About the JBL HDI-1600
Engaging sound from a bookshelf speaker
Engaging sound from a bookshelf speaker
The JBL HDI-1600 was carefully designed and engineered in JBL's Northridge, California labs, with the intent of creating a compact speaker for discerning hi-fi enthusiasts. This stand-mount speaker is loaded with top-notch JBL technology and it comes in three elegant finishes that can complement just about any home decor.
A solid foundationThe speaker's 6-1/2" woofer is a lightweight, rigid Advanced Aluminum Matrix cone. It features a long-throw voice coil for high output and low distortion, serving up midrange detail and solid bass. The drivers are housed in a rounded cabinet made from 3/4"-thick MDF and heavily braced to eliminate sound-muddying vibrations. And we recommend mounting them on JBL's HDI-FS stands, to make them sound even better.
My first-hand experience with JBL HDI-1600 speakers
JBL demonstrated the HDI-1600 in our training room at Crutchfield HQ. I got a chance to listen to them powered by the Arcam SA20, which provided 150 watts at 4 ohms — plenty of power to fill the high-ceilinged room, which also contained around 20 Crutchfield employees.
The training representative had JBL's entire HDI line of speakers standing side by side, and the most revealing thing I can say about these impressive bookshelf speakers is that when he started playing music through them, I assumed I was hearing the floor-standing HDI-3600. By themselves, without a subwoofer, the 1600s filled the room with full-range sound — it was difficult for my mind to reconcile the evidence provided by my eyes and ears.
Given enough power, these speakers present a wide, detailed soundstage that belies their size. And I love the way they look, with rounded edges on the cabinet and three beautiful furniture-grade finishes. The way they look, and the way they sound, is just superb.
You'll need a powerful amp
The HDI-1600 has a nominal impedance of 4 ohms, and a relatively low sensitivity rating of 85 dB. Those two facts taken together mean that you'll need a high-quality, high-output power amp or integrated amp to drive a pair of these speakers.
The HDI-1600 doesn't include any speaker wire. Read our article about choosing and installing speaker wire.
Shop our selection of speaker wire.
- 1" horn-loaded high-frequency compression driver with HDI (High Definition Imaging) waveguide technology for smooth, uniform response across a wide listening area
- 6-1/2" Advanced Aluminum Matrix cone woofer with cast frame delivers punchy midrange and bass
- curved cabinet is constructed of 3/4"-thick MDF and heavily braced to damp internal vibrations
- bass-reflex design with rear-firing tuned port
- frequency response: 40-30,000 Hz (-6dB)
- sensitivity: 85 dB
- impedance: 4 ohms
- high-current amplification from a quality power amp or integrated amplifier is recommended for best performance
- recommended amplifier power: 15-200 watts
- dual five-way binding post speaker terminals allow bi-amping or bi-wiring
- removable cloth grilles
- furniture-grade gray oak wood veneers with satin finish
Dimensions and warranty:
- 9-1/8"W x 15-1/16"H x 11-3/8"D
- weight: 21.95 lbs.
- warranty: 5 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- MFR # JBLHDI1600BLQ
What's in the box:
- Bookshelf loudspeaker
- 2 Jumper-straps (pre-installed)
- 4 Self-adhesive rubber feet
- Owner's Manual
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More details on the JBL HDI-1600
Features & specs
|Tweeter Size (inches)||1|
|Midrange Size (inches)||N/A|
|Woofer Size (inches)||6.5|
|Frequency Response||40-30k Hz|
|Connector Type||5-Way post|
|Recommended Stand Height (inches)||22-26|
|Parts Warranty||5 Years|
|Labor Warranty||5 Years|
Two-Way Driver Design: The JBL HDI-1600 bookshelf loudspeaker uses a two-way driver design featuring a 1" horn-loaded tweeter with patented High-Definition Imaging (HDI) waveguide technology and a 6.5" Advanced Aluminum Matrix cone woofer for powerful dynamics and incredibly accurate sound reproduction.
- 1" Horn-Loaded Tweeter with Waveguide: At the core of JBL's new 1" HDI horn-loaded tweeter is a lightweight, Teonex polymer, annular diaphragm that improves high-frequency extension by reducing diaphragm mass. The V-shaped geometry of the annular diaphragm reduces breakup modes, eliminating time smear and reducing distortion. The result is incredible dynamics with accurate reproduction and a lack of power compression. The HDI tweeter also utilizes JBL's revolutionary HDI waveguide technology for exceptional high-frequency detail with uniform directivity and smooth in-room response. JBL engineers pioneered this design to deliver neutral frequency response both on- and off-axis, and provide a seamless transition between the high and low frequency drivers.
