The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search Reviews   Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
JBL LSR305

JBL LSR305

4.65 4.65 out of 5, based on 15 Reviews

5" active studio monitors from JBL.


6th November 2013

JBL LSR305 by changeng

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
JBL LSR305

I came reeeeel close to getting the Equator five inchers with all the hubba-hubba this forum gives those things, then suddenly last week someone started screeching ecstatic about some new JBL's. Well, HEY! I'm a sucker for a good screech, and since the JBL's were $100 cheaper than the Equators, excelsior! Spend $300 instead of $400? You betcha!

So here they are. They are smaller than I thought (7 1/4 " W, 11 3/4" H, 9 1/4" D), which is fine. Actually, smaller than the Tascam VL-X5 pair these will replace. And on top of that, no real manual, just a quick start guide (yeah, I know - you don't NEED a manual for monitors, but I like to read).

At first they confused me. I've been using the Mackie's for about four years now and they always sounded a little congested to me. Sure, they have some bottom, but the highs were always kinda eh and well, I could get decent mixes out of them, but... time for something new.

The reason the JBL's confused me was because they first sounded REEELY piercing on the top end and WIDE. Much wider than the Mackies. As they settled in a bit, the piercing top subsided. I put on the Beach Boys' SMiLE album, since it has such a wide range of instruments and was recorded so well (at least for its time) and A/B'd for an hour.

No question - even though the Mackies' woofers are six inches and the JBLs are five, the JBL has more bass response AND it's sharper. SMiLE uses lots of contrabass, which sort of disappears in the Mackies. They are there in the JBLs - there's more pluck - more definition to the lower end.

There is also more definition in the upper frequencies - maybe too much. I made sure the HF switch on the back wasn't flipped to +2dB. I started thinking these things may have a built-in "smiley curve" eq. So when I switched back to the Mackies and noticed they were suddenly very two-dimensional. Sort of like that same 2-D sound you get using cheap console preamps. Don't get me wrong - they're very useable and can get the mix done - however the old cliche "lifting a veil off the sound" is true here when switching back to the JBLs. While the Mackies are supposed to be ruler-flat and really emphasize the midrange (at least mine do), that midrange is very *flat* sounding. Things jump out at you on the JBLs - the extra vocal bits from Heroes and Villains really show they were recorded on different days when listening on the JBLs; this should be a great advantage when blending tracks together.

The JBLs at first give the appearance of being top-driven and bottom spunky; once you settle in with them, you'll notice a very wide, clear midrange - you can step into these monitors. You can clearly hear the rooms the separate SMiLE bits were recorded in as well as the different applications of plate verb Brian was using. My apartment requires me to mix at lower levels (sometimes I briefly turn up loud just so my neighbors know I CAN) and even at the lowest levels, the JBLs translate clarity and 3-D-ishnessicity. Are they as round as their 8 inch big brothers? Of course not - however in a small studio setting (mine is 12' X 15') they get as low as you need, provided you have at least SOME room treatment. If you're doing a bunch of sub-bass work, you'll probably feel better getting a subwoofer - the lows are THERE, but they won't rattle your cattle. They're five inch woofers ferpetesake! Get a grip!

I ran several 40 Hz test tones, both constant and pulsing at my typical good-neighbor-apartment-level mixing volume (geez I hope I didn't hurt these things). At a certain point, they will break up - THEY'RE FIVE INCH WOOFERS. The Mackies held out longer with a slightly higher volume (being 6 inch woofers), but not by much. The difference between the two bore out what I've already heard; the Mackies go slightly lower and are rounder and "fluffier" down there (you could call it "woolly" too), but the JBLs retain a sharper edge down below. The 40 Hz is there, but I wouldn't use these things to pimp your next basement rave. I was impressed by how they handled the 40 Hz sine wave - ALTHOUGH it was on it's tippy toes to do so.

Considering that I've been using the Mackies for 4 years and the JBLs for ONE HOUR, I have to say I'm really impressed with the JBLs. Once they break in, I imagine that high end shrillness I initially noted (which is already loosening up) will mellow nicely. I probably should have gotten the 8 inch woofers in retrospect, but for my room, these are Swellsville. If you've been thinking about new 5 inch monitors, these are exemplary.

EDIT: For aesthetic reasons, I decided to put the JBL's on their sides, tweeters on the outside and woofers on the inside. It's a shock that this has only slightly dampened the sweetspot these things provide.

