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JBL Authentics L8

Wireless speaker with Apple® AirPlay® and Bluetooth®

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  • JBL Authentics L8

    Front

  • JBL Authentics L8

    Back

  • JBL Authentics L8

    Bottom (double ported, power cord and optical inputs below)

  • JBL Authentics L8

    Chart detailing the Clari-Fi technology's transient enhancement

  • JBL Authentics L8

    Clari-Fi processing provides more restoration to the compressed files that need it.

  • JBL Authentics L8

    Front (grille removed)

  • JBL Authentics L8

    In room setting

  • JBL Authentics L8

    Input control

  • JBL Authentics L8

    Side view

  • JBL Authentics L8

    Top

  • JBL Authentics L8

    USB and aux inputs (on top)

  • JBL Authentics L8

    Volume control

 

Our take on the JBL Authentics L8

by Jeff Miller
JBL


High-res audio

Iconic looks and classic performance meet today's technology

Place a JBL Authentics L8 wireless speaker in a room and you'll get double-takes from longtime music fans. It's inspired by JBL's legendary L100, the home version of the pro monitor used in top recording studios of the 60s and 70s, and a top-seller for years. Sporting the signature cubed foam grilles and white speaker cones, the new Authentic L8 has a well-constructed real wood enclosure finished in piano black gloss. But nostalgia isn't the whole story here — this is a serious speaker system loaded with cutting-edge technology.


ChipChick logo

"This is no run-of-the-mill wireless speaker"

"For those who hate wires but love music – this system has it all. It has a great look, sounds great, and it will take you only minutes to get it setup."

— From Ali Heriyanto's review on ChipChick.com, May 9, 2014
Read the full review


JBL Authentics L8 (grille removed)

Two 4" woofers and two 1" tweeters create a wide soundstage.

Substantial soundstage

JBL has embraced the convenience and flexibility of today's listening habits, but they don't expect you to settle when it comes to sound quality. The Authentics L8 uses a 24-bit/96kHz signal path, making it capable of re-producing greater resolution and detail than CD. Physically larger than most wireless speakers, the L8 can really open up and sing. You'll notice a profound difference in the width of the L8's soundstage compared to smaller tabletop speakers. 120 watts of total power are pumped into the speaker's four drivers — two 1" tweeters and two 4" woofers — with each driven by a dedicated amplifier. The result is deeper bass, along with clean, crisp highs and mids. Your music will sound smooth and natural, free of harshness and distortion.

A variety of connections

When it comes to music, how do you like to play it? Do you use a streaming service on your phone? Internet radio on your tablet? Download high-res music files to your computer? With virtually any device, the L8 gives you options:

  • Use its built-in Wi-Fi to link to a wireless network and play music from computers and handheld devices via Apple AirPlay for iOS® or DLNA technology for Android™ or Windows® PC.
  • Wirelessly stream from your phone or tablet via Bluetooth. Play streaming music services or your personal stored collection. NFC (Near Field Communication) technology gives you simple, one-touch Bluetooth pairing with compatible devices.
  • Plug in just about anything that has a headphone jack to the 3.5mm aux input.
  • Connect your TV to the optical digital input and use the L8 as a sound bar solution. You'll hear clear dialogue and special effects that crash and rumble.

JBL Music app and Clari-Fi™ sound doctoring

view of JBL apps

The JBL Music app, available for both tablet and smartphone, lets you control the level of volume, mids, and lows. (Phone not included).

Controls on the speaker itself are minimal by design. The Authentics L8 is easily managed by your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. To help simplify the marriage between your device and the L8, JBL has created a dedicated app that allows you to select your downloaded songs, control volume or sound levels, and choose your input. The JBL Music App, available as a free download from the Google Play and Apple iTunes® app stores, also gives you a visual representation of the new Clari-Fi™ technology.

Clari-Fi is a sound doctoring tool that restores compressed digital music to its original form, the way it was recorded. When music is compressed, important nuances are lost. Frequency response drops off, transient sounds have less impact, and detail is gone. Ultimately things sound a bit dull. Clari-Fi analyzes the audio signal in real time and corrects problems in the sound. This means you'll hear the proper vocal and instrument separation, unrestrained high frequencies, and the satisfying punch of every kick drum, cymbal crash, and guitar pluck.

