“Let our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans”
Facebook Youtube Twitter instagram pinterest

JBL Synthesis S4700 Floorstanding Speaker Preview

JBL Synthesis S4700 Loudspeakers

JBL Synthesis S4700 Loudspeakers


  • Product Name: S4700 Loudspeakers
  • Manufacturer: JBL Synthesis
  • Review Date: January 24, 2012 22:00
  • MSRP: $20,000/pair
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool

  • Cast-frame 15-inch pure-pulp-cone woofer with dual 3-inch voice coils and a high-power neodymium magnet motor structure
  • 175Nd-3 midrange/high-frequency compression driver features a 2-inch AquaPlas-coated titanium diaphragm mated to a 90 by 60 degree BiRadial horn
  • 138Nd 0.75-inch pure-titanium high-frequency compression driver operates into a 60 by 30 degree BiRadial horn
  • Bass reflex enclosure with a rear-firing tuned port
  • Premium-quality crossover components and internal wiring
  • Enclosure is damped and internally braced at critical points
  • Furniture grade cherry wood finish
  • 42.1" high by 19.9" wide by 14.6" deep

The JBL Synthesis line has been a curious mix of old and new. They use some of the latest technologies as far as crossovers and drivers go, but place them in enclosures that would be right at home in a 70's home full of green shag carpet and day-glow wall paper. That said, these are speakers that don't mess around. They aren't built for that third bedroom you transformed into a home theater when your kid went off to college. They're built for dedicated listening rooms for the discerning audiophile. At tens of thousands of dollars a pair, they certainly aren't for the Best Buy crowd.

Recently, JBL Synthesis has released some pretty impressive speakers. Impressively large and expensive. So when they announce that their new S4700 speakers are "Ultra high-end", we can't help but be intrigued. Based on the world-renowned Project Everest DD66000 and Project K2 S9900 speakers (they share many of the same styling cues), the S4700 speakers have a lot to live up too. At a $30k savings over the Everest and $10k savings over the the K2's, the S4700's $20k price tag looks quite a bit more attractive to the potential consumer. Still, it does lack the cool mountain-based name. Maybe they could be called the Project Altamont Pass S4700s?

The S4700s are an impressive 42.1" high by 19.9" wide by 14.6" deep. While considerably smaller than the Everest and slightly smaller than the K2s, the S4700's will still easily top 100 pounds each and probably 150 pounds as well. They host a variety of drivers, starting with the 15" pure-pulp-cone woofer in a cast-frame. The woofer has dual 3" voice coils and high power neodymiun magnets for low end impact and reach.

Up top, you may think there is a single horn-loaded driver but there is a second, smaller one in the upper lip of the large horn. The larger, midrange/high frequency driver is a 2-inch AquaPlas-coated titanium diaphragm mated to a 90 by 60 degree BiRadial horn. Above it is a 0.75-inch pure-titanium high-frequency compression driver that operates into a 60 by 30 degree BiRadial horn. Both of these drivers are housed in an assembly constructed out of JBL's SonoGlass, a dense, acoustically inert resin material. The BiRadial horns are designed to spread the mid and high frequency signals over wider areas.

The smaller driver actually operates much higher than humans can hear - into the 40kHz range. There is no information on frequency response of the speaker as a whole yet though we expect it to hit down to the low 50Hz range (the similarly sized K2s hit down the 48Hz at -6dB). The well-braced and damped enclosure is rear ported for additional bass response. Furniture-grade cherry finish adorns the outside and premium quality materials are used in the crossover and internally wiring. Dual binding posts are on the back for bi-amping.


Regardless what JBL Synthesis says, their speakers are more about sound than looks. Sure, you can wrap it in hand-finished rabbit fur for all we care but, in the end, you'll rarely read someone buying them (or, more likely, wanting to buy them) based on their looks. They just look funky. But we've heard the Project Everest speakers in person and they certainly are impressive. If the S4700 speakers sound anywhere near as good, consumers may look at that $20k price tag as a value considering they are getting some measure of the performance of the other two, higher priced, speakers. Releasing more budget (comparatively speaking) speakers makes a lot of sense in the current economy. We expect a lot of interest in these speakers and hope to get a chance to demo them ourselves soon.

For more information, please visit www.jblsynthesis.com.

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:
author portrait

As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

View full profile