JBL and Pioneer are two renowned and well respected brands in the audio industry and produce high quality car speakers, soundbars, headphones and subwoofers.
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.
Pioneer is known for using high-quality components and innovative engineering to produce accurate, powerful, and durable car audio devices that offer high-fidelity audio reproduction – especially powerful bass. Pioneer car speakers are well respected in the audio industry. On the other hand, JBL car audio devices are known for offering great sound performance and good value for money.
Read on to learn more.
Before you go ahead, you can check out the following comparisons as well:
- Pioneer Vs Kicker
- Pioneer Vs Bose
- Pioneer Vs Alpine
- Pioneer Vs Onkyo
- Jbl Vs Marshall
- Jbl Vs EV
- Jbl Vs Jvc
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.
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.
Pioneer Quick History
Pioneer is a Japanese company whose full name is actually Paionia Kabushiki-gaisha. It was started in 1938 by Bozomu Matsumoto. The company started as a speaker, radio, and other audio equipment repair shop.
Since the company started, it has been a big part of making sound systems for homes, businesses, and other personal uses, like car speakers. Pioneer was the first company to develop a dynamic speaker (named Pioneer A-8) made of original parts for domestic use.
The Pioneer brand is the manufacturer of some of the major audio equipment today. This includes the first dynamic speaker for the home, which was also the first Hi-Fi speaker. Another example includes the first professional LD player, which also became the foundation of today’s Blu-ray discs and DVD players.
JBL Sound Quality
JBL speakers and subwoofers 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 and subwoofers are also loud and produce rich sound.
With powerful subwoofers, you will find that the bass-heavy output from a JBL system is quite impressive; and can handle high volumes with little distortion.
The speakers perform well in both high and low volumes. Built for DJs and other professionals, the speakers are tough and reliable.
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!
Pioneer Sound Quality
To be fair, Pioneer home sound systems are only good as entry-level audio equipment. Although they provide a decent listening experience, they are best for non-demanding listeners.
However, in terms of car speakers, Pioneer speakers offer a quality that is convincingly worth every penny. The sound calibration on most Pioneer receivers (like the one on the Pioneer VSX-932) makes the sound more personalized.
The Technical Audio Devices (TAD) from Pioneer were produced in 1975 with the view of delivering high-end professional audio delivery. But, it has continued to deliver quality sound and can be found in most professional speaker brands.
Pioneer has also partnered with the amazing Gary Stewart Audio to deliver some of the best-sounding club speakers that keep the party going.
JBL manufactures futuristic speakers to ensure users can easily fit them into their modern home systems. Bluetooth speakers and subwoofers from JBL, for instance, may come with the following standard features/specs:
- 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
For many good reasons, the Pioneer brand has been more popular in car speaker and entertainment. This is because of the continued research, development, and improvement of its features. Some of the major features of the Pioneer car audio system include:
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Streaming features
- Touch screen
- Built-in navigation
- Real-time traffic
But most of these features are also found on other Pioneer devices, with only minor changes to make them work better for this one.
The other features that are common to other Pioneer devices include Dynamic leveling, digital inputs, HDMI with ARC, Dolby Atmos, and DTS: X for a rich and immersive audio experience, and other features for ease of use.
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.
Pioneer Build Quality
Pioneer products have good build quality. This includes the use of aluminum panels and an excellent finish to protect them for a long time. Even beyond the physical build, Pioneer audio devices have improved a lot on the components, which has improved their reliability over the years.
However, the fact that Pioneer makes different devices is a factor that cannot go without mention. While Pioneer AV receivers and car speakers are known for their powerful build quality, some of the other products from the brand are not so durable.
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.
Pioneer Ease of Use
One of the major features that make most Pioneer devices easy to use is the ability to connect to other devices easily.
This is clear in the car audio system, where they offer different levels of the device without making it hard to use. This includes everything from the touch screen on more expensive car speakers to the easy-to-use menu button on cheaper ones.
Beyond the car speakers by Pioneer, their home theaters are extremely easy to use. It offers different setting options and sound changes that give it a more customized output. But you don’t need a lot of technical knowledge to use these because everything is marked and there are manuals to help.
Bluetooth JBL speakers and subwoofers are available at a range of prices and are typically more expensive than their Pioneer counterparts. However, their car speakers tend to be less expensive and they are rare.
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.
- Car subwoofers: $100 – $600
- Car speakers: $90- $300
- Headphones: $10 – $200
- Amplifiers: $50 – $5000
Pioneer products are distributed between low-cost, average-cost, and high-cost devices. However, Pioneer subwoofers are generally less expensive than JBL for similar devices of similar specifications and features.
However, when the chips are down and we compare the device with an equal device from other popular brands, you might realize you get the best value for your money.
Here are some price ranges for different devices from Pioneer:
- Car subwoofers: $90 – $200
- Car speakers: $90- $300
- AV Receivers: $250 – $1500
- Soundbars: $250 – $800
- Speakers: $100 – $800
- Headphones: $50 – $400
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.
Pioneer Space Consideration
Pioneer audio devices vary from size to size, but Pioneer AV Receivers are known for having a bulky build. This factor makes space consideration a serious business when considering a Pioneer AV receiver. AV receivers are made to last for a long time, but if they get too hot often, they may break down sooner than expected.
Different devices will always require different amounts of space to function properly. This is because the space will depend not only on the size of the device but also on the amount of ventilation it can provide.
The home theater is another Pioneer product that might need special attention when it comes to space. Pioneer home theaters are quite tall and require as much space as possible.
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.
Pioneer Remote Control
Most Pioneer devices come with a remote control that makes it easier to operate across the room. This remote can also be easily replaced by getting another one from the popular audio store in case of damage or loss.
Pioneer also has a digital remote control app that can be downloaded from your app store. However, to use the remote control app, the device must be compatible with it and they have to be connected to the same wireless network.
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.
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
Pioneer Power Range
Most Pioneer products are power efficient, i.e., they deliver the best audio quality with minimum power consumption. For example, the mid-range Pioneer elite VSX-LX303 AV receiver is rated at 100 watts per channel.
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.
Pioneer Frequency Response
Most Pioneer sound systems have smooth frequency responses and a rich sound output that lets them send out sound in a wide area.
For example, the frequency response for Pioneer TS series speakers is something around 34Hz to 42Hz.
However, the frequency response differs according to each device, which means you might have to check the user manual for each device to understand its frequency response.
For comparison, Pioneer subwoofers have a higher frequency range than JBL. This means that they can reproduce lower frequencies with greater accuracy.
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. Pioneer products cut across audio equipment for home, professional, and car use.
However, they are more popular for the production of car stereos that are affordable, easy to use, and meet industry standards. If you need an audio device that’s well-affordable and with good build quality, you might consider Pioneer devices. However, you might have to overlook the sound quality a little bit.
Norvan Martin is the founder of BoomSpeaker.com. He is a professional Electronics Engineer and is passionate about home theater systems and AV electronics. BoomSpeaker was created as an online hub to share his knowledge and experiences as it relates to home theaters and home audio electronics.