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Home theater audio system with 1080p-compatible HDMI switching

1 Review

Item # 257THL1

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Our take on the JVC TH-L1

Enjoy exciting surround sound from your favorite video games, movies, and music. The JVC TH-L1 comes with a vertical receiver that looks right at home next to a game console, plus five speakers and a powered subwoofer.

Enjoy exciting surround sound from your favorite video games, movies, and music. The JVC TH-L1 comes with a vertical receiver that looks right at home next to a game console, plus five speakers and a powered subwoofer.

Future-ready video connections
HDTV owners will appreciate the receiver's 1080p-compatible HDMI switching. It lets you connect two high-definition sources — like a video game console and high-def disc player — and switch between them easily, while maintaining pristine picture quality for both. If you don't have an HD-ready TV yet, don't worry — an array of video outputs lets you choose the right connection for your set.

Play your iPod® and other music sources
This JVC system offers great options for music lovers, too. A front-panel iPod connection makes it easy to select and play your favorite tunes through the 'L1. Use the front-panel USB port to access music, photos, and video clips stored on an MP3 player or a USB memory drive.

Product Highlights:

  • home theater audio system with receiver, 5 speakers and subwoofer
  • built-in Dolby® Digital, DTS®, & Dolby Pro Logic® II processing for surround sound from DVDs, video games, and stereo sources
  • 6-channel amplifier (40 watts x 4 for front and surround speakers, 100 watts for center channel, and 100 watts for subwoofer)
  • 1080p-compatible HDMI video switching (2 in, 1 out)
  • 3 A/V inputs (including one front-panel A/V input)
  • video output for TV (including HDMI, component video, S-video, and composite)
  • digital inputs: 2 optical (1 front panel), 1 coaxial
  • built-in controls and connection cable for iPod
  • USB input allows a connection to an MP3 player or USB memory drive
  • multibrand remote control
  • receiver: 4-11/16"W x 10-15/16"H x 9-11/16"D
  • 2 front speakers:
    • dual 2-9/16" drivers
    • 3-15/16"W x 4-1/8"H x 4-3/16"D
  • center speaker:
    • 2-9/16" driver
    • 3-15/16"W x 4-1/8"H x 4-3/16"D
  • 2 surround speakers:
    • dual 2-9/16" drivers
    • 3-15/16"W x 4-1/8"H x 4-3/16"D
  • subwoofer:
    • 6-5/16" driver
    • bass reflex (ported) enclosure
    • 10-1/2"W x 10-11/16"H x 6-3/16"D
  • warranty: 1 year parts, 3 months labor
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • AX-THL1 digital media receiver
  • SP-THL1W passive subwoofer with an attached 9.5' speaker wire (bare-tinned wire connection on other end)
  • SP-THL1C center channel satellite speaker with an attached 10' speaker wire (bare-tinned wire connection on other end)
  • Two SP-THL1F front satellite speakers with an attached 10' speaker wire (bare-tinned wire connection on other end)
  • Two SP-THL1S surround satellite speakers with an attached 23.5' speaker wire (bare-tinned wire connection on other end)
  • RM-STHL1A wireless remote control with 2 "AA" batteries
  • 6' Composite video cable
  • 39" iPod dock connector cable
  • iPod stand
  • Instructions booklet
  • "Caution for iPod connection" note
  • Product Registration card
  • Important Products Safety Instructions booklet

JVC TH-L1 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(1 Review)

It's going back

Edel from Miami, FL on 1/11/2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The system had everything I'd been looking for. Small size, plenty of connections, good price. The speakers feel very cheap and are hard wired with flimsy speaker wire. The satellites do not have enough wire to make it across a decent sized room so you'll have to extend the wire yourself. The digital optical connection for my satellite worked, but the digital coaxial one from the DVD player did not. The last straw was the ipod connection. The sound was awful! Muffled and with little bass. It was like listening to AM radio. Unfortunately the negatives outweigh the positives of this system and it's going back.




