Compiling a list of the most famous names of manufacturers of columns, British buyers are likely to be called something like the B & W, KEF, Tannoy, and Wharfedale, indulging in pleasant memories of childhood, when these brands were a source of pride and delight their parents. At the same time, buyers across the Atlantic there is one company that is likely to be in the top of our list of conditional – JBL.
You can not deny the fact that the JBL has been recognized on a par with competing brands, from the most classic audio end of the 1950s, such as “trim” Paragon, and up to the current models of Everest; starting with miniature desktops a la Control 1 until the concert prefabricated systems.
Obviously, the last line of products Arena was no exception, and the representative of which is the flagship (at least in size) JBL Arena 180 – floor-standing speakers, worth about 520 euros for a couple, made in wood color, black or white.
The rest of the line, demonstrated at CES 2015 at the beginning of the year, includes two shelf models Arena 120 and 130, more than 170 miniature Outdoor Arena, the central column channel Arena 125C and accompanying the subwoofer. Whatever it was, the company does not give us a clear positioning of these products in comparison with the 180 Arena, under the guise of common slogans: “Speakers with powerful bass, beating not afford.”
Ran on the description, the buyer has not just stumble on the word “power”, printed directly or indirectly. There is no doubt that the Arena is the perfect synergy of power JBL, precision, and affordability – to decipher the event that the buyer did not catch it from the description.
If no joke, then we are outdoor-standing speakers JBL Arena 180 started to enjoy for any bank account and the amplifier (requirements have very modest). In other words, they created that get the most for the money spent on them. You can even buy the speakers separately for 259.99 euros (at the time of writing) online through the British division of JBL. The price includes delivery and the ability to return to the 30-day period.
In the style of “macho”
If you want to drop of brutality in the appearance of the speakers, the design Arena you have to taste (especially in the embodiment of the dark; the white version does not look so impressive, though in this case, the radiators, in particular, stands out in appearance). The basis of the case are the non-parallel plane, the top cover has a slight slope down to the rear panel. The sides are also slightly curved in this direction. The faces have a slight rounding. Stretched over a plastic frame and finished with metal grills closed all three of the radiator, using no less than eight snap fasteners. Attached to the body massive legs with the possibility of joining metal spikes in the case of placing the speakers on the carpet.
Radiators themselves do not represent anything extraordinary and include one tweeter soft dome 25 mm, and a pair of cone bass / midrange speakers of paper with the addition of polyester fibers. Two-way design, in which the tweeter picks play on the subwoofer on the border of 2.1 kHz, with a panel on the rear port tube. Almost at the bottom of the rear panel is a pair of 4-mm. screw terminals.
That’s all that can be said about the design of columns. Except for one final surprise that awaits the buyer – for its impressive size (109 cm. In height), these speakers can be considered weightless – a little over 15 kg. each. Despite this, the speakers look hard, tapping on the body does not produce any flaws in the design.
The JBL Arena 180 is a two-way design, with the 25-millimeter high-frequency speaker with a soft dome located deep in his own “voice”. Dual 178-mm midrange / bass speakers pick up the sound in the region of 2 kHz.
JBL Arena 180 never claim to be the most sophisticated speakers in the world, and the results of laboratory tests have revealed them slightly wayward character, but do not love the enthusiasm with which they reproduce music is impossible, especially music that is as claimed in the description of the powerful, power character sound speakers. And all this without having to resort to the use of high-power amplifiers (and additional costs).
It seems to me that in recent years I have become more demanding of your speakers, but, nevertheless, in my heart I was left with admiration of those models that can give pleasure without compromising the bank account. Long ago, I got a couple of months from column DC2000 company Tannoy, and much later I got great pleasure from a brief acquaintance with Aria 948 by Focal, which utilizes two 21-cm. Woofer using flax. If my goal was to collect the column, just as some collect handfuls of headphones, I would certainly have left a couple that would surprise me the most.
Model by JBL Arena 180 suited for this role as well as possible: they are definitely a bit ‘uncouth’ and apparently not the column in which I’ll explore the details of Bach’s cantatas and chamber works by Mozart. But they sure know how to have it pass the line drum and bass, and more than enough opportunities to play voice and guitar riffs. After unpacking and installation, I pushed a little bit these speakers from the walls to a little “pull” the bass. After I successfully placed speakers in the room, I wondered – could include JBL is supplied foam plug for the rear port?
Tweeter of JBL Arena 180 has a sufficiently broad direction – I could not make a significant difference in the sound when the most accurate speakers. Only unscrewing the column so that the front panel was barely visible from the point of listening, I could feel the difference.
The soundstage me completely satisfied, perhaps the reason is “galloping” nature of the response (and the discrepancy between the columns), it is better to take these speakers as a good two-channel system, not as a system of “close your eyes and stand out in a number of second clarinet sound.”
Coincidentally, these speakers JBL Arena 180 arrived to charts with playing on the internet BBC radio promotional records Ibiza this year with the participation of Pete Tong, the orchestra and the large amount of shock in very good quality at 320 kbit / s. It feels that the song was written specifically for the speakers from JBL Arena 180, who gave a brilliant rhythmic dance tunes interspersed with stringed instruments. Yes, it was not the fastest in the world of bass song, but it was deep and rich, and at the same time let the music pour out at full capacity and fill a whole room.
