JBL HLS 615 Floorstanding Speakers

HLS 615

JBL HLS 615

User Reviews (17)

Showing 1-10 of 17  
loustargalactica   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 27, 2004]
Strength:

Mids and highs are clear, pure, and had me thinking I could reach out and touch Joao Giberto's voice.

Weakness:

Bass ports are great on more restrained productions (classical, jazz), but should be plugged for liberally-produced bass (hip-hop and dance).

Excellent mids, very clear highs, bass varies depending on music type. Saw these advertised online, along with an amp and 5-disc carousel, for $100 even (had to make sure they weren't stolen!). Couldn't pass it up, and I'm glad I didn't. Took maybe 20 minutes for them to start warming up, but even right out of the box (the guy had had them in a closet for the last 2 years) they sounded incredible. Granted, my sound test was a comparison to my crappy Fisher studio standards, manufactured in the mid-80's when wide and shallow cabinets were the thing (I do have a pair of KEH C-130's in another room, which sound better than the Fishers, but was too lazy to go get them since they're not going to be replaced anyhow). I listen to all types of music incessantly: jazz, folk, classical, hip-hop, and electronica. TONAL RESPONSE: -- Highs and Mids -- The first tune I compared them on was Joao Giberto's "Girl From Ipanema," since I had read a lot about their midrange attributes. Amazing clarity on Mr. Giberto's vocals, and a warmth that was practically tactile. When Astrid Giberto takes over the vocals, those qualities of reproduction were matched in the higher register, literally making _me_ sigh: "Ahhh" and bringing a smile to my face. The sparse bass on that tune did not comprise too rigorous a test, but the lines were smooth and defined throughout. After "Ipanema," I threw in Brad Mehldau's "Art of the Trio, Vol. 1," a jazz trio with piano, upright, and drums. Absolutely spectacular tones from both keys and percussion, though the strings were less prominent. Since the kick drum sounded great, I wasn't sure if that was a choice made during production. -- The Low End -- Since I had read a bit about lackluster bass, I decided to test the low end with some early '90s hip-hop: Common's "One Day It'll All Make Sense." Instantly, I understood the complaints. The bass ports on the back really loosen up the low end, allowing the cabs to boom significantly. However, that choice sacrificed a lot of the punch and accuracy that I really love. So, I grabbed a pair of T-shirts from the laundry in the next room, plugged up the ports, and tried again. Voila! No more muddy boom, just tight, accurate hits from below. To double-check, I put on some more jazz with the plugged-up ports, and the bass was notably muted. My brilliant deduction is that HLS's were engineered with the kind of music in mind that requires emphasis of its low end via some kind of resonance, especially for bigger rooms (i.e., classical and jazz). That seems a reasonable choice is, since hip-hop and other genres with lots of post-production bass added don't require much from a speaker. My solution was to cut little port-plugs out of foam (be sure to include handles if you do this, otherwise they'll be stuck in there forever!) for when I'm listening to something bassy and want to keep some definition rather than just vibration. SOUND STAGE: As with the tonal qualities, the soundstage on the JBL's was markedly better than with the Fishers I had previously listened to. Nonetheless, there was still some overlap on some instruments. Mr. Giberto and crew were vocally well dispersed. The bass was not clearly defined, and the drum kit was about 20' wide. Each piece of the kit had its own place, though, so I think this may be a product of my less-than stellar amplifier combined with the fact that this was the JBL's warm-up tune. As I listened to Mehldau, I seemed to be sitting stage right, though I was in the middle of the room, as Brad's piano and Larry Grenadier's bass were almost in alignmnent for certain ranges of the piano. Jorge Rossi's drums remained to my left most of the time, but the occassional unconventional pieces of his kit seemed to come at me from all directions. POWER HANDLING: Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to push these phenoms anywhere close to capacity as I tend to listen mostly in the evenings, when the kids are in bed. Bottom Line: People seem to be selling these insanely cheaply. If you need an alternate pair of mains, or are just getting started, seeks some out and don't let them go!

Similar Products Used: Energy don't remember the model number (towers with 2 x 6" mids and 1 x 1" tweeters) KEH C30s
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
nathan   Audio Enthusiast [May 23, 2003]
Strength:

clean sound for the price.

Weakness:

weak bass

i bought new in 1997 they have a good sound,nice highs,good mids. there is no real bass so i bought a velodyne sub. i want more now but they still sound good. i listened to the bookshelfs with the same drivers and they didn't sound as good. the larger cabinet gives them a better sound

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Matthew Goff   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 14, 2000]
Strength:

Crisp highs, good imaging, solid midrage.

Weakness:

Lacks good bass, overall cabinet construction, grille appearance, sensitivity rating.

