JBL LSR305 - God, These Are Amazing!

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  1. Pianist
    I feel like I had to make this thread, because I got a pair of JBL LSR305s in the house yesterday and right off the bat, they sound better and more satisfying to me than any headphone I've ever heard.... I ended up listening to them for several hours straight and when the night came and I turned the light off in my room, the listening experience turned into something magical. Limitless dynamics, phenomenal resolution and clarity, incredible soundstage... I swear there were musicians playing in my room! [​IMG] Headphones can sound realistic, especially something like HD800, but I have never heard a headphone that sounded anywhere near as natural and realistic as the LSR305s do in my small, untreated bedroom with just a Fiio X1 headphone out as the source... I have to note, however, that this is my first experience seriously listening to any decent speakers, so take my impressions with a large grain of salt. I will be really suprised though if there are any speakers out there in the price range of the LSR305 or even somewhat more expensive ones that sound significantly better, because if that's the case, then I will just have to say "That's it, no more headphones - speakers all the way baby!" [​IMG] Perhaps I just discovered that I am really a "speaker person" and not a "headphone person." I did always find that the lack of soundstage in headphones was really bothersome to me...
    UPDATE: Just listened to some more music through the LSR305s and no, I am not imagining it - it sounded just as incredible now as it did last night! I can just sum up the listening experience with these speakers in one word: REALISM. That's it - perfect description. They basically make any recording I listen to unfold in front of me live... Short of physically being there, I can hardly imagine a better experience right now, except for the physical sensation of subbass in my body, which the LSR305s cannot provide, as they don't extend quite low enough. But that's no problem - I just gotta sell a couple more of my cans and get the LSR 310S subwoofer - voila, problem solved! [​IMG] Compared to headphones I've heard, there are none that even come close to this level of performance, although I haven't heard any Stax cans yet. HE-6, HE-500, HD800, LCD-2... they are all toys compared to LSR305 IMO. Maybe SR009 + Smyth Realizer can do the trick? But I could buy like what - 30 pairs of LSR305s for that money? lol
    NightAntilli likes this.
  2. coli
    Active monitors are the best bang for the bucks in audio. They put the audiophile companies to shame, and make quite a few of them look like scams...
  3. Tablix
    Welcome to the world of monitors, I only use cans when I really have to as they cannot ever recreate positional sound as good as speakers.  Then you have the ability to tweak and improve your sound by working with sound treatment in your room.  If you think monitors sound good out the box, you will be blown away when you actually spend a few days and bit more cash improving your room acoustics. You may be happy as you are, but a couple of bass traps and some panels on your reflection points can do amazing things to the detail and imaging.  I do understand however not everyone has a dedicated listening room where you want to go to these lengths.
  4. Headphile32
    Keep in mind those LSR305's are great but like headphones you will find other speakers even more incredible. Hifi is funny as there is always something better. I prefer my speakers anyday over headphones with the great soundstage they have.
  5. headphones1999
    oh god O_O
    its true that they are very good monitors, actually the best for the price for sure, heard almost all the monitors at that price and the jbl was the best...
    i wont put it anyway near my Q701 in sound quality.
    anyway, everyone hear differently :wink:
    and i think you should leave the headphone world if you like speakers so much, i did it myself, i wont replace my speakers for even something like LCD3\+master 9... and i got my speakers and amp for about 1K$ second hand :)
    BTW what amps you used to drive the headphones you heard?
  6. Pianist
