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JBL 306P MK II Review (Studio Monitor)

maxxevv

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I just use the basic EQ found on my Foobar2000, bump up the frequencies around the 1500~1600Hz range about 3~4 dB. It does help it seems, when it toggle between on an off, for female vocals, there is a difference that can be picked up.
 

BYRTT

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Please if you have Jriver Maiky76 config-file wont work as it is for APO equalizer but no problem because it takes no more than five minuttes to set those seven times PEQ into Jrivers DSP engine called "DSP studio", practically you "add" seven new PEQ filter strings and dial in Maiky76 numbers in one of the two PEQ containers Jriver offer and then to A/B the effect you can tick that PEQ container on/off while listening track material, if my explanation is not good enough or understood please get help over at Jriver WIKI site..

Amir dialed in below single PEQ..

Tom_C_1_x1x1_800mS.gif


Maiky76 score EQ is below 7 times PEQ..

Tom_C_2_x1x1_800mS.gif


Below string of 5 times PEQ and one high shelf filter is my homebrew of optimize smooth sound power..

Tom_C_3_x1x1_800mS.gif
 

Tom C

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Please if you have Jriver Maiky76 config-file wont work as it is for APO equalizer but no problem because it takes no more than five minuttes to set those seven times PEQ into Jrivers DSP engine called "DSP studio", practically you "add" seven new PEQ filter strings and dial in Maiky76 numbers in one of the two PEQ containers Jriver offer and then to A/B the effect you can tick that PEQ container on/off while listening track material, if my explanation is not good enough or understood please get help over at Jriver WIKI site..

Amir dialed in below single PEQ..

View attachment 100438

Maiky76 score EQ is below 7 times PEQ..

View attachment 100442

Below string of 5 times PEQ and one high shelf filter is my homebrew of optimize smooth sound power..

View attachment 100443
Thank you so much!


EDIT:
So, it is just as simple as manually dialing in the given filter parameters. It was pretty easy to figure out. Most of the filters made little difference, to my hearing. The main adjustment is a 3.8 dB boost at 1545 Hz. The other adjustments are smaller, and hard to hear.
Thanks again!
 
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richard12511

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Are we to use a subwoofer playing 5 Hz...16 Hz ?
Yes! Absolutely! May not be able to hear it, but I can feel it, and it makes the music experience more enjoyable for some songs.
 
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I knew my ears weren't deceiving me. The distortion in the JBL 306P's and in the original 305's is extremely noticeable. Not so much if it is your first ever decent speaker, but when faced against other speakers in a similar class with considerably less distortion the muddiness leaks through, even when used with advanced room correction like DIRAC.

I've compared the 306P's to Emotiva Airmotiv 5S and Adam T5V's, and in both cases the JBL's lose. The much smaller 5" speakers get much louder, much cleaner and sound less boxy in the mid-field. The transparency is also on another level. Those are speakers you could use in a living room, whereas the JBL's must be regulated to a desk.

Sad thing is Harman could make the JBL 3XXP's so much better than they are without a price hike. It's like they intentionally neutered them so they wouldn't step on the toes of their more expensive offerings, at the same time making them just good enough for mass appeal.

I paid $160 for my 306P's brand new, which was a steal. At MSRP I would steer clear.
 

maxxevv

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Interesting, would be good to share the parameters / settings / equipment used in the comparison.
In my experience, the dip switches as well as DAC voltage suppllied to the 306p makes a significant difference in how it sounds. And also the distance from the back wall in relation to the settings.
 
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Interesting, would be good to share the parameters / settings / equipment used in the comparison.
In my experience, the dip switches as well as DAC voltage suppllied to the 306p makes a significant difference in how it sounds. And also the distance from the back wall in relation to the settings.
I've done out of the box sound comparison's side by side using a Toppin D30 in my gym as well as best case scenario comparisons in my bedroom. What is a best case scenario? Nearfield with two Rythmik F12 subs, MiniDSP DDRC-24 and DIRAC to max out the potential of the entire speaker system. 306P loses in both. Out of the box it is fatiguing and very busy in the treble region. The Adam T5V is a brighter speaker, but sounds cleaner and is less fatiguing.

The JBL's sound cleans up very well with DIRAC, but there is always this lack of transparency you miss when you have experienced the others. Sound in the end is still very good, just not quite as good. I have to assume this lack of transparency and overall harshness is due to the distortion. Especially as volume goes up.

