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The JBL PartyBox 320 on a wooden table
Harley Maranan / SoundGuys

JBL PartyBox Stage 320 review

Meeting your neighbours is easy, thanks to the JBL PartyBox Stage 320.
By

Published onJune 4, 2024

8.2
The bottom line
The JBL PartyBox Stage 320 is the life of the party. With a refreshed light show, improved portability, and swappable battery packs, this party in a box is ready to rock for hours on end, wherever you are.

The JBL PartyBox Stage 320 is the life of the party. With a refreshed light show, improved portability, and swappable battery packs, this party in a box is ready to rock for hours on end, wherever you are.
Product release date
May 17th, 2024
Price
$599.95
Dimensions
335 mm x 385 mm x 669 mm
Weight
16.5kg
Model Number
JBLPBSTAGE320AM
Waterproof
IPX4
What we like
240 watts of stereo party power
IPX4
Improved light show
Improved mobility
Swappable battery packs
What we don't like
No XLR input
No USB-C input
8.2
SoundGuys Rating
Rating Metric
Our Rating
User Rating
Durability / Build Quality
8.0
-
0.0
Value
8.0
-
0.0
Design
7.5
-
0.0
Connectivity
8.0
-
0.0
Portability
8.5
-
0.0
Feature
9.0
-
0.0

Effectively replacing the PartyBox 310, JBL is once again kicking things up a notch with the new JBL PartyBox Stage 320. Offering some key design upgrades and, of course, that classic “Powerful JBL Pro sound” (aka plenty of bass). In this JBL PartyBox Stage 320 review, we’re finding out if it’s the ideal speaker to handle even the rowdiest suburban backyard BBQ.

About this JBL PartyBox Stage 320 review: We tested the JBL PartyBox Stage 320 over a period of 10 days. The unit ran firmware version 1.6.0, and the JBL PartyBox app ran version 3.5.46. The company provided the unit for this review.

The JBL PartyBox is meant for, you guessed it, those who like to party. Especially epic beach parties, backyard BBQs, or bumpin’ house parties with a chance of karaoke.

What you need to know about the JBL PartyBox Stage 320

The JBL PartyBox 320 placed on a wooden table, with LED lights activated
Dave Carr / SoundGuys
The PartyBox Stage 320 now features conjoined light rings instead of two separate ones.

The JBL PartyBox Stage 320 is smaller and lighter than its predecessor. While the wattage is still the same, wider wheels at the base of the unit and a new telescoping adjustable handle for improved portability have been added. Its robust plastic housing contains two 6.5″ woofers and two 25mm dome tweeters pushing 240 watts of dance party power. There’s also an improved light show design over the 310.

Unfortunately, with great power comes great responsibility. You’re still supplied with dual 1/4″ inputs on the back control panel, so if your best pal wants to plug in and sing his finest rendition of Wonderwall, acoustic guitar and everything, you’re in trouble. Luckily, you’re now provided with a three-band EQ and some reverb controls, which JBL mislabels as “echo,” directly on top of the speaker’s enclosure so you can help them sound their best.

Jokes aside, this thing is loud. Loud enough to fill a decent-sized basement, single-floor house party, or, as JBL states, a “tennis court-sized outdoor area.” At $599, it’s an investment, but considering booming bass and some fun lighting effects are arguably the most important things at a party, you’ll be off to a great start with the PartyBox Stage 320.

What’s good about the JBL PartyBox Stage 320?

A man sitting beside the JBL PartyBox 320 speaker
Harley Maranan / SoundGuys
The new telescopic handle design and wider wheels improve portability compared to the PartyBox 310.

The PartyBox Stage 320 is easy to use right out of the box. With an IPX4 water-resistance rating and improved portability, this speaker is ready for beach or poolside hangs. It quickly connects to your device via Bluetooth 5.4 and offers multipoint connection if you and a friend want to take turns cueing up your favorite party tunes. The previous model was SBC only, but the Stage 320 now offers AAC codec support.

