The portable PA idea is not a new one, but it seems that every year it gets improved upon in a number of ways. JBL have always been market leaders in getting new portable PA ideas out there, I was using EON speakers almost twenty years ago, and loved their ease of use and portability back then. Since then we have seen the power increase, whilst the size and weight have been reduced. Now JBL have gone even further, putting the entire PA into one box that still offers maximum sound and clarity, with portability being the focus. The idea of only having to make one trip from the car to the venue is certainly going to appeal to many.
READY TO ROLE
The new EON One sees a compact line array design paired up with a sub, mixer and amplifier that all packs down into one box for easy transport. The line array tower actually breaks down into three sections, allowing you to set it at different heights to suit the room and intended audience. The highest of the three settings being adequate enough to ensure your sound passes over the heads of a standing audience so the people in the back still hear your performance.
These three sections slot neatly into the rear of the sub-woofer base and lock into place so it is just the one box that needs to be moved. There are two mono channels and a stereo input that can also be paired up to a Bluetooth device for wireless sound. The two mono inputs both have microphone preamps with EQ and reverb for each, making it an ideal setup for a solo acoustic artist needing a microphone and a guitar input. When all packed up, it does weigh more than 20kg, so it is not the lightest of units going around, but when you consider what is packed into that space, you have to be impressed.
TIME TO BE HEARD
Starting with the bottom end, there is a 10-inch sub-woofer in the Eon One that really moves a lot of air. I was very surprised with how it handles itself. You could put a bass guitar through the mixer and feel the low notes against the back of your legs when playing in front of it. It behaves more like a 12 or even a 15-inch driver. For the mid and high frequencies, the extended tower handles the job. There are six separate speakers within the tower, all fanning up and down for total coverage across the space in which the audience may be located. So, whether you are on a raised stage above the audience, or if you are recessed with a raised audience in an amphitheatre fashion, you can be sure everyone will hear the clarity delivered.
Being just a single unit, there is no stereo signal to be heard unless multiple Eon Ones are used, but there is still plenty of side spread to the sound from just the one system. But, the best part is how it fans the sound both up and down, just like a swung line array system would do so, to reach every section of the room from the floor to the ceiling. And the sound is classic Eon clarity with plenty of headroom. Then, packing up is quick, easy and you’re out the door with just one box to carry.
Hits and Misses
Great spread of sound from array speakers
Huge bottom end from such a small sub
Packs down to a convenient single unit
Overall weight is a bit on the heavy side