JBL PB10 Subwoofers

PB10

10-inch driver, 150 watts

User Reviews (117)

Showing 1-10 of 117  
Mike Wilson   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 19, 2007]
Strength:

Clean, smooth bass. Very versatile and usable in many different situations. When combined with a pair of good shelf speakers, the unit makes one heck of a music system. Plenty of power. Good build quality.

Weakness:

It doesn't do well as a home theater subwoofer. The specs are little too ambitious. Instead of a limit of 27hz, I'd say it's somewhere between 35hz and 40hz. The cabinet is a little big for a 10" subwoofer.

I first got this unit five years ago as a Christmas gift, along with a pair of small bookshelf speakers. For a starter subwoofer, you really can't go wrong with the PB10. As others have said, the unit is a little over-sensitive to placement. But once you've found a great spot, the bass tightens up very nicely. Though the specs say the unit goes down to 27hz, it doesn't sound like it. When used in a home theater, it tends to get a little muddled with big explosions and such. As a music sub, though, it's a very good subwoofer indeed.

Within the last five years, I upgraded my main system with a pair of JBL E-60's, and I found myself not needing the PB-10 at all. It's not that the sub is weak, it's just that the E-60's deliver enough low-end performance that a subwoofer would throw the sound balance off. I'd say that within the past three years, my PB-10 has been shifted around the house in various systems with various uses. As a videogame subwoofer, it's very good. The PB-10 delivers the low-end punch that most games take advantage of. And as a computer subwoofer (I had customized a 5.1 system for my gaming computer), it's also really nice - and it will blow most of the "THX Certified" systems out of the water.

So if you stick with only music, and use the subwoofer as a complementary unit to a nice pair of bookshelf speakers, then I'd say that the PB-10 is an excellent choice. Also, my PB-10 doesn't exhibit any hums that other users are reporting. Maybe it's the fact that I got mine when they first came out - I don't know - but I've never had my subwoofer hum on me.

Oh and as far as quality goes, the sub has survived two moves across the United States, and has had no problems. It even sat in a hot warehouse for two weeks! When I hooked it right up, it fired up with no problems, so the build quality is excellent.

Customer Service

Never needed customer service, so no comment.

Similar Products Used: JBL, Bose, Paradigm shelf speakers, Boston Acoustics, Yamaha, Klipsch
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
clondo   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 31, 2005]
Strength:

Great sound Moderate Cost

Weakness:

Service from JBL (so far) Slight hum

Overall I must say I was happy with this product until recently (I'll get to that). I must have the newer version, because it has an on/off switch. The bass quality is great, though I can see why some reveiwers say it is a bit too thunderous on the low end at times. I also agree there is a noticeable hum, but only when I have my receiver and subwoofer on at the same time with no incoming signal playing over it (and how often does anyone do that?). One of the reviews I read on this forum claimed that using a Y-connector on both the L and R RCA connections reduces the hum (even though for LFE use you're only supossed to use one or the other), but I found that it actually made the hum louder so I went back to only connecting one. Despite these minor quibbles, I was happy with it until a week ago. I was watching STAR WARDS on DVD in DD 5.1, and I noticed that the lights were still red, indicating no LFE signal was being recognized by the PB10. I checked my receiver, and the LFE icon was lit, but nothing was being produced through the subwoofer. I checked my connections (I'm using a $70 Monster cable) okay. Then I turned the PB10 off then back on, and it came on with green lights and suddenly recognized the signal and sounded fine. I took it to a friend's house to try it out to make sure it wasn't my receiver or cable, and I had the same problem at his house. Whatever circuitry in the speaker that is supposed to automatically detected the incoming LFE isn't working. Since I've owned the PB10 I've always left it on, and it would go into the standby "red" mode when there was no signal, and automatically power up when I would pop in, say, "Lord of the Rings." I have a 4-year service plan through Best Buy, so I took it in. They sent it to JBL, who sent it back to Best Buy stating no problem was found. I took it home and tried again, and I'm having the same problem. I'll be taking it back to Best Buy and providing a detailed explanation of what's wrong. Maybe the second time will be a charm.....

Similar Products Used: JBL N-CENTER JBL N-24 (SURROUNDS) CERWIN-VEGA! RE-30 (MAINS)
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
4
dwainelliott   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 02, 2004]
Strength:

Price and Value Strong Bass

Weakness:

Large size

I recently made a great buy on this subwoofer, getting it (used, but in mint condition) for only $60 on a eBay auction. The main two complaints from previous reviewers were regarding boominess, muddiness, and a persistent hum. My experimentation with the PB10 gave me the solutions to these problems, and they should help other owners, too. First of all, the hum was indeed so distracting and annoying that I was about to sell the unit the week I bought it. My receiver has a single subwoofer (RCA) output, and the directions from JBL say that it doesn't matter which (left or right) subwoofer input you use. What they DID'NT say is that when the subwoofer tries to amplify the non-existent signal from the empty input, it creates the hum. When I split the signal from the receiver to BOTH subwoofer RCA inputs (using a Y-cord), the hum stopped instantly! Finally, this is the most placement-dependent subwoofer I have ever used! I thought the boominess and muddiness were just the characteristics of this "less than audiophile-class" subwoofer, and I had decided to start "saving my pennies" for at least a Velodyne. As a last resort, I began to experiment with the placement and when I found the "sweet spot" in my room, the muddiness and boominess disapperared IMMEDIATELY, replaced by strong, solid, crisp bass tones! I encourage you to take the time and find the best location in the room for your subwoofer. In the case of the JBL PB10, it is well worth the effort, and will bring out the absolute best in this value-packed, moderately priced subwoofer!

