A studio monitor is an essential part of any studio setup. Due to their accurate sound projection, they are used for listening to audio in its purest form, which makes it easier to edit later. Now, if you are planning to build your studio at home but running low on budget, getting your hands on a pair of studio monitors might not be that easy for you.
And that's exactly where JBL lsr305 comes in. As for the brand itself, JBL, I don't think the name needs further introduction. Whether it's regular speakers, studio monitors, headphones or any other sector in the audio industry, JBL has made a name for itself with unprecedented performance.
Now, JBL lsr05 was released way back in 2003, and back then, it was a super popular studio monitor and considered flagship. But now, after almost two decades later, this beauty is still going strong as a great budget option for aspiring music produces. Wondering how? Well, I had the same question in mind, so I decided to test it on my own. So stay with me as I uncover what's all the hype is about.
JBL LSR305 Specification
- Frequency Range: 43 Hz-24 kHz
- Max Peak SPL: 108 dB SPL C-Weighted
- Max Peak Input: +23 dBu
- LF DRIVER SIZE: 127 mm (5")
- HF DRIVER SIZE: 25 mm (1")
- LF DRIVER POWER AMP: 41 W Class D
- HF DRIVER POWER AMP: 41 W Class D
- LF Trim Control: +2 dB, 0, -2 dB
- HF TRIM CONTROL: +2 dB, 0, -2 dB
- Input Types: 1 x XLR, 1 x TRS Balanced
- AC INPUT VOLTAGE: 100-240 VAC +/- 10% 50/60 Hz
- Dimension: (H x W x D) 11.75 in x 7.28 in x 9.88 in
- Weight: 10.12 lbs.
The Benefits & Drawbacks of the product
Before we go any further, let's take a peek into the benefits of drawbacks of JBL lsr305. Then, moving forward, this section will help you better understand the strengths and weaknesses of this studio monitor.
Benefits of JBL LSR305
- The wide centre image is definitely the biggest benefit of JBL lsr305. When we use a comparatively small monitor in bigger rooms or studios, the listener's position affects the audio quality. But with JBL's Image Control Waveguide, you get a wide sound stage to enjoy music equally from any corner.
- Accurate and balanced sound quality is another great side of JBL lsr305. Both higher and lower frequency sounds great. This true sound presentation is a must for a studio monitor to find the flaws in audio and edit it in post-production.
- You get to control the frequencies a little with JB lsr305. There are different controls at the back of the monitor, and of them is a high low-frequency trim control. With its help, you can adjust the frequencies a little bit to get the sound quality of your choice.
- Last but not least, affordability is one of the key selling points of JBL lsr305. There are few options on the market pack performance anywhere near JBL lsr305 and still cost this reasonably.
Drawbacks of JBL LSR305
- Though the higher and lower frequencies perform just file, the midrange seems pretty flat. While it won't affect the sound generation drastically, you should keep it in mind.
- JBL lsr305 coms with an XLR and TRS Balanced. While these inputs are enough and perform well in most cases, the inclusion of an RCA input would have made things more convenient.
JBL LSR305 Features and Ratings
Now that we are done with advantages and drawbacks, let's discuss different aspects of JBL lsr305 and see how it performs in each of them.
Build Quality and Design
The sound is the most important factor for any audio system. But good looking audio equipment can always help create a good initial impression and uplift the beauty of your overall setup. In that regard, JBL lsr305 seem to get the full marks. I know this studio monitor is quite old, but the design and build quality are still good enough to compete with today's studio monitors.
The whole monitor has a boxy vibe with the tweeter and subwoofer at the front. With the foam enclosure and jet black plastic build, this monitor will easily blend in with any studio setup. You'll notice a JBL logo under the woofer, and that's about it at the front.
At the back, there is an array of controls and ports alongside the bass port. Overall, the construction of JBL lrs305 has a very subtle yet attractive look that most audiophiles will like.
