Over the past decade, JBL has maintained a modern, colorful, and fun design language. For JBL users, their products have always been bright and playful. However, the JBL Authentics 300 takes a different approach, embracing a more retro design language that harks back to a different era. Let’s take a brief look at the JBL Authentics 300 Bluetooth speaker.
First, let’s go over the key specifications of this speaker:
- Speaker System: Stereo 2.0
- Power Supply: 100 – 240V AC, 50/60Hz (built-in power supply)
- Total Output Power: 100W
- Speaker Units: 2x 25mm tweeters + 1x 5.25-inch woofer
- Audio Inputs: 1x AUX, Bluetooth/Wi-Fi, Ethernet
- Dimensions (Width x Height x Depth): 342 x 195.6 x 180.3 mm
- Weight: 4.9 kg
- USB Interface: Type C (for service/repair only)
- Supported Audio Formats: MP3, WAV
- Bluetooth Version: 5.3
- Bluetooth Profiles: A2DP 1.3.2, AVRCP 1.5
- Wi-Fi Network: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax (2.4GHz/5GHz)
- Charging Time: 3.5 hours
- Maximum Music Playback Time: 8 hours
- Voice Assistant Integration: Yes
These specifications cover crucial information about the speaker’s power, audio quality features, connectivity options, and physical dimensions. Hopefully, these details will help you gain a better understanding of the JBL Authentics 300 Bluetooth speaker.
First and foremost, let’s discuss the design of the JBL Authentics 300. The speaker’s design left a strong impression on me because it embraces a retro design style, which is a departure from JBL’s product designs over the past few years.
The design inspiration for the Authentics 300 seems to come from the 1970s, particularly its front panel. The front grille design resembles the classic JBL L-100 home Hi-Fi speakers, and it looks fantastic. The grille is surrounded by a matte gold aluminum finish that gives the entire speaker a refreshed look. This gold-colored metal accent also appears on other parts of the speaker, such as the handle and buttons. Furthermore, there’s a subtle JBL branding logo in gold on the bottom left. Below the grille, there are LED indicator lights to display power status and Bluetooth connection status.
Overall, the design of the Authentics 300 has made a lasting impression on me. The entire speaker is covered in textured fabric that reminds me of the appearance of some vintage guitar amplifiers. Compared to JBL’s designs over the past few years, I haven’t been this attracted to the appearance of a JBL Bluetooth speaker in a long time.
Now, let’s turn to audio quality. For a user who appreciates JBL speakers, sound performance has always been one of the most important factors. The audio quality of the Authentics 300 brought some surprises for me because it differs from what I’ve come to expect from JBL speakers.
Generally, JBL speakers tend to emphasize bass-heavy sound, but the Authentics 300’s soundstage is more neutral. The bass is still present but no longer dominates, resulting in a more balanced sound. It doesn’t overpower other audio frequencies but still maintains a significant presence. It’s worth noting that the Authentics 300 comes with top-mounted treble and bass knobs, allowing you to fine-tune the audio to your personal preferences. Additionally, you can further adjust the sound using a 3-point equalizer in the app.
For me personally, the sound performance of the Authentics 300 is close to perfection. I slightly lowered the bass but didn’t intervene too much. Moreover, I slightly increased the treble and midrange, but the overall adjustments were minimal. The volume is also impressive; this speaker can get very loud, and I rarely pushed the volume beyond 60%. My comfortable listening level was around 40%.
In summary, the audio performance of the Authentics 300 differs from JBL’s product designs over the past few years. It offers a more balanced sound with milder bass, which doesn’t overpower other audio frequencies. While I’ve always liked JBL speakers’ sound quality in the past, the audio performance of the Authentics 300 genuinely impressed me.
As for controls, the Authentics 300 adopts a very intuitive and convenient physical control method that aligns perfectly with my personal preferences. The top knobs and buttons are designed with a retro ambiance, providing a delightful user experience.
First, there are volume knobs that you can rotate left and right to adjust the volume. Additionally, pressing the center of the volume knob once plays/pauses the music, pressing it twice skips to the next track, and pressing it three times goes back to the previous track.
In addition to the volume knobs, the Authentics 300 is equipped with treble and bass knobs, allowing you to fine-tune the audio freely. These knobs are excellent, and I enjoy using them to control the audio parameters. Each knob has an LED indicator ring to display the volume or sound quality level you’ve set.
Furthermore, there are Bluetooth pairing, power, and Moment buttons on the speaker. The Moment button is used to access personalized music playlists and speaker settings in the JBL One app.
The JBL One app is straightforward, allowing you to control music from your smartphone. You can also access a 3-point equalizer and set up voice assistants, among other features.
The Authentics 300 has a charging time of 3.5 hours, and the claimed playback time is 8 hours, although actual battery life will depend on volume and distance.
In general, the Authentics 300 offers straightforward controls, opting for physical knobs and buttons rather than touch controls or a screen. This makes it easy for users to navigate the various functions of the speaker.