JBL 305p mkii review, JBL Professional Studio Monitor

Getting a good set of speakers has always been my intention since I set up a studio. As an ardent audiophile, I like to produce sounds in their linear, original form and trace technical errors quickly. A studio monitor fits this description because large, bombastic speakers aren't going to do the job.

Ladies and gentlemen, let's look at one product with a rating of 4.7 stars and over 1,900 reviews on Amazon. This device has caught the eye of bloggers and vloggers. It's the JBL 305P MKII Studio Monitor!

This transducer is an excellent product in JBL's long line of impressive high-quality studio monitors. The three-series MK IIs are, in fact, an upgrade of the remarkable LSR3 series. Audio aficionados praise this compact studio monitor because of its ability to utilize image control waveguide for outstanding detail and imaging.

Ready to unpack more of the JBL 305p MK II goodness? Let's jump right in.

Product Specification

 Nakamichi Shockwafe Soundbar

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Dimension and Weight

  • Product grade: studio monitor
  • Monitor type: active two-way
  • Product dimensions: 14 × 12.2 × 13.94 inches
  • Item weight:13 pounds
  • Size: 5"
  • Casing: Medium-density Fiberboard
  • Drivers:
    HF driver: 1 × 1" / 25.3 mm dome tweeter
    LF driver: 1 × 5" / 127mm woofer
  • Amplification:
    One × HF amplifier: class-D rated at 41W
    One × LF amplifier: class-D placed at 41W

Performance

  • Frequency range: 43 Hz to 24 kHz (at -10 dB)
  • Frequency response: 49 to 20 kHz +/- 3 dB
  • Maximum sound pressure level: 108 dB
  • Frequency response: 49 Hz - 20 kHz +/- 3dB
  • Signal to noise ratio: 75 dBA
  • Total harmonic distortion (THD):<10%
  • THD + N:< 0.2%
  • Maximum input level: +20.3 dBu (balanced); +6dBv (unbalanced)
  • Protection and limiting: peak limiter

Signal processing

  • EQ: HF shelf; LF shelf

Crossover

  • Crossover frequency: 1725 Hz, 25dB/octave slope
  • Crossover type: Linkwitz-Riley

Connectivity

  • Audio I/O: 1 × XLR balanced female analog input; 1 × ¼" TRS balanced female analog input

Power 

  • AC input power:100 to 240 VAC, 50/60 Hz
  • Wattage: 82 watts

What I like about the product

  • First off, the MkII has a detailed, leveled sound for your studio, bedroom, or living room. The sound emanating from the unit is accurate throughout all frequencies. Everything from the lowest bass to the highest treble is sharp and balanced. Rest assured, knowing that the cutting-edge technology it's loaded with makes mixing and mastering easier.
  • This model offers more versatility than similar products thanks to the Boundary EQ controls that enable it to adjust to the size of the room it is used in, as well as the prevailing acoustics of the room.
  • I feel confident that you're going to find its compactness pleasing. The 305P can be placed on any flat surface as it does not take up much room.
  • Additionally, the gadget has an impressive bass output and a long-lasting runtime of up to 100 hours at full power.
  • Oh, I forgot to mention that the transducer is affordable. Who wouldn't purr over the quality, sleek modernistic design-build?

What I don't like about the product

  • Sadly, at 82 Watts, the JBL 305P is not the most powerful studio monitor out there. However, power is not very essential when it comes to studio monitor technology.
  • It produces a clear hiss when used at low volumes but is invisible at medium to high levels.

What the sound monitor is physically like

The bass-reflex speaker is housed in a ruggedly shaped, glossy plastic frame. The hollow plastic mold surrounding the tweeter serves as the waveguide and is a functional part of the speaker's build - a takeaway from JBL's M2 speakers. This waveguide helps to spread out the sound waves made by the tweeter. When treble waves are dispersed as uniformly as possible, they can integrate more neatly with the lower wave frequencies generated by the bass driver underneath.

The encasement of the 305P may appear and feel cheap due to the addition of sound-canceling foam on the inside. The MDF speaker cabinets react with a hollow thump whenever I give it a tap. When weighed against the rigid, curvy Q acoustics 3000-series, the physical build of the speaker is comparatively more ordinary.

How can you set up the sound monitor?

Once set up, the monitor will be a very active component of your studio configuration. To start, plug in any soundcard, DAC, smart device, or audio device through a pair of cables, and you're set. You do not require any traditional amplifier.

