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JBL 308P MKII Studio Monitor Review

Robbo99999

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Yes, I’ve seen a lot about that. Amir mentions it in his review, and quite a few others have. I’ve seen quotes from 65cm through to 2m seating distance on audibility, so it may be unit dependent (though I’ve yet to hear of anyone who feels one speaker in a pair hisses more than the other).

I’ll keep you posted. Hopefully setting up in October/November.
If you use them as PC speakers and they're gonna be idle for significant stretches at a time whilst you're using your PC they will drive you nuts, won't be useable in that environment at 1m.
 

Yorkshire Mouth

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If you use them as PC speakers and they're gonna be idle for significant stretches at a time whilst you're using your PC they will drive you nuts, won't be useable in that environment at 1m.

First thing’s first, hopefully I experience the same as Amir and others, and that it’s not noticeable further than 2’ away.

I’ve no real compunction to have my sound on when working at my desk. If I’m listening to music, or something comes up on a video, I can turn them on, the rest of the time they’ll be off.

BTW, I may have the set-up in place earlier than the autumn, but it’ll be with a pair of Monitor Audio BX1s, and a BK XLS200-DF sub.
 

Robbo99999

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First thing’s first, hopefully I experience the same as Amir and others, and that it’s not noticeable further than 2’ away.

I’ve no real compunction to have my sound on when working at my desk. If I’m listening to music, or something comes up on a video, I can turn them on, the rest of the time they’ll be off.

BTW, I may have the set-up in place earlier than the autumn, but it’ll be with a pair of Monitor Audio BX1s, and a BK XLS200-DF sub.
Ok, just be aware it's almost 100% likely you'll need to flip them off when they're not being used, as long as you're alright with that.
 

Philbo King

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Ok, just be aware it's almost 100% likely you'll need to flip them off when they're not being used, as long as you're alright with that.
It does have an auto-standby feature, described on page 12 of the owners manual.


It's kind of a voodoo sequence rather like some cell phone features ("stand on left foot, hold volume-up, press power button 3 times while chanting 'ooga booga', that sort of thing)
 

Robbo99999

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It does have an auto-standby feature, described on page 12 of the owners manual.


It's kind of a voodoo sequence rather like some cell phone features ("stand on left foot, hold volume-up, press power button 3 times while chanting 'ooga booga', that sort of thing)
It doesn't really turn itself off quick enough to prevent the annoyance if you're planning on using them as PC speakers at 1m, in my experience you wouldn't want them at 1m whilst you're trying to use your PC, you'd just hear a constant hiss when the speakers were not in use. I turned the auto-standby feature off as sometimes one speaker wouldn't turn itself off reliably.
 

Philbo King

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It doesn't really turn itself off quick enough to prevent the annoyance if you're planning on using them as PC speakers at 1m, in my experience you wouldn't want them at 1m whilst you're trying to use your PC, you'd just hear a constant hiss when the speakers were not in use. I turned the auto-standby feature off as sometimes one speaker wouldn't turn itself off reliably.
Reports do vary on this; I've never heard hiss from mine even with my ear against the speaker.

Perhaps it's a hidden benefit of hearing loss. I did play lead guitar in a prog-rock band in the 70s.
 

Robbo99999

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Reports do vary on this; I've never heard hiss from mine even with my ear against the speaker.

Perhaps it's a hidden benefit of hearing loss. I did play lead guitar in a prog-rock band in the 70s.
Yeah, fair enough, but I really do think they all sound the same re hiss, as both my speakers have the same level of hiss and it has nothing to do with the volume knob position on the back of the speaker - the hiss is at the same level regardless of what volume they're set at (except if you set it to zero volume which operates as a total mute button) & also same level of hiss even if they're not plugged into any source. I tend to think different people's reports are just down to people's sensitivity to it rather than the speakers having varying amounts of hiss per unit.

(They're totally fine in my use case because I always have music or TV playing through them when they're switched on, otherwise they're turned off, so they're not being used as PC speakers.)
 

Yorkshire Mouth

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Reports do vary on this; I've never heard hiss from mine even with my ear against the speaker.