- 6.5" Aluminum Matrix Cone Woofer: The 6.5" HDI woofer takes advantage of core JBL engineering techniques to ensure very high output with low distortion. The long-throw voice coil in conjunction with the symmetrical field motor design, flux stabilization ring, and copper shorting ring guarantee maximum output with significantly reduced distortion. The Advanced Aluminum Matrix cone provides a lightweight, rigid diaphragm and eliminate breakup modes ensuring proper pistonic motion throughout the operating band.
Bass Reflex Cabinet: The HDI-1600 enclosure is constructed from 0.75" MDF and is heavily braced to provide a solid acoustic foundation. It incorporates a bass reflex design with a rear-firing, computer-optimized flared port for bigger bass response and greater efficiency. The sophisticated curved cabinet features a modern design finished in a choice of automotive-grade painted High Gloss Black, or furniture-grade satin Walnut or Gray Oak wood veneers. A gloss black plinth is integrated into the base of the cabinet and it comes with a black cloth, magnetically attached grille to completes the enclosure's elegant appearance.
Dual Binding Posts: The JBL HDI-1600 is outfitted with two sets of gold-plated, 5-way binding posts allowing to bi-amp or bi-wire the floorstanding loudspeaker. These gold-plated binding post terminals offer an exceptional audio signal and resistance to corrosion. The 5-way binding posts also ensure a secure connection to many types of cable and connectors. The binding post terminals will accept bare wire (up to 10AWG), pin-connectors, spade-lugs and banana plugs (single or dual).
- Bi-Wiring: Bi-wiring can provide noticeable improvements in the overall transparency of your loudspeakers. Run separate speaker wires to the low & high frequency drivers from a single amplifier (the upper set of binding posts are for the high frequency drivers; the lower set of binding posts are for the low frequency drivers).
- Bi-Amping: Bi-amping allows you to use separate amplifiers for the high & low frequency sections of your loudspeaker for greater dynamic range & lower distortion. We recommend that your separate amplifiers have identical gain to preserve the speaker's voicing balance.
Note: If you decide to bi-wire or bi-amp, you must remove the jumpers between the terminal posts (failure to do this could result in damage to your amplifier and loudspeakers).
Optional Speaker Stands: The JBL HDI-1600 should be mounted on a high-quality, anti-resonant, sturdy speaker stand; such as JBL's HDI-FS floorstand (sold separately). See Accessories Tab for more speaker stand options. The included self-adhesive rubber feet help isolate the speaker from your mounting surface and prevents the speaker from moving around or scratching your mounting surface. The rubber feet add approximately 0.125" to the overall height of the speaker.
Note: The JBL HDI-1600 bookshelf loudspeaker does not offer any bracket, keyhole, or threaded insert to wall-mount the speaker.
Application & Placement Options: The JBL HDI-1600 bookshelf loudspeakers can be used as a stereo pair in a 2ch music application, or as front and surround speakers in a multichannel home theater application. Following these guidelines when positioning your speakers for your type of application.
- As Stereo or Front Speakers: A pair of loudspeakers should form an equal-distant triangle with the main listening position. For the best results, place a pair of speakers 6 to 10' apart from one another and the main listening position (on either side of your TV in a home theater application). Angling the speakers toward the listening position can improve the stereo imaging. The speakers will provide the most accurate stereo sounstage when the angle between the listener and the speakers is between 40 and 60 degrees.
- As Surround & Surround Back Speakers: When used as surround channels, place the speakers slightly behind your main listening position facing one another. When used as surround back channels, place the speakers directly behind the listening position facing the front speakers and approximately 3 to 6' apart. The speakers should be positiond at least 3 to 4' above the floor when used as surround or surround back channels.
Note: Generally, bass output will increase as the speakers are moved closer to a wall or corner. For the best performance, it is recommended that you place the speakers at least 20" away from the side walls.
HDI (High Definition Imaging) Series: JBL's new HDI Series featuring patented High-Definition Imaging waveguides and revolutionary JBL compression driver technology showcases a wealth of JBL acoustic technologies and high quality audio performance to go with a contemporary and beautiful look. The HDI series consists of two floorstanding loudspeakers (HDI-3600/HDI-3800), one bookshelf loudspeaker (HDI-1600), a center-channel loudspeaker (HDI-4500), and a powered subwoofer (HDI-1200) - all sold separately).
The JBL HDI-1600 replaces these items
- 1" horn-loaded compression driver
- 6-1/2" Advanced Aluminum Matrix cone woofer
- frequency response: 40-30,000 Hz
Replaced an older set of low end JBL bookshelf speakers with the HDI 1600s. Very impressed with how balanced and bright these speakers are. I've discovered new harmonies and tones from songs that I have listened to for decades.
Scott from Brewton, AL