One Compact sports a professional grade 8” speaker that gives you the same clarity and punch you’d find in larger setups. The EON One Compact has many features that small acoustic acts will find appealing. It’s lightweight at just under 18lbs and is JBL’s first small format battery powered professional PA speaker. It’s suitable and perfect for duos, with a four-channel digital mixer that’s fully controlled on your iOS or Android tablet. The app lets you access EQ and Lexicon effects as well as level controls, making the EON Compact the most flexible and versatile unit this size that I’ve used.

The JBL EON One Compact can go wherever you go with unmatched versatility.

JBL estimates the running time on the rechargeable battery to six hours, but I’ve forgotten to charge it between multiple gigs and believe that it runs longer. Its Bluetooth connectivity also supports streaming music.

Straight out of the box, the EON Compact became a daily workhorse to both my creativity and day to day workflow. I was skeptical about bringing just the EON to a gig without another speaker, but it is actually quite loud and smooth sounding! JBL maps its output at 112dB, which is plenty of volume for coffee houses, small clubs and smaller outdoor gigs. I brought the EON to multiple outdoor beach bar gigs and it filled the space nicely. The 8” speaker has a surprising amount of low-frequency punch to it, and it pushes the sound out evenly from the front of the room to the back of the room. My acoustic guitar and voice sounded like they were coming out a much bigger speaker and set up time was literally cut down to 5 minutes. For bigger spaces, you can connect up to four of these EON Compacts or use the Pass Through to add extra speakers. Just watch your gain staging as there’s not too much headroom when you crank it past 100dB.

JBL Eon One Compact

I’ve also been using the EON as a personal wedge for rehearsals, and it gives me plenty of volume to get my voice over the drummer. I’ve also found it to be a great songwriting tool, as I have it set up almost all the time in the “writing station” of my living room. It tends to inspire me more to hear new ideas coming back to me with a little reverb on my voice and a little “oomf” added to my guitar, and the EON does exactly that without disrupting my neighbors or roommates. I’ve also found the EON to excel as a monitor for livestreams, especially while using my phone to capture the audio/video without using a separate interface. I keep the EON rather low and just have a basic mix of my instrument and my voice going through it, and I’ve gotten tons of compliments of how polished the streams sound.

For all you teachers and instructors out there as well, I’ve been using the EON with my students in our outdoor lessons and it has done everything I need it to. I stream the karaoke tracks via Bluetooth and have used the ducking feature to make comments and suggestions to the students from about 10 feet away. Plus, I’m running it outside on 100% battery power and it hasn’t died on me once.

Retailing at about $549, you get so much sound and use out of the JBL EON One Compact. There hasn’t been a day that I haven’t loaded this in and out of my car, but neither me, or my back, are complaining. It’s way worth the purchase, and I’m very tempted to buy a second as well.


– Full-featured 4-channel digital mixer with pro preamps

– a dedicated guitar input

– phantom power

– built-in Lexicon and dbx effects (Reverb, Delay, Chorus)

– music ducking

– EQ

– Self-powered, two-way, 8″ woofer, 1″ tweeter

– Sensitivity112 dB SPL/V

– Frequency Response: 37.5 Hz – 20kHz

– Battery Charge Time: 2.5 hours with no signal, 6 hours with signal

– Bluetooth Audio streaming and full control

– USB External charging

– Battery Life Up to 12 hours / 6 hours @ max volume

Street price: $549.00

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