Best JBL studio monitors. Buying Guide of 2020

If you are looking for one of the more high-quality studio monitor brands, then you might have heard about JBL. They are one of the more popular choices because of their design and specs, and we put a buying guide together for you so you can see why.

You can also check out the top 4 best JBL studio monitors that you can get today, and we broke down which one is the absolute best and why.

Buying Guide


What to look for when picking out a studio monitor.


Size

Compared to other brands, most JBL monitors are usually a little bit larger when it comes to how tall or wide they are. The average size of a monitor is usually between 5 to 6 inches tall or so, and there are some models that JBL makes that can get as tall as 8 inches or more.

Just remember that if you are planning to put the monitor in a tight space to measure the space first, and you will want to add an extra inch or so for some wiggle and wire room, too.

Volume

Most studio monitors usually have a max peak volume (the loudest the speaker can get at a time) of around 105 decibels and a continuous volume of around 90 decibels. JBL monitors are a little bit better than average with most of their models since they can usually have a max peak volume of around 110 decibels and a continuous volume of around 95 decibels, but it can vary depending on the model, its size, and other technical factors.

Remember, if you want the monitor to sound the best for as long as possible, try to not have it set on the max volume at all or have it at max for only a few moments if need be. A good rule of thumb is to try and have the volume set to around 50% to sustain the quality for several years or more.

Tone

Models from JBL can have a pretty good quality when it comes to both their bass and tenor tones. Like with other monitors, the bass can be a lot less or more depending on the model, but nearly all JBL speakers can support their bass enough that they do not buzz or have background static unless they are at max or near-max volume.

Is more bass better than less?

It can depend on what exactly you are using the monitor for, but sometimes more bass is needed, even if it is just a slight boost.

If you need a monitor for music production, then you probably would want to get one with at least a slight boost since this can give you an idea of how your fans will hear the music if they have speakers or headphones with the same bass boost.

On the other hand, if you are on a budget, then a monitor with a pretty average bass could still work well for you.

How are they better than a regular speaker?

JBL studio monitors can mean a huge difference when it comes to the sound quality, and because they are more accurate and reliable than a regular speaker, they can help shorten the amount of time you would need to ensure the audio quality of the song.

Compared to a regular speaker or even other monitors, JBL models also have a more professional and high-quality look, and this can be necessary if you are trying to gain and impress clients or musicians that you work with.

Things to look for that differentiate them.

Besides the specs and appearance, one of the big things that you should look at is how many monitors to get. It can be common to find them in a single or 2-pack, but you might be able to find some in a larger size if you look around.

Although, you may only need 1 or 2 since 1 can be big enough for a small to a medium-sized studio. You also might only need 1 if the speaker is larger than average or is more powerful of a model.

What is the best way to use a studio monitor?

First, make sure it meets all of your needs between the specs, size, and compatibility with your equipment. After that, make sure you follow all of the instructions to hooking it up, testing it out, and using it.

Other than keeping the volume low, you can also help maintain its lifespan by keeping cleaned on a regular basis, keeping it in a dry area, and making sure that the wires are protected and out of the way from getting pulled, stepped on, etc.

How are JBL monitors different from other monitors?

JBL monitors can come in a variety of sizes, prices, and shapes. They have a variety of qualities, too, from average to high-end. Other than that, they are pretty standard when it comes to hooking them up and using them, but they do tend to be able to handle all tones better than some other models.

​Top 4 JBL studio monitors

#1

This is a single monitor that has a newer black-chrome look and can come in several sizes: 5, 6, or 8 inches. You can also get this model in the older version, too, if you prefer the more classic and less shiny look.

It has a pretty good max volume of 108 decibels and a continuous volume of around 95 decibels. This is one of the few JBL models where the bass is less than average, but that is compared with other JBL models; it is about the standard quality when compared with other monitor models.

The high tones are a little flatter than average, which can be great when you are trying to hear a combination of high tones to tell what they sound like together. Both the high and low tones are also pretty well sustained even at the max volume.