    Having owned these speakers for almost 2 weeks now, the "new toy syndrome" has passed and I find myself reaching more and more for my headphones again. This is likely an issue with my room acoustics, but I do find the LSR305s to sound far more impressive at low volumes than at higher volumes. I absolutely love listening to them at low levels and prefer the experience to any headphone listening I've done. However, once I start turning it up, I notice that the sound is no longer all that impressive. It's still excellent and can still impress with some material, but I notice that the sound seems to lack some resolution. It's really weird actually, because I actually seem to hear more resolution from the speakers at very low volumes ( say 50 dB or less) than at normal levels (60-70 dB). I am pretty sure that my crappy, untreated room and the fact that the speakers are placed directly on a desk pretty close to the walls (roughly 6-7" from the walls). Also, the lack of sub bass bothers me a bit. I mostly listen to jazz, pop, rock and new age, so this lack of extension doesn't bother me too much, but I do sometimes put on some trance and electronic and that's when I feel that the LSR305s could use some bottom end extension. I wish I could add a sub to them right now, but I just don't have any money for that at the moment. Oh well. I am also wondering whether a sub will actually help improve sound in my untreated room. I suspect the sound may become too muddy as the room will begin resonating to the sub bass... Then I may have to start treating my room, so even more money to spend. Arghh!
  7. headphones1999
    sounds weird... maybe youre using treble EQ or something?
    waiting for answer [​IMG]
  8. Pianist
    I am using my Fiio X1, X5 and Asus STX, Fiio E12A and JDS Objective 2.
    I don't use EQ. I am pretty sure the problem is my untreated room. I notice that when I or someone else in my room is speaking loudly, I can hear pretty loud reverb from the room....
  9. watchnerd
    Just got a pair of these to use at my desktop.
    Currently running the Mjolnir 2 straight to to the LSR305 pair over balanced / XLR connection.  All trim settings are currently set to flat.  Speakers are currently sitting on those rubber wedges that Audio Engine sells, but new Iso Acoustics stands will be arriving tomorrow, which should hopefully make some additional improvements.  My listening position is about 3 feet / 1 meter from the speakers -- true nearfield.
    Previous speakers were Dynaudio Audience 42, which were purchased about 10 years ago for about $850 a pair.  There are a few things the Dynaudios are better at (treble is a little smoother, midrange a little lusher, overall max volume a tad higher, box a tad smaller and more solid, better fit and finish), but overall the JBL LSR305s are better at pretty much everything else (low frequency extension, dynamic punch, quickness, decay, dispersion, more detailed and revealing) and have replaced the award-winning (EISA award) Audience 42 in my desktop system.  The JBLs are much closer to the speed and dynamics of the Martin Logan electrostatics in my main living room rig.
    Overall, the JBL LSR305 pair beats the Dynaudio Audience 42s convincingly on rock, disco, electronica, dance, and pop.  No contest at all.  For acoustic, classical, and jazz, it's more of stalemate, with the Dyns being darker, lusher, and smoother and the JBLs being more dynamic (both micro- and macro-) and more 'live' sounding; it's hard to say which I prefer for these genres.  Tube-rolling the Mjolnir 2 may add a touch of lushness back.
    Also, the JBLs are more revealing of lossy and dynamic compression artifacts in MP3s, whereas the Dynaudios were more forgiving. Some songs that were borderline on the Dyns have become noticeably inferior on the JBLs.  Not more fatiguing...just noticeably more 'meh'.
    And this is with only about 4 hours of break in.  I can't wait to see how much it improves over the next weeks.
    Little nits that still need work:
    1. The top-most octave has more air than I'm used to.  I have to decide if I like this, or if I want to dial it back either via the trim controls or other EQ.
    2. Imaging -- the center-fill and phantom center is really really good, the best I've heard on a desktop.  However, I haven't got the soundstage beyond the boundaries of the left and right speakers yet.  However, this could be a result of positioning / placement, how close I sit, etc.  Will need to fiddle around a little more.
    3. The box could be a bit deader. Just to be clear, I don't hear it audibly resonating, buzzing, or otherwise making noise.  But I can tell, compared to the best mini monitors I've heard or owned, it's a bit more acoustically live which means the magical sensation of 'the boxes disappearing' isn't happening 100%.  More like 70%.  (For the record, the best box speaker disappearing act I've heard was the original NHT Super Zero, but those little guys only went down to about 80 Hz and the box was teeny tiny, but solid as a brick).  We'll see if / how much the Iso Acoustics stands improve this.
