JBL's L52 Classic are its smallest retro-modern speakers yet

JBL L52 Classic is a shrunken version of the L82
(Image credit: JBL)

Good news for those after attractive, compact bookshelf speakers: JBL has shrunk one of its classiest looking pairs. The JBL L52 Classic is a smaller, bookshelf version of the L82 Classic, with the same walnut veneer enclosure and Quadrex foam grille. Considering the L82 Classic is itself a smaller version of the L100 Classic, it's like JBL is playing Russian dolls.

The smallest model in the firm's iconic Classic Series sports a two-way design, comprising a 0.75-inch titanium dome tweeter (with an acoustic lens waveguide) mated with a 5.25-inch cast-frame woofer. There's the same high-frequency level attenuator as the L82 and L100, which lets you adjust the output in environments where the sound is skewed tonally. A 'premium' crossover connects the tweeter and woofer, and that arrangement is aided by a front-firing tuned port.

You can wall-mount or stand-mount the L52 Classic, or just put them on your bookshelf as, we'd say, the last option.

Despite their smaller size, JBL claims that they still pack a big sound. We wouldn't bet against the size or quality of their sound considering the impressive sonics of their siblings, which we awarded five stars to for their punchy, entertaining performances.

The JBL L52 Classic will be available in black, blue or orange, as pictured, and will ship later this year, priced £1000 ($1000, AU$1899) a pair. They launch alongside the Classic range-inspired JBL L75ms all-in-one system.


Read our JBL L100 Classic review and L82 Classic review

See our pick of the best hi-fi systems you can buy

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Joe Svetlik

Joe has been writing about tech for 17 years, first on staff at T3 magazine, then in a freelance capacity for Stuff, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine, Men's Health, GQ, The Mirror, Trusted Reviews, TechRadar and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include all things mobile, headphones and speakers that he can't justifying spending money on.