  • 1
16th December 2013

JBL LSR305 by TeKBoT

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
JBL LSR305

After hearing only good things about the LSR 305's i decided to bring them in to my humble studio to 'hear' what the fuss is all about.

I've been using Yamaha HS50M's for a year as secondary monitors and they've been very helpful in sorting out issues in the mid range which helps with translation but the Lows and Highs have always been far from perfect...
As i also have an Avantone MixCube maybe having 2 pairs of mid forward monitors is a bit too much.
So i've been on the lookout for monitors to replace my HS50M's that give a clear view of the mids and if possible a clear view of the Lows and Highs to compliment my Adam A77X's + Adam Sub10Mk2..


When unpacking they did feel a bit light, but the sound is the most important so i set both Yamaha's/JBL's horizontally with the tweeters 1m apart.



The JBL's are pointing upwards and the Yamaha's at ear level.
My room is semi treated and the monitors are on concrete DIY stands with ISOAcoustic speaker mounts.

Here is the LSR 305's frequency graph to give an idea how they behave in my room:



I'm quite happy with this graph, as i recently moved to a bigger space and with a bit of patience and moving stuff around i was able to get a frequency response i'm proud of.
The room i had before was very bad acoustically and was causing havoc no matter where i positioned my speakers.
Now i believe that the room is as important as the monitors, if not more.

I did burn the LSR 305's for a few days but they sounded great from the start anyway, maybe due to the fact that JBL test the speakers for 100 hours non stop at full volume at some stage.

Volume:

The JBL's go louder than the Yamaha's and fill out my 4.5m x 6m room very well, which is a positive.

The Sound:

The Yamaha's are great as a tool but even great mixes can sound terrible on them, no Low's , grainy Highs etc...
The JBL's sound well balanced and accurate with good separation, no fatigue whatsoever.

The JBL's low's sound trustworthy and go deep enough (even for electronic music), surprisingly you can actually feel a bit of that thump from the kick, not like a sub but just enough to make good Kick/Bass decisions. I would even say that the Lows on these 5" can challenge monitors up to 7" (definitely better than the 8" Tannoy Precision 8D's i used to have)

Mids are clear and represent vocals/Synths/Percussion wonderfully.

Highs are nice and silky, to me it sounds close to what a ribbon tweeter does but a bit more natural.
Being a 5" means transients are fast, and it does not matter which genre you throw at them, be it techno , rock or orchestral music, everything sounds perfectly natural.
At this point i decided that it is unfair to compare the JBL's to the Yamaha's,
although the HS50M's are still a great mixing tool but that is all.

Time to compare the JBL's vs the A77X's just for fun.
Well the Adams do sound wider and more 3D, better Mid seperation, more volume etc.... they are 1.5m apart after all, the wall of sound these speakers give is huge.
But still, the JBL's provide different view of the mix from the Lows right up to the Highs which is exactly what i wanted.
The thing that really made me fall in love for the JBL's is the vibe they give, they sound accurate but fun at the same time,
i guess it's a quality that a lot of producers are looking for because we spend too much time listening to the same sh*t over and over so it makes a big difference when working on a longer session.
If by some reason i had to sell the A77X's i would probably be happy mixing on the JBL's, with some headphones to double check stuff.

So after promising myself i would keep the Yamaha's forever for sentimental reasons, i've put them up for sale.
Maybe one day i'll buy them back , you never know,
gearslutz syndrome may force me to believe i need them again just to check universal translation between 1KHz-3KHz :-)


*****UPDATE*****

AFTER A FEW MONTHS:
So i sent my A77X's for repair and had to make due producing only with the JBL's + Sub for a while.
Integrating the JBL's with an Adam Sub8 was a piece of cake and everything sounds great,
i actualy feel quite confident producing with this setup.
So i'm not in a hurry to upgrade these 5" just yet...
If i did get the chance (= Lots of Money) to upgrade i would probably go for something a bit higher up in the chain like some small PSI's or EVE's etc...

  • 1
4th February 2014

JBL LSR305 by allemande

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
JBL LSR305

JBL LSR 305 vs. Yamaha HS5

I set out to get a small near field active monitor with a 5" woofer and settled on these two models. My studio has Geithain 903K active 3 ways (very high end), and also Mackie 824s with a Velodyne sub, and of course the mandatory Auratones. I do a lot of mixing, mastering, and composing with a blend of world music instruments and virtual elements.

