Review: JBL PartyBox Club 120

Punches above its weight class

The Club speaker from JBL is suitable for larger spaces than you might think.

Published 20 June 2024 - 8:00 am
JBL PartyBox Club 120
Lasse Svendsen

The JBL PartyBox Club 120 is portable, but only to a point. Weighing in at over 14kg, it’s not the kind of speaker you’d throw on your shoulder and take to the park. But at least it’s portable. Which means it can easily be taken to a neighbour’s party or moved around the patio and stowed away when it’s no longer needed.

The Party Club 120 is more powerful than many competitors in its class. With a power output of 160 watts, it reaches a sound pressure level that the smaller speakers can’t come close to. And that’s not all. You also get DJ effects in the app and inputs for microphones or guitar so you can use the speaker as a small PA system. It also has LED lights that flash and rotate in time with the music and last but not least, it has a removable battery.

This is an important point because the battery life is stated to be a maximum of 12 hours on a single charge, and with an extra battery you can of course double the playing time. If you don’t have a spare battery available, it’s good to know that 10 minutes of charging will give you around 80 minutes of playtime.

Club 120 batteri Club 120 connector panel Club 120 top panel
(Photo: Lasse Svendsen)

The speaker can be paired with an additional Club 120 for stereo sound or be connected to even more speakers. There are no wheels on the Club 120, but it has a fold-down handle and is relatively easy to transport. It doesn’t matter if it starts to rain, because the speakers are splash-proof and can handle both rain and spills.

Party factor

With two woofers in a larger enclosure, it’s no wonder the Club 120 plays louder and more powerful than the smaller speakers from JBL. In fact, it rivals the sound pressure of the Sony ULT 7, which recently set a new standard for the party factor you can get from a portable Bluetooth speaker.

The JBL speaker doesn’t quite match the Sony speaker’s dynamic woofer, but it’s louder, more powerful and, most importantly, better than any of the other portable speakers in the same price range we’ve tested. It may not match the Sony speaker in terms of sound pressure, but it’s actually a little more refined and the timbre of the music comes through better in the small Club speaker. You can actually fill your garden with more than enough sound to keep the mood going, at least until the battery needs changing. It’s worth noting that two Club 120s cost less than the Sony tower speaker also included in the test. Because, as you know, with two speakers you get both stereo sound and higher sound pressure.

The weight is a disadvantage for the Club 120, but the bonus is that the speaker can accommodate larger drivers for bigger and better sound, which is noticeable when you turn up the volume to a level that really gets the party started. If you don’t want a big speaker and find the small ones too weak, the Club 120 is a great choice.

JBL PartyBox Club 120

We think

Really good bass drive, large and open soundstage with good dynamics. Inputs for mic and guitar. Solid build quality and splash-proof enclosure. The weight is high and the playing time is relatively modest for a speaker in this class.

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