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JBL Eon One Compact

Portable PA System
By Mike Crofts

JBL Eon One Compact

The newest member of JBL's distinguished Eon family combines battery-powered portability with a 'grown-up' PA sound.

In recent years several manufacturers have produced increasingly portable, self-contained sound systems that have found favour as live–sound solutions for solo performers and smaller ensembles, and as convenient stand–alone monitors in larger PA setups. With their Eon One and Eon One Pro, JBL took the increasingly popular 'stick PA' approach, successfully combining the compact column format with an integral mixer and, in the case of the Pro, battery-powered portability. Now the JBL design team have come up with a new product that takes the concept of portable, practical PA to a new level: the Eon One Compact.

Following a more conventional 'box PA' format, the Eon One Compact is a very small, very lightweight, self-powered, full-range loudspeaker that runs from mains power or internal battery pack, and incorporates a four-channel digital mixer, digital signal processing and extensive remote–control capability via the free JBL Compact Connect app. The Eon One Compact had only just been announced when we went to press, but I was fortunate enough to get my hands on one in advance, courtesy of the guys at Sound Technology here in the UK. I began by opening the box, ignoring the quick start guide, and switching it all on...

One For All

I always like to get up and running as quickly as possible and without having to churn through a 'how do we get this thing to work?' routine, so I removed the Eon One Compact from its shipping carton (the handle on the top makes for very easy lifting), pressed what was obviously the power button (green lights appeared), plugged a dynamic mic into channel 1 and started with the 'one, two' thing. Luckily the internal battery was partly charged so I had sound coming from the Eon One Compact less than 20 seconds after opening the box, and the first thing that struck me about this little speaker was the amount of output it produced — it's a proper PA speaker, this one!

The Eon One Compact is an unassuming, neat, extremely compact speaker. It's finished in an attractive non-shiny black and has the subtle curves of the larger JBL family members, with a strong black steel grille protecting the full face of the enclosure. Designed to be used either upright as a conventional PA speaker or on its side as a floor monitor, the controls are large, clear and easily accessible, whatever way it's positioned (although due to the symmetrical cabinet angles it's possible to lay it sideways with the control panel facing downwards and therefore not visible to the audience, should you have need to do so). The overall dimensions are 399 x 255 x 291 mm (HWD) and the Eon One Compact weighs a practically negligible 8kg, or...

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Published December 2019