A small near field would give me another reading on what the heck is going on before my ears. Both speakers were hooked up to a Switch Witch for easy comparison switching. I selected several projects that I am currently working on- electronica with heavy processing/delay trails/multiple layers of instruments; solo cello recordings (my main instrument), and a recently mastered Live CD that goes into world music and rock.

To cut to the chase, the JBLs made my jaw drop with their smooth and effortless high end. Complex sonic elements were revealed easily and without harshness. It was a pleasure to hear the projects through these speakers.

Not so with the Yamahas, which revealed less depth, were a lot more pronounced in the upper mid-range but had no openness to the high end, and were not even close to the JBLs. They did remind me of the NS-10s with their crappy high end although the H5s seem to have a better low end reproduction than their veteran brothers.

The HS5s sounded pretty terrible with complex processing. They really only shone with good old rockn' roll, especially mounted sideways- somehow it helped with a more open spread.

The JBLs. for that matter, sound better in the upright position, but they are a bit bulkier, taking valuable real estate on top of a meter bridge.

Ok, so here is the final summary: If you are a rocker that wants a "classic" rockn' roll monitor, you might want to go for the HS5. If you are into more esoteric music (electronic, classical, higher end recordings) you may be better served with the JBLs. Interestingly, the JBLs are $50 less per speaker than the Yamahas. Hmmm...https://static.gearslutz.com/board/im...ies/nu/404.gif

2nd June 2015

JBL LSR305 by 0x4452

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
JBL LSR305

+ Linear frequency response without resonances.
+ Bass starts leveling off around 40-45 Hz => Surprisingly deep for 5" speaker.
+ No port noise.
+ Lightweight.
+ Energy efficient (SMPS + Class D amps).

- Lack delicate sound detail.
- No over-power protection.

Took mine apart, all digital: JBL LSR305 Teardown and Analysis

14th June 2015

JBL LSR305 by keystation

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
JBL LSR305

The LSR 3 series was a delayed reaction by JBL after allowing the home studio monitor market to be dominated by Mackie and Yamaha. But as we shall see, JBL did their homework with the LSR 3 series and have produced the best-bang-for-the-buck home studio monitors on the market.

When I unboxed my new set of LSR 305s, I was not overly impressed. The wave guide/baffle is an ugly hunk of injection-molded plastic (very Bose-y). The rest of the cabinet appears to be constructed of vinyl-clad MDF. The rear of the cabinet looks much better, with a port, connectors and the expected knobs and slide switches needed to fine-tune the speaker, but why is the doggone power switch in the back!? And another thing, why are these suckers so homely looking?!

Okay, so they seem a bit cheap and ugly, but how do they sound? Shocking good!

1) The waveguide works and helps to produce a wide soundstage.
2) The imaging is excellent.
3) The sound is detailed, clear - things don't get muddy or honky when the mix gets dense.
4) For 5" speakers, the bass response is fairly deep and stays together nicely.
5) Unlike some other small monitors, you can listen for hours without fatigue.
6) Thanks to the clarity and imaging, tweaking plug-in effects is reliable and easy.
7) And most important, mixes made with the help of these monitors translate to other systems very well.

I defer to Mr. Ox4452's review and informative tear down analysis of the LSR 305, where he reveals what may be this speaker's potential fatal flaw (the lack of overcurrent protection in the amps and active crossover).

A few more observations:

1) The waveguide appears to work best when the speaker is in the vertical position.
2) It appears that JBL designed the LSR 305 to force users to buy the $400 LSR 310S subwoofer. The additional amp and electronic crossover provided by the LSR 310S sub may be as important to LSR 305 users in the lessening of the potential overcurrent problem, than just gaining that extra octave of bass.
3) The thinly-constructed cabinets demand to be mounted on isolators.

At $260 a pair (street), the LSR 305s really have the competition whupped at this time. Buy them and be happy.

6th July 2015

JBL LSR305 by Ambient Tim

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
JBL LSR305

This is my first voyage into the land of studio monitors and a voyage that has taken too long!

Without any experience with other near field monitors, all I can say about the JBL's is they're awesome. Straight out of the box easy to setup (provided you've got the right cables) and the sound is incredible.

I have them hooked up to my PC and use them for all my computer based audio applications.

They've really made a big difference to my musical projects. I use Reaper, Native Instruments, Amplitube 3 and Ezydrummer 2. I make rock/metal style music and these speakers handle it with ease.

The bass, mid and hi frequencies all sound really clean through these monitors. I generally like a lot of thump in my music and the 5 inch woofers don't disappoint.

A great entry level monitor.

