Review: JBL PartyBox Encore Essential adds big sound in a small box

    We recently reviewed the JBL PartyBox 710 speaker. This is such a fun speaker and adds to any party. This speaker produces such high-quality sound with a large footprint. If you don’t have the space (or the dollars) for the JBL PartyBox 710, are there any other options?

    The answer is the JBL PartyBox Encore Essential. It’s big beats in a small package. I’ve been using it for a few months now, and here’s what I think.

    Compare the pair. JBL PartyBox 710 on the bottom vs. the JBL PartyBox Encore Essential on the top (Image: TechAU).

    High-quality sound

    Like the JBL PartyBox 710, the PartyBox Encore has great sound. Sure I can’t hear it from the other side of the football field like I can in 710 model. But I can still hear it loud and clear in any room, basketball court, or field-side. It does a much better job being inside as it easily fills an indoor basketball court, large lounge room, or function room. Saying that, it still sounds great under our football team’s tent, and on the sidelines of our quadball games.

    Speaker sitting on the sideline in the basketball stadium (Image: TechAU).

    You can’t expect to hear it from the opposite side of an AFL field, but it sounds clear, crisp, and added to the vibes of our basketball game.

    Light show

    One of the things I loved about the JBL PartyBox 710 is the light show. The JBL PartyBox Encore Essential still carries this important feature. Being a smaller box, it doesn’t have nearly as many lights as the PartyBox 710, there is only one center light around the speaker itself.

    The round light only has one feature so it’s much more limited than the larger box. The lights do sync to the beat though! There are other speakers on a similar side that have way more RGB lights than the Encore Essential.

    This is really a personal preference. I’m an RGB girl so I’ll always say more is better when it comes to lights. You can never have enough RGB!

    JBL PartyBox Encore Essential Design

    Similar to the PartyBox 710, the JBL PartyBox Encore Essential is stylish and modern. It’s sleek, and I love the rubbery grip handle. The speaker is waterproof, making it perfect to have by the poolside, and resistant to dirt and dust. After a day outside on the quad ball or touch football field, my speaker does get a little dirty. A quick wipe-over with a cloth, and it’s nice and clean.

    I love the versatility of this speaker. Devices can be connected via Bluetooth, USB, and AUX cable. There’s a built-in microphone and guitar input to allow for impromptu karaoke sessions or live performances. The controls on top of the speaker are relatively intuitive. There’s a button to boost the bass to provide some ‘deeper’ sound. One of the best things about this speaker however is its wireless capabilities.

    The speaker doesn’t need to be connected to AV power and has six hours of battery life. This means I don’t have to find a power outlet when I want to use the speaker. It also means I can put it in the middle of a field or stadium and not have to find the closet power socket. The speaker charges in about three and a half hours meaning I can quickly give it some juice in the morning before sport and have enough to last me through a game.

    Controls on the JBL PartyBox Encore Essential
    The controls are initiative, large, and relatively easy to use (Image: TechAU).


    Unlike the PartyBox 710, the JBL Party Encore Essential is incredibly portable. I can fit it easily in the car, carry it on my shoulder, and I don’t have to have a dedicated handyman to help me move the speaker! It only weighs about five kilograms, meaning I have no trouble carrying it up and down the stairs of my apartment.

    Easily fits in the boot of my car along with my massage gun, coolerbag, sportsbag, and chair. The JBL PartyBox Encore Essential fits so much better than the JBL PartyBox 710 (Image: TechAU).

    I like being able to carry it around with me and I can’t wait to use it by the pool. I can take it out while we’re partying and having friends over. When the party ends, it’s so easy to pick up the speaker and move it to the garage. The JBL PartyBox Encore Essentials are also small enough to have more than one. If the sound from one speaker isn’t enough, you can pair your speakers to make a little mini sound system.

    You’ve got options

    The JBL PartyBox Encore is perfect for moving around, taking to sport, and walking along with beats on your shoulder like a boss. If you’re reading this and thinking, I need something a little bigger, and more ‘permanent’, then you’re in luck. JBL released a whole range of PartyBox speakers.

    Spot the speaker! It looks great amongst all the sporting equipment and worked so well outdoors (Image: TechAU).

    Starting at the smaller end, you have the JBL Party Encore Essential that we’ve reviewed here, and JBL Partybox On-The-Go. The Partybox on the go includes a microphone so you can bust out the karaoke whenever you feel like it.

    Then you move into the larger line. First, there’s the JBL PartyBox 110, then 310, 710, and finally the big one… because if the JBL PartyBox 710 isn’t big enough, you can always move up to the JBL PartyBox 1000! You’ll move up in price and size since the numbers correlate to the size of the speaker. The PartyBox 110 is just over half a meter hall, whilst the PartyBox 1000 comes in at a whopping 105cm!


    The JBL PartyBox Encore Essential is a great, affordable, and portable speaker. It’s perfect for a range of events, and suits many small to medium-sized rooms. I love the portability and versatility of the speaker, and it’s so easy to move around.

    I can’t wait to use this for more events and parties. If I ever need more, I know I can get another one and pair them up!

    Michelle Mannering
    Michelle Mannering
    Mish is the Hackathon Queen, having participated in more than 100 events. Between being a Developer and Twitch streamer, Mish also finds time to pursue her keen interest in driving entrepreneurial culture in Melbourne's Melbourne’s esports industry and has founded several tech companies.

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