Hands-on research

Product Research

Inputs and Outputs Note


Overview: The JVC TH-L1 Multi-Media Sound Solution Center is a 5.1-channel Surround Media System designed to connect to multiple audio/video sources and your TV.  The media center is equipped with two 1080p HDMI inputs and one 1080p HDMI output, a connection for your iPod, and a 2.0 USB port. The 5.1 channel system features five matching front, center, and surround satellite speakers and a 6.3125" passive subwoofer for enveloping and inconspicuous surround sound in your entertainment room.

6-Channel Amplifier: The TH-L1 features an integrated 6-channel amplifier to power all five satellite speakers and the passive subwoofer in the system. The built-in amplifier sends 40 watts RMS to each of the front and rear satellite speakers and a 100 watts RMS to both the center-channel speaker and the subwoofer.

Built-In Dolby Digital/DTS Decoder: The JVC TH-L1 features a built-in Dolby Digital/DTS decoder with Dolby Pro Logic II and DSP surround modes. You can select from the following.

  • Dolby Pro Logic II: Music or Movie modes

  • Dolby Digital: 5.1-channel surround mode

  • DTS: discrete 5.1-channel surround mode

  • DSP: Stadium, Game and All-Channel Stereo modes

  • Auto Surround: automatically selects the appropriate surround mode according to the incoming signals

  • Surround Off: 2-channel Stereo mode

Note: When you turn the power off the system memorizes the current surround mode and the memorized mode is automatically recalled when you turn the power back on.

1080p HDMI: The unit features two 1080p HDMI inputs and a single 1080p HDMI monitor output. The HDMI input and output will pass both audio and vide signals to your connected television. The HDMI input does not pass audio to this system's speakers. You must connect your external audio sources through the unit's two sets of analog stereo inputs or two digital inputs (1 coaxial, 1 optical) for audio playback through the system's surround speakers.

Progressive and Interlace Scanning: The system features a Progressive and Interlace video scanning mode. The unit features two component video inputs and one component video monitor output for Progressive Scanning.

Monitor Type: You can select the video monitor output type to match your TV's screen size. You can select from the following.

  • 16:9 Normal: for wide-screen TVs
  • 16:9 Auto: 16:9 image fills out a 4:3 TV screen
  • 4:3 LB: Letter Box conversion
  • 4:3 PS: Pan and Scan conversion

iPod Compatible: The system features a front-panel proprietary port and comes supplied with an iPod docking cable to connect your iPod. The system will play, charge and control basic playback of your iPod. You can control Play, Pause, Fast-Forward, Reverse, Next Track and Previous Track functions of your iPod from the unit. Your iPod will still remain full operational for advance playback, search and menu features. The system is compatible with the following iPod models.

  • iPod nano: 1st generation (1/2/4GB), 2nd generation (2/4/8GB)

  • iPod mini: 4/6GB

  • iPod: 4th generation (20/40 GB)

  • iPod photo: 4th generation ( 20/30/40/60 GB)

  • iPod video: 5th generation (30/60/80GB)

USB: You can connect a USB mass storage class device such as a USB flash memory device, hard disk drive, multimedia card reader or digital camera to this unit via its front-panel USB 2.0 Type-A port. You will be able to listen to and control your USB music, picture and movie files. You can search and play desired groups and tracks using the file control display on your TV screen through the unit's video monitor output. The system will recognize up to 150 tracks or files per group, 99 groups per device, and the total number of the track or files that the system can play is 4,000. You can play back the following types of files from a USB mass storage class device with a maximum data transfer rate of 2 Mbps.

  • Music: MP3/WMA (32-320 kbps), WAV (44.1 kHz/16-bit Linear PCM)

  • Picture: JPEG (640x480)

  • Movie: MPEG-1/MPEG-2 (720x576, 720x480, 480x576, 480x480, 352x576, 352x288, 352x480, 352x240), ASF (352x288/384 kbps)

Note: The component, composite or S-video monitor output must be connected to your TV for still image or motion picture viewing on your television from the USB connection. A PC or an iPod will not play through this USB memory terminal.

Picture Control: The system features the following picture adjustments for its video outputs.

