JBL launches Authentics Series of wireless speakers

posted on Thursday, 31st August 2023 by Steve May

Speakers  Wireless  Smart home 

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JBL has launched the Authentics Series, a range of wireless home audio speakers. The new models play heavily on its audio heritage, albeit with a cutting edge spin, including Dolby Atmos support and dual Voice Assistant operability.

Sporting an aesthetic that recalls the brand’s best-selling L100 speaker from the 1970s, the line comprises three models, the Authentics 500, Authentics 300, and portable Authentics 200.

The flagship Authentics 500 is a sizeable speaker, with a 1-inch tweeter, trio of 2.75-inch midrange woofers and a 6.5-inch downward firing subwoofer, all powered by 270 Watts of amplification.

Dolby Atmos enabled, it plays spatial music with an enhanced soundstage that adds height and width.

The JBL Authentics 300 is a (trans)portable stereo design, with a carry handle and built-in 8-hour battery, while the Authentics 200 sports a pair of 1-inch tweeters, full-range 5-inch woofer and down-firing 6-inch passive radiator.

All three are built around an aluminium frame, and have a synthetic leather-wrapped enclosure, and Quadrex style grille.

Unusually, they work with both Alexa and Google Assistant simultaneously, so users can Ask Alexa to control connected smart home devices, while Google Assistant streams music, for example. There’s no longer a need to ‘choose sides’ when setting up.

Wireless streaming is via AirPlay, Alexa Multi-Room Music (MRM), Spotify Connect, and Chromecast built-in. The models also auto calibrate.

I had a chance to listen to all three at their Berlin launch, and was impressed by their dynamic attack and soundstaging. Even the smallest model (which up close isn’t that small), offers overt stereo.

The implementation of Dolby Atmos on the Authentics 500 is particularly impressive, and could well change how people choose to listen to streamed music in their home.

Like any Chromecast enabled speakers, they can be grouped together for whole home playback.

Available from September 15, the Authentics 500, Authentics 300 and Authentics 200 will sell for £579 /€629, £379/ €429 and £299 / €329 respectively.

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology specialist who also writes for T3TechRadarHome Cinema Choice, Trusted Reviews and The Luxe Review.

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