    4. The hiss: others have reported this, I didn't ever notice this or hear it until I read about it.  And, yes, my copies have hiss, too when nothing is playing, but I can only hear it if I put my ears about 3" from the drivers.  It's not otherwise noticeable.
    5. Subwoofer or not?  I've heard the matching 10" LSR310s subwoofer integrated with the LSR305 at a local Guitar Center it's a great pairing for the money for music and for nearfield listening.  Do I need it?  No.  In my ~10' x 10' home office / hobby mixing studio, the 305s put out a musically satisfying amount of bass.  Kick drums are wicked fast and dynamic, electric bass is tight and groovy. For mixing, it's great, as the 43 Hz extension covers the lowest note on a bass guitar.  What's missing is the last 5% of visceral impact...feeling it in my body...that 5" drivers just can't do.  But with bass, less is often more and there is a fine line where more bass just turns into more problems.  I've told myself I'll live with these guys for at least a month, getting them more broken in, before I make a decision about adding a subwoofer.
    I paid $240 for my pair.  Sometimes you can get it even cheaper.  This is an *astounding* value.  The fact that it can go toe-to-toe in a near field setting with (albeit a bit vintage) Dynaudios that cost almost 4x the price is an impressive testament to JBLs engineering of these monitors.  I'm tempted to get a 2nd pair and hook it up to an Airport Express for easy Airplay streaming in other rooms of my house.
    If I ever had to move to an apartment, condo or other setting where I could no longer have my beloved Martin Logan electrostats, I could be pretty damn happy long term with a pair of JBL LSR305 and a great set of headphones. 
  10. watchnerd
    Okay, just installed some Iso Acoustics stands underneath them.
    Huge improvement in sound!  Definitely a recommended must-get upgrade for LSR305 owners who are using them on a desk top.  Well worth the $100.
  11. watchnerd
    This, 100%.  Resonances and boundary issues usually become worse with volume.  Get them on some stands!
  12. Maconi
    A bit off-topic, but do you know how those compare to something like the Auralex ProPAD or Ultimate Support MS-80? I haven't researched isolation in a while. [​IMG] 
  13. watchnerd
    I've used the Auralex ProPads and the IsoAcoustics provide many more options in terms of adjustment -- multiple heights, front tilt, back tilt, side tilt, etc.
    I have no experience with the Ultimate Support, but given they're so close to the desk you're still going to get strong boundary reflections, which, IMHO, is one of the things you're trying to eliminate.
  14. germanium
    I've done some minor modifications to these speakers that make these speakers real price per performance giants. Nothing in thier size range should be able to touch them performance wise. They are leaps & bounds better than stock.

    They sound both smoother & more dynamic. More lively yet just as easy to listen to without listener fatigue all the while reproducing far better detail throughout the sound spectrum.

    Stage is deep & imaging is very wide, often beyond the boundaries of the speakers. Speakers have a very good way of disappearing as sound sources.
  15. germanium

    1. High frequencies smooth out & become more detailed at the same time with my modification.

    2. Imaging improves dramatically with my modification. Reducing side reflections will also help imaging dramatically.

    3. Though box is not the most solid it is more than sufficient to not excessively color the sound, also sometimes the manufacturer will actually take the panel resonances into account when choosing or designing the driver so that the responce of the driver is flattened by the resonance rather than making a huge deviation in the response. JBL has the capability to doing such design work.

    4. Hiss is very low on mine.

    5. Bass is very good on mine down to the 50hz range & usable to the mid 40's. I have a Tannoy TS10 subwoofer that I modified to take my system response down to below 20 Hz. I have this in a 12 by 12 by 7 foot room. I placed them all in one corner facing the farthest corner & I get quite good response there smooth & extended. This placement also eliminates side reflections improving imaging. With this setup I don't seem to need room treatment to get good response.
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