Today we have a speaker for you in the test, which puts practicality above professionalism: The JBL Partybox 310 is perfect for spontaneous parties, whether in the house, garden, field, forest or on the festival campsite, because thanks to a rechargeable battery you can party wherever you want – so the promises, but can the Partybox 310 meet this requirement and how else can you use the speaker? We found out.
Technical data of the Partybox 310
The JBL Partybox 310 is probably the biggest speaker we’ve had for testing here at FirstReview, but at the same time it’s also the loudest and the first that can also be pulled like a wheeled suitcase.
But first things first: With a footprint of 32 x 37 cm and a stately height of 69 cm, the Partybox 310 is definitely big. It has a weight of 17.5 kg. But don’t worry, in very few cases will you actually have to carry this weight.
The housing is largely made of plastic, which is relatively solid and typical for such speakers. All around you will find matching design elements from JBL.
You can play music via Bluetooth 5.1, or alternatively via a USB stick or 3.5 mm Aux. You can also use the USB port to charge your smartphone or iPad.
The speaker’s battery is a lithium-ion battery with 72 Wh and, according to JBL, should last for up to 18 hours of music playback. Well, in theory. This only works if you listen very quietly and turn off the backlight. In the test, we still measured a runtime of 7 to 9 hours at high volume – a good value.
This is also important because one of the smaller siblings, the JBL Partybox On-the-Go, only lasts for about 2-3 hours of the stated 6 hours, which limits the flexibility considerably.
The power supply is built into the speaker, so you only need a Euro plug cable for charging. Of course, one is included, but thanks to the wide distribution, you can always find one somewhere in an emergency. For even more flexibility, there is also the option of connecting the speaker to a 12 V DC power supply, so you can use the on-board voltage of a car for operation. Unfortunately, no cable is included.
As you know, we’ll get to the sound later, but here are the technical specifications: The music output is rated at 240 W, produced by a total of four active speakers, two 6.5-inch (176 mm) woofers and two 2.5-inch (65 mm) tweeters.
The scope of delivery: Apart from the loudspeaker and the mains plug, you’ll only find the usual paperwork.
It is also very pleasing that the loudspeaker, despite its extreme size, is still protected against splash water according to IPX4. So nothing stands in the way of a wild pool party, and a light summer rain doesn’t bother the speaker either.
You can connect more than just your mobile phone, USB stick or laptop to the JBL Partybox 310. There are also two inputs, either for microphones or guitars. This means you can also use the speaker as an amplifier in rehearsal rooms or as a street musician filling the shopping streets with your music. You can connect acoustic guitars with pickup as well as electric guitars, but of course you cannot play distorted without additional hardware.
However, the possibilities offered by the loudspeaker at this point are actually relatively versatile. Besides simple operation at a party, it is also possible to make music with guitar and vocals.
JBL Wireless Microphone Set
While the Partybox On-the-Go comes with a wireless microphone and a receiver in the speaker, this is unfortunately not the case with the Partybox 310. However, JBL offers a JBL Wireless Microphone Set at this point, consisting of two wireless microphones and a receiver. This set can be purchased separately for about 100 €.
The microphones are powered by standard AA batteries, and the receiver has a built-in rechargeable battery which can be charged via USB Type-C.
Overall, the voice and vocal quality is relatively good, and is particularly convincing for this price. Normally, you have to spend considerably more money for UHF wireless microphones.
However, the whole thing also has a disadvantage: you cannot receive the two microphones separately. They are always placed on one channel by one receiver, and the receiver always listens to all channels, so a second receiver would not help here either. This is not really suitable for professional use, but the microphones are perfect for a fun karaoke party.
Other functions and controls.
The control of the Partybox 310 is as simple as it is known from all other JBL Bluetooth speakers. There is a power button, the battery level is indicated in the same way as on JBL’s newer speakers, namely in the form of an LED strip that shows the battery level depending on how full it is.
Connecting with Bluetooth works the same way as usual, a button activates pairing mode, then you can find the device via your smartphone and play music through it.
There are also buttons for louder / quieter and a button for controlling the music.
Particularly in the case of louder / quieter, it is noticeable in a negative way, especially at the high volume that the party box can generate, that a noise is played at full volume to make it clear that the full volume has now been reached. This is already annoying with the small speakers and is even more superfluous with the large ones, especially because the music is then played at a much lower volume.
If you change the volume, the LED lighting ring on the upper speaker also indicates how loud the speaker is set.
Analogous to JBL Connect or JBL Partyboost, the Partybox speakers come with the standard TWS. This makes it possible to wirelessly connect several Partybox speakers with each other and thus create either a stereo pair or a “giant speaker” in party mode.
In addition, there is the possibility to connect speakers with each other via 3.5 mm jack cables as well. This is especially possible when there must be no delay, for example with live music.
To improve the sound and, above all, to increase the range, the Partybox 310 can also be placed on an appropriate speaker stand.
Sound effects for karaoke
Very prominent on the top of the speaker are buttons for adjusting treble, bass and an echo. However, one should not be confused by this, because these buttons do not change the sound of the music, but can be applied to the inputs. This means that you can apply an echo effect, although it would be more correct to speak of a reverb, as well as a two-band equaliser to the microphone inputs.