Similar Products Used: Velodyne
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
jmzais   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 26, 2004]
Strength:

Good all arounder. Matches Kevlar B&W 602's nicely! Nothing under $500 touches it! Ontop of a slab of concrete/paver it is even better.

Weakness:

Very Tiny Hum.

I bought this before my main speakers, when i worked at Best Buy back in 2000. This May be a follow up review, I don't know if i wrote one.... The discount was good, but compared to the yamaha and sony subs, this shouldn't have been in a mass market store. If you're using the Low level input, a good cable helps alot, and a High level input needs a decent amp for a good signal. Plays all music good, and shines on movies. Good for doing it all, and not really bad at anything. I do get a slight hum when it's in power mode, but it's only noticable if you're next do it, and are looking for it. My Advice to anyone who has this sub on carpet, is to get a 16x16" paver and use it underneath. I found a nicely finished one for $3 at the local hardware store. It tightened up the sound a lot, and the response is much flatter. No switch on mine, but I wouldn't use it if it had one.

Similar Products Used: 8" JBL, Velodyne, Klipsch, Infinity
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
gmilitano   Casual Listener [Apr 05, 2004]
Strength:

Good price. Good sound. Good for a medium sized room. Solid. No too large.

Weakness:

The standby power mode does not seem to work that well.

OVERALL I purchased this sub for $169 Canadian. The regular price was more like $399 Canadian so for that price I decided to pick it up. This is a 10" ported bottom firing sub with 150W. The box is solid and the bass is good. I do not like the standby power mode. It seems to take a while to shut down. SOUND The sound on this sub is smooth and good. The sub has ample power and can easily fill up a moderate sized room. There is an adjustable crossover. SUMMARY This sub have good smooth bass and at the purchase pricem, this was an excellent purchase. Ideal for moderate sized room. Ratings: Overall rating - 4 - the sub has good smooth bass Value rating - 5 - for $169 Canadian this was a very good buy.

Similar Products Used: Jensen JS-800
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
lakerssuperman   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 26, 2003]
Strength:

Powerful, clean, smooth, Price.

Weakness:

None.

I got this for Christmas because my KLH just didnt sound up to snuff. My friend has a JBL psw-110 at his house which is basically this woofer except from firing. I always loved the powerful smooth sound it had. When i saw this newer model i jumped at it as JBL's web site says it sells for $350 and my friend paid 300, $169 was a steal. Couldn't be happier. So far it has none of the humming problems other users have described and the new model they are selling has an on off switch. Excellent product

Similar Products Used: KLH, AIWA
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
satz24   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 16, 2003]
Strength:

Cheap-ish, Not too large Solid feel Reasonably good bass (esp for music)

Weakness:

well, it's started to cycle on and off rapidly while watching a program. Not good!

Was happy with the PB10 as it sounded good for music, and was pretty good with HT in my medium sized room. Perhaps not as deep as some, but the tradeoff was a 'quicker' bass for music. However, recently it's started cycling on and off while I watch a program, resulting in thumping noises for a split second. This has me quite worried. I remember reading about this on earlier models and thought that JBL had fixed it. My unit does have the power switch, but I was told that it was okay to always leave it in standby anyway.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
Jason   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 11, 2003]
Strength:

Good bass for someone's 'first' subwoofer. Can be found for cheap.

Weakness:

The hum does start to wear on you. JBL's misleading specs. 27Hz-low pass... right. I'd guess it is more around a -3 of 35Hz or so. Distortion of very low/loud bass (possibly needs a rumble filter?).

I used this sub for about 3 years in my dorm room at school. As my first subwoofer, I was pretty impressed by the sound it offered but found that the sound often cancelled itself out in my small room. I moved to a larger room (10'x17') and found the bass was still good, but with noticable nodes and anti-nodes. While watching movies with a lot of low, low effects (such as the opening scene to Star Wars Ep. 2) the sub would distort due to the overpowering low frequency bass. This began to bug me. While listening to music it first seemed fairly tight and responsive, but after later auditioning several other subwoofers by Energy, Velodyne, Polk, and a few others, I really started to hear the muddiness. Overall, it's a good sub for someone looking to add low end impact to their music/movies, but only for the casual listener. If you place high importance on accurate, deep, responsive bass you'd likely want to look elsewhere. Since then, I've purchased a Hsu Research VTF-2 and absolutely love it.

Similar Products Used: Polk PSW450, 404, 505. Velodyne CHT-8, 10. Energy eXLs 8. Hsu Research VTF-2.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
dcibel   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 16, 2003]
Strength:

-clear, non-directional sound

Weakness:

-not powerfull enough for my needs

I must admit that this subwoofer sounds pretty good when paired with my N26II speakers. The bass is well directed away from the sub, so that you can't tell that the sub is making the bass. The only real dissapointment I have with this speaker is that is just isn't as loud as I expected. I think I might sell this one as soon as possible or even see if I can return it because I am needing something more powerful than this. $350 Canadian dollars spent

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
cinajj   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 19, 2003]
Strength:

Strong Bass Clean sound Easy setup

Weakness:

Shop around for a good price. I got mine for $179

Wow! What a difference it makes. I have a NSP1II 5 piece setup in my theatre room now and was really quite happy with that. The PB-10 was an afterthought, but I don't know how I did without it. It really is clean and earth shaking all at the same time. A big plus to it is the setup. Really easy and bass adjustments are made with one dial. Couldn't be happier.

Similar Products Used: none
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 117  

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