Perhaps it's a hidden benefit of hearing loss. I did play lead guitar in a prog-rock band in the 70s.

Now, I didn’t play guitar in a prog rock group in the ‘70s, but I did attend many post-punk concerts in the ‘80s. And whilst I usually adhere to the maxim ‘never trust a hippy’, I find myself in synchronisation with you.

When tested, my hearing has deteriorated in what is apparently standard for someone in their late 50s, especially at the top end, loud concerts or not, with particular issues at 15k+.

Time will tell. Thank for the input.
 

Yorkshire Mouth

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Yeah, fair enough, but I really do think they all sound the same re hiss, as both my speakers have the same level of hiss and it has nothing to do with the volume knob position on the back of the speaker - the hiss is at the same level regardless of what volume they're set at (except if you set it to zero volume which operates as a total mute button) & also same level of hiss even if they're not plugged into any source. I tend to think different people's reports are just down to people's sensitivity to it rather than the speakers having varying amounts of hiss per unit.

(They're totally fine in my use case because I always have music or TV playing through them when they're switched on, otherwise they're turned off, so they're not being used as PC speakers.)

I can’t see myself having them on when not in use for music. Specifically, turning each monitor and sub on by flicking the rocker on the back isn’t something I’m going to do every time I want to listen to something. All three are going to be plugged into a power strip, where I can easily turn them all on and off with 1 easily accessible switch. This will help with the start up procedure of turning the front end on first, ensuring the volume isn’t set too loud.

So if I’m not listening to music, I won’t be flicking that switch.
 

Robbo99999

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I can’t see myself having them on when not in use for music. Specifically, turning each monitor and sub on by flicking the rocker on the back isn’t something I’m going to do every time I want to listen to something. All three are going to be plugged into a power strip, where I can easily turn them all on and off with 1 easily accessible switch. This will help with the start up procedure of turning the front end on first, ensuring the volume isn’t set too loud.

So if I’m not listening to music, I won’t be flicking that switch.
That's the best way to manage it, just flipping the one switch.
 

Citizen

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Won't be pleasant to have any of the Mkii line as very near field computer speakers as you'll hear the constant hiss certainly at 1m & below. Depends how good your hearing is I suppose in terms of what distance you can hear the hiss - but the problem with them being used as PC speakers they're gonna sit idle a lot of the time, so you'll get that constant hiss - it's of course OK with music playing. Listening at 3m is one of my listening positions, it gets loud enough for me at that distance. I think they're good speakers but I don't think they're acceptable to use as desktop PC speakers at 1m or less because of the hiss.
My god the hiss is bad, my ears picked it up during low level listening from about 2m away, would not b able to use them in the near field at all, or maybe mine hiss a bit more, they were a second hand buy, other than that they seem to be a fantastic little speaker.

JBL308mk2.jpg
 

Archaea

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The hiss might be worse depending on your cables or what source you have it plugged into — even other things plugged into your computer or source that may be creating noise. Is the hiss bad if all source connections are unplugged and the only thing connected is the power cable?
 

Citizen

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The hiss might be worse depending on your cables or what source you have it plugged into — even other things plugged into your computer or source that may be creating noise. Is the hiss bad if all source connections are unplugged and the only thing connected is the power cable?
They are the same plug that were powering the HEDD monitors next to them and the have significantly less noise, almost imperceptible at the same distance, I know this property has some issues with grounding though, I had to replace a computer PSU because I could hear my mouse movements through one of my amps(samson servo 260).
 

Archaea

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They are the same plug that were powering the HEDD monitors next to them and the have significantly less noise, almost imperceptible at the same distance, I know this property has some issues with grounding though, I had to replace a computer PSU because I could hear my mouse movements through one of my amps(samson servo 260).
Unplug your source from them and listen to the noise with nothing connected. That’s what it should be. (Lower your gain input attenuator knobs on the back of the speaker if you are hearing hiss)

If you get more hiss than that with your source connected to the speaker inputs, then it’s in your source system and not the built in speaker amplifiers. There is a wee bit of noise in the built in amps if you have the amplifier gain attenuation knobs maxed, but you don’t need to do that to get usable volume as desktop monitors — so just turn the gain knobs down on the speaker back and the volume up on your source.

