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JBL Control X Wireless Measurements & Review

MatthewS

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The passive version of this speaker was measured and reviewed here: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ontrol-x-review-indoor-outdoor-speaker.24852/

I noticed JBL made a wireless version of this speaker and thought it would be interesting to measure. It is now discontinued, but it was $499 for a pair. Using the method here by @napilopez, I conducted quasi-anechoic measurements and generated the spinorama data.

JBLControlXWireless.jpg



Measurements were taken at 1m with about a 6ms gate providing resolution to 176hz. The remaining response was spliced in from hyper near-field measurements after baffle step adjustment. I utilized a minidsp UMIK-1 and REW. I'll include the CEA-2034 data below.


JBLControlXCTA2034.jpg


I didn't draw a trend line, but this response looks quite good, just imagine I drew it at 89.4db, just below the 90db line.

Near Field Drivers:

JBLControlXNearFieldDrivers.jpg



Estimated In-Room Response:

JBLControlXestimatedinroom.jpg


I had already torn everything down when I remembered that @amirm measures distortion at 86db and 96db. My equipment isn't the same, nor are the methodologies identical--still here is distortion at 92db.

JBLControlXDistortion_dbfs.jpg

JBLControlXDistortion.jpg



Horizontal Directivity:
JBLX Directivity (hor).png


Vertical Directivity:
JBLX Directivity (ver).png


This was the first speaker I attempted to measure this way and I picked this one because it basically has Klippel NSF data already (passive version). If you compare the spinorama from Amir's measurement and mine, you see excellent agreement in directivity and frequency response measured past 1khz. JBL included a DSP in this which I would expect mostly accounts for the other differences. You can see the same tweeter fall off and the directivity plots are extremely similar. I've plotted the on-axis from the two versions below:

ControlXvsControlXWireless.jpg



JBL Control X Wireless Speaker Listening Tests:

I happen to own the passive version of this speaker and use it outdoors with equalization to bring up the bass response. I noticed the wireless version existed and had a boundary compensation switch. This means JBL included a DSP in the Bluetooth version. I was pretty certain they'd adjust the bass response. I found a used set on Ebay for pretty cheap and ordered them. I immediately plugged them in after they arrived and was greeted to solid bass. A quick comparison to the passive version confirmed, JBL had corrected the bass region. The speakers pair with each other wirelessly for stereo over bluetooth or AUX. You can even get two sets and run up to 4 speakers. There is a switch to force mono across the speakers and the aforementioned boundary compensation switch.

The tonality is correct on these and nothing glaring stands out. They don't sound as good as the Revels I have in my primary listening room, but for portable battery powered wireless speakers they are a delight. They are rated 4 hours and you can run them off AC as well. They also get quite loud and easily exceed the volume I'd be comfortable with in a normal backyard situation.

If you're wondering if I'm qualified to venture an opinion--you can read about the two blind listening tests I've conducted here and here.
 

Attachments

  • JBL_X_Wireless_CEA-2034.zip
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Last edited:

Maiky76

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Great effort, keep it up!

Here is my take on the EQ.
Please report your findings, positive or negative!

The following EQs are “anechoic” EQs to get the speaker right before room integration. If you able to implement these EQs you must add EQ at LF for room integration, that is usually not optional… see hints there: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...helf-speaker-review.11144/page-26#post-800725

The raw data with corrected ER and PIR:

Score no EQ: 4.5
With Sub: 7.4

Spinorama with no EQ:
  • Decent
  • Some resonances
  • Nice directivity
JBL Control X Wireless EQ No Spinorama.png

EQ design:

I have generated two EQs. The APO config files are attached.
  • The first one, labelled, LW is targeted at making the LW flat
  • The second, labelled Score, starts with the first one and adds the score as an optimization variable.
  • The EQs are designed in the context of regular stereo use i.e. domestic environment, no warranty is provided for a near field use in a studio environment although the LW might be better suited for this purpose.
Score EQ LW: 5.2
with sub: 8.2

Score EQ Score: 5.4
with sub: 8.4

Code:
JBL Control X Wireless APO EQ LW 96000Hz
August172023-143711

Preamp: -2.3 dB

Filter 1: ON HPQ Fc 91.71,    0.00,    1.25
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 186.46,    -1.39,    1.22
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 820.40,    1.49,    1.12
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 2464.62,    -0.96,    0.95
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 5853.67,    0.93,    2.40
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 9533.66,    -0.97,    3.79

JBL Control X Wireless APO EQ Score 96000Hz
August172023-143711

Preamp: -2.2 dB

Filter 1: ON HPQ Fc 91.05,    0.00,    1.23
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 192.85,    -1.32,    1.14
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 809.57,    1.54,    1.68
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 3660.21,    -1.46,    0.61
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 5650.62,    0.93,    3.70
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 9967.76,    -1.41,    3.14
JBL Control X Wireless EQ Design.png


Spinorama EQ LW
JBL Control X Wireless EQ LW Spinorama.png


Spinorama EQ Score
JBL Control X Wireless EQ Score Spinorama.png


Zoom PIR-LW-ON
JBL Control X Wireless Zoom.png


Regression - Tonal
JBL Control X Wireless Regression.png


Radar no EQ vs EQ score
JBL Control X Wireless Radar.png
 

Attachments

  • JBL Control X Wireless APO EQ Score 96000Hz.txt
    352 bytes · Views: 46
  • JBL Control X Wireless APO EQ LW 96000Hz.txt
    349 bytes · Views: 48
Last edited:

JDS

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I wish people would say "active speaker" instead of "wireless speaker" -- they are never wireless and they often have MORE wires in them than a "wired" speaker.
Yes, this.

For a dedicated high-end listening setup, I would accept having to plug active speakers into both an A/C outlet and a router, especially because I would probably get better fidelity that way. But for most casual applications, all that wiring can be problematic.
 
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MatthewS

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I wish people would say "active speaker" instead of "wireless speaker" -- they are never wireless and they often have MORE wires in them than a "wired" speaker.
Keep in mind, that is what JBL named the speaker.

Also, not all “active” speakers support wireless transmission (Bluetooth/WiFi). But all wireless speakers are “active”.
 

Rottmannash

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I bought a pair off Woot a year or two ago and have been using them outdoors. Get loud, project sound quite well outdoors and have a decent sound but indoors I find them a bit much. Hate to use the word "shouty" but that's the only description that fits.
 

frabor

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I have built out of fiberglass a two way two spheres speaker, as a way to see what is the effect of the spherical shape and compare it tobyje original donor rectangular speaker from psrtnexpres a b652. Given that the cross over is just a cap, it's a good test experiment. I will be using the method you used and referenced for the measurements
 

Head_Unit

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a line in hidden behind a cover
OMG I have 3 pairs of these and never noticed that! The plastic is so black, I guess, and anyway that's not what I use them for. I got these on eBay over time, plus a passive set. The sound is very nice, bass pretty good though not the lowest of the lows from such a small cabinet. The batteries last a very long time and also discharge very slowly if not plugged in-big big kudos to the battery designer.

Oh @xaxxon these really CAN be wireless because of the battery inside...unlike the big miss of the Apple HomePod, for a glaring example.
 
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