  • Gamma: controls brightness of neutral tints while maintaining brightness of dark and bright portions (-3 to +3)

  • Brightness: controls screen brightness (-8 to +8)

  • Contrast: controls screen contrast (-7 to +7)

  • Saturation: control screens color depth (-7 to +7)

  • Tint: controls screen tint (-7 to +7)

  • Sharpness: controls screen sharpness (-8 to +8)

Zoom: During playback of still or video files you can zoom in on the picture and pan various areas of the screen.

DRC: You can enjoy low level recorded sound clearly at night even at low volumes when listening to Dolby Digital sound using the DRC function which compresses the dynamic range between the loudest and softest audio portions of your movie.

Screen Saver: To prevent burn-in on your Television, this system automatically dims the screen if a static picture is displayed for over 5 minutes.

Dimmer: You can change the brightness level of the unit's display in 3 steps.

Sleep Timer: The system can be set to turn off automatically after 10, 20, 30, 60, 120, 150, or 180 minutes of operation.

Multi-Brand Remote Control: You can use the supplied IR wireless remote control to operate not only this system, but also JVC and other manufacturer's TVs and DVD players.


Matching Satellite Speakers: The five matching front, center, and rear satellite speakers feature a single 2-9/16" full-range driver in a bas-reflex enclosure for maximum efficiency and a frequency response of 90Hz to 20kHz. Each speaker has a keyhole slot and a 5mm threaded insert for wall-mounting. The front and center speakers are video shielded for easy placement and each have a 10' length of speaker wire attached for connection to the main unit. The rear speakers each have a 23.5' length of speaker wire attached to give you flexibility in their placement around your room.  

Passive Subwoofer: The system's passive subwoofer features a front-firing 6-5/16" woofer in a bass-reflex enclosure for efficient and accurate bass with a frequency response of 30Hz to 1.5kHz. The subwoofer is video shielded so it can be placed next to your television without picture distortion. The passive subwoofer features four rubber feet on the bottom of the enclosure to prevent vibration. On the back of the subwoofer's enclosure is an attached 9.5' speaker wire for connection to the main unit.

Speaker Distance: You can select the distance of each speaker from your listening position. You can select from 0 to 15 feet in 1 foot increments.

Speaker Level: You can adjust the output level of each speaker and the subwoofer. You can set the level between -6 to +6 dB for each speaker and the passive subwoofer.

Subwoofer Crossover: You can select a desired low-pass crossover setting for the supplied subwoofer to prevent higher frequencies from being played through the subwoofer. You can adjust the lowpass crossover to 120, 150 or 200 Hz.

Inputs and Outputs Note

Digital Media System Front Connections:

  • Digital Input: front-panel optical digital input for connecting a temporary audio/video source such as a game console
  • Audio/Video Input: front-panel composite and S-video inputs along with a pair of Left/Right stereo RCA inputs for temporary connection of audio/video sources such as your game console
  • USB: front-panel USB 2.0 type-A connection for use with USB mass storage class devices such as a USB flash memory device, hard disk drive, multimedia card reader, digital camera, etc.
  • iPod: front-panel proprietary port used to plug in your iPod (with dock connection) using the supplied iPod dock cable
  • Headphones: front-panel 3.5mm headphone output for private listening; inserting a pair of headphones will automatically mute the system's main speakers

Digital Media System Rear Connections:

  • HDMI: the media center features two HDMI inputs and a single HDMI monitor output for connection of your DVD player or satellite receiver box to the system
  • Analog Video Inputs/Outputs: the unit features two Component, two Composite and two S-video inputs as well as a single Component, Composite and S-video monitor output for connecting an external audio/video device to the unit such as a DVD player or VCR
  • Digital Audio Inputs: the system features one coaxial and one optical digital input on the rear-panel for connecting 5.1-channel audio to this system from you DVD player
  • Analog Audio Inputs: the unit features two sets of Left and Right stereo RCA inputs for connection of analog audio sources such as a VCR or CD player
  • Speaker Connections: the front, center, and rear speakers, along with subwoofer connect to the media center via spring-clips

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 verify what’s in the box, 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.