Comparing these to another set of speakers that does or doesn’t hiss doesn’t tell you a whole lot because their gain structure is different and you should tailor gain structure per amplifier/speaker connected. From there you might try a couple cheater plugs to lift the ground. You certainly should not be hearing computer noises through your speaker (like mouse moving or hard-drive clicking etc).
 

Yorkshire Mouth

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Unplug your source from them and listen to the noise with nothing connected. That’s what it should be. (Lower your gain input attenuator knobs on the back of the speaker if you are hearing hiss)

If you get more hiss than that with your source connected to the speaker inputs, then it’s in your source system and not the built in speaker amplifiers. There is a wee bit of noise in the built in amps if you have the amplifier gain attenuation knobs maxed, but you don’t need to do that to get usable volume as desktop monitors — so just turn the gain knobs down on the speaker back and the volume up on your source.

Comparing these to another set of speakers that does or doesn’t hiss doesn’t tell you a whole lot because their gain structure is different and you should tailor gain structure per amplifier/speaker connected. From there you might try a couple cheater plugs to lift the ground. You certainly should not be hearing computer noises through your speaker (like mouse moving or hard-drive clicking etc).

Amir does specify in his review that turning the volume on the speaker down, and turning up the source, does indeed reduce the hiss, but increases distortion.
 

Yorkshire Mouth

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My god the hiss is bad, my ears picked it up during low level listening from about 2m away, would not b able to use them in the near field at all, or maybe mine hiss a bit more, they were a second hand buy, other than that they seem to be a fantastic little speaker.

View attachment 311605

This is interesting.

You’re hearing the hiss at 2 meters. Amir couldn’t hear it beyond 2 feet (about 0.6 meters).

It does appear to be either (a) unit dependent, (b) user dependent (high frequency hearing loss?), or (c) maybe a bit of both.
 

Buckster

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my pair hiss too - very very slight variance between the two

but can hear from 3m away. Makes no difference whether an input connected or not and volume on the speaker makes no real difference either

my 305 MKIs I can only hear from 30cm away if I really try very hard to listen for
 

Citizen

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This is interesting.

You’re hearing the hiss at 2 meters. Amir couldn’t hear it beyond 2 feet (about 0.6 meters).

It does appear to be either (a) unit dependent, (b) user dependent (high frequency hearing loss?), or (c) maybe a bit of both.
I really need to try them in another home other than my own to rule out my electrical signal problems.

One thing I will say after a morning of listening to them is they are a fantastic speaker, wide, open, detailed, engaging, would even say fun which is a high compliment for a studio monitor.
 

holdingpants01

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IMO personal opinion on the hiss level is not really useful, it's very situational and subjective, as everyone have different amount of hearing loss, every room have different level of background noise, the perception level is also different for everyone, sometimes the hiss is more apparent on axis but disappears slightly off axis, there's just too many variables. It's entirely possible that every 308P have the same level of hiss and all we can see here is different personal experiences, one would not hear it at all and other will, even from 3 meters.
I would love to see the idle noise level as a measured parameter. For some, it's one of the most important things that could ruin the whole experience and it's impossible to fix, so it's more important than slight frequency response problems which can be corrected. But unfortunately I guess it's not possible to do, as this is one of the limitations of using Klippel system rather than the anechoic room.
 
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respice finem

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This is interesting.

You’re hearing the hiss at 2 meters. Amir couldn’t hear it beyond 2 feet (about 0.6 meters).

It does appear to be either (a) unit dependent, (b) user dependent (high frequency hearing loss?), or (c) maybe a bit of both.
The circuitry and drivers will rather not vary significantly, so IMHO it's mainly user dependent. Individual threshold of hearing, and the level of ambient noise (which our brain ignores, but still it's present). I'm living in the suburbs now, early in the morning it's so quiet it's almost "spooky". Then I can hear the noise @3,5m easily. In the afternoon, when my ears have had "their daily dose", and ambient noise is present, maybe @2m, maximum. For 1-1,5m distance they would be too noisy for me, but i'm rather sensitive to it, many others don't even notice..
 
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