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JBL Jembe

Powered speaker system

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Our take on the JBL Jembe™

by Ralph Graves
JBL

Cool look, cooler sound

The distinctive shape of the JBL Jembe powered speakers may catch your eye, but it's the full-bodied sound they deliver that grabs your attention. Sitting on either side of your laptop, portable music player, or smartphone, these babies can deliver the sonic goods.

The Jembe's full-range speakers deliver clean highs and clear, accurate mid range. Bass ports in the back help reinforce the lows, giving your music a nice, full sound. And the built-in amplifier can provide 6 watts per channel — plenty of power for your desktop concert.

Simple and fun

The Jembe system is easy to setup, and easy to use. Just plug in the power adapter, and run the connecting cord from one speaker to the other. Simple stereo minijacks serve as the system's input, so you can plug in just about any sound source — smartphone, portable game console, PDA, or computer.

The top of one of the speakers serves as the volume control. Place a finger in the indentation and turn. It's easy to dial up — or down — the sound.

See more info on this item

Highlights:

  • compact powered speaker system
  • two 6-watt amplifiers built into the right speaker
  • full-range speakers with passive radiators for stronger bass
  • frequency response: 80Hz-20,000Hz
  • metal speaker grilles
  • minijack stereo input
  • AC power adapter
  • speaker dimensions (each): 4-3/16"W x 5-5/16"H x 4-3/16"D
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

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

Features and Specs
Pieces in System
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2
Wireless
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No
Video Shielded
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No
Tweeter Type
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N/A
Tweeter Size (inches)
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N/A
Midrange size (inches)
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---
Woofer size (inches)
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---
Woofer Composition
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N/A
Powered Subwoofer
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No
Power Output (Watts)
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6
Frequency Response
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80-20k Hz
Height (inches)
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5-1/4
Width (inches)
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4-3/16
Depth (inches)
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4-3/4
Parts Warranty
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1 Year
Labor Warranty
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1 Year
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • 2 Computer loudspeakers
  • AC power adapter (with attached 6' AC power cord)
  • Easy Setup Guide
  • Warranty Card

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

Overview: The stylish JBL Jembe two-piece entertainment loudspeaker system includes a built-in power amplifier and a Slipstream port that creates rich bass with low distortion from a 2.0 computer system. The 3.5mm input connects easily to your PC, laptop or portable MP3 music device. The Jembe loudspeakers fit unobtrusively on any desk or bookshelf, and can elevate your multimedia experience with JBL's realistic sound quality.

Stylish JBL Weave Design: The Jembe system looks sharp and stylish in any room. The speakers feature JBL's Weave design which represents a perfect convergence of form and function.

Compact & Portable: The Jembe system will not clutter your desk or home. Because the loudspeakers are small enough to pack easily into a bag, you can take great sound wherever you go.

Built-in Power Amplifier: The Jembe two-piece entertainment loudspeaker system employs a built-in amplifier (6W+6W) that provides sufficient power and high-quality audio for music and movies with an enhanced acoustics that add depth and space.

Full-Range Drivers: Each Jembe speaker is equipped with a single full-range driver. This unique full-range driver has been designed specifically to fit into small speaker enclosures while providing significant low bass. The result is a compact and elegant computer speaker that provides superior low bass, midrange and highs (80Hz to 20,000Hz).

Slipstream Port Technology: The Jembe loudspeaker system utilizes JBL Slipstream port technologies to ensure powerful, smooth-sounding bass with low distortion.

Dual Audio Inputs: The Jembe two-piece loudspeaker system offers two analog audio inputs. There is a female 3.5mm port to connect your portable MP3 player using a minijack audio cable (sold separately). There is also an attached 69" stereo minijack cable terminated by a male 3.5mm connector which plugs directly into the audio output jack of your computer.

Note: In addition there is an attached 69" mono-RCA cable on one of the speakers which connects to the Mono-RCA jack on the other speaker.

Headphone Output: The Jembe speaker system is fitted with a 3.5mm headphone output to connect a set of headphones for private listening.

Power Requirements: The Jembe computer speaker system operates off of standard household AC current using the supplied AC power adapter.

  • Input: 100-240V - 50/60Hz, 500mA
  • Output: 12.0V - 1500mA

Power Saver: The JBL Jembe speaker system has a built-in power-saving feature. If no audio signal is present for approximately three minutes, the speakers will go into power-standby mode and the white LED will turn off. Once the JBL Jembe system detects an audio signal, the speakers will return to normal playing mode, and the white LED will light up.

 

Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Quick impressions from the Lab

Comment by Ralph Graves Staff Writer - Creative,

Jamming with the Jembe

Written by Ralph Graves, Staff Writer - Creative, on 4/16/2012 2:40:00 PM

These speakers might be dangerous on my desktop. They look so much like my travel mug, I might accidentally take a swing from one! Seriously though, the Jembe has a very distinctive look, and one I like very much. They're stylish and compact, two pluses for desktop use. Volume control is a rotating disc on top of one of the speakers (very cool).

