JBL’s products are everywhere. In fact, at their press conference, they mentioned having sold over 100 million pairs of headphones and portable speakers. To mark their 75th anniversary, they are releasing a pair of limited-edition classics that have been reimagined for 2021. But that’s not all. There is also a new JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam soundbar and a new JBL Charge 5 on the way too!
JBL L100 Classic
First up there is the JBL L100 Classic 75. This limited edition release, which will be available early this spring, isn’t for the casual listener. At an MSRP of $5,500 a pair, these speakers are for people who truly love their music and are willing to invest in having the best gear possible. Only 750 pairs are being produced.
Modeled on the best-selling JBL L100 Classic, the limited edition JBL L100 Classic 75 is a testimonial to the groundbreaking engineering and thoughtful design displayed by JBL over the last 75 years
I love the fact that the L100 Classic 75 features the same iconic, 1970’s-style retro design as the JBL L100 Classic. It recaptures the “vintage JBL styling including an iconic black Quadrex foam grille and exquisite teak wood veneer cabinets.” Because this is a limited edition release, each loudspeaker features a unique signed rear-badge and Certificate of Authenticity.
As Jim Garrett, Senior Director, Product Strategy and Planning, Luxury Audio, HARMAN observes,
We have seen tremendous success with the latest L100 Classic model that we introduced in the fall of 2018. We thought there was no better way to honor the 75th anniversary of the JBL brand than with a limited edition version of what is perhaps our most iconic loudspeaker of all time. This one-of-a-kind loudspeaker is destined to become a highly sought-after model by music lovers around the world.
The L100 Classic 75 is gorgeous. Teak wood veneer surrounds the loudspeaker enclosure and is complemented by a black Quadrex foam grille accented with a gold and black JBL logo.
But while the speakers capture the classic look of the L100s, they benefit from modern advancements in acoustical technology. Not only does the L100 Classic 75 have an improved woofer suspension design but,
The L100 Classic 75 features the JT025Ti2-4 1-inch (25mm) Titanium dome tweeter mated to a waveguide with an acoustic lens for optimal integration to the JM125PC-8 5-inch (125mm) cast-frame, pure-pulp cone midrange driver located directly below. The vertical HF and MF transducer arrangement is slightly offset to the right of the woofer below, with HF and MF attenuators located on the upper left of the front baffle. Low frequencies are delivered by the JW300SW-8 12-inch (300mm) cast-frame, white pure-pulp cone woofer operating in a bass-reflex enclosure system that is tuned via a single, front-firing port tube with flared exit.
The L100 Classic 75 is sold as a matched pair system, and a set of JS-120 floor stands are included in the price. The entire system will ship inside unique wooden crates with limited edition artwork on the side panels.
The JBL SA750 will have an MSRP of $3000 when it is released in April. Its design was inspired by the vintage JBL SA600 and SA660 integrated amplifiers that were popular in the 1960s and 1970s.
It pairs classic design with modern audio tech, such as the Class G amplification technology that promises to deliver “high output sound performance and greater efficiency.”
As JBL explains:
The JBL SA750 Integrated Amplifier features an iconic retro-inspired milled aluminum face panel with luxurious volume, balance and input dials and hefty switches for power, mute, direct, MC/MM phono, and Dirac Live room calibration. The face panel includes a 3.5mm Aux input and 3.5mm Headphones output, plus a 2-line orange display screen. The look is completed by classic teak-wood veneer side panels to match the new anniversary edition JBL L100 Classic 75 loudspeakers.
But that’s where the nostalgia ends. Inside, the amplifier is a whole new ballgame that includes state-of-the-art high-output Class G amplification technology and streaming technologies that let purchasers take advantage of Google Chromecast and Apple Airplay 2. But there’s even more. The SA750 has a high-resolution DAC, a switchable MM/MC phono input, support for UPnP wireless, full MQA file decoding, is Roon Ready, and has the ability to self-calibrate. Hence, you get optimized performance regardless of the room.
Of course, the key to the audio prowess of a product like this is the integrated amplifier. In this case, a high-performance Class G amplifier is inside drives huge sound. As JBL explains:
This Class G design provides impeccable sound quality and efficiency operating as a Class A amplifier for low-level signals and switching in an additional power supply for large transients and dynamic waveforms. The result is incredible detail and accuracy at low levels, low crossover distortion, and high-current capability for extreme power demands.
The SA750 also sports a range of modern connectivity options.