Next up, we have the most important aspect of this studio monitor: sound quality. While it doesn't matter much if your speaker has a bit of colouration or not, but for studio monitors, the sound has to be extremely accurate and true for best music production.
As far as purity and defined audio go, JBL lsr305 seems to deliver. The monitor is equipped with a 5-inch woofer and I1 inch tweeter, powered by a 41 watts class D amplification. Speaking of the woofer and tweeter, JBL lsr305 also has an impressively wide frequency range of 43 Hz-24 kHz.
While the high-frequency range is quite high, I expected more from the lower frequency. Unfortunately, because of this poor lower frequency, the bass experience with this studio monitor seems to suffer a bit. However, you can always add additional subwoofers to enjoy an upgraded bass. Additional subwoofers are pretty common for 5" studio monitors, so there is nothing to feel weird about investing in it.
Lastly, I couldn't help mention JBL's patented image control waveguide technology (ICW). Like everyone else, I first thought this was more of a marketing gimmick by JBL to sell their product. But as I dug deeper and placed this monitor in my studio, I understood how great of a job this new technology has done.
So normally, a 5" studio monitor is not supposed to be enough for a larger studio or room, right? Well, JBL lsr305 is an exception in that case, with a much wider sound image than any of its competitors. ICW technology breaks down the sound frequencies and sends them towards different corer of the room. As a result, no matter where you or other listeners are sitting in the room, they get an equally flawless audio experience.
As for the drawback, the mid frequencies doesn't pack enough punch to deliver the sound we might have expected from a studio monitor this good. Whether it's vocal or instruments, it doesn't seem to click that much like high or low frequency.
The last thing I want to mention is the value of JBL lsr305 for the price. Like I said earlier, the lack of punch in mid frequencies is definitely a drawback. But looking at so many bright sides like wide sound image, wide frequency range and true sound generation, it's hard for any other studio monitor to even come close to JBL lsr30 in its respective price segment.
This studio monitors' wide sound image and versatility also directly add to the sheer value provided here. Alongside the studio, you can use it for music listening or any other multimedia purposes. And the wide sound image will also save you from purchasing bigger monitors to cover your large room, therefore saving money in that process.
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JBL LSR305 Alternatives
If you are still confused about whether JBL lsr305 will be a good choice for you or not, here are some alternatives you can check out. It'll help you compare with other options available on the market and come to a decision.
Though it's a much smaller option than JBL lsr305, IK multimedia iLoud micro monitor is stacked with features to compete with it. Sometimes the best solution for compact studio o is a small micro monitor, and that's exactly what we have here. As for the technical side, this monitor has a frequency response of 45 Hz - 20 kHz to cover all your audio needs.
As I mentioned earlier, only a few studio monitors out there have quite hit that price and performance balance, and the KRK studio monitor is definitely one of them. This soft-dome monitor has an optimized waveguide that works as an alternative to JBL LSR305's ICW technology to provide a wide sound image. So if you are running low on budget, this monitor should be a good investment for you.
Overall, JBL LSR305 is a great all-rounder in today's market. It's true that many brands out there are trying to enter the low-budget studio monitor market. But most of them fail to deliver as customers' demand is increasing every day.
From that point of view, JBL lsr305 stands apart from the competition, with the great build quality, performance and most importantly, the super attractive price tag. I mean, if you are getting an opportunity to get a pair of JBL studio monitors at a price this low, it would be just wrong not to invest your money in.
Instead of the latest hi-fi system, you can even try this monitor as a regular speaker too. I am pretty sure you'll love its performance there too. The performance and versatility of JBL lsr305 already have a killer combination of versatility and performance. Just throw the price tag into the mix, and this product can stop your endless search for a budget studio monitor right now.
Graduated with a Bachelor of Audio Engineering and Sound Production. He has worked with a number of studios as a Recording Engineer, with over 10 years of servicing experience in both re-recording mixing and sound editing.