JBL HLS 610 Bookshelf Speakers

JBL HLS 610 Bookshelf Speakers 

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

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 83  
[Nov 23, 2018]
Vic Mont


Strength:

Great bass. Beautiful big horn. Sober design. Best bass you are going to get out of a 6.5” bookshelf without hurting your wallet.

Weakness:

I wold not use the for a recording studio, but that’s not what they are made for. Box it’s too big, probably to fit the big horn.

OVERALL
RATING
4
[Nov 16, 2010]
Uhills
Audio Enthusiast

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.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Feb 07, 2009]
Carson
Audio Enthusiast

Have had 2 pairs of these speakers for over 5 years. I paid 275 for the first pair and then got the second pair for 200. I think they may be one of the best audio purchases of my life. Still have a lot of bass for a 6.5 inch woofer and the highs and mids are amazing, as well. If you find a pair of these for a decent price, BUY THEM!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Mar 03, 2008]
Rob
AudioPhile

Strength:

Frequency response range: best bass response I've seen from 6.5" woofers but you will still need a subwoofer for a true home theater experience.

Clarity: bass is deep and full and high are not tinny at all.

Weakness:

Size: speakers are large for a small room and are larger than most 6.5" bookshelves.

I own 2 pairs of these, a pair of 615s, and the matching center channel speaker. I can honestly say that for the money, and significantly above what I paid, these are the best speakers you can get. I've owned them for going on 9 years now and every time I think about getting new speakers, I can't justify it to myself.

The frequency response, measured by a real time analyzer, is as good as you can get. A virtually flat line from 40hz - 20 khz, you simply don't see that in the price range these speakers can be gotten for. The clarity on them is also outstanding, they are as crystal clear as anything I've listened to since them, I literally can't talk myself into buying a new set of home theater speakers.

Bottom line: if you have an opportunity to buy a set of these, do not pass it up. you will be happy with them.

Similar Products Used:

Sony, Infinity, Peerless,

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Nov 15, 2004]
toenail
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Imaging, frequency response/accuracy, size.

Weakness:

Fussy about placement

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.

Similar Products Used:

Boston Acoustic

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jan 27, 2004]
lodo_4
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Nice, Nice,Nice

Weakness:

huh?

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.

Similar Products Used:

JBL MR28 Studio Series 38II

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Dec 22, 2002]
nelson22
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Good clean bass from a 6 inch woofer, strong tweeter

Weakness:

None

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

Similar Products Used:

Yamaha NS-A638

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[May 15, 2002]
E-DOGG
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

PRICE,SOUND

Weakness:

BIG FOR BOOKSHELFS

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.

Similar Products Used:

KLH

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Apr 01, 2002]
Ken
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

A wonderful listening experience

Weakness:

None

I finally ugraded my speakers after 25 years. Yep, I replaced the vintage Advents with 4 HLS 610s and an HLS-center. The sound is amazingly clear and realistic. The HLS''s simply blew away the Advents, which are now in a friend''s basement. I don''t have too much to add to the other posts here except that these speakers are great with action DVDs, musical DVDs, and all types of audio CDs (jazz, rock, folk, classical) - you name it, they deliver. One more thing - and the reason why I''m posting this review - you can still buy these speakers from Canadian dealers. I was able to get the 610''s for $125/pair on ebay, but couldn''t find a decent center anywhere until I discovered the Canadian connection. Get the HLS''s while you still can - you can''t go wrong!

Similar Products Used:

Advent, Bose

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Apr 01, 2002]
Paul Walters
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Awesome bass response below 80hz.

Weakness:

The main speakers have to be attenuated slightly to hear the center channel over them.

I bought the whole HLS system over a period of a year or so. I have the center, 810''s and 410''s. The system is incredible. JBL made a mistake in getting rid of the HLS line. I think they could have put some other speaker builders out of buisness if they had continued to sell these speakers at such a low price. My entire home system was less than $700.00 and sounds better than my friends systems that cost 4 and 5 times as much. I will own these things till I die! I will beg borrow and steal to get parts for them if I ever have to replace anything. (so far, I have had no problems) I do not think I could ever buy a better set of speakers.

Similar Products Used:

JBL Always!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 83  

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