One of the better features that you might like, especially if you have a studio, is that it does not get as warm as some other monitors do after running for several hours at a time, meaning you do not have to worry about the room getting hotter than it already may.

Pros

  • The highs have a 'flat' sound
  • Stays cool after long use
  • Maintains quality at higher volumes

Cons

  • Has less bass than other models
#2

These are a bit of an oddball when it comes to the regular box-shape that mode monitors have because of the nearly complete round design they have. They are about the same size as the other models, making them a little awkward to pick up with one hand, but it is pretty easy using both hands.

This is also one of the least expensive monitors that you can get, JBL or otherwise. Despite this cheap price, it does have a bit better of bass than the last model, and it is one of the few monitors that are stylish enough to be used as regular speakers for a computer, too.

This is a set of 2 monitors and each one can get up to 104 decibels for the max volume and around 92 decibels for the continuous volume.

The one downside with this model is that the cable that it comes with is a bit lower quality and can be a little difficult to put in and take out of the AUX port, but this can be a quick fix since AUX cables are cheap and can be found very quickly.

Pros

  • Has a slight bass boost that is clear
  • Is good for studios or entertainment use
  • One of the most affordable

Cons

  • Cable that it comes with is lower quality
#3

These are similar to the first model on the list, but the design and specs are a little bit different. This one also comes in a 2-pack instead of a single monitor. Because it is a 2-pack and the fact that it is a more improved version of the first product, it is a bit more expensive, but the quality is also one of the best for a JBL or any monitor.

These speakers are a little bit bigger than average, around 6.5 inches, and they are one of the heaviest out there, about 13 pounds each; make sure you are careful when lifting up the box.

If you are looking for a pair of monitors with the best bass boost, then this is possibly your best bet, especially if you want a loud set. These have a max volume of around 110 decibels and a continuous volume of around 96 decibels.

For one of the newer, high-quality monitors, these are also one of the most well-built and reliable models; they rarely buzz or make any static if they do at all.

Pros

  • Is one of the highest-quality models
  • Is long-lasting and reliable
  • Has one of the best bass boosts

Cons

  • Is one of the most expensive models
#4

If you did not like the newer and shinier look of the last pair of monitors, then you might like these older, matte ones better. They are a little more expensive, mostly because they are an older model that is harder to find since there are only a few available, but these have one of the clearest and accurate sounds out of all the other models out there.

The bass is one of the best and most enhanced, and it almost never buzzes when the monitors are on max volume, which is around 105 decibels. The max volume is slightly lower than average, and the continuous volume is too; it is around 90 decibels. Still, since it is a 2-pack, both used together in a small to a medium-sized studio should be enough to not notice the lower sound.

They do look a little outdated, but there is a bit of a retro feel to them that some music producers prefer, especially if your specialty involves older genres (think 80s to 90s). These do also weigh less than the previous ones, making them a little bit easier for you to set up and move around.

Pros

  • Has one of the highest bass boosts
  • Are powerful
  • Have a clear and distinct sound

Cons

  • Is one of the most expensive models

Conclusion

When comparing their sizes, volume capacity, tone capacity, and their appearance, the best out of these monitors would have to be the last product: the JBL CONTROL 5 Compact Control Monitor Loudspeaker System. They are the absolute best choice if you value sound quality above all else, want monitors with the highest bass boost possible (but adjustable of course), and are easy to move. However, if you want the same features but ones with a higher volume, the third product, the JBL 306P MkII 6.5" Studio Monitoring Speakers, is the next best choice. Both are pretty similar, but the CONTROL 5 has more bass and less volume while the 306P MkII is the exact opposite, and their styles are also different of course.

The best budget option would have to be the second product, the JBL Professional 1 Series 104 Compact Powered Desktop Reference Monitors, since it has a great bass and volume capacity for the price that it is. It is also one of the few monitors that are designed to be used as a regular speaker, too.

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About the Author Michele Zangrandi

Hi guys, If you share the same excitement for literally ANY new music device out there, then I would be honoured to call you brothers!

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