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 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.
Polk Audio Quick History
Polk Audio is an American audio device manufacturer best known for its home and car speakers headquartered in San Diego, California.
A wide range of additional audio devices, such as amplifiers and FM tuners, are also produced by Polk Audio. Polk audio was purchased by Directed Electronics in 2006.
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!
Polk Audio Sound Quality
The downside to Polk devices is that they aren’t of the best quality when it comes to sound, so if you’re looking for a high-end sound system, it could be worth stepping up your budget a little. Polk speakers are best as entry-level speakers.
This means that they may not appeal to expert audiophiles and cannot be used for professional purposes.
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
Polk audio devices come with some features that make them more suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.
- Auto-off timer
- More physical input such as (HDMI in port, AUX port)
- All controls are on the rear edge
- Slim, compact design that allows you to place them on walls.
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.
Polk Audio Build Quality
On average, Polk audio build quality is comparable to industry standards. The Polk T50 is a great example of this.
Although Polk made the T50 sound better by sacrificing some build quality, the speaker is still reasonably strong and, given its popularity, replacement parts are easy to come by.
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.
Polk Audio Ease Of Use
The controls on Polk Audio Bluetooth equipment are easy to use. A lightweight design and high-quality materials ensure that the user is comfortable while using them.
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
Polk Audio Cost
Polk’s speaker collection shows that good-sounding speakers do not have to be expensive. They have home speakers to suit every budget.
So do you want tower speakers but don’t want to spend more than $500 on them? There are Polk audio speakers that sell for less than $500 and still have great sound. They’re commonly available for around $300 or less a pair, and they sound fantastic.
Here are some price ranges for Polk audio products:
Home speakers: $200 – $2500
Soundbars: $100 – $500
Car speakers: $100 – $500
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.
Polk Audio Space Requirements
Most Polk Audio devices are space-efficient. Take, for example, Polk’s LSiM 703s speakers which are 16.8-inch tall bookshelf speakers with a 6.5-inch midbass, a 3.5-inch woofer for low frequencies, and a 1-inch tweeter for high frequencies. This implies that only a minimal amount of space is needed.
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.
Polk Audio Remote Controls
Polk Audio produces speakers that are compatible with their own remote control as well as those of other remote control manufacturers such as HQRP and Motiexic littlefishlittlecat.
This remote is powered by lithium batteries and has a 10-meter range. Note that no program or special setup is required.
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
Polk Audio Power Range
Speaker: 20 watts to 200 watts rated power
Subwoofer: 50 watts to 500 watts rated power
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.
Polk AudioFrequency Response
Polk audio frequency responses are usually in the region of 50Hz to 50kHz. The Polk Audio Signature Series S10 2-Way Surround speakers, for example, have a Medite MDF cabinet frequency response of around 67Hz to 40 kHz for excellent treble reproduction. It can endure 20 to 100 watts of continuous power.
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. Polk is unquestionably a fantastic option if you need a good home audio system, but there are other companies that are equivalent or even better than Polk audio. However, if you need a good entry level speaker that doesn’t cost much, Polk Audio may be your go-to.