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James Loudspeaker LR-S Passive Sound Bar Aims for Audiophile Performance

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Summary

  • Product Name: SPL5LR-S, SPL6LR-S, SPL8LR-S Soundbars
  • Manufacturer: James Loudspeaker
  • Review Date: March 07, 2018 21:00
  • MSRP: $3,500 base model SPL5LR-S
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • Buy Now

Complexity is not necessarily an upgrade.  James Loudspeakers has brought this idea to the increasingly popular soundbar market with their new 2.1 format LR-S Sound Bars. While some audio manufacturers are cramming more, albeit smaller, speakers into a confined space to try and recreate some semblance of 3-D sound, James Loudspeaker is content with just a simple left and right speaker each equipped with an aluminum quad array tweeter. Oh, did I forget to tell you that there is also a built-in sub comprised of FOUR high power 5.25” or larger neo drivers?

SPL8LR-S_preview.jpeg 

The LR-S lineup of soundbars was originally designed to be used in areas where powerful crisp sound was needed, but space and integration were a problem. James Loudspeaker initially engineered the LR-S soundbar solutions based on market demand from commercial integrators seeking premium audio for boardrooms, conference rooms, lobbies, retail showrooms and even nightclubs. Residential integrators also have adopted the LR-S format for bedrooms and other zones where a flat-panel TV is present but surround sound is not required. The flexibility of setup with these James Loudspeaker Soundbars is unlike any other soundbar on the market.  It’s designed to be installed onto a large multiplexed display array, but as with other James Loudspeaker Soundbars, these LR-S format soundbars can be customized to match nearly any flat-panel display.

SPL8LR-S_preview (1).jpeg

As with other James Loudspeaker products, the LR-S line will be built in Napa, California and will be comprised of aircraft-grade aluminum for strength, sonic performance, and durability which means they can even be used for outdoor or marine applications. Each soundbar features aluminum cone woofers and either aluminum or beryllium dome quad tweeters. All LR-S soundbars can be custom fit and painted to match your display or décor. Each bar comes with a matching aluminum perforated grille. LR-S soundbars can be mounted directly to any TV for a seamless presentation or wall-mounted using available brackets. The soundbars are currently available in the company’s SPL5, SPL6 and SPL8 Series. Measurements from James Loudspeakers are suggesting bass extension below 60Hz from nearly any size form factor.

Amplification Not Included

Buyer beware though, this is a NON-amplified or passive soundbar so you will need a separate amplifier to power it. The 2.1 configuration of the LR-S sound bars does make them a great match to the James Loudspeaker A2.1 three-channel amplifier, which features onboard crossovers and independent controls for easy system calibration.  The James Loudspeaker LR-S sound bars are available now through authorized James Loudspeaker integrators. James Loudspeaker says that the MSRP pricing starts at $3,500, but chances are the price will be closer to the $5k range and don’t forget to add the $1,400 A2.1 amplifier from James Loudspeaker as well. There is some truly high end technology packed into these soundbar speakers and  James is clearly trying to get the very best performance out of the form factor regardless of price.

What do you think about these audiophile soundbars from James Loudspeakers? Please share your opinion in the related forum thread below.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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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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