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29 Sep 2015

Review: JBL SRX800 Series

What a self-powered speaker should be.

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Do you remember a time when a 15” and horn speaker weighed a lot, felt really solid, and went really loud? If you’ve forgotten what this was like then the SRX815P is here to help remind you, but with a modern take on the design.

JBL makes a range of self-powered speaker boxes, and the SRX800 series is the most recent addition to the line. The SRX800 line comprises five different cabinet configurations, and we chose to look at what we consider the most common of these – the 15” and horn.

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The SRX815P uses a 15” LF driver and a 2432H compression driver with 3” voice coil and neodymium magnet. It weighs 28.6kg, which is just heavy enough to feel reassuringly solid, but also just light enough that I was able to put it on to a tripod stand unassisted. Because JBL and Crown are both owned by the Harman group, this opens up opportunities for technology interchange between the companies – in this case Crown DriveCore amplification is integral to the design of the SRX800 range.

The back panel provides connectivity and control, with input via dual XLR combo jacks with loop throughs, as well as a line output. Each input level is independently adjustable via dedicated encoder, and there’s an option to switch each input between mic, line, and ‘consumer’ level audio sources. The master output level is controlled with another encoder, which is also used to navigate the menu on the OLED display.

We’ve seen many speakers with internal DSP functions, but very few which are externally controllable. The SRX800 range is Ethernet capable, and connecting the unit to a wireless router allows you to control it via the SRX Connect app. SRX Connect is available for both iOS and Android tablets, and it’s pretty cool. The app allows you to drag and drop speakers into locations representative of their real world placement, then provides appropriate configuration options. EQ is available for mains, while fills and subs also offer delay and compression.

Aside from the audio level functions and HiQnet addressing, the display also allows the user to recall preset EQ settings. Out of the factory a selection of quite useful presets are included, and through Harman’s Audio Architect software it’s even possible to create, name and store your own EQ presets in the speaker.

I think SRX800 is very much a premium line from JBL, since this is reflected not only in the feature set, but also the stellar build quality and outstanding performance. Using pink noise the SRX815P achieved a continuous SPL of 114dB at 1m before hitting the limiter. It sounds great, it’s got loads of power, and try as we did we were unable to make it fall over sonically. We think the SRX815P is just about bulletproof.

  • Brand:  JBL
  • Model:  SRX815P
  • RRP: AUD$2799.00 inc GST
  • Product Info:  www.jblpro.com
  • Distributor:  www.jands.com.au

First published in CX Magazine (September, 2015)

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