JBL’s LSR series of monitors has been extremely successful ever since it first hit the market. Today we are going to take a look at LSR308, which is the largest member of this family. Let’s find out what makes it one of the better monitors you can get under $500.
It is no secret that JBL simply took the winning formula of their LSR305 and just scaled it up to make LSR308. These two speakers have an identical design with the only difference being the size of the cabinets. Aside from having that glossy exterior, the dominant design feature on LSR308 has got to be that massive waveguide. It almost gives these monitors a PA box type look.
Build quality is on point. There is no creep, no rough edges or anything similar. JBL has definitely invested a solid amount of effort into covering all of their bases. Just like its smaller brother, JBL LSR308 has all of the controls on the back panel. We still think that having at least the power button and the volume knob at the front is a far more practical solution, but we can’t really complain considering everything else LSR308 offers.
Moving onto the specs, we see those beefy 8″ low-frequency drivers. That type of real estate is always welcome in any studio. Tweeters come in form of a 1″ unit that sits in JBL’s proven waveguide, which is one of the big reasons for LSR 3 Series’ great reputation.Power output equals 112 Watts per cabinet. Speaking of which, JBL went with a bi-amp configuration where each transducer is powered by a Class D amplifier of its own.
Back panel reveals your HF trim controls, LF trim, and Input sensitivity switches. As we have previously mentioned, this is also where JBL put the volume knob and the power button. In terms of I/O options, you are looking at a 1/4″ TRS port as well as an XLR port, both balanced of course. The features on JBL LSR308 aren’t most diverse, but they make it versatile enough.
The sound quality delivered by LSR308 is impressive, to say the least. We are talking great transparency combined with a solid amount of power and an extended low end. Those 8″ cones can dig pretty deep, reaching as far as 37Hz. Even so, the available headroom is what really puts these monitors into a class of their own.
Trebles are extremely revealing and balanced, while mids are tight. Those massive waveguides are responsible for LSR308 having a very flexible sweet spot. In other words, you can be completely off axis and you will still get the optimal sound quality.
Right out of the box, chances are you won’t have to play with trim controls too much. JBL is known to tune these well out of the factory. Even so, acoustic controls available are pretty flexible.