Audio quality is pretty good, with the speakers presenting a nice, full soundstage. Although the bass wasn't room-shaking, it definitely had presence — especially at higher volume levels. The sound kept its detail, even when I turned the speakers way down. These would be a great choice for my workspace — just plug them into the headphone jack of my computer, and I'm ready to go.

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JBL Jembe™ Reviews

Average Customer Review:

24 people say:

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5 out of 5

JBL Jembe speaker pair

Written By Martin, Georgetown, TX, USA on Friday, July 25, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Amazing sound from a very small speaker pair. Importantly, one speaker has a built in pre-amplifier--ideal to use with a turn table.
Pros:
easy to use. Great sound. For the quality and capability the price is an outstanding bargain..
Cons:
none
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5 out of 5

JBL Jembe

Written By Alberto P, Puerto Rico on Saturday, April 12, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Excelente sound.
Pros:
Todo excelente bajo, claridad de sonido.
Cons:
NADA.
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5 out of 5

Classroom Computer Speakers

Written By MikeN, Ohio on Friday, February 07, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Excellent purchase. I love these speakers.
Pros:
Small powerful decent price point for an excellent product
Cons:
None
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

Computer speakers

Written By Thomas, Anchorage, Alaska on Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I purchased these speakers to replace ones that gave up the ghost. The sound is nice, my only problem is the power saving feature. It turns off after three minutes and only comes on it you have a loud sound. I was constantly turning it on to hear what was going on. If you using these for music it works great for the price. If using just for speakers on your computer, not so good.
Pros:
Good for an inexpensive set of good quality speakers with power save when not in use.
Cons:
Not too good for computer speakers, a pain turning off and on to hear sounds
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

JBL Jembe™

Written By J.J., West Bloomfield, Mi. on Saturday, November 30, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The speakers are good looking, compact, and produce hi-quality sound for their size and price. I also like the auto-on-auto off feature.
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5 out of 5

JBL Jembe computer speakers

Written By soundbee, Alaska on Friday, September 13, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
If anyone is unhappy with these speakers for the price they have not done any research. They are talking and squalking without adequate comparison. JBL always scores. They produce a quality product applicable to price. My computer is set up is in a garage w/o great acoustics and the sound is great. If you want excellent high quality be prepared to make an big investment.
3 out of 4 people found this helpful
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1 out of 5

poor execution

Written By DougJ, Atlanta on Wednesday, July 31, 2013
 
The sound is great ... when it actually plays. It has an auto-off feature that kicks in only after a few minutes but requires a manual adjustment every time. After only a month this has now turned into a short in the speakers and only plays for a few seconds at a time. Extremely disappointed since the price is higher than direct competitors in the non-audiophile market. Stick with Logitech or something cheaper than this.
Pros:
compact design, great sound
Cons:
mediocre attempt for reputable manufacturer, playback inconsistent, wiring clumsy
7 out of 8 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

Power saver feature is a problem

Written By tjr, Pennsylvan on Monday, July 01, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The sound quality of these speakers is excellent for music - especially considering their compact size and the price. Great for that purpose. But as a computer speaker, they're terrible. The power-saver feature (which can not be disabled) turns them off after only 3 minutes. If you receive and email, or some other "ding", you won't hear anything because the speakers have shut off. They "wake-up" after a few seconds when sound is present, but then shut back off again. Don't buy these if you plan on using them for this purpose... you'll miss all the various email alerts, IM chat requests, etc.
Pros:
Great sound, very compact
Cons:
Auto shutoff power saver feature will limit their utility as a computer speaker as they keep shutting themselves down and you'll miss alert tones (of other brief audio signals).
7 out of 7 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great Product

Written By Troy, Metairie, LA on Friday, June 07, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Got these little gems about a month ago and love them. Big sound. Smart innovative styling. Love the rotating volumn control on the top too.
Pros:
Great sound from small speakers.
Cons:
None
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Review for the JBL Jembe

Written By DougH, Jamestown, NC on Tuesday, June 04, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Excellent sound for the money. Simple to install. Super easy volume control. Perfect for office environment. Won't shake your office mates' internal organs!
Pros:
Clear sound. Easy to install. Plenty of cord.
Cons:
None relevant to the general listener.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

jbl jembe

Written By webbman, waterloo,iowa on Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The power of these little boys is excellent for a desk top.The best thing is styling and small footprint.The tall chambers help drive the sound and gives them a robust tonal quality.
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5 out of 5

