JBL’s latest EON speakers integrate powerful digital technology into traditional point‑source PA.
When choosing active PA speakers for smaller venues, the options usually come down to either a two‑way, ported speaker or a mini line array. Both have their advantages; as a general rule, compact line arrays deliver a very natural sound and they don’t block the sight lines in smaller spaces, such as pubs. They include a sub, so tend to have reasonable low‑end performance, and they also score highly on their directivity, which is typically very wide but shallow so that little power is wasted on the floor or ceiling and acoustic feedback becomes less of an issue. If you favour this approach, JBL can accommodate you — but a well‑designed two‑way active speaker can also deliver high‑quality sound, and to my mind its main advantage is its flexibility. In smaller venues, powered two‑way speakers can be used singly or in pairs, and where more power or more low end is needed, they can be teamed with a suitable powered subwoofer. They can also be used on their sides as stage monitors.
JBL’s EON700 series comprises three two‑way cabinets with 10‑, 12‑ or 15‑inch woofers, plus a subwoofer model. The EON710 is the smallest in the range, combining a two‑way, ported active speaker with integrated DSP, and a backlit colour LCD screen that provides access to a three‑channel digital mixer, output EQ, Bluetooth 5.0 audio streaming and Bluetooth remote control using the JBL Pro Connect app (iOS and Android). It also includes processing based on dbx DriveRack technology to provide automatic feedback suppression, ducking, limiting, speaker delay and eight‑band parametric output EQ. Protection limiting is also built in.
The 10‑inch woofer, which has a 2‑inch voice coil, is custom designed for the 700 series and is paired with a 1‑inch neodymium‑powered 2414 compression driver feeding into a waveguide shaped to provide a dispersion of 110 degrees in the horizontal plane and 60 degrees in the vertical.
The injection‑moulded polypropylene enclosure is fitted with a perforated steel grille and measures 587 x 332 x 300mm. There’s an integral carrying handle and pole mount, as well as mounting points for optional flying brackets. The cabinets are designed to be stackable and they can also be used on their sides as floor monitors, where they point upwards at 45 degrees. At 11.9kg each, they are easily transported and handled. Power comes from a Class‑D amplifier rated at 650W RMS/1300W peak, the speakers producing a maximum SPL of 125dB at one metre. The ‑10dB frequency response points are at 65Hz and 20kHz.
The JBL EON 710 also comes with a seven-year warranty and operates with TWS (True Wireless Stereo).
All the controls and connections are mounted on the metal rear panel, which also hosts the LCD screen. The power button LED changes from red to green when the speaker is powered up. The mixer has two physical mic/line inputs on combi XLR/jack connectors, while the third channel accommodates streaming over Bluetooth, which is convenient for both backing tracks and general music playback. A thru XLR allows the mixer output to be sent to additional speakers, and user options include filter settings for a subwoofer. The only rotary controls are gain knobs for the two mic/line channels, and a press‑and‑turn Main/Menu encoder used to access and adjust parameters. A Back button below the Main/Menu knob lets you backtrack through the menu tree. A single press of the Main/Menu knob opens the main menu, while holding it down for more than two seconds mutes the speaker. Pressing and holding either channel knob for more than two seconds will mute just that channel. Separate LEDs indicate power on and limiter action, with two further triple‑colour LEDs above the channel gain controls acting as basic meters with clip indicators.
The mixer includes a few sophisticated options, such as having one of the audio inputs duck the Bluetooth mic stream. Output EQ offers task‑specific presets and an optional 2dB bass boost, as well as an eight‑band graphic EQ. One thing to note is that the speaker firmware may need updating from the app, and even if it claims to be up to date, tapping the orange ‘Check for Updates’ button may well reveal that one is available. Until I did this, the app refused to communicate control instructions to the speaker. The firmware update took around 10 minutes, with the percentage counting down in the app. After re‑pairing as per the instructions, the app worked fine, with physical control movements being reflected by the app faders, and vice versa.
After doing some listening test indoors, I took a single EON710 speaker to an outdoor pub gig to use as one side of the PA, with my usual mini line‑array system handling the other side. This allowed me to compare performance during setting up, and I found that even without the feedback suppression active, I could get a very healthy level from the EON710 before running into feedback. Activating the feedback suppression damps out the main feedback frequencies as you raise the gain, and helps claw back a few dB of additional level as well as controlling annoying ringing. As the EON710 was being used without a subwoofer, my tests were based mainly on acoustic guitar, electric guitar and vocals, but I also fed some cajon through it. All tests were done with the system EQ set flat.
Importantly, vocals come over cleanly as does acoustic guitar, and while the low end can sound a little coloured if pushed hard, I’d say that in that respect the EON710 fares better than many similarly sized plastic‑cabinet systems I’ve tried. You can always use the output EQ to shape the sound to your own requirements, and if you really need a lot of low end, you should be thinking about adding a sub anyway. There was also plenty of clean volume. Though not directly pertinent to this review, I can also confirm that, when teamed with my mini line array, the EON710 produced a very credible stereo image for my stereo effects, so this type of setup is a practical option for enhancing the sound of a single mini line‑array system.
The EON710 is neatly engineered, sounds clean and punchy, and has some useful DSP features.
The EON710 is neatly engineered, sounds clean and punchy, and has some useful DSP features. As its basic mixer can accommodate two analogue mic/line sources plus an additional Bluetooth audio stream, it is also a practical choice for solo artists or duos who use backing tracks, and DJs will appreciate the ducking facility. There’s also the remote‑control option that could be particularly useful during soundchecks.
In summary then, this is a very practical choice for smaller venues, with the alternatives of its larger siblings and/or adding a subwoofer if you need more heft.
The EON710 is well made, flexible, and above all it sounds good, whether used on its own or as part of a wider system.
£565.83 per speaker, including VAT.
Sound Technology +44 (0)1462 480000
$499 per speaker.
JBL Professional +1 818 894 8850