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JBL 305P Mk2 review

JBL has been well trusted as a leading audio equipment manufacturer ever since its inception in 1946. Behind the entirety of its portfolio is a dedication to science and research which lies at the heart of each of JBL’s products. The 305P Mk2s do a good job at carrying this legacy on, and we personally think they’re one of the better options available for budget studio monitors.

JBL 305P Mk2 powered studio monitors (pair)
Image credit: JBL

Our verdict on the JBL 305P Mk2 4.0

The JBL 305P Mk2 are excellent speakers and are fairly easy to recommend to anybody. While they won’t necessarily please any hardcore (snobby) audiophile, those of you looking for a fatter low end will be pleasantly surprised. All in all, we are happy to recommend the JBL 305P MKII. It’s a great little monitor, with a lot of bass, and a smooth, realistic sound.

Check availability and current price: SweetwaterAmazon

Power and frequency response 4.0

So, the JBL 305P Mk2 has a frequency response of 49 Hz – 20 kHz ±3 dB, and 43 Hz – 20 kHz at -10 dB. This is perfectly standard as far as budget monitors are concerned, or at least in the ballpark average. What’s more important is how neutral the response curve actually is, and fortunately, the JBL is relatively flat. For the most part, these monitors are reliable, accurate, and pleasant to listen to with some pretty wide sweet spots.

Regarding any issues, we’ll note that there is some “boominess” in the low end, as well as a slight hiss coming from the tweeters. The hiss primarily presents itself when listening at low volumes, slowly disappearing as the volume increases. This isn’t a huge issue for us considering that it’s so commonplace for a large number of different manufacturers.

As is normally the case with mid-sized monitors, a subwoofer could definitely enhance the overall performance of the 305P Mk2 but isn’t entirely necessary depending on the circumstance.

Build quality 3.5

For a budget-priced monitor, the 305P Mk2 has a solid, hefty feel to it. All the knobs feel great, and as far as we could tell, there wasn’t any noticeable give to the XLR and TRS inputs.

The one issue that we have with the build of the 305P Mk2, is a definite buzzing sound emanating from the metal rear cabinet. It could have been easily accommodated with a better enclosure or something similar, but then again, this is a budget monitor we’re talking about – best not to expect perfection.

Besides that minor issue, we felt that the speaker was well designed.

I/O and controls 5.0

On the back of the JBL 305P Mk2, you’ll find balanced XLR and TRS inputs, a volume control knob, as well as several tuning options to cater to your room and placement correction needs. Of these options is first a LF Boundary EQ switch (-3 dB, -1.5 dB, and 0 dB), and then a HF switch (-2 dB, 0 dB, +2 dB). Printed right next to the tuning switches is a graph that shows exactly how the switches will affect the sound of the monitor, which we felt was a nice touch. There’s also a switch for the input sensitivity (+4 and -10 dB).

Compared to other studio monitors

The 305P Mk2s are solid monitors, all in all, and we have no issue recommending them. The real question, of course, is whether it’s the right choice for you. So here are some options to look over and compare with. Also, make sure to check out our pick of the best budget studio monitors.

JBL 305P Mk2 vs. Kali Audio LP-6

In all honesty, when comparing the LP-6 to the 305P Mk2, there isn’t any contest. The Kali Audio LP-6 is by far the better monitor. Far flatter in its frequency response, and therefore is much more reliable.

Check out our full Kali Audio LP-6 review

JBL 305P Mk2 vs. KRK Rokit 5 G4

The KRK Rokits have dominated the world of bedroom producing for years now, and they deserve the reputation for the most part. The KRKs tend to get a lot of flack from the tech world due to how many colorations they inflict on the sound of a mix, but considering how many others swear by them, it cancels out. Get the KRKs if you want some monitors with some serious bass in them. If you want something more accurate, go with the JBLs.

Check out our full KRK Rokit 5 G4 review

JBL 305P Mk2 buying options

Check availability, prices, and deals: SweetwaterAmazon
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