JBL Authentics 500 review: retro design with powerful, modern sound

By Microsoft 6 Min Read
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At first sight

Expert analysis


Retro and stylish design High high quality sound Deep bass copy


Takes up a number of house. High value

Our verdict

In phrases of design, the JBL Authentics 500 gives a cheeky and attention-grabbing flirtation with the previous. Functionally, it has all the pieces wanted for a easy consumer expertise, and sonically, there may be nothing to complain about. The disadvantages embody a cumbersome design and a excessive value.

Price at time of evaluation


Today’s finest costs: JBL Authentics 500

Retail value

$699.99 View the offer

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$699.99 View the offer JBL $699.99 View the offer Price comparability from over 24,000 shops worldwide Product Price Backmarket Price Comparison

JBL is among the largest producers of moveable Bluetooth audio system. Recently, nevertheless, the corporate appears to be focusing extra on stationary desktop models, partly because of the replace Load 5 AND Boombox fashions, each now obtainable with Wi-Fi connectivity, however above all due to the audio system just lately launched in new Authentics series.

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The Authentics collection was offered on the finish of the summer season and consists of a complete of three fashions: the smaller Authentics 200, adopted by the moveable Authentics 300 with built-in battery and eventually the top-of-the-line Authentics 500. , which is reviewed on this merchandise.

Even when utilizing a single unit, which bodily limits the soundstage, the JBL Authentics 500 gives a tangible sense of presence.

Design and enter

The JBL Authentics 500 is a heavy speaker, measuring 17.6 x 9.4 x 10 inches (WxHxD) and due to this fact requires a number of house. The design is actually fascinating, with the leather-patterned vinyl case and foam-molded entrance cowl giving the speaker a definite ’70s vibe.

This evaluation is a part of TechHive’s in-depth coverage of the best Bluetooth speakers.

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Andrea Bergsmann

On the highest there are three giant knobs, illuminated and activated by contact to regulate the amount, bass and treble. Among these are two small buttons, one to activate Bluetooth connectivity and one to play a saved favourite playlist on the contact of a button. The latter function helps quite a few streaming providers, corresponding to Tidal, TuneIn and Amazon Music. Unfortunately, the playlist button doesn’t help Spotify.

On the again there are connectors for Ethernet and energy, in addition to a 3.5mm audio enter and a USB-C output for charging exterior units.

Apps and connectivity

You can use the included JBL One app to arrange the speaker and join it to your property community. In the app you may also set which voice assistant you like to make use of, Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, or each on the similar time. (It’s price noting that the JBL Authentic 500, alongside with the brand new Authentic 300 and 200, are the primary sensible audio system to permit simultaneous use of Alexa and Google Assistant; usually, you may solely select one or the opposite.)

If you bought a number of Authentics audio system, you may join two or extra audio system for a multiroom setup through one among these assistants or through Apple AirPlay 2. There’s additionally an in-app equalizer as an alternative choice to the bodily speaker controls.

The JBL Authentics 500 options three 25mm tweeters, three 2.75-inch midrange woofers, and a 6.5-inch down-firing subwoofer. Overall it’s a 3.1 audio system with digital Dolby Atmos and a complete energy of 270 watts.

origin 1A 6.5-inch down-firing subwoofer delivers spectacular bass response.

Andrea Bergsmann

Thanks to built-in AirPlay, Alexa Multi-Room Music, Chromecast built-in and Spotify Connect, streaming music to the speaker is a breeze.


Finally we come to crucial query: how does the JBL Authentics 500 carry out sonically?

The reply: actually good, bordering on unimaginable. Even when utilizing a single unit, which bodily limits the soundstage, the Authentics 500 gives a tangible sense of presence. Volume ranges are spectacular and the downward going through subwoofer delivers a robust bass response you can actually really feel in your chest.


Revised: November 2023
Model: Authentic 500
Guy: Wi-Fi speaker
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Ethernet, Bluetooth 5.3
Integrated music providers: Tidal, Amazon Music, Napster.
Casting Services: Apple AirPlay 2, Alexa Multi-Room Music, Chromecast and Spotify Connect
Output Power: 270W
Frequency response: 40Hz – 20kHz
Voice assistant: Yes (Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa)
Weight: 25.1 kilos
To measure: 17.6 x 9.4 x 10 inches (WxHxD)
Price: $699.99 on Amazon

This evaluation originally appeared on M3our sister publication, and has been translated from the unique Swedish.

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