JBL’s new retro-tastic wi-fi speaker range features Dolby Atmos and streaming smarts

JBL Authentics 500 on a table between two lights
(Image credit: JBL)

JBL hasn’t been shy in using its classic L100 speakers from the 1970s as design inspiration for new models, and its latest range of wireless speakers does just that. Say hello to the JBL Authentics line.

The three-strong line-up (Authentics 500, Authentics 300 and Authentics 200) includes wi-fi and Bluetooth across the board and a range of streaming features including AirPlay, Alexa Multi-Room Music, Spotify Connect and Chromecast built-in. All can be accessed through the JBL One app which can be used to to control the speakers and access customisable EQ settings if you want to tweak the sound.

Speaking of tweaking, all models also feature automatic self-tuning where the speakers tweak their own sound to accommodate their surroundings.

All models are built using a premium aluminium frame, synthetic leather-wrapped enclosure and a reimagined version of the company’s trademark Quadrex grille.

Do you use voice control to get your wireless speaker to do your bidding? If so, the Authentics range has a neat party trick up its sleeve. You can access Amazon Alexa and Google voice assistants simultaneously and switch between their features automatically via the relevant voice commands. All you have to do is say the wake words to get started.

Top of the range is the JBL Authentics 500  (£579.99 / €629.99, above). It’s a 270-watt mains-powered model which also includes virtual Dolby Atmos support, should your music streaming service of choice also handle the format.

The Authentics 500 uses three one-inch tweeters and three two-and-three-quarter inch midrange woofers, which combine with a six-and-a-half-inch down-firing subwoofer.

JBL Authentics 300 on a white table

(Image credit: JBL)

Next up is the JBL Authentics 300 (£379.99 / €429.99, above). It loses the Dolby Atmos support but gains a carry handle and built-in rechargeable battery which should be good for around eight hours of streaming fun.

Finally, we have the JBL Authentics 200 (£299.99 / €329.99), the smallest model in the range, which uses three one-inch tweeters, a full-range five-inch woofer and down-firing six-inch passive radiator to bring the bass. It’s mains-powered but doesn’t include a rechargeable battery.

The JBL Authentics range comes in black and will be available to buy from 15th September.


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Andy Madden

Andy is Deputy Editor of What Hi-Fi? and a consumer electronics journalist with nearly 20 years of experience writing news, reviews and features. Over the years he's also contributed to a number of other outlets, including The Sunday Times, the BBC, Stuff, and BA High Life Magazine. Premium wireless earbuds are his passion but he's also keen on car tech and in-car audio systems and can often be found cruising the countryside testing the latest set-ups. In his spare time Andy is a keen golfer and gamer.