Speakers by JBL Arena 180 sensitive enough to use them with a range of amplifiers and systems – including what is now a low-power PMA-50 from Denon, A-9010, and Onkyo’s UK is now slightly outdated MkI NaimUniti. With all these systems 180th give good sound to the extent that they allow to feel pleasure. Of course, the use of a professional systems – such as the consummate Marantz PM-14S1 Special Edition – they just win, but it does not necessarily have to make a cool party.
These columns JBL Arena 180 are ideal for those occasions when the buyer wants the music wall went shaking, no matter whether it is growling rock ballads such as «Enter Sandman» Metallica in the format of 96 kHz / 24 bit from the album Black Album [Vertigo 510,022 -2] (and they reproduce it just fine), or shaking the composition «What Time Is Love» by KLF to cover processing Scooter album “Music For A Big Night Out”.
Relatively good they cope even with the jazz compositions, which are typically hear at exhibitions Hi-Fi technology JBL Arena 180 – in the sense that they will cope with Holly Cole, although the singer sounds a little hissing, for example in the composition «Get Out of Town» from the album «Don ‘t Smoke In Bed », and the bass is not possible to make out a few notes.
On the other hand, I have yet to meet the systems on which the music sounds like “Insanity” really great system and speakers can only add new tone in such records.
Share with neighbour
Whatever it was, I do not think that a beautiful jazz from Cole – it’s the music that will listen to the target audience of the speaker JBL Arena 180. The converse is true, too, is – if you’re a fan of purely orchestral music and listens to every single element, then the column is not for you.
The problem JBL Arena 180 in these columns – transfer drive from staying at a big club or stage performance right in your room, reproducing the sound that you will be doing with their neighbors, regardless of whether they want it or not. The good news is that the speakers are balanced for the “ignition” drive to the quietest volume. B is bad news for those who were against their will within earshot – columns will be added to the music of the required power for all hands. Maybe it’s not quite in the style of Hi End, but it’s awfully funny, is not it? Definitely yes!
JBL Arena 180: Verdict
If you want to squeeze as much as possible for their pure sound of 500 euros, the market there are less bulky and more elegant proposal, with which it is possible to achieve a better understanding of the compositions. But if you are a staunch fan of rock, pop and dance music and want to get their money’s maximum enjoyment without the need to carefully select additional electronics, the JBL Arena 180 uniquely for you.
REPORT FROM THE LAB
JBL points in the specification JBL Arena 180 Sound pressure level at 88 dB, but our measurements differ slightly from this figure. More properly be called a value of 87 dB. This result is good in the sense that, given the most likely amp models with which they will be used, JBL Arena 180 requires affordable level load amplifier.
The nominal value of the resistance in ohms 8 looks optimistic, especially given the fact that we recorded the minimum modulus of 4.6 ohms. However, c-controlled phase angle shifts it results in a minimum value of the equivalent resistance Peak power dissipation of 2.7 ohms at 40 Hz – for a good ohms higher than that of most modern floor systems. After this, the next fall ESPRM to 2.7 ohms at 314 Hz to 2.9 ohms at 108 Hz is somewhat reduced enthusiasm.
AFC, taken at the level of the tweeter, was markedly different in a couple of surveyed – in one column is sufficiently smooth to within ± 2,9 dB. At the other sinking, the whole band and deviation is up to ± 4,8 dB (200 Hz – 20 kHz). All this inevitably results in a discrepancy between the two response by as much as ± 3,9 dB. We assume that a smooth curve – this is what is meant in both columns, and the system of quality control JBL so rarely mistaken.
Our pair of speaker frequency response is clearly not the same, in one clearly seen sinking the whole band.
Adjusted to the diffraction measurements in the near field of the bass show that the low-frequency cut smoothly starts at 100 Hz and occurs at a 54 Hz (-6 dB relative to 200 Hz). On the other side of the range, speakers were given ultrasound up to 40 kHz. On voterfole, demonstrating summary graph of the spectral attenuation, clearly visible “resonance backbone” of 4.3 kHz – and here is the second column of the pair (with a failed stripe) held much more confident.
Ironically, at the column with a smoother frequency response observed an obvious resonance at ~ 4 kHz
Team of JBL Arena 180 Northridge
JBL said that the design of JBL Arena 180 of them inspired M2 Master Reference Monitor, studio monitor and costs almost 7,000 euros apiece. Under the verb “inspired” it is possible to suspect different things, but not so many things connects these two designs, even in spite of the fact that the line Arena was designed and engineered at the facilities of Harman International in Northridge, California, home of the division JBL Pro.
Speakers themselves are made in China. As used in the 180-x tweeter placed deeply into the rectangular horn, intended to enhance directivity, and hence the depth of the sound. But all this pales before the compression set of emitters D2 (double diffuser, dual voice coil) in a studio monitor. Maybe a pair of woofers in an JBL Arena 180 to 178 mm in size. and creates the desired bass effect, but the size of the subwoofer from the M2 381 mm. (with dual voice coil and double magnet) – it is a little bit different level.