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explaining the new wireless speaker range

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explaining the new wireless speaker range

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JBL has introduced its new Authentics range of wireless speakers, which it describes as offering striking audio with a ‘retro design’ that is inspired by the company’s heritage.

Made up of three speakers, the range consists of the Authentics 500, Authentics 300, and Authentics 200. All support Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity and are intended to be used in and around the home.

The features are near identical across the range, with JBL claiming an “industry first” integration of Amazon Alexa and Google voice assistants. The integration of these voice control giants allows customers the choice of registering both assistants so they can be accessed simultaneously, allowing for an easy “switch between them for different activities”.

Through Wi-Fi owners can stream audio over AirPlay, Spotify Connect, Chromecast, and Alexa Multi-Room Music. Set-up through the JBL One app allows for users to browse through integrated music services, and there’s the opportunity to personalize audio with customisable EQ settings.

The appearance of the Authentics series takes its cues from the “legendary” JBL L100 speaker from the 1970s with a premium aluminium frame, custom synthetic leather-wrapped enclosure, as well as a reimagined Quadrex grille. JBL says the Authentics range is designed “to make a statement.”

From a sustainability point of view, the Authentics speakers are made from 100% recycled fabric, 85% recycled plastic and 50% recycled aluminum. Available in just the black finish, the packaging is made from FSC-certified paper and printed with soy ink.

With the Authentics range of speakers, JBL has designs on competing in the same space as Sonos’ Era speakers and Denon’s Home series.

Customers will be able to find out how good they are when they go on sale from the 15th of  September, 2023. Scroll down below to see the prices for each speaker, as well as more info on their respective feature set and performance.

JBL Authentics 500

JBL Authentics 500 speaker
credit: JBL
  • Price: £579.99 / €629.99
  • Speakers: Three 1-inch tweeters, three 2.75-inch midrange woofers, 6.5-inch downfiring woofer
  • Multi-room support: Yes
  • Voice assistants: Amazon Alexa & Google Assistant
  • Automatic self-tuning: Yes
  • Battery: No

The biggest of the three announced speakers, the Authentics 500 is powered via the mains (there’s no battery on this unit), so this is a speaker that’ll be moved around the house rather than taken outside.

It features the Quadrex grille and retro design that all the Authentics speakers come with, and it supports automatic self-tuning to optimise its audio performance in whatever environment it finds itself in. There’s streaming over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and there’s an Ethernet port for hard-wiring the speaker to the router for a more stable connection.

There’s the support for simultaneous voice control (Alexa/Google) along with multi-room playback through Spotify Connect, Chromecast, Alexa MRM, and AirPlay 2.

The most noteworthy feature is its Dolby Atmos support, which means it can play spatial 3D audio from compatible streaming services. JBL describes the audio performance for the 500 as one that provides “crystal clear sound” with “tight, accurate bass”.

JBL Authentics 300

JBL Authentics 300 speaker
credit: JBL
  • Price: £379.99 / €429.99
  • Speakers: TBC
  • Multi-room support: Yes
  • Voice assistants: Amazon Alexa & Google Assistant
  • Automatic self-tuning: Yes
  • Battery: Yes

Consider the Authentics 300 as a smaller, portable version of the Authentics 500 and you’re on the right track. It comes with a handle that should make it easier to transport around the house (or if you’re venturing to the garden). Outdoor use is emphasized with an 8-hour battery life, though there’s no mention of any waterproofing. There’s no Dolby Atmos audio support on this model.

JBL Authentics 200

JBL Authentics 200 speaker
credit: JBL
  • Price: £299.99 / €329.99
  • Speakers: two 1-inch tweeters, full-range 5-inch woofer, 6-inch downfiring passive radiator
  • Multi-room support: Yes
  • Voice assistants: Amazon Alexa & Google Assistant
  • Automatic self-tuning: Yes
  • Battery: No

Judging by the price, we’re presuming that the Authentics 200 is the smallest speaker within the new JBL speaker range. It carries over nearly all the features on the 300 and 500 series in terms of voice control, multi-room support, automatic self-tuning and connectivity options. It doesn’t come with a battery, which implies this is another mains-powered speaker.

With stereo sound, the aim for the Authentics 200 is to produce a clear, balanced sound with deep bass “no matter the genre”.

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