jbl hls610's [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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09-13-2004, 05:42 PM
So I did a few searches and in my quest for a low budget bookshelf speaker, came across the jbl's mentioned in the title. I read dozens and dozens of reviews claiming that this speaker was an incredible value and worthy of a much higher price than it's original MSRP of $299. I found a pair on e-bay and hooked them up and have done some extensive critical listening over the past week.

Here are some of the things I've found;

They are not shielded enough to place within 12" of my Mitsu 35" tv

They have a coloration on some male vocals that may or may not be associated with the rear port.

They don't have a very even in room frequency response ( as confirmed by ear and with 20hz-20khz sweeps)

There appears to be musical information missing, similar to heavily eq'd sound

They sound very thin at low listening levels but improve when you turn them up

I've had some trouble getting them to image properly

Having said all that, they are a great value for the $60 (+shipping) I paid. Most music sounds rich, warm and full IF you turn up the volume. They handle high volume pretty well. There is no need for a sub unless you're really in the mood to bottom feed.

I have not yet drawn any permanent conclusions about these speaker as my ears may adjust or I may find more optimal placement. They are just very different from what I'm used to.

s dog
09-13-2004, 09:53 PM
I had a pair of 610s and 620s and they both sounded thin at low level listening , the 620s had poor bass for a tower speaker , ended up useing the 610s for rear surround speakers in a 7.1 setup, sold the 620s and went with klipsch

10-01-2004, 06:54 PM
Thought I'd post a follow-up to my initial thoughts on this speaker. After a few weeks of listening and tweaking it seems that these speakers have fewer faults than I'd previously thought. The biggest problem I had was getting them into the correct physical position to reach their potential. They appear to be pretty sensitive to placement relative to walls and the listening position, more so than I've encountered with other speakers.

The only remaining fault from my original list above is the low listening level issue. I enjoy music played somewhat loudly so it's not much of a concern for me. The rear ports make the bass a little tricky to tune. They really need to be at least 2' forward of any wall or else there is reinforcement that colors some vocals and drowns out others. The listening position also needs to be well forward of any walls. The reflections caused by some of the horn-produced high frequncies actually make some sounds seem to originate from behind the listening position if you're too close to a back wall. It wreaks havoc with soundstage/image. Moving forward even 18" made a huge improvement. In my room this puts me a little close to the speakers considering how far apart they are, and some adjustment of toe is required to compensate.

They seem to handle pretty much any music type well. They really shine on huge symphonic tracks and convey a sense of space thats amazing both for their size and their price. They have excellent low end extension for their size. They sound much more like a 3-way floorstander with 12" woofs than a small bookshelf. For HT use as mains they do all that they should with no noteable defects. If you can find them for under $100 (mine were $60 on ebay) they are an excellent value. Just make sure you have the space in your listening room to take advantage of them. If you don't give the rear ports some good clearance they sound pretty poor.