JBL and AKG are two renowned and well respected brands in the audio industry. While JBL produces high quality speakers, soundbars, headphones, and subwoofers, AKG specialize in producing headphones and IEMs.
In this article, we will cover a general overview of both brands, looking specifically at sound quality, durability, price and so on. Of course, each brand has different devices at different price points, however we will compare them as closely as we can.
JBL Quick History
JBL was founded in 1946 by James Bullough Lansing just after World War II. It is headquartered in Los Angeles, California, USA. The company manufactures amplifiers, loudspeakers, and headphones with the JBL Professional LSR10S being one of its best-selling subs with a class D amp, among other features. It is currently owned by Harman International after its Vice president Bill Thomas sold it in 1969.
In the 1970s, JBL entered the studio industry and launched its new technologies academy of motion pictures’ first full-line portable system in the 1980s. Also, the company was the first to introduce titanium in high-frequency diaphragms.
AKG Quick History
AKG Acoustics is an audio engineering and manufacturing company founded in 1947 by Rudolf Görike and Ernest Plass in Vienna, Austria. It is a part of Harman International Industries, a subdivision of Samsung Electronics currently headquartered in Northridge, Los Angeles, California. The company has manufactured many award-winning and innovative products including microphones, headphones and digital Hi-Fi audio systems.
JBL Sound Quality
JBL speakers tend to depict a neutral, balanced sound profile. Their bass-heavy audio profile makes them ideal for party and personal use, especially for those looking for deep bass to listen to modern pop and hip hop music. The speakers are also loud with rich sound.
The speakers perform well in both high and low volumes. Built for DJs and other professionals, the speakers are tough and reliable. The Bluetooth speakers have long battery life lasting 24 hours or more.
On the other hand, JBL headphones are packed with features that help them deliver a well-balanced sound that closely follows the Harman curve.
However, the design and fit of these headphones are not very comfortable. A top-of-the-range JBL could sound unique with the depth, power, and accuracy every listener appreciates!
AKG Sound Quality
AKG is a very innovative company, patenting many award-winning technologies. These patents, such as magnetic cartridges, dynamic cardioid technology, and moving coil technology, are used in their devices, which gives them exceptional performance.
Their devices deliver flawless balance and excellent detail in the sound output. There’s a bass boost and several equalizer presets to fine-tune the sound output to your taste.
JBL manufactures futuristic speakers to ensure users can easily fit them into their modern home systems. Bluetooth speakers and subwoofers from JBL, for instance, come with the following features:
- Polypropylene or cellulose-fiber cones
- Rubber surround
- Frequency response depends on specific speakers
- Sensitivity of about 2.83V at 1 meter
- Power handling up to 250W RMS
AKG devices come with several features that make them very easy to use and improve audio enjoyment. Some of these features are given below:
- Up to 12-channel playback on the amplifiers
- Equalizers with several presets for easy finetuning.
- Supra-aural Surround sound features
- Multiple connectivity options including Bluetooth, USB, 3.5mm audio jack
- AKG Headphone app, available on the Google PlayStore and Apple AppStore.
- Interchangeable cables and earpad covers
JBL Build Quality
JBL speakers are well built with Aluminum, Nickel, and Cobalt which is a strong high-power permanent alloy.
Also, the wireless speakers are high quality and built with solid features. The performance is reliable and they are waterproof which makes them all weather.
The headphones however have a plasticky build that makes them look average despite the well-balanced sound.
AKG Build Quality
AKG devices are constructed from durable metals and plastics. The headphones and earbuds have soft fabric earpads and silicone earplugs respectively, for maximum comfort during long usage. They also have replaceable earpad covers, cables, and earplugs.
Ease of Use
JBL Ease Of Use
Setting up JBL speakers may not be easy if you are not ready to handle the process. However, if your speakers are within the Bluetooth range, JBL speakers will easily pair with nearby devices.