See more info on this item

Highlights:

  • high-performance 2-way powered speaker with retro design
  • real wood enclosure with piano black gloss finish
  • built-in Bluetooth for wireless music streaming from compatible smartphones, tablets, and computers,
  • Apple AirPlay® for Apple portable devices and computers
  • built-in Wi-Fi for wireless music streaming when connected to a home network
  • DLNA support for streaming music from compatible networked PCs and devices
  • two custom-designed 1" tweeters
  • two custom-designed 4" woofers
  • dual ported cabinet for enhanced bass
  • amplifier power: 4 x 30 watts RMS
  • frequency response: 45-35,000 Hz
  • signal to noise ratio: 92dB for wireless and analog inputs; 98dB for digital inputs
  • 3.5mm aux input
  • optical digital audio input (supports sample rates of 44.1 kHz and 48 kHz)
  • two USB charging ports
  • iOS Wi-Fi sharing through dedicated USB port
  • Qi wireless charging of Qi enabled devices with optional JBL Qi adapter (sold separately)
  • can be controlled via JBL Music app (free at Google Play and Apple iTunes® app stores)
  • 22-3/4"W x 6-1/2"H x 9-5/8"D
  • weight: 16.3 lbs.
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Wirless active speaker
  • Grille (installed)
  • 6.5' AC power cord
  • Top cover (installed)
  • Quick Start Guide
  • WiFi Setup Instructions
  • Important Safety Instructions

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features

Authentics Series: Inspired by the legendary JBL Century L100 loudspeaker, the JBL Authentic L8 blends classic acoustic speaker design with modern wireless connection and convenience. Its wooden enclosure with gloss black guitar-quality finish offers exceptional audio quality while the latest technology provides easy wireless connectivity to a wide range of devices via AirPlay, DNLA and Bluetooth. The Authentics series wireless speaker features authentic materials, optimized low-frequency and high-frequency JBL transducers and meticulous acoustic design. The result is superior audio quality and a wide stereo image from a single enclosure.

120W Active Two-Way Speaker: High-performance JBL transducers and meticulous acoustic design deliver amazing sound from a compact speaker. The optimized low- and high-frequency transducers combine with advanced 24-bit/96kHz studio quality electronics and DSP to present full-range stereo sound with a wide stereo image; all from within a single enclosure. Dual down-firing, flared ports add to system's bass response and efficiency. The JBL L8 is fitted with two 1" tweeters and two 4" woofers, powered by a 30 watt x 4 channel amplifier.

Clari-Fi & Signal Doctor Music Restoration Technology: Harman Clari-Fi & Signal Doctor technology replaces the details lost in today's compressed music files, adding detail and energy to any low quality music stream. Clari-Fi & Signal Doctor music restoration technology by Harman analyzes the audio signal in real time and corrects waveform deficiencies based on an in-depth knowledge of the encoding codecs and psychoacoustics. For all compressed audio sources (such as MP3) Clari-Fi & Signal Doctor reconstructs a perceptual estimate of the missing signal components based on the signal components that remain in the compressed signal.

Wireless Connectivity: The JBL Authentics L8 provides easy wireless audio playback from smartphones, tablets, computers, and media players. It offers AirPlay for iTunes and iOS devices, DLNA for Android devices and Windows PCs, plus Bluetooth for Bluetooth-enabled devices. With AirPlay, DLNA and Bluetooth connectivity, the Authentics L8 can stream audio from almost any wireless device.