The Altoid of desktop speakers

Written By NICKL, New York, NY on Friday, April 12, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
What can you say about the Altoid? Small but POWERFUL. These things crank out the sound, and in a well-balanced manner. Price is so very right. I listen to jazz, R&B, electronic, ambient, classical, rock, and pop. Everything sounds awesome on these, and there's never any of that disappointment that usually comes from listening to small speakers. I am sure some experts can point to even better small-scale speakers, but for the price?? These things deliver the goods.
Pros:
Size, shape, style, and above all - SOUND. Really nice built-in volume dial atop the left speaker. Handy.
Cons:
Power indicator light goes to sleep when computer does (maybe that's a "pro"?). Wires could be a bit longer, though I have a really wide desk. With the positioning that the wire sizes allow, the sound is very balanced.
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

JBL Jembe - Good for the office

Written By Mike, Richmond on Tuesday, April 09, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
A very nice basic speaker package. I use these speakers at work in my office, so the volume is sufficiently loud. However if these were for a home office, I would like more power. The quantity of the sound is very good. I love the feature that the speakers turn off if the music stops streaming and on again once it starts.
Pros:
Nice finish on the speaker, volume knob is the whole top of the speaker so no fumbling for a small knob. Sound quality is good. Reasonable price.
Cons:
Needs more power to fill large room.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Good little speaker

Written By tptb168, Guam on Monday, March 25, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I am using this pair of speakers for "on the go" presentations with my projector and ipad/laptop. It's small enough to fit into my bag or briefcase. It is easy to use and the sound is sufficient for small rooms. I have used it in a classroom setting and was loud enough that the next room was able to hear the movie presentation.

The only drawback is purchasing a 3mm to RCA cord to connect the projector to the speaker. If you have Apple TV, you don't need it. Just connect directly to the iPad, iPhone, iPod or your Apple laptop.
Pros:
Portable, easy to set-up/connect, good sound and great price from a company that specializes in speakers
Cons:
need to review what extra cords you will need
2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

Not Overly Impressed

Written By Brian, Indianapolis on Saturday, February 09, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I bought these as a budget friendly replacement when my son broke my Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 set. I guess I miss the powered sub more than I thought I would because I am not happy with these. Sure, they are fine if all you want them for is to play games or listen to an audiobook. But if you're looking for full sound, look elsewhere.
Pros:
Inexpensive, JBL name
Cons:
Bass response is lacking
2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Good quality sound

Written By greg2mar, Sterling, VA on Sunday, December 09, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
My husband bought these for me for an older monitor with no speakers. The sound is well rounded and my music, on the computer, sounds great. Contrary to other reviews the cord was sufficiently long enough.
Pros:
speakers easy to install.
Cons:
none
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great Value! Met my needs perfectly

Written By JayD, Colorado on Thursday, October 25, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Speakers were just what I was looking for to replace my early 90's bulky computer speakers. Nice size and good sound for the size and price. My only complaint is the length of the cords, especially the one that goes from the speaker to the back of your CPU. If you are planning on connecting them to a laptop, no issues, but if you are going to plug them into a CPU, your CPU needs to be on the RIGHT side of your desk for set up. A bit limiting, but not a show stopper. All in all I'm pleased with the price and performance. I'd give them 4 Stars, but Crutchfield's extremely awesome customer service can not be praised enough. The speakers shipped the same day I ordered. Well packaged, and the communication on the status of the order was top knotch. Thanks! from a long time satisfied customer!
Pros:
Size, price, sound
Cons:
short length of connection cords/cables
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Good Little speakers

Written By Madcrutch, GA on Saturday, October 13, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
These speakers are very good for the size. The sound has good highs and lows without booming. The highs can sound a little tinny sometimes but overall not bad. I have the Bose Companion II also which I have moved to the kitchen.
Pros:
Good overall sound. Can handle higher volumes without booming.
Cons:
Highs can be somewhat tinny
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

JBL Done it Right

Written By Bobby S, Pikeville, KY on Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
WOW, what an amazing set of speakers. The clarity and separation these guys put out are the best you'll hear. They can easily fill a room. JBL done it right on these. I put these in the same class as Crutchfield, the best top notch. Way to go.
Pros:
Sound quality, love to match these up with Bose for sound comparison. Nicely built, the volume knob is a nice feature. Can't say enough about these. Buy them you won't be disappointed.
Cons:
None!
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