Once paired, you have a good amount of physical controls on top of the unit without relying on your phone or the app to make any quick adjustments on the fly. You can control both your light show modes and playback via the dial controls, not to mention smash a few of the preset DJ effect buttons to help get the party going.

I recommend downloading the JBL PartyBox app to fully utilize the PartyBox Stage 320.  Not only can you customize your light show, including turning them off entirely if you want to save some battery life, but it will also allow you to customize your sound. JBL supplies you with a handful of presets, or you can fine-tune your sound thanks to the 5-band EQ.

Listening to songs like Sunset by The Midnight or Feel So Good by Jamiroquai, the 240 watts of stereo sound and low-end the PartyBox Stage 320 delivers will have no issues getting your guests out of their chairs and onto the dance floor. If you’ve previously relied on smaller portable speakers like the famous JBL Charge 5 for your social gatherings, there’s a night and day difference using the PartyBox Stage 320 regarding room-filling power.

JBL advertises an 18-hour playback time with the PartyBox Stage 320, but as you know, this depends on how loud your tunes are and how intense your light show is. For comparison, some smaller party Bluetooth speakers like the Anker Soundcore Boom 2 provide a whopping 27 hours of playback without its light show. While at home, you can run the supplied AC cable, but anywhere else, the integration of swappable battery packs is a considerable upgrade from the PartyBox 310. Purchasing a second battery pack and having it ready to go can save you from a serious party foul!

What’s not so good about the JBL PartyBox Stage 320?

I only have minor complaints regarding the PartyBox Stage 320. Its plastic housing is durable and can handle the bumps and bruises of travel, but it will scratch easily. Not to mention, the speaker grill is relatively thin. While this helps keep the weight down, it will dent if something hits it hard enough.

The rear control panel of the JBL PartyBox 320 showing various controls and ins and outs
Dave Carr / SoundGuys
The rear control panel hosts a variety of connection options.

I wish the rear control panel included XLR inputs in addition to the 1/4″ inputs. This would allow you to use the PartyBox Stage 320 with a mixer for even more connection and input options. Furthermore, while the USB-A port and Aux-in are nice, a modern USB-C port would also be a welcomed addition to this recently updated unit.

The top control panel of the JBL PartyBox 320
Harley Maranan / SoundGuys
The PartyBox Stage 320 can handle rain splashes thanks to its IPX4 water resistance rating.

JBL PartyBox Stage 320 specs

JBL PartyBox 320
Size
335 mm x 385 mm x 669 mm
Weight
16.5kg
IP certification
IPX4
Wired audio connection
Yes (Aux)
Wireless audio connection
Bluetooth 5.4; SBC, AAC
Controls
Button
Battery life
18 Hours
Fast charging
Yes: 10-minute charge = 2 hours playtime
Connector
AC
Price
$599.99

Should you buy the JBL PartyBox Stage 320?

The backside of a JBL PartyBox 320, showing the removable, rechargeable battery.
Dave Carr / SoundGuys
You can purchase a secondary battery pack to keep the party going.

If you entertain regularly, the JBL PartyBox Stage 320 is an excellent buy without going too overboard. While we didn’t see an increase in wattage compared to the outgoing model, the improved light show, mobility, and swappable battery packs make for a significant upgrade over the outgoing PartyBox 310.

If it fits your budget, but the PartyBox Stage 320 is overkill for your needs, for roughly the same price, consider purchasing two Anker Soundcore Boom 2 Plus speakers ($249.99 at Anker) and run them in stereo. This would widen the soundstage of your party, and you still get a sweet light show.

JBL PartyBox Stage 320JBL PartyBox Stage 320
JBL PartyBox Stage 320
Excellent bass • Clear sound • Portable
MSRP: $599.95

JBL PartyBox Stage 320 review: FAQs

Yes, the PartyBox 320 has an IPX4 water resistance rating.

Yes, if your TV supports Bluetooth or Aux connection.

It does not have a built-in microphone for taking calls while connected over Bluetooth.

Yes.

Yes.

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