JBL has just launched the new IRX 115S Subwoofer as an add-on for the IRX series of active PA speakers. But is it worth buying if you don’t already own anything from the IRX speaker line? Let’s find out.
JBL IRX 115S Subwoofer
Cast your mind back to NAMM 2020 and you might remember the launch of JBL’s IRX Series active PA speakers. JBL introduced the IRX series with accessibility clearly being the number one goal; the series is affordable, yet also easy to use. Built-in features such as EQ presets, music ducking and Bluetooth makes it a great first PA speaker. Undoubtedly mobile DJs, small bands and fitness instructors alike found a lot to like in the IRX series.
In spite of this, however, there was something missing from the IRX series: a subwoofer! With this in mind, JBL has just dropped the IRX 115S Subwoofer as a great compliment to the rest of the IRX range. The built-in crossover features selectable 80, 100 and 120 Hz crossover points optimised for the IRX speaker line.
Ignoring the silly headline “peak power” figures for a moment (come on guys, it’s not the ’90s anymore – RMS ratings please!) we can see the IRX 115S serves up 400 Watts continuous power. We’d certainly suggest then, that for anything more than small intimate performances, you’d need at least a pair of IRX 115S subs.
What’s the Competition?
Our hunch is that the majority of IRX 115S sales will go to those intending to couple the subwoofer with IRX PA speakers. The features and details complement the full range cabinets perfectly. But what if you’re simply in the market for an affordable, portable subwoofer?
JBL has two main competitors in the field from Presonus and Turbosound: The Presonus AIR 15s and the Turbosound iQ15B. Both offer more power and more versatile DSP functionality from their built-in crossovers and DSP. So if you were shopping for the most bang-for-buck, they might, admittedly, be better choices.
On the other hand, the simple controls and integration with the rest of the IRX range will probably be enough to sell the IRX 115S alone.
RRP – $649