The 306P is by no means bad. I am currently enjoying them in my gym with the -2dB treble tilt and no added EQ and the sound is very enjoyable. At $300 I would step up to the Adam T5V. With subs, the slight bass advantage of the 306P vanishes and the Adam's will go louder.
 

maxxevv

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I've done out of the box sound comparison's side by side using a Toppin D30 in my gym as well as best case scenario comparisons in my bedroom. What is a best case scenario? Nearfield with two Rythmik F12 subs, MiniDSP DDRC-24 and DIRAC to max out the potential of the entire speaker system. 306P loses in both. Out of the box it is fatiguing and very busy in the treble region. The Adam T5V is a brighter speaker, but sounds cleaner and is less fatiguing.

The JBL's sound cleans up very well with DIRAC, but there is always this lack of transparency you miss when you have experienced the others. Sound in the end is still very good, just not quite as good. I have to assume this lack of transparency and overall harshness is due to the distortion. Especially as volume goes up.

The 306P is by no means bad. I am currently enjoying them in my gym with the -2dB treble tilt and no added EQ and the sound is very enjoyable. At $300 I would step up to the Adam T5V. With subs, the slight bass advantage of the 306P vanishes and the Adam's will go louder.
Like I said, it would be good if you stated your test parameters. These are active speakers, not passives, so their settings will affect their performance greatly.

The 306p being rear ported has issues when placed wrongly or when the dip switches are not used correctly. They don't sound good if used wrongly in my experience too.


The default out of the box settings for the speaker are meant for XLR 4V input into them. With a 1 foot clearance from the walls minimum for the bass port. If you are using RCA out from your E30, it should be connected via the 1/4" jack and the dip switch set accordingly.
 
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Like I said, it would be good if you stated your test parameters. These are active speakers, not passives, so their settings will affect their performance greatly.

The 306p being rear ported has issues when placed wrongly or when the dip switches are not used correctly. They don't sound good if used wrongly in my experience too.

The default out of the box settings for the speaker are meant for XLR 4V input into them. With a 1 foot clearance from the walls minimum for the bass port. If you are using RCA out from your E30, it should be connected via the 1/4" jack and the dip switch set accordingly.
I used them 2+ feet from the wall and the input sensitivity switch was set appropriately for a 2V source, trims set to 0dB. I used them no differently than the other monitors and in my bedroom they were high passed and used with DIRAC. I have already maximized the potential of this speaker, and its potential is lower than that of the two others. No setting on the back or placement is going to change that.
 
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The distortion in the JBL 306P's and in the original 305's
Can you please define the nature of the distortion, what should I hear or be listening for? I am no golden ears, but I'd be interested to identify the distortion and see if I can hear it.

I know that @amirm has been trained for such purposes and I'd be interested to hear it for myself.
 
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Can you please define the nature of the distortion, what should I hear or be listening for? I am no golden ears, but I'd be interested to identify the distortion and see if I can hear it.

I know that @amirm has been trained for such purposes and I'd be interested to hear it for myself.
That is a bit hard to describe without hearing it for yourself. I would say the JBL's always lacked transparency in contrast to others, which will only be noticeable if you are used to another speaker that sounds clearer. And as volume went up I could tell the sound quality starts degrading further on the JBL's. The treble quality degrades and the sound becomes harsher. Very similar to driving an under powered amp real hard. If I take my very power hungry headphones and power it off my motherboard or even my Motu M2 audio interface, the sound at low to moderate volumes can be pretty good, but as the SPL continues to go up, the highs start degrading and the sound becomes messier and fatiguing. Take a more powerful amp and the sound stays consistently clean. I never drove the JBL's to blatant distortion, say a driver bottoming out or clipping, but I can tell they lacked the clarity and composure of the other speakers.

In contrast I have pushed my Emotiva Airmotiv 5S to the absolute max in mid-field HT usage with two 18" subs in a large room playing music and movies. That speaker gave me output I never expected it had and it always sounded clean and consistent. They are the reason I upgraded to the Emotiva Stealth 8's, which is basically that speaker juiced up on steroids.
 
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In contrast I have pushed my Emotiva Airmotiv 5S to the absolute max in mid-field
I think one of the reasons that I have enjoyed nearly every pair of speakers I have owned and still own is that I rarely listen very loudly, regardless of the room, speaker configuration, amplifier combination or source I listen at fairly moderate levels (some would say too quietly) but with great satisfaction and still maintain a fidelity and veracity of the music listened to. And probably the reason I have never wanted for a subwoofer.

