JBL and Onkyo are two renowned and well respected brands in the audio industry. While JBL produces high quality speakers, soundbars, headphones, and subwoofers, Onkyo produces, amplifiers, receivers, subwoofers and speakers.
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 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.
Onkyo Quick History
Takeshi Godai established the Japanese company Onkyo in 1946. Godai intended to address the gap in delivering satisfactory Japanese-made dynamic speakers. The work Onkyo originated from a Japanese word meaning “sound acoustics.”
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!
Onkyo Sound Quality
If you are an audiophile, you want a receiver that can deliver your specific notes as perfectly as possible. The range of AV receivers from Onkyo sound very impressive and complete with incredible functionality and product regardless of your listening environment.
When it comes to choosing and paying for the better fidelity unit, putting your money on Onkyo is one of the best decisions for audiophiles.
They have a more well-rounded sound signature that offers more detail; audiophiles refer to it as a more “clinical” sound. The highs, mids, and lows are equally discernable.
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
Many people expect to get a bundle of features in today’s world, especially when paying more for a product. However, the features of an Onkyo receiver are mainly related to the system’s sound.
It has some of the best step-up receivers with features such as:
- Dirac Live
- Streaming suite
- Support for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa
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.
Onkyo Build Quality
People tend to look at their build quality first when buying expensive devices. However, other than looking good, the device should be able to deliver good service over many years.
When it comes to build quality, Onkyo is a bit shaky. Many people complain of their receivers either requiring repair or going dead in less than a year despite the two-year warranty on their devices.
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.
Onkyo Ease Of Use
Onkyo receivers are particularly easy to set up. As an excellent performer, the products are made with superb usability and valuable features that make them easily accessible by all users.
The direct source buttons added for ease of control in the absence of a remote further make the Onkyo TX-NR585, for instance, much more user-friendly.
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
Onkyo receivers are generally costly. This is most likely attributable to their high-quality build and good sound performance.
Speakers: $20 – $6000
Receivers: $200 – $3000
Amplifiers: $40 – $1000
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.
Onkyo Space Requirements
Generally, Onkyo receivers are a little taller. Although they may not take much space on your table, they are much taller and broader than many competing receivers in the market.
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.
Onkyo Remote Controls
Onkyo receivers come with remote controls that make them easy to control even from the comfort of a seat. Besides, the remotes are intuitive and easy to use. The wireless remotes are device-specific and can be purchased separately from the device.
On the other hand, the Onkyo remote for Android utilizes the home network to operate wirelessly and deliver several remote control functions to manage your Onkyo hi-fi systems. Besides, the app permits wireless streaming of audio from personal computers and handsets.
Onkyo is, therefore, more advanced when it comes to remote controls and will make your entertainment system easy to navigate.
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.
Onkyo Connectivity Options
Onkyo receivers have several connectivity options to take care of the analog and digital features.
They are therefore compatible with older devices and the modern class of devices. Some of the vital connectivity features include:
- USB ports
- HDMI ports
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
Onkyo Power Range
Speakers: Up to 24 watts RMS
Receivers: Up to 500 watts
Amplifiers: Up to 240 watts
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.
Onkyo Frequency Response
The frequency response is varied depending on the device. For instance, the speakers have a frequency response of between 50Hz 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.
Although the build quality of Onkyo can be less than desirable, the vintage brand manufactures audiophile-grade sound systems. They are however costly.