With IFA 2023 finally concluding, it’s very much safe to say that we’ve seen some pretty cool hardware showcased during the event, including some impressive entries from the likes of Jabra, Lenovo, and Honor, to name a few. As such, we’ve also gotten some new hardware from JBL, which packs some impressive smart features in addition to the signature sound quality we’ve come to expect from the brand.
More specifically, the new speakers fall under JBL’s Authentics series, which consists of three differently-priced and spec’d smart speakers, each with their own specialty. These include the JBL Authentics 200, Authentics 300, and Authentics 500 speakers – all are equipped with smart features as well, including compatibility for both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. With that in mind, what other features do they come with? Let’s check them out.
JBL says that the new speakers are designed with inspiration from the brand’s early products, such as the JBL L100 speaker from the 70s, combined with a modern twist. This includes a construction that integrates an aluminium frame, custom synthetic leather-wrapped enclosure, and a reimagined Quadrex grille. Carsten Olesen, President of Consumer Audio at HARMAN Lifestyle Division states:
“The heritage of our brand has always been important to us and the JBL Authentics encompasses everything that we thrive to achieve at JBL… We’re living in an interesting era where ‘newstalgia’ is on the rise. The JBL Authentics plays on our iconic past with its retro design whilst delivering the superior sound that our customers have come to love and expect. Modern innovations such as Dolby Atmos and simultaneous voice assistants meet the retro and reimagined Quadrex grille design to deliver a speaker range that is ready for the future of audio.”
In terms of audio features, the JBL Authentics 500 comes with Dolby Atmos technology, in addition to three 1-inch tweeters, three 2.75-inch midrange woofers, and a 6.5-inch down-firing subwoofer for bass. It also packs in 270 Watts of 3.1 channel sound with virtual Dolby Atmos for 3D sound.
Meanwhile, the JBL Authentics 300 features a more portable approach, which lets users bring the speaker anywhere – there’s also a built-in battery that features up to eight hours of playback time. Likewise, the JBL Authentics 200 also comes in a rather portable design, and features a pair of 1-inch tweeters, a 5-inch woofer as well as a 6-inch passive radiator.
Additionally, the Authentics speakers also come with Automatic self-tuning, which enables them to calibrate and adjust the audio performance whenever the speaker is switched on, depending on what kind of room the speaker is placed in.
Smart Assistant Support
As mentioned earlier, the Authentics speakers come with support for both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, meaning that users won’t be limited to choosing either assistant to setup on their device. Both will be able to run side by side with each other on a single speaker. Once enabled, a user can summon either assistant using the “Hey Google” or “Alexa” catch phrase.
This means that in addition to playing music wirelessly from a source device, listeners can also use the Authentics speakers to stream music, podcasts, and other compatible content via internet radio apps, online music platforms, and more thanks to Wifi. This includes support for AirPlay, Alexa Multi-room Music, Spotify Connect, and built-in Chromecast features.
This emphasis on connectivity also lets users assign two or more speakers to play the same playlist, or play different tracks in different rooms. Listeners can setup the speakers and browse the built-in music services using the JBL One app, which also comes with fully customisable EQ settings, for a more personalized listening experience. The speakers will be available starting 17th September.