Since they are versatile, you can rest them on a bookshelf or a desk. They are also suitable for a variety of locations. There is a control at the rear side of the monitor that dulls or boosts the treble. The accompanying boundary switch lowers the bass output when you're placing the speakers close to the wall.

Sound quality

Let me make it clear that the JBL 305 is not a small output speaker. The bass bellows astonishingly deep for such comparatively small cabinets. The sound makes an instant impact too. You may even feel as though you forgot to turn off the subwoofer. The transducer makes similar-looking, more expensive brands like the Q Acoustics 3020i sound relatively deprived of bass.

There are switches at the backside of the speakers to allow you to lower the bass output to 1.5 or 3dB, or boost the high-end output by 2dB, based on how far away from the speaker you are seated, the acoustics of your room, and the arrangement of your speakers. These conditions determine how balanced the sound of your JBL is. Ideally, I set up my monitors on stands about one foot away from the rear wall without adjusting the settings. The result? A very balanced frequency response. Hold your breath: you're about to experience a nice depth sensation and presence to the sound.

The speakers are an excellent choice for producers or DJs in genres that demand a lot of basses. And while they do not promise rave-level bass like commercial speakers, they make up for it with a pleasant balance in the home, large production area, or large-sized studio setting.

Rating: 4/5

Build quality

When you buy this sound monitor from the stable of JBL, you're not just purchasing another affordable studio equipment; you're tapping into 70 years of long-lasting, high-performing craftsmanship. The unit is manufactured with premium-grade components that enable it to perform exceedingly, outlasting prior models.

The studio analyzer weighs just over 10 pounds - appropriate for a speaker of its caliber. It is considerably lightweight for portability and travel. Feel free to take these speakers to tours and events.

The company has opted for a wood derivative for the casing of this monitor - MDF. With 15mm thickness, the product is lightweight and sturdy. To make it more appealing to customers, the brand covered the monitor with matte PVC, ensuring that it's water-resistant.

Vibrations in speakers can be nasty and distracting, and that is why the company has fitted ABS to the speakers to address this flaw.

Longevity of use is another structural concern that the company has addressed. Most monitors tend to collapse after enduring long hours of high-frequency music play. For this, the brand has fitted a 25mm premium-grade HF driver. JBL has also added a soft dome component to filter high frequencies in the speakers.

Rating: 4.5/5

Performance

If you're working in a small studio or a medium-sized space, you can go for this model. For a more professional, versatile, and analytical experience, you should consider other larger, more expensive units.

Rating: 4/5

Product alternatives

Now, let's see how the MkII shapes up when matched with other studio monitors at its level.

PreSonus Eris E52-Way 5.25" Studio Monitor

This studio monitor is a superb selection due to its super-flat sound. They're still a considerably loud studio monitor despite not being as punchy at the low frequency as the other JBL series. The Eris E5 has a supplementary in-built RF shielding that can stop external interferences from disturbing your speakers. Overall, the E5 is:

  • A great choice to achieve a flatter sound.
  • Built solidly.
  • Not so great at the lower end.

Mackie CR3-X 3-Inch Multimedia Monitor

 Mackie CR-X Series

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The smaller 3" woofer should easily be its undoing, but the Mackie CR3-X is loud - although softer than the JBL. One great edge this studio monitor has over the MkII is its affordability. If you're on a tight budget, then this product is a go-to option. However, you must know that the CR3-X is not a very solid product, and you may start searching for an upgrade as soon as you acquire it. Here's what I think:

  • It's an affordable entry-level monitor.
  • It's pretty loud for its size.
  • Build design is not as sturdy.

Yamaha HS8 8-Inch Studio Monitor

An 8" studio monitor always results in a louder studio monitor. The Yamaha HS8 packs an impressive array of sound and a very flat response. If you're knee-deep in music production, you may invest in this product for more analytic listening. Except to shell out a few more dollars due to its outstanding quality. The HS8 makes the pick of alternative options for its:

  • Exceptional flat sound.
  • Age-long brand recognition.
  • Mid-range price point

Final verdict

The JBL 305P MkII may not get the nod by hardcore audiophiles or a studio producer with a critical ear for music analysis. But, for a small to medium production space, this studio monitor is a great pick.

The flat response means that they are good for critical listening during recording, mixing, and mastering. Little wonder DJs flock to it because of its decent quality and a robust lower end that allows them to enjoy their tunes. This quality becomes more obvious if electronic music is your thing.

Overall, it gets the thumbs up as an affordable and dependable home studio monitor.

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