JBL Studio 530 or Infinity Reference 152? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 47 Old 06-05-2020, 11:20 PM - Thread Starter
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JBL Studio 530 or Infinity Reference 152?

Just as the title asks, which would be the overall preference for a near field setup? I already own the 152 and I am just curious if I would like the Studio 530 more.
I use my current speakers for music, gaming, and movies equally, but appreciate a speaker that can make music shine over anything else. For music, I want something that can make vocals and acoustic instruments shine as well as do good with EDM music.
I power my speakers with an Emotiva A-100 amp and play music from Spotify. DAC used is from my internal motherboard.
Is it worth buying the 530 over what I have now? My only concern is how bad the bass port can chuff at loud volumes with the JBL’s, but I don’t listen to music much louder then 80-90db at any given time.

EDIT: Here is a link of what my setup looks like:

https://imgur.com/gallery/govIiyK
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post #2 of 47 Old 06-06-2020, 05:35 AM
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I power my 530s on my desktop with an A-100 as well, and I bet you'd notice some degree of improvement and clarity overall. It sure won't be 100% improvement but with JBL's return policy you may as well give it a shot.
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post #3 of 47 Old 06-06-2020, 07:19 AM
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JBL all the way. I performed a rather intensive series of reviews and comparisons in my bookshelf speaker shootout here:
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-sp...-shootout.html
Please refer to Post #3 for the full 530 review.
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post #4 of 47 Old 06-06-2020, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by geniusmusicman View Post
Just as the title asks, which would be the overall preference for a near field setup? I already own the 152 and I am just curious if I would like the Studio 530 more.
I use my current speakers for music, gaming, and movies equally, but appreciate a speaker that can make music shine over anything else. For music, I want something that can make vocals and acoustic instruments shine as well as do good with EDM music.
I power my speakers with an Emotiva A-100 amp and play music from Spotify. DAC used is from my internal motherboard.
Is it worth buying the 530 over what I have now? My only concern is how bad the bass port can chuff at loud volumes with the JBL’s, but I don’t listen to music much louder then 80-90db at any given time.
80-90db in NEARFIELD???

Are you guesstimating or did you actually measure that with an SPL Meter? Holy s*** if the latter.
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post #5 of 47 Old 06-06-2020, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your input Kspan, much appreciated. I love that A-100 amp and it has served me well. How does the bass sound at loud volumes?
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post #6 of 47 Old 06-06-2020, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the shootout post Gary, that helps a lot. Did you ever get the chance to buy those Emotiva or Elac speakers to compare?
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Hey Zorba, I think I might be guesstimating here. 70-80 is probably more like it for full enjoyment at my desk and I think I creeps closer to 90 when I sit back and listen from my couch (my setup is in my downstairs living room).
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post #8 of 47 Old 06-06-2020, 01:18 PM
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JBL don't go on sale that often, however I've heard the Infinity are not meant for nearfield. I would mention to check out the Paradigm Atom ($300). Don't use anything from the inside of your computer to run your audio.

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Originally Posted by geniusmusicman View Post
Thanks for your input Kspan, much appreciated. I love that A-100 amp and it has served me well. How does the bass sound at loud volumes?
Bass is thin however I think you'd be in great shape nearfield. Even a tiny sub would work wonders though.


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Thanks for the shootout post Gary, that helps a lot. Did you ever get the chance to buy those Emotiva or Elac speakers to compare?
No I didn't. I was already sinking a ton of money into return shipping costs (it cost me about $110 just to return ship the Ascend Sierra-1) and had spent a HUGE amount of time on the project.
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post #10 of 47 Old 06-06-2020, 01:25 PM
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Hey Zorba, I think I might be guesstimating here. 70-80 is probably more like it for full enjoyment at my desk and I think I creeps closer to 90 when I sit back and listen from my couch (my setup is in my downstairs living room).
Download a free SPL meter app to your phone and find out exactly. This is critical for choosing the best speakers for YOUR real-world needs.