Further entertainment can be provided by the sound effects built into the loudspeaker. Three of them can be called up via corresponding buttons on the top of the speaker, others can be called up via the app and configured on the buttons. The short samples include record player scratching, applause, booing and so on.
How professional is Partybox?
This question may seem a little strange to you, but it is not unimportant. JBL itself offers loudspeakers for professional use. These are produced professionally under the JBL label. Probably the best-known representatives in this category are the JBL EON speakers, which most of you have probably seen in use at some wedding or party.
One of the most important differences is the construction, which is more traditional than a PA construction.
But also the connections are decisive, with professional active speakers you will find an XLR connection as input in any case, with the JBL EON speakers you will find a combi jack here, so that a microphone or guitar could actually be connected directly here as well.
This standard in the music industry is completely missing from the Partybox.
But: The Partybox 310 is one thing in particular, and it is very practical. Music can be played directly via Bluetooth, which is rarely the case with more professional solutions. Here, a set-up with another mixer etc. is often necessary. This also brings with it the problem of the power supply. All these issues do not concern the Partybox for the time being, so for DJs at events such as weddings, birthdays, etc., the Partybox is rather nothing, but for anyone who just wants to listen to music loudly, the Partybox is perfect.
How mobile is the JBL Party Box 310?
There are various answers to the question of how mobile the JBL Party Box 310 is. With a weight of around 17 kilos, it is definitely not a lightweight, and the dimensions are not exactly compact either – but JBL has thought along: so that you don’t have to carry the weight around all the time, the facelift of the former Partybox 300 now has wheels and a telescopic handle like a travel case. This makes it possible to transport the speaker relatively comfortably on foot, even over longer distances. In most cars, the speaker should fit without problems anyway. Thanks to the wheels, transport by train, for example, is also no problem.
The battery life of the Party Box 310 is quite suitable for listening to music loudly for several hours. The question here is where you can do this at all without drawing other people’s attention to yourself.
All in all, the Party Box has relatively good mobility, despite its weight.
Party atmosphere thanks to party lighting!
As with all JBL party box models, the 310 has an integrated party light. However, you have to decide for yourself how important this function is. Of course, unlike some cheap karaoke machines, the loudspeaker does not offer real lighting effects with which you can illuminate the room.
Instead, the bass speakers are typically illuminated on the Party Box, and on the JBL Party Box 310 there are also small flashing lights, which can be found at the top, bottom and on each side.
The light show can be switched on and off with a button on the top. The effects always adapt to the music currently playing.
Of course, the effects look quite nice, but of course they are not crucial for a party.
The Partybox app
First of all, it is good that there is an app for the Partybox 310, called Partybox, which can be downloaded from the iOS App Store and the Playstore. What bothers us a bit here is that the app is only supported for the Party Box 310, anyone who owns another version cannot use the app, not even the still fairly new Partybox On-the-Go.
Some settings can be made better in the app than on the speaker, and of course you don’t have to walk to the speaker. These include the equaliser functions for the inputs.
In addition, it is possible to further adjust the light effects with the help of the app. Software updates are also much easier thanks to the app than with those without app support.
The sound – loud enough for a party?
Again, let’s start in order and begin with the volume. The JBL Party Box 310 has a stated output of 240 watts, which is extremely high for a Bluetooth speaker, but not so much for an event PA system – but it is battery-powered. With 240 W, you can make quite a racket, especially if you think about where you can place the speaker everywhere.
The volume/pressure ratio is very pleasantly distributed, so you have relatively voluminous bass, but the treble doesn’t start whistling even at maximum volume.
Although you can only use the equaliser on the top for the inputs, you can still influence the sound to a certain extent. There is a bass boost, which has a total of two levels. If you were to ask me, I would say that the bass boost emphasises a range of about 250-500 Hz even more, which makes songs feel a bit more carried. I like this sound very much.
With such supports, however, it must always be clear that they are most effective at about 50-80% of the volume. Beyond that, the power is used to the maximum, so that a booster can no longer really take place.
Whether you personally like the sound profile is, of course, a matter of taste. On the other hand, there is not much choice in such speakers. The typical JBL signature sound, as it is called by the manufacturer, does quite well here. In combination with the quite high sound pressure, the speaker makes quite an impression acoustically.
Is the Partybox 310 worth it?
Whether the Partybox 310 is worth it for you is a difficult question, let’s start with the price performance. Here I would say that the price performance is quite good, I have heard quite a few event speakers and can assess them in terms of price. The sound is good and can definitely keep up with more professional solutions up to 200-300 €. Of course, the overall long battery life makes a big difference here, even the actively operated battery speakers often cannot play music for 8 hours at a stretch, and only a few of them have Bluetooth.
On the other hand, you have to ask yourself how often you will use such a speaker. For use in a normal garden, the speaker is probably already too loud, as neighbours could be annoyed by it. Of course, if you have a huge plot of land, that might not be such a problem.
The overall package works relatively well for me here, the volume is loud enough to be able to party nicely, but on the other hand you can’t turn it up so loud that the police are immediately at your door, provided you’re not partying in the middle of a residential area.
If you think you can and want to spend so much money on a party speaker, then you definitely won’t go wrong with the JBL Partybox 310. The sound is good, the operation just as simple as with the speakers known from JBL. In addition, the speaker can also be used for live music – definitely a loyal party companion for the time after Corona.