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Sony vs JBL – Detailed Comparison

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Sony and JBL are two renowned and well respected brands in the audio industry that produces high quality speakers, headphones, soundbars,  subwoofers and amplifiers. 

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. 

Quick History

Sony Quick History

Sony Corporation is a Japanese manufacturer of consumer electronics products incorporated in 1946 by Ibuka Masaru and Morita Akio as Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation.

Before this, Ibuka had used his Japanese Precision Instruments Company to supply electronic devices during World War II. He met Morita while they worked for the Imperial Japanese Army as engineers designing heat-seeking missiles during World War II.

In 1952, Ibuka made efforts to license the transistor from Bell Laboratories in the US before Morita signed a deal with Western Electric there the following year. The agreement led to the production of the Totsuko’s transistor radios, the Sony’s TR-63, in 1955. In 1958, Sony became the official company name.

The name was derived from the Latin word Sonus which stands for “sound.” Its pocket radios were the company’s most significant success and led to its international brand recognition.

In 1960, Sony Corporation of America was created with headquarters in New York City. Sony then introduced the MD-5, the first all-transistor desktop calculator, in 1964 during the New York World’s Fair, followed by the historic shipping of its first Trinitron color television in 1968.

Sony currently focuses on research and development (R&D), planning, designing, manufacturing, and marketing of electronic products for the consumer and professional markets.

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.

Sound Quality

Sony Sound Quality

Sony products generally sound good. Compared to other competitors, Sony is a premium brand that takes a lot of time to research and develop its sound systems, making it one of the best-sounding audio products.

The soundbars are feature loaded, have great surround sound performance, and most of them support Dolby Atmos content. Sony is at the forefront of technology innovation, its sound-loving engineers work tirelessly to maintain the standard of its high-quality Hi-Fi speakers.

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!

Features

Sony Features

Sony is known to manufacture high-quality products. Some of the key features of Sony speakers include:

  • Bluetooth speakers with prolonged battery life
  • Compact designs that make them easily fit in every home or office space
  • High-quality sound

Key features of Sony TVs include:

  • Good picture quality
  • New frame tweeter technology with sound-from-picture reality
  • Two-position stand
  • New Ambient Optimization
  • Hands-free capabilities such as remote control systems for easy management of TV programs
  • Easy connectivity
  • Compatibility with 4K 120fps

JBL Features

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

Build Quality

Sony Build Quality

Sony was initially known for good-quality products. In fact, Sony originally maintained a high market price to compensate for the high build quality despite many customers saying they charged so high.

Most people say that Sony manufactures premium audio products with fantastic sound quality and build.

No company can handle a wide array of products like Sony while maintaining high quality. Sony leads in manufacturing cameras, audio, and mobile phones, among many other products. Besides, they offer a fantastic after-sales service.

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However, some people note that the build quality they get from Sony is generally bad. This is mainly from customers who buy the Sony cameras who say they have had a problem or two with their Sony cameras, and even after Sony fixed them, the situation became worse.

Therefore, whether Sony products are of good build or not remains an opinion whose outcome mainly depends on the type of product and the experience of individual users.

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.

How To Pair Your JBL Speaker To Your Device

The headphones however have a plasticky build that makes them look average despite the well-balanced sound.

Ease of Use

Sony Ease Of Use

Some Sony products are not easy to use. For instance, getting Sony KDL-32EX650 to work is not very easy. Besides, setting up a wireless network takes a long time.

Also, setting up the Bravia KDL-40WD650 (Bravia is a Sony brand) is more complicated despite Sony 43XG7005 being the most intuitive and easy-to-use Sony TV with a quick and responsive menu.

The speakers are however easy to use with the Bluetooth ones easily connecting to your devices to provide on-the-go entertainment.

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.

Cost

Sony Cost

The cost of some Sony products are listed below: 

Speakers: $40 – $4000

Receivers: $20 – $1000

Amplifier: $30 – $500

JBL Cost

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

Space Requirements

Sony Space Requirements

Every person wants to maximize their small spaces. This is why every audio manufacturer puts more effort into researching to use versatile drivers that can deliver high efficiency while reducing the volume of materials used.

Sony products are generally constructed with a compact design and build. They take smaller spaces than other products and will perfectly fit into your small spaces whether you buy a smart TV or home theater system.

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.

Remote Controls

Sony Remote Controls

Some people report that remotes for Sony KD-55XD8005 TVs, KD49X8309C, KD49XD8077 and KD-55X8508C, among other brands, have occasional problems. The issues are mainly that the remote controls become unresponsive occasionally and have to be troubleshot to continue working.

Sony remote controls are, however, generally excellent and responsive. However, where the remotes show problems, Sony offers quick customer support to ensure you continue using your remote control perfectly to enjoy your TV programs.

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.

Connectivity Options

Sony Connectivity Options

When it comes to connectivity options, Sony is one of the most evolving brands in the market today. For instance, Sony Bravia (Bravia is a Sony brand) comes with a wide range of connectivity options, from USB to wireless connectivity channels.

Some of the connectivity options supported by different Sony products include:

    • RCA for older products
    • USB ports
    • HDMI ports for digital connectivity
  • Bluetooth
  • Composite video inputs
  • Wi-Fi for wireless connectivity

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.

Power Range

Sony Power Range

Like many audio products in the market, Sony products work perfectly well with the conventional power range of 110 V – 240 V.

They have a shallow standby power consumption, and the TVs are built with a power-saving mode backlight on and off control to help minimize power consumption.

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

Frequency Response

Sony Frequency Response

Most Sony audio products deliver within the frequency range of 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz. This frequency range effectively supports a good delivery of audio outputs for both the Sony speakers, subwoofers, and even the Sony TVs.

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.

Conclusion

Sony is good for playing jazz sound. The brand is versatile with numerous connectivity options and good build quality. Besides, there are products for all price ranges. On the other hand, 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. 

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