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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Kingcarcas, I have looked at those new Paradigm Atom SE’s and they look good, but there are not a whole lot of reviews out there for them. As far as a DAC goes, I plan on buying an external DAC down the road, but my internal DAC does good for the moment. I couldn’t even tell a difference between the DAC on my MSI 970 Gaming motherboard and the Micca G2 DAC I previously owned. I may end up getting the new Schiit Modius in black eventually.
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No I didn't. I was already sinking a ton of money into return shipping costs (it cost me about $110 just to return ship the Ascend Sierra-1) and had spent a HUGE amount of time on the project.
I don’t blame you. I have been interested in those B1+’s for a while now though and might have to look at those again. I just love how stealthy they look.
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post #13 of 47 Old 06-06-2020, 03:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Download a free SPL meter app to your phone and find out exactly. This is critical for choosing the best speakers for YOUR real-world needs.
I already have the “Decibel X” app downloaded, I just haven’t used it in a while. I’ll try it again and get back to you.
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post #14 of 47 Old 06-06-2020, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Download a free SPL meter app to your phone and find out exactly. This is critical for choosing the best speakers for YOUR real-world needs.
So I just checked it and I specifically enjoy my near field music around 75db. 85-90db is what I listen to when no one is in the house and I am chilling on the couch.
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So I just checked it and I specifically enjoy my near field music around 75db. 85-90db is what I listen to when no one is in the house and I am chilling on the couch.
Yikes, you're still pretty darn high on the SPLs...in that case the B1s wouldn't be a great choice playing full-range.

I'd try these --- free return shipping:
https://www.htd.com/Level-THREE-Book...eakers?color=1
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post #16 of 47 Old 06-06-2020, 07:30 PM
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Thanks for your input Kspan, much appreciated. I love that A-100 amp and it has served me well. How does the bass sound at loud volumes?
I agree with Gary that the bass is a bit thin. If bass is important to you then I'd suggest the Elac B5 (though likes a bit of juice) or something like a Jamo C93. The Jamo S803s have decent low end as well but are very V-shaped.
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post #17 of 47 Old 06-06-2020, 07:45 PM
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Kingcarcas, I have looked at those new Paradigm Atom SE’s and they look good, but there are not a whole lot of reviews out there for them. As far as a DAC goes, I plan on buying an external DAC down the road, but my internal DAC does good for the moment. I couldn’t even tell a difference between the DAC on my MSI 970 Gaming motherboard and the Micca G2 DAC I previously owned. I may end up getting the new Schiit Modius in black eventually.
I'm no expert, but i have some thoughts on the Atom SEs here: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-sp...other-one.html

I like them, although i'm suspicious of their coherence and my testing was mostly nearfield which could be the issue.

75dB measured on my little radioshack analog meter and i'm good. hah
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Yikes, you're still pretty darn high on the SPLs...in that case the B1s wouldn't be a great choice playing full-range.

I'd try these --- free return shipping:
https://www.htd.com/Level-THREE-Book...eakers?color=1
I looked at those once, but didn't give it enough of a thought. Someone was selling these locally last year for pretty cheap, but I passed them up because I couldn't find enough information on them to tell me if I would like them better than what I had.
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I agree with Gary that the bass is a bit thin. If bass is important to you then I'd suggest the Elac B5 (though likes a bit of juice) or something like a Jamo C93. The Jamo S803s have decent low end as well but are very V-shaped.
Bass in a speaker is not that important, but I heard that the 530's bass port would chuff quite a big when you play these too loud. Has this happened to you with the 530's?
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I'm no expert, but i have some thoughts on the Atom SEs here: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-sp...other-one.html

I like them, although i'm suspicious of their coherence and my testing was mostly nearfield which could be the issue.

75dB measured on my little radioshack analog meter and i'm good. hah
Thanks for that information. There is not much else out there as far as reviews go, with the exception of Z Reviews.
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post #21 of 47 Old 06-07-2020, 05:02 AM
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Bass in a speaker is not that important, but I heard that the 530's bass port would chuff quite a big when you play these too loud. Has this happened to you with the 530's?
You'd have to be pumping them hard to get chuffing. I didn't notice very much of it even at volumes like what you enjoy. I think you'd have to step up a price class to do better. Any small speaker in this price class is going to have some chuffing at high volumes. Since you don't think bass is important to you I don't think it would be worth the extra money.
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post #22 of 47 Old 06-07-2020, 06:23 AM
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Bass in a speaker is not that important, but I heard that the 530's bass port would chuff quite a big when you play these too loud. Has this happened to you with the 530's?
No, I can't say that it has even when I was using them in my theater setup.
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I looked at those once, but didn't give it enough of a thought. Someone was selling these locally last year for pretty cheap, but I passed them up because I couldn't find enough information on them to tell me if I would like them better than what I had.
HTD has raised the price on those, used to be around $350/pr. I suggested them due to their higher sensitivity and impedance versus the B1s. Free return shipping = you have nothing to lose by giving them a spin.

