Mis à jour le 11 March 2022.
The JBL L75ms connected speaker combines vintage design and streaming technologies. It allows you to stream music via Bluetooth or Chromecast and AirPlay 2. Phono input, mini-jack and HDMI ARC port allow you to connect a turntable, audio sources (CD, DAP) and a TV. The JBL L75ms system’s output of 350 watts powers five drivers housed in a real wood cabinet. Sold for 1,500 euros, is this JBL L75ms connected speaker more musical than its competitors? And can it effectively bring sound to a large living room?
JBL L75ms: packaging & accessories
The JBL speaker comes in a double cardboard box and is securely wedged in and protected for transport. It comes with two power cables (EU and GB), a remote control with batteries, as well as a quick start guide.
JBL L75ms: presentation
Walnut cabinet and Quadrex foam grille
Of all the connected speakers on the market, the JBL L75ms is undoubtedly one of the largest (790 x 287 x 216cm). It is also one of the most beautiful with its cabinet covered with a real walnut veneer. Loosely inspired by the design of 1970s speakers, its finish and removable Quadrex foam grille are also reminiscent of the manufacturer’s most prestigious neo-retro models, among which are the JBL L100 Classic and the JBL L52.
3-way, 5 drivers, 350 watts
The acoustic construction of the JBL L75ms connected speaker has been carefully designed. Starting with its walnut veneered MDF cabinet, which guarantees optimal vibration damping and promises a rich and natural sound.
Five drivers are located in the front panel. Two 5” models with a white cone and bass-reflex load reproduce the low frequencies. The midrange is delivered by a 4” driver placed in the center of the speaker.
The woofers and midrange drivers adopt a cellulose pulp cone. The woofer’s cone is ribbed to make it as rigid as possible without weighing it down. Therefore, the bass is more intense and more percussive. Moreover, two tweeters with an aluminum dome are also present. They are equipped with a waveguide and placed in an acoustic horn to optimize the diffusion of high frequencies.
To deliver sound effectively in a large room and produce strong stereo effects, the front of the JBL L75ms is not flat. The midrange driver is perfectly centered, so it distributes the sound right in front of the listeners. The tweeters and woofers, which are placed to the left and right, effectively expand the soundstage.
Five amplifiers power the drivers of this JBL speaker: two 125-watt modules for the lows, a 50-watt module for the mids, and two 25-watt modules for the highs.
AirPlay 2, Chromecast and Bluetooth
Once connected to the local network (WiFi or Ethernet), the JBL L75ms can stream music wirelessly thanks to the AirPlay 2 and Chromecast protocols. For example, tracks stored in the memory of a smartphone or computer and music played on Spotify, Tidal, Deezer and Qobuz. The Bluetooth controller lets you stream music directly from a compatible device, without using the WiFi network. In all cases, playback is easily controlled from a smartphone.
Note that the Chromecast and AirPlay 2 protocols allow the JBL L75ms speaker to be paired with other compatible speakers or equipment. Ideal for building a multi-room audio system.
HDMI ARC and phono
The American manufacturer had the clever idea to equip the JBL L75ms speaker with an HDMI ARC port. As a result, it can be connected to a TV to enjoy the sound of movies, video games and TV programs directly on the speaker. Also very convenient, the phono and 3.5mm mini-jack inputs allow you to connect several sources: a turntable and a CD player, DAP or audio network player.
In addition, there is a subwoofer output. But it is possible that you may not use it very much considering the efficiency of this speaker in the lows!
Control interface and remote control
The top panel of the JBL L75ms speaker features a minimalist control interface. It is used to select the source, adjust the volume and perform Bluetooth pairing. In addition, the manufacturer also delivers a remote control. Practical and functional, the only downside its cheap aspect which looks a little out of place with the speaker. We can’t help thinking that the manufacturer could have offered a more elegant model. Why not use aluminum instead of plastic?
JBL L75ms: key specifications
- Wood chassis
- Bass-reflex enclosure
- AirPlay 2, Chromecast and Bluetooth compatible
- Total output power: 350W RMS
- Frequency response: from 45Hz to 25kHz
- 3.5mm mini-jack, phono RCA and HDMI ARC inputs
- Dimensions (WxHxD): 790 x 216 x 287mm
- Weight: 15.9kg
JBL L75ms: listening conditions
We listened to the JBL L75ms in the large auditorium of the Son-Video.com store in Nantes. This room of about 50m² is great for getting an idea of this vintage connected speaker’s ability to fill the space with sound. Once the latter was connected to the local network, we registered it in the Google Home app. We were therefore able to enjoy our Qobuz and Tidal playlists using the integrated Chromecast. Next, we tested the JBL L75ms connected speaker in soundbar mode. To do this, we connected its HDMI ARC port to that of an LG OLED65G1 TV. It should be noted that when listening to music, we set the Bass Contour slider on the back of the speaker to -3 dB. However, we positioned it at 0 dB for home theater listening.