1st February 2016

JBL LSR305 by Gnars_got_bars

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
JBL LSR305

I got the limited edition red Jbl Lsr's as a gift for the holidays and damn!! They look dope and the sound quality is nice and crisp. I use them for my room studio recordings and mixing/reference with a little cheap pair of alesis 3s as a 2nd POR.

Setup is easy.. Either xlr or 1/4" straight into your interface.. Plug and play!

Just make sure you turn the volume down because they ship at max volume!!

These are perfect size for an at home studio and are worth checking out if you are looking in the $200-$350 price range per pair.

2nd February 2016

JBL LSR305 by Gmanbeats757

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
JBL LSR305

I bought these for my small studio and let me say that these monitors are simply amazing, especially for what they cost! They have taken my mixes to a whole nother level. I can really hear every detail in the track. Things that I could never hear before I can now hear. I would recommend these to anyone that is looking for a great bang for their buck!

2nd February 2016

JBL LSR305 by whatudid2me

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
JBL LSR305

I've bought these as second set of monitors for my mobile studio but I can say that these are serious set of monitors for their price range. Normally I use Adam A7Xs with NS10M studios in my main studio but I am getting more and more comfortable producing nearly complete tracks with these too, sometimes I only polish the mix I've done with JBL's with my Adams.

Pros:

-Low hiss,
-Powerful amplifiers,
-Easy to use, very obvious sweet spot
-Works both with the US and the Europe electricity,
-LF & HF trim options.

Cons:

- Does not sound as detailed and good as high end monitors

2nd May 2016

JBL LSR305 by Numbfinger

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
JBL LSR305

Wasn't sure the best place to post this, big fan of Gearslutz, joined only today:

I wanted to get the word out on a problem (and a fix) I had with my JBL LSR 305's. One developed a serious mechanical buzz. It appeared to be coming from the baffle. To help isolate the problem I plugged in my guitar and found that the low Ab and its' octave above were the worst offenders, plus or minus a semitone or so. Really bad and loud noise. Funny that other frequencies all passed clean and clear. That's how it is with sympathetic resonance eh?

So I started a process of dampening. I took off the baffle and applied a bead of silicone to all contact points to the box. No help. I used silicone to seal the woofer, no help. After a lot of trial and error I finally removed the tweeter. Somehow I knew it might be the problem even though it seemed solidly secured in place.

It turns out the tweeter is held in the recess around it's hole only by a bent metal bar that sits over it, clamping it to the baffle with 2 screws. It seemed tight and solid. I took it out anyway and applied silicon to contact points of the retaining recess it sits in. Also silicone under the clamping bar. PROBLEM SOLVED!

I was all set to buy a replacement, they're cheap enough, and no way I was getting a warranty replacement after dumping all that silicone in it. Now I don't have to!

My take on these? I'm using mine with the matching sub. Great for mixing, but too much clarity and not enough warmth for recreational use. I smoothed mine out by first running through a Mackie VLZ12 mixer into the sub. From the sub out to the 305's, I used an old PreSonus Blue Tube preamp with just a little drive through the tube. I know they are crap, but what the hell. I also used the 2db hi cut to take the edge off. Now it is quite usable for home stereo. With that subwoofer going my modified Techniques 1210 turntable is putting out way impressive signal, more full range than anything I've owned before. I still find it not as euphoric a sound as you get with good audiophile gear, but the information is all there in spades. And I can easily take the PreSonus preamp out of the signal path for studio work.

You don't need the sub, I agree. But with it this set up is HUGE sounding. Love that low end. And as I implied, the 305's have more than enough high end, probably too much for casual listening. A quite versatile set up and a no brainer for the money!

  • 2
8th August 2016

JBL LSR305 by 7blanche

  • Sound Quality 3 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
JBL LSR305

Been using these monitors for 2 years. So this review is based on my 2 year experience with them. I will not dwell on connections and features, but my thoughts on using them and how my tracks translated.

I produce and mix electronic music (ambient, chill, deep-house) and also learning mastering along. Previously I have used KRK v4, Adam A7 with a sub and now I have Focal Solo’s with a half-treated room at home (free of reflections).

The simplicity and the sound is to love on these JBL’s. For a 5” speaker they sound really good, nice highs and the bass can be felt. So I really liked listening to them and felt good with them. Electronic music (electro, experimental, house, techno, etc.) sounded wonderful. But the problems with these JBL’s occur after you mix/master on them. The mixes for me did not translate well. And that lead me to believe that the bass and highs are hyped on these. Also I noticed (when comparing them to Dynaudio Compact and Focal CMS 50 at a local shop) that they add some dirty (but pleasant) harmonics, which was not heard on the mentioned Dynaudio and Focal. They have this boxed or compressed sound to them (almost like loudness option enabled on car stereo system in a smooth way) and not as open as Dynaudio.