I use these guys as my rear speakers (620s up front with HLS center) with 85 watts to the rears. I can't complain at all about the sound especially because they match nicely with my other HLS speakers. I wouldn't use these as my main speakers due to their overall lack of bass, but for a strict home theatre system they might be a good bet (if you have a good amp). Especialy for $47/speaker, they are great for the price!

Check out my review of the 620s for a little better idea of the HLS series speakers.

Similar Products Used: JBL HLS 620
JBL HLS Center
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Andrew   Audiophile [Jan 19, 2000]
Strength:

Very clear, distinctive sound

Weakness:

Poor finish

When I first had these speakers, the paint on the back was smeary and left trail of black smudge on my white carpet. But in a musical sense they are absolutely fantastic. Very clear highs and undisturbed true mid-range. To use these speakers to their full capacity, it is probably a good idea to have a active sub to power the lows.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
David Lurie   Casual Listener [Nov 18, 1999]
Strength:

Very full sound from a relatively small footprint.

Weakness:

Sub-standard fit & finish.

While I did not engage in much comparison shopping, I have found these speakers to be very satisfying for both music and movies.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Justin   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 05, 2000]
Strength:

Beautiful sound
Good bass
Sweet treble

Weakness:

None

Knowing that Harman/Kardon, Infinity, and JBL were all the same company, I set out to find speakers to match my HK receiver. Picked the HLS 615 speakers up at Sears for $99 a piece as well as the HLS 610 speakers for $79 for the pair, and the HLS center for $99. At $376 total, I am pleased to say that I ripped Sears off....these speakers rock!!

Equipment
Harman/Kardon AVR500 Dolby Digital/DTS Receiver
HLS 615 for the fronts
HLS 610 for the rear
HLS Center

Similar Products Used: HLS 610
HLS Center
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
bar m   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 15, 2001]
Strength:

clear sound , bass , good image .

Weakness:

need a strong amp and a good cables .

bought them in a local store , i took my nakamichi re-3 amp to the store and a lots of classical cd and other type of cd like pop ... , i think i did the ultimate test , i plugged the nak amp to each of the speakers which were on the store . first i heard the boss , next the bmw , wharfedale diamond 8.1 , kef (almost all types ) , polk audio , storm and a few more that i cant remember right now . the only two which sound best was jbl , the hls 615 and another jbl speakers ( cant remember the model but they were big ) , the hls 615 sound best with classical music but when it came to pop or rock they doesnt sound as well as you expect . these ( i think ) are the best you can do under 400$ ( in israel at least , because we pay 70% tax so i guss in the state you could come up with much more for this price , i actually paid something like 800$ so in the u.s. you could get it for less then half ) , but for it's price no complains .

Similar Products Used: b&w 302 and 602 , Wharfedale , kef .

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Nick Lewis   Audiophile [Jan 01, 2002]
Strength:

Excelent highs, O.K. lows and a great image

Weakness:

Not very good base

These speakers are one of the first pieces of equiptment in my system. From when I only used them for stereo listening to where they are now, as the mains of my home theatre system, they have been with me all the way. Although the base of these speakers isn't very powerful, the sound great teamed up with my KLH subwoofers. I plan to update my center channel and surrounds to JBL's since my main speakers have served me so well. My current system consists of the following:

-Reciever:
*Yamaha HTR 5440 (65 watts)
-DVD player:
*Philips DVD771 (Denon progressive scan dvd player)
-VCR:
*panasonic
-CD player:
*Pioneer PD-F908 101 disc file type
-Viewing source:
*Sony Vega trinitron flat screen TV KV-32FS12
-Speakers/subs-
*Center-RCA PRO-CS55 2-way center channel speaker
*Mains- JBL HLS-615
*Surrounds-Optimus XTS 20AV direct/reflect swivel speaker system
*Sub woofers- 1-KLH 120 watt sub for front and 1-100 watt sub for rear.

I have found that these speakers are similar to most Mirage speakers at a fraction of the price. These speakers sound better when used with a subwoofer. If you dont use one, you will find that the base is weak and undefined. In conclusion, the HLS 615 are excelent speakers to have for stereo or surround sound and I highly recomend them for any good sized room.

Similar Products Used: RCA center and optimus surrounds

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Yefim Kamenetsky   a Casual Listener [Jul 12, 1999]

Bought JBL HLS 615 for a $100.00 each at Costco club. For this price these speakers are amazing. I agree with previous posters. I have an Ultimate 12" Subwoofer which takes care of the bass.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Don   a Casual Listener [Jul 11, 1999]

Sam is absolutely correct! These are very good for the price.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 17  

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