Our Guide to the JBL IRX/EON/PRX traditional point-source PA speaker ranges
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Our Guide to the JBL IRX/EON/PRX traditional point-source PA speaker ranges

With all-in-one portable line array systems becoming more popular in modern times, it’s sometimes easy to forget that JBL’s more traditional “point-source” speakers are stronger than ever! With three ranges to choose from offering either maximum portability with modest power, or just maximum power; if you’re in a band, are a seasoned DJ, or a live music venue looking to raise the roof, this blog is your definitive guide to help you find your next PA system.

JBL IRX Series

The IRX range from JBL is the entry-level into the world of point-source portable PA speakers from JBL. Offering the simplest user interface with straightforward mic/line connectivity and Bluetooth streaming, the IRX is the perfect choice for smaller bands, solo acts or even presenters looking for something that’s portable but still projects to the back of the room!

The 8” IRX108BT is small in stature with a custom-moulded ABS enclosure but big in sound with an impressive 124dB SPL output, quick-access EQ presets, as well as Bluetooth Audio streaming for background music or DJing. The IRX’s power is in its flexibility - it's a utility speaker that is at home at the front of a conference room, café, roof terrace, or the boot of a Yoga instructor’s car! There’s a no-nonsense but still comprehensive rear panel with 2 XLR Combi jacks with mic connectivity and preamp Gain controls but there’s also a 4-way EQ preset switch with options for Music, Vocal, and Speech applications as well as a Bass Boost switch that tailors the response of the speaker’s output to suit your desired application. There’s also audio ducking for announcements and feedback suppression if required too!


Completing the range is the IRX112BT that JBL say has been tuned to perform like a 15” driver as well as an IRX 115S subwoofer with performance that belies its size with 128dB SPL output level, a built-in switchable-frequency Crossover, as well as thru outputs for correct frequency management when used as part of a larger system.


Whilst being the smallest speaker in the range, the IRX is a perfect portable option for traveling acoustic acts, small bands, or venues needing a versatile setup that doesn’t need to be excessively loud but must have the authority to be heard.

JBL EON 700 Series

With a name synonymous with great sound and portability, the EON range from JBL has been a staple of live music since it was first released in 1995. The 700 range is JBL’s latest and greatest EON series and strikes the perfect balance between power, portability, and features bringing advanced DSP, app-control, and Bluetooth streaming to 3 new speaker models.

The EON700 family has 3 full-range models as well as a dedicated subwoofer that all share many of the same internal components. The EON710 has a 10” driver at its core in an enclosure that is sized to be portable and lightweight, but it still features the same 2414H compression driver for high-frequencies that can be found on the larger 12-inch (EON712) and 15-inch (EON715) models. All speakers in the family also feature the same built-in power amplifier with 1300w peak (650w RMS) power for maximum headroom between the models. 


There’s also an advanced DSP package in each speaker that has comprehensive control over EQ, limiters, delay, dbx Automatic Feedback Suppression, ducking and other speaker functions directly from the JBL Pro Connect App for iOS or Android. The app itself is the same app that controls other speakers in the JBL range including the EON ONE and PRX ONE, and allows you to control multiple units from one app. 


With a sleek interface and intuitive functions, it’s very easy to mix the whole show from the app without needing an external mixer or interface for basic functions. When you aren’t mixing live music and microphones, you can always use the EON’s Bluetooth audio streaming between sets of for DJing!

When picking a speaker in the EON700 family, the only considerations are its overall size/weight, frequency response, and maximum SPL as larger speakers such as the 715 often exhibit a wider, fuller response (55Hz to 20kHz) as well as more output for larger audiences. The EON715 would be best suited for larger rooms or applications where you can’t use the accompanying EON718S subwoofer.


For bands or DJ’s requiring more low-end extension, the EON range also has the EON718S – a single 18” subwoofer with plenty of output for all audience sizes. Featuring a powerful 1500w Peak (750w RMS) power amplifier and a rigid plywood enclosure, the EON718s is the perfect complement to the full range speakers with DSP-controlled crossover outputs to manage the frequency division and M20 screw mounts for mounting speakers on top of poles.


With their now iconic moulded ABS enclosures featuring unique feet, mounting points, and ergonomic handles, the EON range packs serious punch for its weight and a serious choice for travelling bands of all sizes.



It's also worth being aware the JBL EON 700 Series is included in JBL's very generous 7 Year Warranty. This industry-leading warranty is a product of JBL’s continuous dedication to quality components and testing that includes a standard 100-hour acoustic stress test, a battery of aging and drop tests and a wide range of stringent, global electronic testing and certification procedures.

JBL PRX800 Series

With a name that is also a staple in live portable PA, the PRX range starts where the EON range stops and offers more power and higher output for larger venues and grander performances. With a 12” PRX812w and a 15” PRX815w on offer as well as larger systems including the PRX825w with dual 15” drivers and the 3-way, full-range PRX835w system, the PRX family is the ideal choice for touring bands or high-profile DJ’s/function bands needing a system that covers a wide range of spaces.


The PRX range has been developed from the top down with many notable high-performance features filtering their way from JBL’s touring speakers and into the PRX range. One of those is JBL’s Differential Drive system that utilises two voice coils for enhanced cooling, wider frequency response, as well as less THD – all resulting in a better sound out front

Powering the range is a 1500w, class-d power amplifier split into 2x750w for both the main driver and compression driver (HF) for clean output even when driven at high-levels and speaking of high levels, the PRX range is capable of some serious volume! In comparison to the EON range, the PRX 712w maximum out is 135dB (1m) which is 8dB louder than the EON712 – so if you need volume to get over drummers or cut through large rooms, the choice is clear!


To partner the full-range offerings, the PRX range has two subwoofers including a 15” 815XLFw and an 18” 818XLFw for massive low-end extension in very compact enclosures especially in the case of the PRX815XLFw.


The PRX range offers less advanced DSP features that are prominent on the EON range, however that is for good reason. Larger shows that warrant the PRX systems benefit from having the DSP and mix power located at the mixer end and with the FOH engineer who will be finessing the sound whereas the EON is perfectly suited for musicians needing to plug mics and instruments directly into it without the need for a mixer.


But there is still some wireless control available over an app! With WIFI control over one or multiple speakers, the PRX range also allows for control of input levels, an 8-band parametric EQ and up to 50ms of speaker delay to fine-tune your sound to any environment using a dedicated iOS or Android app.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a straight-forward point source PA for your band or DJ set, you shouldn’t look further than JBL’s IRX, EON, or PRX range. With tech filtered down from their high-performance line arrays and innovations inherited from JBL’s fellow companies in the Harman group (such as DBX and Lexicon), the Portable PA range from JBL is a scalable and powerful PA range that packs a punch!

If you need something that is super-compact, perhaps battery powered, and that consolidates all of your PA components into a central unit, then you may be interested in JBL’s all-in-one portable PA family that utilises miniature line-array technology and complete digital mixing for even more mix power.


Check out our guide to the JBL all-in-one Portable PA family here

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This new blog is presented by the team at Sound Technology Ltd, a leading distributor of musical instruments and pro audio equipment in the UK and ROI.