Hands-On Review:JBL EON G2 Powered Speakers
Powerful PA performance
By Steve Henderson
If you've had the opportunity to hear JBL EON powered speakers, it should come as no surprise that they are among the best-selling and most reliable live sound solutions out there. Looking to make a good thing even better, JBL has introduced the second generation of EON powered cabinets with more of what made the first series so popular—power, portability, and, above all, rich sound reproduction. Musician's Friend asked me to see how they perform in the real world.
Anyone looking to powered speakers for live sound reinforcement typically has a couple of integral questions (aside from "How do they sound?")—Will the speakers offer the kind of power they need and, if they're trying to save some cash by doing without a mixer, what are the connectivity and mixing features of the speakers? JBL clearly took these questions to task with the EONG2 line.
Each EON15 G2 is a 400-watt powerhouse. Biamped to achieve clear separation of frequencies, the EON15 G2 feeds 300 watts to a 15" Differential Drive low-frequency driver and 100 watts to its 90° x 60°, 1" JBL compression driver. The woofer incorporates a neodymium magnet and dual voice-coil motors that can handle the power without creating extra weight for you to lug around. The horn utilizes ferrofluid cooling to prevent distortion at high volume levels. For your audience, this means smooth high-end reproduction that doesn't grate on the ears or sound shrill. A built-in active crossover heightens the separation of highs from lows, ensuring that the mix your audience hears is crisp, clear, and defined. The EON10 G2 is ideal for smaller gigs with its 175W of biamped power (100W-LF driver, 75W-HF driver). All of its component features are the same as the EON15 G2.
Generation 2 EON speakers also offer more in the connectivity and mixing departments than their predecessors—a valuable enhancement if you're bypassing the additional expense of a mixer. Each speaker has a balanced XLR input (selectable for mic/line levels) and two 1/4" line-level inputs that are perfect for keyboards, preamped guitars/basses, drum machines, a mixer, etc. A loop/mix XLR output is also provided so you can link one EON to another or send the speaker's mix to an external mixing board or PA. A master 2-band EQ and individual level controls for each input are provided on each speaker, allowing you to dial in your desired sound without a fuss.
As if all this power and these great features weren't enough, JBL also made it easier on the backs of musicians everywhere by making the EON G2 speakers just as lightweight as the first generation models. A convenient molded handle on the rugged co-polymer enclosure makes them a cinch to carry. EON G2 speakers are polemountable for FOH applications, but the unique design of the cabinets also allows them to be tilted on their side for use as stage monitors. EON15 G2 speakers can also be suspended for permanent installation using an optional kit.
EON G2 speakers have a number of practical applications for musicians of every stripe. With their ample power, range, and portability, they could serve as FOH mains for a band playing parties and clubs. I put them to use in such a manner at a large outdoor family reunion my band played recently. When we arrived and I found that the size of the gentleman's riverfront backyard we were playing was much larger than I had planned on, I was worried that we might not have enough coverage. But once we had everything mixed and sent the signal to the EON 15 G2s, folks had no problem hearing us and had plenty of room to dance. And best of all, the mix sounded clear no matter what the volume.
DJs can also make a slammin' system with a pair of EON15 G2 speakers. With the superb low-end response of the 15" Differential Drive woofers, the beats are sure to bump and pack the dance floor all night long. With the array of connections provided, simply hook up your mixing station using the line-level inputs and you're set.
For the solo performer, EONs provide a complete, professional sound system. Plug in your mic, guitar or keyboard, and whatever you use for your backing tracks—be it a CD player or drum machine—and you're a one-man band that's ready for action.
More is better
Instead of being content with leading the powered speaker pack, JBL engineers have continued to innovate with the Generation 2 EON loudspeakers. A dramatic increase in power, a revamped input/mixing section, and spectacular full-range sound make the second generation EONs a high-performance sound solution for countless performers, regardless of the style of music they make. Whether you're a singer-songwriter playing coffeehouses with just your acoustic guitar, a DJ playing the hottest club in town, or in a gigging band doing the local circuit, JBL EONs will deliver the power and precision your music deserves.
Features & Specs:
- Biamped power
- Built-in 3-input mixer
- Active crossover
- Balanced XLR in
- 2 - 1/4" line level ins
- 2-band EQ
- Balanced loop/mix out
- 90° x 60° horn
- Thermomaster heat management system
- Multi-angle enclosure
- Tailored dynamic processing
- 400W biamped power
- 15" Differential Drive woofer
- 1" JBL compression driver
- 39Hz-18kHz frequency range
- Suspendable with optional kit
- 17"W x 27"H x 17-1/2"D
- 46 lbs.
- 175W biamped power
- 10" Differential Drive woofer
- 1" JBL compression driver
- 65Hz-18kHz frequency range
- 14"W x 19-1/2"H x 12"D
- 23 lbs.