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JBL HLS 610
80 Reviews
rating  4.68 of 5
MSRP  299.00
Description: • Sensitivity (2.83V @ 1m): 88 • Impedance: 8 • Bass Driver: 6-1/2" • Midrange Driver: N/A • High-Frequency Driver: 10mm mounted in Constant Directivity Horn • Recommended Power Amplifier Range: 15 - 125 watts • Dimensions (H x W x D): 16 1/4 x 8 5/16 x 9 7/16" • Frequency Response (±3dB): 55 - 20kHz


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Reviews 1 - 5 (80 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Uhills a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 16, 2010

Bottom Line:   
I picked up this pair of JBL HLS 610 on craigslist after reading several reviews giving these gems some very high praise and after reading a bit of history about the design. I paid $25 for the pair and am very happy so far. I'm an audio enthusiast aspiring to be an audiophile but recently, I've found myself doing a lot of off axis casual listening. Power is coming from a Yamaha rx-797 (100 x 2). I have been comparing the 610s to my JBL S38ii and a pair of Infinity RS 325. All 3 of these bookshelves bring their own signature to the party but I have left the 610s in the living room as my mains (coupled with a Yamaha yst-215 8" sub).... Here is why.
These little JBL HLS 610s do a good job at everything. I find the highs to be true with a little less shimmer/sparkle than my Infinitys. The infinitys are a bit on the bright side and fun for critical listening but they can leave my ears fatigued. The infnitys do a little better in the lower registers resolving details like the leading edge of bass notes from Les Claypools Bass playing from Pork Soda. I really like these infinitys but they dont' stay as composed as the JBLs when things get LOUD. The infintys are magnificent with detail resolution, imaging, and soundstage, but they are like living with the anal rentative roommate in the odd couple. There is no 'laid back' downtime with the infinitys. They are always critical.
I have the the JBLs placed about 18" from the wall and they seem to be pretty happy. Perhaps I'll give them a little more space when I sit down for some critical listening. I've been playing a lot of female vocals and guitar driven stuff recently (Mark Knopfler, Norah Jones, Allison Krause/Robert Plant) and the JBLs do a very nice job of disappearing into the music. The music plays and the sound is effortless. I don't think about what speakers I'm listening to, I just hear the music. To me, that's the point. I've sat down and listened to some Art Blakey and his drums just sound nice. I love listening to the cymbals and the decay for that sense of realism and the JBLs do a nice job. The music comes to life.
Compared with the JBL S38ii, the 610s are brighter in the higher registers and more forward in the midrange. The bass of the S38s is impressive and the 610s can't match the s38s in 'slam' or Punch. (I ran the s38 with no sub). Male vocals on the s38 can sound a little boxy or chesty due to what I perceived as cabinet resonance. The 610s did a better job here..... at lower to moderate volume. To me the 610s couldn't keep up with the s38s when the volume got cranked up. The s38s get better as things get louder. What I perceived as recessed mids and dull tweets became very nuetral and 'real' when the decibals increased. I've read horror stories about people blowing the fragile tweeters in the HLS series so I don't try to push them to the point where my amp is clipping.
All in all, the HLS 610s grab my ears and cause me to tap foot. I don't think I'll be parting with these babies anytime soon. Possibly the best $25 bucks I've ever spent.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by toenail a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 15, 2004

Bottom Line:   
I purchased these speakers after reading the multiple glowing reviews here and on other sites. They are one of the best values I can think of in the audio world. When I first got them a had to make adjustments on my system to integrate them smoothly for both HT and 2 channel playback. After a lot of fussing around I've found these to have excellent frequency response, spectcular imaging properties, decent sensitivity and power handling, and a nice, small footprint. They require a subwoofer (for my taste) and are a bit fussy about toe-in and placement to front wall distance, as are most rear port designs. The horns don't sound like horns, the sound like excellent tweeters. That said, if toed improperly they will draw attention to themselves. The ports are all but invisible as far as coloration in male vocals if you keep them a good 18"+ from the front wall. Mid bass is outstanding and integrates well with my single 12" sub. When set up properly and fed good signal (currently using Pioneer dv-578A for hi-res 2 channel stereo) they are completely holographic. Sound when paired with a decent sub is huge, way larger than you'd expect to look at them. Sounds like a room full of audio equipment. You can drive them pretty hard before they start to break up, far louder than you'd need to for any length of time.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1999

Price Paid:    $60.00

Purchased At:   ebay



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by lodo_4 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 27, 2004

Bottom Line:   
Well, here it is 2004.The last message here is 2002. I read about these speakers, and after a fair amount of trouble, found a place online that had a limited quanity brand new. I have had them 3 days now.At first I was nervous even starting to listen to them. Will they be as good as I read? I was hyper critical of them. Well, everything is true. This is my feeling after 3 days. They are sweet, sweet, sweet. A Gem.I am thinkinging of checking to see if this place online has another pair. What if somthing happened to the set I've got. How often do you find such beautiful sound for under $200?.I had a pair of Studio Series 38II. The sound quality of the 38's doesnt even come close. Not close. I dropped a line to JBL---pick up this line again, and dont change a thing! Wonderful little speakers.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $176.00

Purchased At:   online



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by nelson22 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 22, 2002

Bottom Line:   
The price you see is for the pair! I got these at a Holyoke, MA Bestbuy in Nov. 2000, an open box. I bought them right away. I previously had a pair of Yamaha NS-A638's hooked up to Pioneer VSX-D308. I still have the same receiver and when I hooked up the JBL's the difference was amazing. They were just a better pair of speakers. Cleaner, tighter, much better bass. I love these things, one of the best purchases I have ever made. The even better news is that in 2 days im getting the new Denon AVR-1803 receiver and a pair of JBL N38's. Use the HLS's as surrounds. I can't say enough about the speakers an the deal I got! Great product from a great company. I don't think I will buy anything different

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1999

Price Paid:    $50.00

Purchased At:   BestBuy



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by E-DOGG a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: May 15, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I stumbled on to these speakers at BEST BUY. they were $80.00/pair!!!! I read a review by Corey Greenburg(AUDIO) he claimed they were the best $300 dolar a pair speakers he had ever heard! He was right. Why they stopped the line is beyond me. maybe they werent selling but I noticed when they discontinued them everybody wanted a pair. highly recommened for thier crisp highs on jazz and a full bass sound too. They are wonderful speakers and if you can find em get em. shame on JBL for stopping the line.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1999

Price Paid:    $80.00

Purchased At:   BEST BUY




Reviews 1 - 5 (80 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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