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JBL L82 Classic Bookshelf Loudspeaker Brings Retro Back In Smaller Form

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JBL L82

JBL L82

Summary

  • Product Name: L82 Bookshelf Speaker
  • Manufacturer: JBL
  • Review Date: January 08, 2020 08:00
  • MSRP: $2,500/pair
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • Buy Now
  • Speaker Type: 2-way bookshelf loudspeaker
  • Low Frequency Driver Size and Material: 8" Pure Pulp cone woofer
  • High Frequency Driver Size and Material: 1" Titanium dome tweeter
  • Recommended Amplifier Power : 25 - 150 WRMS
  • Impedance: 6 Ohm
  • Loudspeaker Sensitivity: 88 dB (2.83V/1m)
  • Frequency Response: 44 Hz-40 kHz (-6 dB)
  • Crossover Frequency: 2.5 kHz
  • Enclosure Type: Front-ported bookshelf
  • Enclosure Finish: Genuine walnut veneer
  • Controls: HF level control
  • Input Type: Dual gold-plated binding posts
  • Dimensions with grille (H x W x D): 18.61" x 11.06" x 11.65"
  • Product Weight: 27.9 lb

Executive Overview

Last year at CES Las Vegas we were intrigued by JBL’s retro L100 Classic, a 3-Way design bookshelf speaker built around an impressive 12” woofer. The L100 Classic also featured a 5” midrange driver and an exceptional 1-inch titanium dome tweeter with acoustic lens waveguide and front-panel HF Level attenuator. 

Any audiophile (myself included) that grew up in the era where large speakers didn't cause a war between the spouses, holds a special place in their heart for classic JBL designs like these.

- Gene DellaSala

Now, both sides could have their cake and eat it too. A year after releasing the L100 Classic, JBL Introduced their L82 Classic Bookshelf Loudspeakers at CES 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

JBL, which is part of Harman International is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. We’ve seen great things from JBL recently and the L100 we listened to last year at CES was no exception.  The new JBL L82 Classic is a modern bookshelf version of the all-time best-selling JBL L100 loudspeaker. As with the legendary L100 3-way bookshelf loudspeaker released in 1970, itself a consumer version of the popular JBL 4310 Pro Studio Monitor, the new L82 Classic looks to follow on the heels of a long line of industry-leading successes.

The new L82 Classic's 8-inch, 2-way system design is more compact than the L100’s 12-inch 3-way design, but still looks to deliver a premium hi-fi sound experience with an attractive retro aesthetic.

The L100 Classic has been a tremendous success for us delivering on the promise of JBL sound and the romance of the vintage aesthetic.  With the L82 Classic, we have a product that evokes the same instantly recognizable design and revered sound quality, and yet it does so with a considerably smaller physical footprint. We expect these to be a hit with music lovers who desire the attributes of the L100 Classic in a more compact size.

- Jim Garrett, Senior Director, Product Strategy and Planning, Luxury Audio

Packaged and sold as mirror-image pairs, the L82 Classic loudspeakers feature a 1-inch titanium dome tweeter with acoustic lens waveguide and front-panel HF Level attenuator. The tweeter is the same as used in the larger L100 Classic. The system's 8-inch cast frame white poly cone woofer should deliver a full, natural sound with bass-reflex tuning via a front-firing Slipstream port. 

JBL L82.jpg


The L82 Classic loudspeakers feature an attractive, retro design with vintage JBL styling including an iconic Quadrex foam grille in a choice of three colors — black, orange, or blue -- all with a black and bronze JBL logo. The enclosures are finished in a genuine, satin walnut wood veneer and can be positioned vertically or horizontally. Although Audioholics will want to listen with the grilles off of course ;)

Accessories for the JBL L82 Classic loudspeakers include the JS-80 floor stands ($250/pair)  which elevate and angle the enclosures to a correct tweeter height and to direct high frequencies to ear level. Additional retro Quadrex foam grille packs (black, orange, or blue) are also available to easily fit the speakers into any decor. The L82 Classic has a US retail price of $2,500/pair and additional grille colors are $199.00 per pair. Availability begins in April 2020.

What We Think…

The $2,500/pair bookshelf speaker market is a bit of a niche group that usually garners brandJBL L82 no grill.jpg loyalty, but JBL is doing a great job at catching the attention of discriminating shoppers with their retro designs and availability of color choices.

JBL enthusiasts will surely like the size and look of the L82 Classic, but will it be enough to take the attention away from similar speakers like the Polk Legend L200, Dynaudio Special 40, and the Philharmonic Audio BMR Philharmonitor.

Last year’s debut of the JBL L100 turned heads with its 3-way design and 12” woofer which helped justify its $4k/pair price tag.  Will the removal of a midrange driver keep the full sound we loved out of the L100? Let us know what you think in the forum thread below.

