Our Verdict 
Hugely capable floorstanders that deliver an impressively capable (and fun) sound
For 
Insight and subtlety coupled with the dynamic power and attack expected from JBL
Against 
Fit and finish seems rather ordinary
Reviewed on

Our first impression of JBL’s Studio 580s isn’t great. We have no issue with the unusually shaped front panel – horn-loading is part of JBL’s DNA – but the floorstander’s general look and feel is disappointing for a product at this level.

Beautifully focused, yet powerful sound

Such shortcomings are soon forgotten once we’re listening to music. These are a two-way design: twin 16.5cm PolyPlas-coned woofers deliver the lows, leaving a 25mm horn-loaded compression driver to handle everything above 1.5kHz. That low crossover means more of the midrange is handled by a single unit than would be the case with a more conventional design, which normally cross over at 2.5kHz or so. 

The result is that these are unusually focused and direct with voices. There’s a degree of intimacy that most rivals overlook, and the 580s manage class-leading levels of insight. There’s also huge scale, deep, powerful bass and an impressive degree of composure.

Tonally, they aren’t the sweetest around, and if neutrality is paramount there are rivals that will serve you better. But these JBLs counter by being a lot of fun to listen to. They need a relatively large room if that bass isn’t to become too prominent, but given that space, and care in positioning, they are deeply impressive.

More after the break

Here’s a speaker that lives up to JBL’s rock-based heritage yet still has the finesse to do justice to all kind of music. If we had £1500 to spend on a floorstander the Studio 580s would be on our shortlist.

It's not that we have an issue with the unusually-shaped front panel – after all, horn-loading is part of JBL’s DNA – but the floorstander’s general look and feel is disappointing for a product at this level.

Such shortcomings are soon forgotten once we’re listening to music – and the sound they deliver also has a lot to do with that design.

This is a two-way design: twin 16.5cm PolyPlas-coned woofers deliver the low frequncies, leaving a 25mm horn-loaded compression driver to handle everything above 1.5kHz. 

That low crossover point means more of the midrange is handled by a single unit than would be the case with a more conventional design, which normally cross over at 2.5kHz or so. 

JBL Studio 580: Sound quality

The result is that these are unusually focused and direct with voices. There’s a degree of intimacy that most rivals overlook, and the 580s manage class-leading levels of insight. There’s also huge scale, deep, powerful bass and an impressive degree of composure.

Tonally, they aren’t the sweetest around, and if neutrality is paramount there are rivals that will serve you better. But these JBLs counter by being a lot of fun to listen to. 

They need a relatively large room if that bass isn’t to become too prominent, but given that space, and care in positioning, they are deeply impressive.

JBL Studio 580: Verdict

Here’s a speaker that lives up to JBL’s rock-based heritage yet still has the finesse to do justice to all kind of music. 

If we had £1500 to spend on  floorstanding speakers, the Studio 580s would be on our shortlist.

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