  • Bluetooth: The Authentics L8 features built-in Bluetooth A2DP, which allows you to wirelessly stream audio from your Apple iPod/iPhone/iPad, Android smartphone/tablet, Blackberry, laptop/computer, or other Bluetooth-enabled device to the JBL wireless speaker system. You'll continue to use your device to navigate your music and to view song/artist information. The speaker system pairs with your Bluetooth-enabled device with a single press of a button or via NFC (Near-Field Communication) technology. Simply tap your NFC-enabled Android smartphone to the NFC tag on the top-panel of the speaker for instant pairing with the system; NFC is only available in select Android smartphones. Once paired, the L8 will automatically re-connect with your device when in wireless range (up to 33').
  • AirPlay: AirPlay lets you stream music directly from your Apple iOS device (4.3+), or from your iTunes library (10.1+) on your PC or Mac to the JBL L8, over your wireless home network. By downloading Apple's free Remote App onto your Apple iOS device, you don't even need to be in the same room as the L8 system or your computer to play, pause, skip, and stop the songs in your iTunes music library.
  • DLNA: The L8 is DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) certified for audio streaming. This means it's easier for you to access and enjoy digital music stored on your Windows 7/8 PC, Android smartphone, or other DLNA-enabled server/ NAS. A variety of music files are supported. You'll continue to navigate your music from your DLNA-enabled device or from JBL's free MusicFlow app on your Apple iOS or Android device.
Note: In order to use AirPlay or DLNA, you will need to connect the JBL Authentics L8 to your wireless home network via WiFi (no Ethernet connection on speaker). Use JBL's free MusicFlow app on your Apple iOS or Android device for WiFi setup.

Analog + Digital Inputs: In addition to wireless connectivity, the JBL Authentics L8 offers wired analog & digital connections.

  • Digital Optical Input: The JBL L8 features a rear-panel digital optical (toslink) input for connection of your Blu-ray player or HDTV. The optical digital input only supports 2ch PCM audio signal (not Dolby Digital/DTS).
  • Analog 3.5mm Input: The L8 is also fitted with a top-panel 3.5mm auxiliary input for connection of almost any portable audio player with a headphone output.

Charging: The JBL Authentics L8 supports charging of your smartphone & tablet devices via its dual USB (type-A) ports and its Qi-compatible charging pad.

  • Dual USB Charging Ports: The L8 is fitted with two USB (type-A) ports designed to charge your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone/tablet while listening to your music. One USB port is rated at 5V/1A, while the other USB port is rated at 5V/2.1A. These USB ports are for charging only and does support audio playback.
  • Charging Pad: The JBL Authentic L8 has an optional wireless charging pad on the top that makes recharging your compatible mobile device easy. No worrying about connectors; simply place your Qi compatible device on the charging pad. The wireless charging capability is another way the JBL Authentic L8 maintains a clean, uncluttered look.
Note: There is a removable top-cover which uncovers a compartment where you can store your smartphone or tablet device while it charges and during playback.

Controls: The JBL Authentics L8 wireless speaker system offers top-panel controls, as well as supports control from your Apple iOS or Android device with JBL's free MusicFlow app installed.

  • Top-Panel Controls: The speaker's top-panel controls provide basic playback & system functions such as Power On/Off, Volume Up/Down, and Source Selection (Bluetooth/AirPlay/DLNA/Aux/Optical).
  • JBL MusicFlow App: The free JBL MusicFlow app offers more advance playback control of the speaker system from your Apple iOS (5.0+) or Android (2.2+)mobile device. Simply download the JBL MusicFlow app (from iTunes or GooglePlay) onto your Apple iOS device or Android smartphone/tablet. You'll get the same functions as the top-panel controls, as well as the ability to stream music directly from your Apple iOS or Android device and adjust a 3-band EQ (Bass/Mid/High), plus activate JBL's Signal Doctor.

AC Power: The JBL Authentics L8 operates off of standard household current using the supplied 6.5' AC power cord (detachable).

 
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JBL Authentics L8 Reviews

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5 out of 5

JBL L8 Authentics speaker system

Written By jazz man, Roanoke, VA on Monday, June 30, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The L8 is simply amazing. Clean, accurate and awesome sound! This reminds me of the JBL L-100 of years ago -- only better.

Once you figure out how to to tailor the sound through your phone or iPod -- you are in for a treat!
Pros:
Awesome speaker!!! Superb sound!!!
Cons:
Configuring the sound for best audio using your phone or iPod. Takes some time to figure out, but worth the effort.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the JBL Authentics L8, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_109AUTL8B/JBL-Authentics-L8.html ).

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