The subwoofers may not be very easy to set depending on your car, but they are easy to use. The wireless headphones are easy to use, whether you want to talk or just listen.
AKG Ease Of Use
AKG devices can easily be operated by anyone, using intuitive and clearly labeled controls. The AKG earphones for Samsung have a + and – volume button and a central button to receive calls and pause/play music and videos. Long-pressing this button summons the Google Voice Assistant.
Bluetooth JBL speakers are available at a range of prices. You can, however, get them between 40 dollars and 400 dollars.
However, the GBL Go is still ranked the most affordable Bluetooth speaker owing to the added value of sound quality and portability. The cost is generally high due to the high cost of engineering, high cost of quality materials, and the cost of advertising.
Headphones: $10 – $200
Amplifiers: $50 – $5000
AKG devices are usually inexpensive despite their excellent performance, though they have some premium products too. The price ranges for various AKG devices are given here.
- Earbuds: $10 – $50
- Headphones: $50 – $300
- Microphones: $80 – $1300
- Headphone Amplifiers: $120 – $200
JBL Space Requirements
JBL speakers are built to fit in many room sizes. The Bluetooth speakers are tiny in size and easily portable. Therefore, you can easily place them anywhere in your room or carry them for an outdoor listening experience.
AKG Space Requirements
As an example, the AKG P220 microphone has diameter and length measurements of 5.4 x 16.5 cm respectively and weighs 1.2 lbs. AKG headphones are usually foldable, adding to their portability.
JBL Remote Controls
JBL builds remote controls to help with easy and safe control of music together with other call functions on other devices such as smartphones.
JBL Click, for instance, is a mountable Bluetooth controller that makes it easier to control your music and call functions on any smartphone. However, JBL Boombox and JBL Partybox 310 do not have remote controls.
AKG Remote Controls
The AKG Headphone app has an equalizer, software updates, and surround sound features in addition to basic functions such as volume control and pause/play functions. The microphones have a special remote control that is used for tuning purposes.
JBL Connectivity Options
JBL speakers, especially the Bluetooth-enabled ones, connect easily via Bluetooth. In fact, JBL makes them so that you can easily wirelessly connect up to 100 JBL speakers via Bluetooth.
AKG Connectivity Options
AKG devices can be connected in different ways to your various devices using 3.5mm audio jack, USB, Bluetooth and several other connectivity options.
JBL Power Range
The speakers have a high power handling capacity. For instance, the 840 Cinema Surround Speaker can handle 350 watts of continuous play, while the JBL Stage 1210 12” woofer can handle up to 250 watts RMS and 1000 watt peak power.
Subwoofers: 50W to 1600W rated power
Speakers: 50W to 250W rated power
Amplifiers: 50W to 800W per channel
AKG Power Range
Headphones and earbuds do not have to be very loud to be heard well, therefore, the power range is usually in the 100mW – 700mW range. The AKG HP12U headphone amplifier has a power range of 100mW to 680mW.
JBL Frequency Response
JBL speakers work well under various frequency ranges. For instance, the JBL ES Series speaker systems, such as the ES 20, operate between 65 HZ – 40 kHz.
The 840 Very High Power Cinema Surround Speaker for digital surround sound immersion application performs within the 60 Hz to 19 kHz frequency range.
AKG Frequency Response
The frequency response of AKG devices typically lies within 5Hz on the low end and 45KHz on the high end. The AKG WMS420 Wireless Microphone has a frequency range from 40 Hz – 20 KHz while the AKG HP12U headphone amplifier ranges from 20Hz to 20KHz.
JBL offers a wide range of speakers for all use cases. Although most of them do not have EQs for customized sound, they have a pretty neutral sound profile. Besides, they have an excellent build quality that ensures that the portable JBL sound systems last longer.
AKG delivers high-quality performance at affordable prices. This is a brand for those who want excellent performance but do not want to get more high-end and expensive devices.