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About the author:

Tony is our resident expert for lifestyle and wireless products including soundbars. He does most of the reviews for wireless and streaming loudspeakers and often compares soundbars in round ups and helps us cover the trade shows.

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Recent Forum Posts:

KEW posts on January 17, 2020 08:31
Irvrobinson, post: 1228546, member: 6847
A new AR turntable? I admit, I don't get nostalgia in technology.
I doubt I'm the only one who thinks of the AR turntable when I saw this one from Fluance! I don't have enough interest to compare functional design.


I also believe Yamaha played on nostalgia with their Integrated Stereo amps like the A-S500 or A-S801. They even imported a few silver models into the USA. Of course, like the VW Beetle, there is no reason for them not to be modern competent electronics (I remember how crappy the VW was if you spent an hour or two at highway speeds and the relentless drone of that air-cooled motor - any modern car is total luxury in comparison!)
sterling shoote posts on January 17, 2020 06:35
Kingnoob, post: 1363132, member: 89775
Yeah I guess you do still gotta find a upper middle class jobs because the middle class went extinct like 10 -25 years ago .

Yeah your right but every year there is less and less jobs , higher population. Artificial intelligence coming , but I won’t talk about it unless here’s a off topic spot in forums .

You do need to be rich to afford the higher higher end stuff though I’ve seen some pairs of speakers go for millions , the ultra fancy’s things .
Congratulations to anyone who can get a high end speaker new . Don’t mean to knock anyone off or offend anyone .

Maybe I need to just do some research before I go putting up a link to a knock off of one the old elite speakers the vandersteens.

I do know that I don’t have anything high end . That’s a fact !

Reptilians invading in year 2025
Tesla spoken to them
What you earn is relative to your knowledge and skill. Now you have a job which many can do and thus your income is low. Get training in an arena short of talent and you will make more. It's up to you to do that. At some point you will be able to afford some luxuries.
shadyJ posts on January 17, 2020 04:29
Kingnoob, post: 1363132, member: 89775
Yeah I guess you do still gotta find a upper middle class jobs because the middle class went extinct like 10 -25 years ago .

Yeah your right but every year there is less and less jobs , higher population. Artificial intelligence coming , but I won’t talk about it unless here’s a off topic spot in forums .

You do need to be rich to afford the higher higher end stuff though I’ve seen some pairs of speakers go for millions , the ultra fancy’s things .
Congratulations to anyone who can get a high end speaker new . Don’t mean to knock anyone off or offend anyone .

Maybe I need to just do some research before I go putting up a link to a knock off of one the old elite speakers the vandersteens.

I do know that I don’t have anything high end . That’s a fact !

Reptilians invading in year 2025
Tesla spoken to them
JBL has a wide range of speakers, so they don't just make speakers for rich people. Those $20k speakers are not meant for home audio anyway, they are meant for professional dubbing stages where sound gets mixed for recordings. They are some of the most accurate speakers that money can buy. If you want to see what JBL has for rich people, look at the Everest DD67000 speakers, those MSRP for something like $70k/pair. Awesome speakers, I have heard them several times. But most JBL speakers are reasonably priced yet also have good performance, so you don't need to be rich to get good sound from JBL.
Kingnoob posts on January 16, 2020 23:52
NINaudio, post: 1363125, member: 82928
So, just because you don't think you can ever afford a $10k JBL 5.1 system you assume it is crap? Then you salivate over some speakers without much info on them in FB marketplace…

You talk so much for someone who hasn't heard 98% of the speakers out there…

Edit: You don't need to be a ceo or doctor to afford these. There are plenty of speakers that cost more than a new car or house out there. In fact, you can easily spend more than 10k for just the front stage.
Yeah I guess you do still gotta find a upper middle class jobs because the middle class went extinct like 10 -25 years ago .

Yeah your right but every year there is less and less jobs , higher population. Artificial intelligence coming , but I won’t talk about it unless here’s a off topic spot in forums .

You do need to be rich to afford the higher higher end stuff though I’ve seen some pairs of speakers go for millions , the ultra fancy’s things .
Congratulations to anyone who can get a high end speaker new . Don’t mean to knock anyone off or offend anyone .

Maybe I need to just do some research before I go putting up a link to a knock off of one the old elite speakers the vandersteens.

I do know that I don’t have anything high end . That’s a fact !

Reptilians invading in year 2025
Tesla spoken to them
William Lemmerhirt posts on January 16, 2020 23:52
sterling shoote, post: 1363124, member: 48878
$10,000 is about what a 5.1system from the HDI series would cost consisting of TOTL front floor standing speakers, bookshelf surrounds, center, and active subwoofer. These speakers are the most affordable line of speakers from JBL Synthesis.

I’ve been squirreling away for some revels, or kef R series or maybe monitors golds etc. However I’m pretty excited about thes HDI’s. I also think they look really nice,
If not unique even. Haven’t read about the sub but it’s probably not too compelling. Those towers though….mmmmmmm.
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