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JBL Announces NEW Gear For 2021 Including a Monster Subwoofer!

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JBL Speakers and Electronics 2021

JBL Speakers and Electronics 2021

Summary

  • Product Name: 4309 Studio Monitor 2-way bookshelf speaker, SA750 stereo integrated amplifier, Synthesis SCL-1 LCR Loudspeaker, Synthesis SSW-1 Subwoofer
  • Manufacturer: JBL
  • Review Date: July 23, 2021 01:10
  • MSRP: $2,000/pr - 4309 Studio Monitor 2-way bookshelf speaker, $3,000 - SA750 stereo integrated amplifier, $15,000/ea - Synthesis SCL-1 LCR Loudspeaker, $7,500/ea - Synthesis SSW-1 Subwoofer
  • First Impression: Gotta Have It!

JBL 4309 Studio Monitor 2-way bookshelf speaker

  • Frequency Response: 42 Hz - 30 kHz (-6 dB)
  • Sensitivity: 87 dB/2.83V/1m
  • Impedance: 4Ω
  • Dimensions (H x W x D): 16.5” x 10.25” x 9”
  • Weight: 24.2 lbs each

JBL SA750 stereo integrated amplifier

  • Power Output (both channels driven): 120W into 8Ω, 220W into 4Ω
  • THD + noise: 0.002%
  • Dimensions (H x W x D): 4.5” x 17.7” x 12.9”
  • Weight: 26.5 lbs

JBL Synthesis SCL-1 LCR Loudspeaker

  • Frequency Response: 40 Hz - 24 kHz (-6 dB), 3rd order LF roll-off
  • Sensitivity: 94 dB/1W/1m
  • Impedance: 4Ω
  • Dimensions (H x W x D): 47.98” x 19” x 14.49” 
  • Weight: 177.5 lbs each

JBL Synthesis SSW-1 Subwoofer

  • Low Frequency Extension: 13.5 Hz (-10 dB), 15 Hz (-6 dB), 16.7 Hz (-3 dB)
  • Sensitivity: 90 dB/1W/1m
  • Impedance: 8Ω per woofer
  • Dimensions (H x W x D): 53.5” H x 24” W x 22” 
  • Weight: 350.5 lbs

Executive Overview

Based on the number of JBL ads I’ve been seeing online, I can infer a couple of things. First, JBL’s parent company Harman must spend a fortune on advertising. And second, Mark Zuckerberg definitely knows that I’m into audio. But the ads that I keep seeing are all for consumer-level products, like portable bluetooth speakers and true wireless earphones. While I’m sure that the mass-market appeal of these gadgets goes a long way toward helping JBL pay the bills, I’m more interested in high-end audio. (My bank account balance may not reflect my high-end ambitions, but that’s beside the point.) So I was pleased to read James Larson’s recent review of JBL’s L100 Classic loudspeakers ($4,000/pair), which concluded that fun and high-fidelity can coexist in a high-end speaker. That review, along with last year’s glowing report on the JBL HDI-3800 ($5,000/pair), helped to quell any concerns that I had regarding JBL’s commitment to high-performance audio gear. Yes, the company makes a lot of inexpensive audio gadgets to meet the needs of everyday, non-audiophile customers, but the JBL Synthesis brand certainly hasn’t lost its high-end mojo. And that leads me to some cool new products coming down the pipeline from JBL, starting with the most recently announced.

JBL 4309 Studio Monitor 2-way bookshelf speaker

JBL 4309 Studio Monitor bookshelf speaker.jpg

The 4309 Studio Monitor ($2,000/pair) looks like a “Mini-Me” version of the $7,500 4349 Studio Monitor, which JBL launched last year. Slated for a June 2021 release, the new 4309 Studio Monitor is a 2-way design featuring a 1-inch high-frequency compression driver (JBL’s patented 2410H-2 driver) mated to the company’s signature HDI (High-Definition Imaging) horn. This is paired with a 6.5-inch, cast-frame pure pulp cone woofer with a chunky 1.5-inch voice coil. Standing at 16.5 inches high, the 4309 Studio Monitor is on the large side for a bookshelf speaker, but is surely easier to accommodate in a typical living room (and on a typical credit card bill) than the larger 4349, which is nearly twice as tall, and boasts a 12-inch woofer. Like its bigger sibling, the 4309 proudly sports JBL’s iconic blue baffle, and its furniture-grade satin wood veneer can be had in walnut finish (with a blue cloth grill) or black walnut finish (with a matching black grill).

Our Studio Monitor series of high-performance loudspeakers are some of our most popular models globally as there simply isn’t anything else like them. The combination of the 4309’s powerful woofer, compression driver, and horn harmoniously combine to render music with authority and accuracy — performance impossible with a traditional loudspeaker design. We expect these to be desirable to music lovers who want the performance of the JBL 4349 in a more compact size.

