Review: JBL Authentics 200 Speaker

The JBL Authentics 200 speaker seamlessly blends retro aesthetics with modern technology, offering a delightful combination of style and performance. Priced at $349.99, this smart speaker proves to be an excellent investment for audio enthusiasts seeking a versatile and high-quality audio solution.

Design and Build: The Authentics 200 boasts a vintage Quadrex grille, complemented by a premium aluminum frame and a leather enclosure. This combination not only imparts a sophisticated appearance but also ensures durability. The attention to detail in design is evident, making it a visually appealing addition to any space.

Sound System and Performance: The heart of the JBL Authentics 200 lies in its exceptional sound system. With a Stereo 2.0 configuration and a total speaker power output of 90W at 1% THD, this speaker delivers an immersive audio experience. The inclusion of two 25mm tweeters and a 5-inch woofer, along with a downfiring 6-inch passive radiator, produces rich, full-bodied sound with impressive bass. The frequency response of 50Hz – 20kHz ensures a broad range, capturing the nuances of every track.

Compatibility and Inputs: One of the standout features of the Authentics 200 is its versatile compatibility. It supports multiple audio inputs, including 1 Audio in, Bluetooth/WIFI, Ethernet, and USB. The inclusion of Bluetooth 5.3 ensures reliable wireless connectivity, while the USB port, using Type C, supports a variety of formats such as mp3 and WAV. This speaker seamlessly integrates into your digital lifestyle, offering hassle-free connectivity options.

Connections and Control: The control and connection specifications of the Authentics 200 further enhance its user-friendly nature. The USB port, with a rating of 5V DC, 1A, supports Type C connections. Additionally, the speaker includes Wi-Fi capabilities, supporting IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax across 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. The Bluetooth version 5.3, with A2DP 1.3.2 and AVRCP 1.5 profiles, ensures efficient wireless streaming.

JBL One App and Voice Assistant Integration: For added convenience, the Authentics 200 features built-in Wi-Fi and is compatible with the JBL One App. This app allows seamless control and customization of your audio experience. Moreover, the speaker integrates with voice assistants, adding another layer of hands-free control and accessibility.

JBL Authentics 200 Speaker
JBL Authentics 200 Speaker – images JBL

What’s in The Box: The package includes the JBL Authentics 200 Speaker, a power cable, a quick start guide, a safety sheet, and a warranty card, ensuring you have everything you need for a hassle-free setup.

This speaker is equipped with a Self-Tuning feature that automatically optimizes its output by adapting to the specific acoustics of your living room. Upon plugging in the speaker, this feature activates, taking approximately three minutes to complete. It’s important to keep the microphone on during this process for optimal results.

With the Self-Tuning feature engaged, the speaker delivers a relatively even sound, particularly in the mid-range where most vocals and lead instruments are reproduced. However, it exhibits a slight lack of emphasis in the treble and bass ranges. Users have the option to customize the sound to their preference using the bass and treble knobs, along with the graphic EQ available in the JBL One app. It’s worth noting that, despite these adjustments, it doesn’t produce as much low-bass as its counterpart, the JBL Authentics 500.

While the JBL Authentics 200 may not be designed for a cinematic movie-watching experience, it performs admirably for streaming videos from a paired smartphone. The lowest latency is achieved through an Apple AirPlay connection, but it’s important to be aware of potential lip-synching delays when streaming over Bluetooth. The speaker ensures clear and easily understandable dialogue; however, it doesn’t replicate the deep cinematic bass found in larger and more premium models.

In conclusion, the JBL Authentics 200 Speaker stands out as a premium audio solution that excels in compatibility, performance, and quality. Its retro design, coupled with modern features, makes it a compelling choice for those who appreciate both style and substance in their audio devices. Whether used for streaming music in a home office or family room, the Authentics 200 delivers an impressive audio experience that is sure to satisfy even the most discerning audiophiles.

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