I would recommend them for listening, but not producing/mixing and certainly not mastering. I agree to user “0x4452” that these JBL “Lack delicate sound detail”. They sound really good but at expense of neutrality. They are a good bang for buck and excellent for starters/beginners. However, my suggestion would be not to save up on monitors. Go with a 7” that has a neutral sound, and even if you have a small room (treat it).

22nd October 2016

JBL LSR305 by getfunky

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 3 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
JBL LSR305

Well by now (like me) you will have read lots of glowing reviews and you should believe 90% of them, especially when they rave about the separation, imaging and frequency balance.

I've only had mine for a few days but am extremely happy with them and although I had high hopes they exceeded my expectations. They are that good.

I would actually equate these speakers as being KM84 like. They have a lovely smooth sparkle to highs (the tweeter+wave guide really are gems) nice balance of mids (slight lack of some freqs in the mids/low-mids - but nit-picking there) and very usable and manageable lows.

I would have liked to see more EQ/room tailoring options, as the low and hi options are basic, but all the same mine (6 inches from wall) were easily balanced out with the -2dB on lows, Hi set at flat.

With the lows at flat I found the 305s a bit tubby and trying to do too much (wall behind not helping either) but with the -2dB lows it all fell into place and I think, whilst everyone raves about the gorgeous tweeter the woofer is a cracker too.
Nicely articulated basslines and enough of a kick to actually hear and trust all but the lowest octave or so.

EDIT: I forgot to add the waveguide and room interaction that has been mentioned. This is quite surprising and my less than stellar room (small and minimal treatement) has never seemed so 'invisible' before. Definitely a helpful factor in the overall sound.

As I said these exceeded my expectations - especially for the price.

Compared to KRK/Yamaha/Mackie, the JBLs are in a different league.
Not saying Yam and Mackie don't also have good monitors in this bracket (I've never been a fan of KRK) but the JBLs are streets ahead IMO.

26th October 2016

JBL LSR305 by Adolfoslk

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
JBL LSR305

He tenido la oportunidad de realizar comparativas entre los JBL SLR 305 y otros modelos de precio mucho mayor y debo decir que los JBL superan en calidad de sonido a otros que les doblan y hasta triplican el precio, insuperable relación precio/calidad.

6th June 2017

JBL LSR305 by richie0801

  • Sound Quality 3 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
JBL LSR305

I just got these today, so I'm rating this as my initial thoughts, which I will add to at a later time.

Prior to today I utilized a combination of ATHM50 headphones and ZLX powered 12" PA speakers that I use for live shows. The ATH headphones I used with Soundworks, which provided a nice, even, flat sound.

Why I got them. I heard that having studio monitors would help tighten up the low end in your mixes, and that the mixes on these translate well.

Initial thoughts: After unboxing, putting them on stands that I bought, getting the placement perfect in the room, etc., I am underwhelmed.

Sound: The sound seems very flat, with the highs rolled off. It really has very little output from about 200k down. Truthfully it sounds rolled off. Because of that, when I test mixed something that I have been working on, I boosted the low end quite a bit. When I threw on headphones to listen, the bass sounded terrible, unbalanced, etc. I was even using a reference track.

Sure, maybe it will take time to get used to mixing on these, and considering that I coughed up the money, I'm going to give it plenty of time, but at this point, I am underwhelemed.

What it is good for: The one thing that I like about these is that they are GREAT for determining how things should be panned. There is a solid panning field that you don't get with headphones or PA systems to this extent. You can close your eyes and picture everyone playing in front of you. The only thing you can't picture is the bass because it's terribly weak on these.

What they need: More bass. I am a folk/indie/reggae music writer, and I don't need a lot of bass, but I want to be able to hear it. It just sounds washy/muddy in the bass region. I'm not impressed. It needs an additional sub, which I am planning to purchase.

How the mixes translate. I will do that today and keep you updated!

Conclusion: To get an even bass frequency response, the ATHM50 with Soundworks is more than enough. If you want to figure out ideal panning, these really do help.

 
  • Gear Database

  • By Gearbot
Loading mentioned products ...
Review Tools
Search this Review
Search this Review:

Advanced Search