It could be the reason why I do not hear the distortion that exists especially with cabinet resonances and the like.

I stopped listening to LOUD in my early 20's knowing full well that it would go a long way to preserving my hearing later and I am very thankful I did.
 

LightninBoy

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I've done out of the box sound comparison's side by side using a Toppin D30 in my gym as well as best case scenario comparisons in my bedroom. What is a best case scenario? Nearfield with two Rythmik F12 subs, MiniDSP DDRC-24 and DIRAC to max out the potential of the entire speaker system. 306P loses in both. Out of the box it is fatiguing and very busy in the treble region. The Adam T5V is a brighter speaker, but sounds cleaner and is less fatiguing.
The T5V is also measured here. It actually has higher distortion in the treble region than the JBL 306, so your subjective evaluation of the treble region does not match the measurements. The 306 has both better FR and distortion in the treble regions.

The JBL's sound cleans up very well with DIRAC, but there is always this lack of transparency you miss when you have experienced the others. Sound in the end is still very good, just not quite as good. I have to assume this lack of transparency and overall harshness is due to the distortion. Especially as volume goes up.
Most likely this is due to the increased distortion the 306 has in the *midrange* compared to the T5V. Based on that - I certainly don't blame you or anyone for preferring the T5V.
 

LightninBoy

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Can you please define the nature of the distortion, what should I hear or be listening for? I am no golden ears, but I'd be interested to identify the distortion and see if I can hear it.

I know that @amirm has been trained for such purposes and I'd be interested to hear it for myself.
Here's how I perceive it (as an owner of the 306mkii) ...

Starting at a moderate level (say 75db), everything sounds fine and balanced and the image is of a tiny band playing in between the speakers. As I increase the level, the instruments linearly grow larger, getting closer to their real life size impact. The soundstage begins to expand beyond the speakers. However, as I pass 85db, the image size stops growing linearly; the extra level seems to have less impact. Adding even more volume, eventually, the instrument image size doesn't grow with more level and the overall sound is beginning to be boxy and congested. I notice it most with highly dynamic sounds like a snare hit, which at high levels sound harsh and artificial.
 
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The T5V is also measured here. It actually has higher distortion in the treble region than the JBL 306, so your subjective evaluation of the treble region does not match the measurements. The 306 has both better FR and distortion in the treble regions.

Most likely this is due to the increased distortion the 306 has in the *midrange* compared to the T5V. Based on that - I certainly don't blame you or anyone for preferring the T5V.
I think the distortion graphs back up my claims pretty well. Adam T5V's only glaring weakness is a narrow window of distortion at around 4Khz when pushed to 96dB. With 2nd and 3rd harmonics being at 8KHz and 12KHz respectively, I doubt anyone would really be able to audibly hear the effects all that well. And some distortion between 250-700Hz, but still at relatively low levels.

Contrast that to the JBL which has a lot of distortion at both 86dB and 96dB from 100-600Hz, those 2nd and 3rd harmonics are going to be making quite the mess from 200-1800Hz. And it still on average has quite a bit more distortion than the T5V from 600-7KHz. So those 2nd and 3rd order harmonics are leaking out across the entire spectrum much more than they do on the T5V.

And I think the JBL's seem to have a lot of unit to unit variability. The 308P was measured with tons more distortion in the treble region, and that speaker is virtually identical to the 306P. T8V in comparison to the T5V was measured to be almost identical, with a larger window of distortion at 96dB at the same 4-5KHz.
T5V_vs_306P_Distortion.PNG
 

dfuller

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has anyone compared them with yamaha hs7, to tell us impressions?
In my (admittedly limited) experience, the HS7s whack you in the face with upper mids/low presence around 1.5KHz just like NS10s do. These, however, do not.
 

BYRTT

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So what is the verdict: Kali LP6 vs 306P.

Price is almost identical where I live.
Judge yourself but if you have EQ available i would take 305P MKII & 308P MKII plus LP-6 over 306P MKII :) for 306P MKII verse LP-6 below side by side comparison in same ratios should help study them, animation toggles anechoic raw out of box verse a same EQ policy..

JBL_306P_MKII_verse_Kali_Audio_LP-6_A_x1x1_1200mS.gif

JBL_306P_MKII_verse_Kali_Audio_LP-6_B_x1x1_1200mS.gif
 
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