Originally Posted by SouthernCA
The JBL switch is set to give max SPL.
It's supposed to be set at -10db by default, which is the more sensitive setting according to the OM. It might be worth checking the recessed switch to confirm that the factory didn't screw up and set it to +4db. If it is a refurbished unit (seems difficult to get this monitor for under $100), then maybe the prior owner switched it from the default.
It would definitely be worth trying the other setting regardless of what it looks like it is set to. It's not always clear on those recessed switches which mode is which. The drawing in the owner's manual appears to show the "raised" part of the switch on the +4 setting, which is confusing because the default setting is supposed to be -10 (either they are showing it in the non-default setting of +4, or the -10 setting looks like it's on +4 (at least in that OM drawing)).
Originally Posted by SouthernCA
I have tried them with smartphone output, projector output, and Bluetooth receiver output, every time assuming that there must be something wrong with the input. But now, we have to accept that these speaker may be defective that JBL does not want to accept. Oh well. It was an experiment and they do currently serve a purpose. The volume is less but acceptable. And I did not buy two of them. Thank God.
Did you have volume on your smartphone/projector set to max when you tested it? Even inexpensive powered monitors will go very loud -- and $199 list for a powered monitor isn't "cheap" at all in terms of what you can get these days in that price range. I just put Edifier powered monitors, that were only $120 for the pair
, in my brother-in-law's house and they go very loud (and sound very good also).
It doesn't cost the manufacturer anything more to make the internal preamp gain more sensitive. As a result, virtually all powered speakers will go a lot
louder than 75db's. Cheap speakers may not sound as great loud as the drivers and amp are strained, but they will
go very loud. The much more expensive part of the JBL's internal hardware are the power amplifiers, the internal preamp that drives those internal amps costs literally nothing in comparison to the power amps. There is no way JBL would spend the money on biamped 56 watt amplifiers for the LF & HF drivers and then have limited gain on the internal preamp that doesn't allow that 112 watts to be used. It's not possible. The only possibility would be a major design error, but if that was the case, we would have heard about it. There are nearly 500 reviews on Amazon, virtually none are complaining about them being too quiet.
I feel confident there are only 3 possibilities:
You happened to get a defective JBL speaker and should get a replacement
. The cable you are using to test inputs is defective or has a built-in volume control that is set to a low level
If neither the JBL nor the cable is defective, then the recessed sensitivity switch is set wrong on the JBL or the volume on the input source (projector, smartphone,...) is set too low (which seems impossible given multiple sources tested -- though you haven't specifically stated that you had volume set to max on these devices).
If JBL is telling you that 75db is "normal", escalate the support case and demand a new speaker. It's good that you tempered your expectations base upon price, but I think you've taken that a bit to the extreme because low volume is not a symptom of any cheap or moderately priced powered monitor.