JBL 4349 2-Way Loudspeaker Review Page 2

JBL 4349 speakers deliver a nonstop stream of sublime listening sessions, easily blowing past my highest initial expectations. Sure, I anticipated they'd be good speakers; if you drop this much coin on JBL great sound is pretty much guaranteed. But I did not expect they'd deliver proper pinpoint imaging and a three-dimensional soundstage, regardless of where I sat on my sofa. Most speakers demand you sit in a very narrow sweet spot to avoid the soundstage collapsing to one channel or the other. But with these speakers imaging remained cohesive, regardless of my location.

The sparkling and silky highs provide clarity and definition to even the most complex musical passages. The smooth and natural midrange brings the instruments and vocals to life, making every detail stand out. Meanwhile, the clean, powerful, and deep bass adds warmth and body to the music, together creating a rich and immersive soundscape. Feed it good music that's well produced, and the reward is a soothing and enjoyable listening experience, allowing you to fully relax and appreciate your music collection in its intended glory.

The exceptional sound quality of the JBL speakers can be attributed to their well-tuned crossovers. Many "affordable" speakers today suffer from poorly designed crossovers, but JBL has taken care to match the dispersion characteristics of the drivers. This makes sure that the balance of tones stays the same even if you're not sitting right next to the speakers. So, the sound from the speakers and the sound that bounces off the walls blend together to make a seamless and immersive listening experience. Additionally, proper room treatments (like those found in studios) can further enhance the sound quality of the 4349s.

The 12-inch woofers and large, front-ported cabinets are what let these speakers play deep bass notes cleanly and authoritatively.

It's important to note that I usually add subwoofers to my speaker setup, but with the JBL 4349s, it's not necessary unless you're using them for home theater or playing music with a lot of deep bass. For most types of music, the 4349s have enough bass response and a clean, unaltered sound that audiophiles will enjoy. In other words, a subwoofer is only required for specific listening scenarios.

Pairing the JBL 4349 speakers with a high-quality subwoofer is a game-changer. The speakers already play deep on their own, so you get a smooth transition to the sub with plenty of overlap and you can choose pretty much any crossover point you wish, even 40 Hz. For this review, I used a high-quality dual-opposed 12-inch sub to make a 2.1 setup. Processing was handled by a Denon AVR-X8500h AVR serving as a preamp, and a 250 watt-per-channel (into 8 ohms) Crestron Procise PROAMP 7X250 amplifier. The result is a seamless, full-range (20 Hz–20 kHz) system that plays loud, clear and free of audible distortion. I found it simply irresistible, and I couldn't stop listening to all my favorite albums. Even though it's just my opinion, the best proof that these speakers sound great is that I can't stop listening to music on them.

Reviewing speakers is a tough job, but someone's got to do it. I willingly put in hundreds of hours listening to these speakers, for the sake of the review and also for the sheer pleasure of hearing them do their thing. Most of the time, I didn't write anything down because, as is often the case with really good speakers, you quickly get lost in the music. But I did make mental notes when something sounded especially beautiful or realistic.

Binary, the 2019 album by Sounds from the Ground sounds absolutely stunning on the JBL 4349 speakers. The dynamics are incredibly clear and precise, with each instrument mixed in perfect balance. The bass response is deep and punchy, adding a powerful foundation to the overall sound. The soundstage is wide, deep, detailed, and spacious, giving the listener a true sense of immersion in the music. Overall, the JBL 4349 speakers do an excellent job of bringing out the full range and complexity of the recording, making it an incredibly enjoyable listening experience.

Similarly, MMXX by drummer/electronic musician Jon Kennedy sounds incredibly detailed and interesting when played on the JBL 4349 speakers. The imaging is sharp and precise, allowing each instrument to be heard in its own space within the mix. The dynamics are well balanced, with a wide range of volume and expression, making each track feel alive. The bass response is tight and punchy, adding a solid foundation to the overall sound. Turning the volume up to concert levels shows no sign of strain, it just adds a tactile element to the whole experience. The JBL 4349s not only produce bass you can feel, but they also reveal the micro-dynamic textures within the bass, creating an immersive and concert-like experience. Cranking up the volume only enhances the subtle nuances that can be both heard and felt.

Invariably, with these speakers, what got my attention was musical artistry. Whether in how an instrument was played, the inflections in a singing voice, or the virtuosity of electronic musicians crafting fascinating abstractions in the studio. Listening to the JBL 4349s is not a "wow, those speakers sound amazing" experience, where the speakers are in your face. It's all about the "wow, that music sounds amazing" experience, in which the speakers are transparent conduits for what's found in the recording.

The JBL 4349 speakers are fantastic for music playback, but they also excel in home theater and multimedia. This comes as no surprise, as JBL's speaker technology is favored by movie theaters and concert venues, and they are a leading brand in professional audio. I was particularly impressed with the phantom imaging capabilities of these speakers. As someone who doesn't use a dedicated center channel speaker, the 4349s placed dialog right in the center of the screen, delivering a more immersive and engaging viewing experience.

You could easily build a home theater system with these speakers and get an unbelievable level of audio fidelity. They are clear, powerful, and articulate. It wouldn't be cheap, and the "big rectangular box" form factor would certainly impose some installation challenges, but considering what a pair can do, I can just imagine what it would sound like if seven or more of these speakers worked in concert. JBL makes speakers more directly suited to this application, but you could certainly pull it off with the 4349s and be happy with the results for the rest of your life.


Since I've been interested in audio as both a hobby and a job for a long time, I've developed preferences for certain designs. I've tried building my own speakers and subs over the years, and I've also tested and auditioned many different speaker models. My love for a 12-inch driver paired with a well-designed horn has only increased over the years.

That's the main reason I chose to do this review, to know how a top-tier example of this two-driver topology tackles my tunes. The results speak for themselves, the high standard of fidelity these speakers set will be remembered by me for a long time.


fajilo's picture

Loudspeaker is designed to be easy to use and control. weaver game wordle has an easy-to-see and useful interface

catalogo33's picture

I really like the design, especially the size, it is also ideal for the home to enjoy a good movie or dancing with me.catalogos andrea

laopanaoma's picture

The horn, which protrudes and has a curled shape, is the main attraction.
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