— Jim Garrett, Senior Director of Product Strategy and Planning for Harman’s Luxury Audio Group

JBL SA750 stereo integrated amplifier

JBL SA750 Front.jpg

With a nominal impedance of 4Ω and a sensitivity spec of 87 dB, the 4309 Studio Monitor will require a substantial amplifier to perform at its best. Luckily, JBL has just the thing. Also scheduled to ship this August is the new SA750 integrated amplifier ($3,000), which honors JBL’s 75th anniversary with appropriately retro styling and vintage teak veneer side panels, inspired by the classic JBL SA600 and SA660 integrated amplifiers from the 1960s and ‘70s. But don’t let those old-school looks fool you; the SA750 is every bit the modern amp on the inside, with a future-facing feature set that ticks every box on a 21st-century audiophile’s wishlist. The SA750 uses Class G amplifier technology, perhaps borrowed from Class G specialist Arcam, which joined Harman’s Avengers team of audio of companies in 2017. JBL says that the SA750’s Class G implementation results in “incredible detail and accuracy at low levels, low crossover distortion, and high-current capability for extreme power demands.” The amp is rated to deliver 120 watts per channel into 8Ω, and 220 watts per channel into 4Ω. In addition to 4 digital inputs and 4 line-level analog inputs, the SA750 sports a phono input (MM/MC) and built-in WiFi for streaming via Apple Airplay 2, Chromecast, and UPnP. The SA750 is also certified Roon Ready, and offers full MQA file decoding. IP control allows for easy smart home integration. And finally, the SA750 offers Dirac Live room correction, which optimizes audio performance in any listening room. The SA750 is one of only a few stereo integrated amps on the market to offer this highly effective solution from Dirac (the others are from Arcam and NAD).

Editorial Note: Because it’s a Class G design, the SA750 relies on two power supplies, the first of which is a relatively low-power supply. Within this region, the amp runs in pure Class A. If the music signal exceeds the capability of this first power supply, the secondary supply is called upon to deliver additional power output as required, up to the full rated power of the amp. Because the secondary power supply is only used when needed, Class G designs offer a relatively efficient method of delivering Class A/AB power. Very little energy is wasted as heat, at least compared to more traditional designs.

The SA750 combines the appeal of retro design with the most current room optimization and streaming technologies in the market. It’s the best of both worlds — past and present — and is already generating considerable excitement among audiophiles and enthusiasts to whom we’ve previewed it.

— Jim Garrett

JBL Synthesis SCL-1 LCR Loudspeaker and SSW-1 Subwoofer

JBL Synthesis SCL-1.jpgJBL Synthesis SSW-1.jpg

JBL Synthesis SCL-1 LCR Loudspeaker (left) and SSW-1 Subwoofer (right)

Not to exclude the home theater fans out there, JBL has also developed a new flagship speaker and subwoofer for the company’s JBL Synthesis Custom Loudspeaker (SCL) range. The SCL-1 LCR Loudspeaker ($15,000 each) and SSW-1 Subwoofer ($7,500 each) are “large-format solutions scaled for ultra-premium, high-channel-count immersive audio deployments.” In other words, they’re for bigass, expensive home theaters. These products are the first to launch since the JBL Synthesis Product Council was formed last year. The flagship SCL-1 features JBL’s patented D2430K dual 3-inch annular Teonex ring-diaphragm compression driver (with dual neodymium motor structures) mated to a large, advanced-geometry HDI horn for “extraordinarily detailed response and ultra-low distortion even at incredibly high listening levels,” according to JBL. The compression driver is paired with two 12-inch cast-frame woofers with Carbon Cellulose Composite Cone (C4) technology. The 1-inch-thick MDF enclosure features extensive internal bracing and JBL’s patented Complementary Bass Alignment System (CBAS), which “combines the acoustic benefits of sealed enclosures (more output below tuning frequency) and vented enclosures (more output at the tuning frequency) with less impedance swings to play louder and work more efficiently with amplifiers,” according to the company. The installer-configurable crossover network allows the SCL-1 to be driven by a single amp or dual amps. Alternatively, the crossover network can be bypassed altogether if the user wants to use active external crossovers. The SSW-1 is a new, ultra-high-performance passive subwoofer designed from the ground up “specifically to complement the acoustic capabilities of the SCL-1.” Each SSW-1 weighs in at over 350 lbs, and features a pair of 15-inch cast-frame woofers with extremely high excursion capability (4-inch peak-to-peak, according to JBL). The large composite cones are controlled by massive 6-inch voice coils. The SSW-1 promises virtually limitless power handling and digs down to 16.7 Hz before it reaches its -3dB point.

Our revolutionary Synthesis Custom Loudspeaker range has set the bar for performance expectations in multichannel immersive audio systems and we are beyond excited to be expanding that series to new heights with these flagship models. With home entertainment on the rise, JBL Synthesis systems can now be scaled further than ever before! Applying 75-years of transducer and acoustic expertise to the home environment allows JBL Synthesis to bring unique value, helps our dealer community address new opportunities, and provides customers with exceptional audio experiences that cannot be achieved from any other brand.

— Jim Garrett

JBL Heritage is Alive and Well for 2021!

Whether you’re putting together a nice 2-channel system for your average-sized living room, or a six-figure custom home theater the size of a basketball court, JBL’s new gear has you covered. And this is only some of what the company has launched in 2021. If you’re into in-ear or over-ear headphones, waterproof portable speakers, or Dolby Atmos soundbars, there’s much more to explore from JBL.

About the author:
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Jacob is a music-lover and audiophile who enjoys convincing his friends to buy audio gear that they can't afford. He's also a freelance writer and editor based in Los Angeles.

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