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JBL-SCS500.5 5.1 Home Theater Speakers



  • Product Name: SCS500.5 Home Theater Speakers
  • Manufacturer: JBL
  • Review Date: January 29, 2008 18:46
  • MSRP: $649 ($412 at the AH Store)
  • First Impression: Mildly Interesting
  • Max Recommended Amplifier Power: 100 Watts
  • Nominal Impedance: 8-ohms
  • Sensitivity:88dB @ 1 Watt/1 meter
  • Frequency Response: 100Hz – 20kHz (–6dB)
  • Tweeter: 1/2" (13mm) Titanium-laminate dome, Video-shielded
  • Midrange: Dual 3" (75mm) drivers, video-shielded
  • Dimensions (H x W x D): 11-1/2" x 4" x 3-1/2" (292mm x 102mm x 89mm)
  • Weight: 3lb (1.4kg)
  • Amplifier: 150 Watts RMS
  • Frequency Response: 30Hz – 120Hz (–6dB)
  • Woofer: 10" (250mm)
  • Enclosure: Bass-reflex
  • Dimensions: (H x W x D) (including feet) 20" x 13-3/4" x 15-3/4" (508mm x 349mm x 400mm)
  • Weight: 35 lb (15.9kg)

When that purchase of a new HD display has left your wallet a little on the thin side, and you still don’t have a set of surround speakers, this small system from JBL might be the solution you've been looking for. For only $412 you get four matching satellites with matching center channel, and a subwoofer that is a step up from the usual fare found on most systems in price bracket.

The satellites and center channel speaker all contain dual 3-inch drivers and 0.5-inch titanium-laminate dome tweeters. All the speakers have spring clip type speaker terminals. The subwoofer is a 10-inch bass reflex design powered by a 150-watt amplifier. All the speakers are magnetically shielded, and the subwoofer includes speaker level inputs and outputs, line level inputs, level control, standby and power switch. Build quality is typical of other systems offered at this price, and better than some that cost twice the amount. Also, the subwoofer is not mounted in a cheap injection molded plastic enclosure. Included also are wall mounting brackets and small shelf stands. We like it when mounts are included.

As with many micro-speaker systems the sound was very clear and focused when kept within limits, but lacking in the mid-bass region. This is very common for speakers with such small drivers, and we found the system to be quite pleasing overall. The subwoofer is the real star here for it performs much better than most found at this price.

With so many systems to choose for under $500 it does get a little confusing trying sort out what is decent and what is not. The JBL SCS500.5 should serve those well who are either budget conscience or have over-spent on their new plasma or flat panel LCD display. At any rate, one could spend more than twice the amount of money on a cube type system and be left with nothing good to show for it.

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