JBL computer speakers

Written By Ray, Silver City N.M. on Thursday, September 13, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I got tired of the modem speakers to tell if my recording quality of cassette and cd's into my windows media center and Itunes library.where coming out to my standards or not. I decided to upgrade to external speakers. Did some research and found these. They do the job and sound great for they size and what they are for. The price was good and shipping fast. Thanks Crutchfield and JBL.
Pros:
great sound for computers with small size
Cons:
haven't found any yet.
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

the perfect inexpensive PC speaker for people who actually care about

Written By BobA, Richmond, VA on Thursday, August 23, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I've been on the lookout for a 1) small footprint, 2) sound focused, and 3) fairly priced PC speaker for quite a while. -Foot print: These guys fit under my LCD monitor on top of the monitor base so I am using NO desktop real estate! (i angle them outward, rather than the typical inward triangle.) While there are many options out there that are small (and even downright tiny,) they generally have sound to match, i.e. terrible. These JBLs sound terrific. It's hard to tell from the pictures the exact size of these. reference object would help. -Sound focused: JBL put their eggs into the sound basket, rather than, say the features basket. This Jembe model does it's MAIN TASK perfectly. Of course no one wants to spend money on those things I don't care about. When buying speakers, If I spend 50 bucks, I would prefer everyone of those dollars to go towards the sound. (although JBL made them attractive and the volume volume knob feels like quality, I am not sure they charged anyone for it!) -Fairly priced: Anything in this price range has been utter trash when it comes to audio fidelity until these JBLs. These are not audiophile speakers, but they aren't even $75 bucks either. Not every PC in the house serves your media library. Sometimes you just want quality audio on the cheap. JBL is one of the few good audio brands in this price range. Glad JBL stepped into this market, it's been needed for years now.
Pros:
If you need a full, complete, audible spectrum (more base?) AND a small desktop footprint, AND don't mind taking up floor space, consider something with a sub. (but if listening to music, for my money, subs with tiny Satellites aren't worth it! These cheap 2.1 systems generally lean too heavily on the sub to reproduce frequencies that should be directional (coming from a main channel)
Cons:
Remember, subs were originally intended by dolby as a low frequency effects channel only, and every MAIN channel (LS, RS, center, etc) , ideally, is a full frequency speaker. In satellite systems, the sub is doing something else altogether. In those systems, the sub is making up for the physical limitations of the small satellites.
5 out of 6 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

JBL Jembe

Written By MartyS, Phila, PA on Wednesday, August 08, 2012
 
I was looking for a low cost sound solution for my ultra small laptop, and tried the Jembe. I was amazed at how good they sounded considering the price. They seem to be of quality construction, and the power/volume control is very stylish. I definitely recommend them.
Pros:
Great sound for the price.
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

JBL Jembe Speakers

Written By Mike C., Southern Maryland on Tuesday, August 07, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
These speakers take up very little space. They look good and sound even better. Great price and free 1 day shipping. A great deal ! Came very nicely packaged. Hooked up to a Sony Vaio notebook, these speakers will kick out some high quality sound.
Pros:
Will fill a large room with sound even at half volume.
Cons:
None
5 out of 5 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

JBL computer speakers

Written By Sandra T, Nashville, TN on Monday, July 16, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Speakers look and sound great. Easy to use and sound is what you expect from JBL. Very satisfied.
Pros:
JBL quality
Cons:
None.
5 out of 5 people found this helpful
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1 question already asked

best pc speakers for under 100.00? [ tom  Jan 14, 2014 ]
8 answers
  • good answer!!! [ the zoster   Feb 01, 2014 ]
  • They are very good speakers, however I haven't used them with a PC only with a satellite stereo in my office space. They have good sound and a nice bass response even at low volumes. I am comparing them to my the harmon/kardons I was using that came with my PC at work and I would say these JBL's are much better. [ JOHN   Jan 16, 2014 ]
  • In terms of sound quality, would say yes - these are a great option. My complaint with them is the auto shut off feature can't be disabled. If no sound for a couple min they turn off, then you don't hear any computer sounds (new email pings, alert tones, etc.). They don't turn back on until a more sustained sound is played (like music). This limits their utility as a computer speaker IMHO. [ TODD   Jan 15, 2014 ]
  • I think they are pretty decent speakers for the price. They have a nice all around sound to them not just that mid range flat sound like most cheap PC speakers have. There definitely not top quality speaker to be compared with more expensive ones but yes for ones below $100 I think they are worth it. [ DAVID   Jan 14, 2014 ]
  • No bad. Bose maybe a little better [ JOE D   Jan 14, 2014 ]
  • The price and sound are both the selling points for me.I'm really impressed with the sound quality and power.I would by them again.I have the wired model and think they are great for stationary use such as desk use or if you want to move them,no big deal.They really have a good weight and quality feel to them also [ KENNETH   Jan 14, 2014 ]
  • I'm very satisfied. I replaced a Bose wave radio with these and am very pleased. The wave always had too much "fake bass". These have a truer sound. [ JOHN H   Jan 14, 2014 ]
  • I'm using these speakers for my office at work and for this purpose they are great. I looked for awhile for an affordable pair of speakers until I came across the JBL. I'm very pleased with the sound and would recommend them for a small space like an office. [ MICHAEL   Jan 14, 2014 ]

For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the JBL Jembe™, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_109JEMBE/JBL-Jembe.html ).

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