These include Ethernet and WiFi with UPnP for connecting to a home network; USB for playing files from removable memory drives; Ethernet and RS-232 serial control for third-party control systems; two optical and two coaxial digital inputs, and six pairs of analog RCA inputs. The JBL SA750 features two pairs of binding-post speaker connectors, a front-panel 3.5mm auxiliary input, a 3.5mm headphone output, and one stereo RCA preamp output.
As Jim Garrett, Senior Director, Product Strategy & Planning, HARMAN Luxury Audio puts it,
The SA750 combines the appeal of retro design with the most current room optimization and streaming technologies in the market. It’s the best of both worlds — past and present — and is already generating considerable excitement among audiophiles and enthusiasts to whom we’ve previewed it.
The JBL SA750 looks amazing. I have little doubt the $3000 amplifier will sound just as good!
Thankfully, JBL didn’t just reveal high-end audio products like the $5500 L100 Classic 75 and the $3000 SA750.
JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam
The new JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam soundbar is a simple way to get superb audio from your television. Available in black for $399.95 when it’s released this spring, the Bar 5.0 is packed with technology that allows it to “deliver an incredibly spacious 3D surround sound experience with the first-ever combination of Virtual Dolby Atmos and JBL’s proprietary beamforming technology – MultiBeam.” A compact all-in-one soundbar, the Bar 5.0 will fit in almost any media room, and it will be great for watching movies, streaming music, and gaming.
The JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam has four passive radiators for “deep and punchy bass. ” Thanks to JBL 3D Surround Sound, consumers don’t need a separate subwoofer to get deep, booming sound. The Bar 5.0 has HARMAN’s MultiBeam technology. It “enables users to hear and feel surround sound without needing additional surround speakers, generating an immersive listening experience. Virtual Dolby Atmos allows the Bar 5.0 to reproduce the audio height dimensions from a movie or TV show, turning any living space into a 3D personal theater.”
The Bar 5.0 isn’t just for your television, though. It is an all-in-one design that was built with today’s streaming music services in mind. That not only means it has Bluetooth but that it also includes compatibility with Alexa, Apple Airplay 2, and Chromecast built-in. Of course, the JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam is compatible with all iOS and Android devices.
As Dave Rogers, President, HARMAN Lifestyle Audio notes:
Built with industrial elements that exhibit a sleek, modern look, the JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam is a welcome addition to anyone’s household. Alongside an upgraded compact design and added technological features, this soundbar rounds out the JBL Bar Series, bringing consumers an added layer of innovation and ease of use.
JBL Charge 5
Finally, JBL announced a brand new version of their popular JBL Charge portable speaker. The JBL Charge 5 still has the water and rustproof design that make it a speaker that can, and should, always be with you, but it also has JBL’s Original Pro Sound so your music won’t suffer just because you are out for the day.
The Charge 5 looks similar to previous models, but it is an entirely new speaker on the inside. It has “a racetrack-shaped driver, separate tweeter and dual passive radiators for impressive audio clarity and a deep bass, offering listeners JBL Original Pro Sound in a durable design.”
According to my discussions with HARMAN’s Chris Dragon, the separate tweeter is an advancement that is key to the advancement in audio between the Charge 5 and previous models.
The Charge 5 offers 20 hours of playtime and, as the name suggests, has a built-in power bank so you can charge your phone while you enjoy your music. JBL PartyBoost is another fun feature. It allows users to connect the Charge 5 to other compatible JBL portable speakers for an even bigger sound.
Andy Tsui, SVP & GM, product development & engineering, general management at HARMAN explains:
Whether listening at home or outdoors, the JBL Charge 5 sets a new standard for high-quality sound. We’re thrilled to introduce the next generation of our popular lineup and are beyond excited to offer listeners the unmatched power of JBL Original Pro Sound.
JBL Charge 5 Features:
- Built with an IP67 rated waterproof and dustproof design
- Enabled with JBL PartyBoost
- Wireless Bluetooth v5.1 Streaming
- Built-in 7500mAh Powerbank: Rechargeable Li-ion battery supports
20 hours of playtime and offers the ability to charge devices via USB-Charge Out
- Racetrack-shaped driver, separate tweeter, and dual passive JBL Bass Radiators
- Packaged in paper-based, eco packaging
The JBL Charge 5 will be released in April in six different colors, and it will have an MSRP of $179.95.
So there you have it. As JBL marks 75 years of audio innovation, they bring back some updated classics, making your home theater sound better than ever and giving us ways to take our music everywhere. And that is just four of the new products they announced. Check out all of JBL’s offerings here.