If you want to stick with Emotiva, I'd get a pair of C1s for use as vertical mains---they are 3db more sensitive than the B1s. It puzzles me that Emotiva chooses not to promote these as LCR speakers, since they've told me directly that they can easily be used as such. One big plus of the C1s is that they're sealed cabinet, which means you can put them closer up against a rear wall than a rear-ported speaker running full range.
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as far as the 530's go, you would want a sub. The imaging on the 530's is outstanding. and overall, they are just plain fun for music. But adding a sub even a low cost 100 / polk, etc. add the necessary depth to the sound stage. for near field, I would suggest you consider the Ascend Acoustics CBM -170. also with sub - a little more clarity on the upper end as compared to the 530's. but on the fun scale, I would give the edge to the JBLs.

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post #25 of 47 Old 06-08-2020, 05:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Bass in a speaker is not that important, but I heard that the 530's bass port would chuff quite a big when you play these too loud. Has this happened to you with the 530's?
You'd have to be pumping them hard to get chuffing. I didn't notice very much of it even at volumes like what you enjoy. I think you'd have to step up a price class to do better. Any small speaker in this price class is going to have some chuffing at high volumes. Since you don't think bass is important to you I don't think it would be worth the extra money.
Good to know. I heard that these speakers were especially bad with the chuffing compared to other speakers in its class.
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Bass in a speaker is not that important, but I heard that the 530's bass port would chuff quite a big when you play these too loud. Has this happened to you with the 530's?
No, I can't say that it has even when I was using them in my theater setup.
Thank you. I was afraid the port chuffing was a major issue with these speakers as I have heard this in other reviews.
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HTD has raised the price on those, used to be around $350/pr. I suggested them due to their higher sensitivity and impedance versus the B1s. Free return shipping = you have nothing to lose by giving them a spin.

If you want to stick with Emotiva, I'd get a pair of C1s for use as vertical mains---they are 3db more sensitive than the B1s. It puzzles me that Emotiva chooses not to promote these as LCR speakers, since they've told me directly that they can easily be used as such. One big plus of the C1s is that they're sealed cabinet, which means you can put them closer up against a rear wall than a rear-ported speaker running full range.
I saw the HTD’s went up in price a little. Sad news considering I could have gotten them locally for under $175.

I never would have thought of using something like the C1 for my LR channels. Those a HUGE for a desk though and over twice the price of the B1’s.

I’m actually thinking of holding out as long as I can to see if the Polk LSIM 703’s go on sale again at Adorama for $400. I know it’s probably a long shot, but they are still selling them at regular price so I know they still have stock.
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I saw the HTD’s went up in price a little. Sad news considering I could have gotten them locally for under $175.

I never would have thought of using something like the C1 for my LR channels. Those a HUGE for a desk though and over twice the price of the B1’s.

I’m actually thinking of holding out as long as I can to see if the Polk LSIM 703’s go on sale again at Adorama for $400. I know it’s probably a long shot, but they are still selling them at regular price so I know they still have stock.
The C1s are double the size of the B1s in height, but on your desktop the physical footprint would be the same. Of course they're twice the price of the B1s, since you're getting not just a second 5.25" woofer but also a midrange driver because it's a 3 way. If you were using the B1s with a receiver that has bass management and can send most of the low frequencies to a subwoofer you'd be fine with them, but with your loud volume habits a speaker of that size and low sensitivity would probably not meet your needs.

The LSiM 703 are great if you can find them at the $400 pricepoint again, though bear in mind with them being rear ported and producing loads of mid-bass you're going to need at least a foot or more of rear clearance to avoid boominess.

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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The C1s are double the size of the B1s in height, but on your desktop the physical footprint would be the same. Of course they're twice the price of the B1s, since you're getting not just a second 5.25" woofer but also a midrange driver because it's a 3 way. If you were using the B1s with a receiver that has bass management and can send most of the low frequencies to a subwoofer you'd be fine with them, but with your loud volume habits a speaker of that size and low sensitivity would probably not meet your needs.

The LSiM 703 are great if you can find them at the $400 pricepoint again, though bear in mind with them being rear ported and producing loads of mid-bass you're going to need at least a foot or more of rear clearance to avoid boominess.
From what I can see the big JBL sale is over. I am sure there will be another this year but I would like comments regarding the 530 vs the Infinity Reference 162. The 162's are on sale many times at very attractive prices (not now though). They have a larger 6.5 inch woofer which should do better on the low end. Does anyone have these and how to they compare to the JBL 530's?

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post #30 of 47 Old 06-08-2020, 09:46 AM
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From what I can see the big JBL sale is over. I am sure there will be another this year but I would like comments regarding the 530 vs the Infinity Reference 162. The 162's are on sale many times at very attractive prices (not now though). They have a larger 6.5 inch woofer which should do better on the low end. Does anyone have these and how to they compare to the JBL 530's?
Reviews and detailed measurements of both can be seen at the links below if you find this helpful.

R162: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/f...-review.12333/

Studio 530: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/f...-review.12298/
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