JBL L75ms: listening impressions
We began our listening session with the track “Perfect Darkness” by Fink, from the Wheels Turn Beneath My Feet live performance (Qobuz, 16/44,1). The JBL L75ms placed us in front of the artist with a surprising proximity and intimacy. Fink’s voice clearly stood out in the center. The rhythm imparted by the bassline and the drums shook us. We were immediately transported to the world of the British singer. The bass delivered by this speaker was quite impressive in its intensity, depth and control. Well sustained, it remained perfectly in place and didn’t become overwhelming when the slider at the back of the speaker was on -3 dB. When not set to this level, it was more prominent (a bit too prominent for some), as are many other JBL speakers. But it’s a matter of taste.
At the other end of the spectrum, the aluminum dome tweeters delivered a subtle blend of clarity and energy. Smooth cymbal hits soared without causing any fatigue. In the center of the speaker, the paper cone midrange was very convincing with both vocals and instruments. It revealed beautiful timbres and texture. Clearly, the use of a wooden cabinet paid off. This JBL connected speaker sounded like a musical instrument and was balanced, full of substance and very appealing.
We continued with “The Frozen World”, the opening track of the The March of the Emperor soundtrack (Tidal, 16/44.1) performed by Emilie Simon. The JBL L75ms didn’t fall into the trap of sibilance. The high frequencies were crystalline, well defined without tiring the ears. From 55″ onwards, the low frequencies unfolded with a beautiful energy and total control until the notes faded out.
We were fully convinced after listening to “Hotel California” (Tidal, 24/44.1) from the album Hell Freezes Over (Remaster 2018) on Tidal. This speaker deployed a vast sound field with conviction. Smoothness, space, amplitude: we fully enjoyed the atmosphere that reigned in the audience and on the stage. The lateral positioning of the woofers and tweeters, slightly to the sides, contributed to the distribution of the sound over a wide radius. The best stereo effect was obtained in the axis of the speaker. However, we weren’t frustrated when we moved around the room. The sound had a nice presence.
Equipped with an HDMI ARC port, the JBL L75ms connected speaker is at home in front of a TV and can deliver sound with great conviction. However, given the size of the speaker, we recommend mounting the TV on the wall. Otherwise, the JBL L75ms could hide the lower part of the screen.
Watching several trailers allowed us to measure the full potential of this speaker in home theater mode. Once again, the soundstage was wide and detailed. Above all, the sound was very impactful with full and punchy bass. The voices stood out effortlessly during the dialogues. It was a flawless performance. Of course, we did not benefit from side and rear effects or even Dolby Atmos with the JBL L75ms, as this is not its objective. However, it provided very nice sensations and plunged us directly and effortlessly into the heart of the action.
JBL L75ms: compared to…
Naim Mu-so 2 (€1,699)
The Naim Mu-so 2 connected speaker is the main competitor of the JBL L75ms. Two different aesthetics and two different sounds. The Mu-so 2 is thinner and more high-end in its aesthetic approach. With its premium potentiometer, it will certainly impress lovers of industrial design. The French-British speaker (drivers designed by Focal) adopts an aluminum cabinet and is impartially neutral and direct. On the other hand, the American speaker opts for a real wood cabinet and delivers a warmer but no less balanced sound. In addition, the JBL speaker is more effective in terms of spatialization. It offers a wider soundstage. Of course, it doesn’t have an optical input, but an RCA phono input, which is very much in keeping with current trends. This is a considerable advantage for vinyl lovers compared to this rival.
Cabasse The Pearl Akoya (€1,590)
Only slightly more expensive than the JBL model, the Cabasse The Pearl Akoya features many more technologies. It integrates a triaxial driver powered by a 1050-watt amplifier! This is reflected in the sound, which is more energetic, notably with more impact in the lows. The French speaker also offers a more accurate listening experience. It reveals an abundance of micro details and great clarity in the high frequencies. The JBL offers a slightly less detailed but very balanced sound. Above all, it delivers a stereo sound with an amplitude that the French speaker cannot offer as it works in mono. The Cabasse also lacks an HDMI ARC port and a phono input to compete with this American speaker.
JBL L75ms: who is it for?
This JBL L75ms speaker will appeal to fans of 70s vintage speakers. Audiophiles looking for a powerful and balanced connected speaker with a rich and detailed sound will also be delighted. For those who have the space, it can also replace a soundbar. Not when it comes to surround spatialization, but it masters impact and realism.
JBL L75ms: conclusion
We were doubtful about the qualities of this speaker before having heard it. However, we were impressed right from the start. The bassy and demonstrative character frequently found with JBL speakers has been corrected. To the benefit of a very balanced and nevertheless energetic sound. Exit the overpowering lows: the integration of the various frequency ranges is remarkable.
The deep and present bass (it is a JBL speaker after all!) stays in place. The midrange is surprisingly prominent and richly embodied despite the use of a single driver dedicated to this frequency range. The high frequencies are precise and beautifully clear. We didn’t hear any sharpness despite the use of aluminum domes.
Regarding spatialization, we can only praise the amplitude of the soundstage which unfolds without difficulty. Finally, the acoustic message remains coherent and balanced throughout. Even at very high volume, there is not an ounce of saturation or aggressiveness. Bravo JBL!
- The unique and pleasant design
- The rich and balanced sound, even at high volume
- The width of the soundstage
- The wide range of connectors
- The dual Chromecast and AirPlay 2 compatibility
We would have liked:
- A higher-quality remote control
- A more compact size