Two of the best known brands within the audio industry are Klipsch and JBL. If you’re looking to get yourself some new speakers, then you’ve undoubtedly stumbled across these two brands. It can be difficult to know which of these is a better option, especially if you aren’t use to purchasing speakers in the past. So, we’ll have a look at what the differences are between the brands and which one would be a better option for you if you’re purchasing a new sound system.
If you’re debating which of these brands is better, the correct answer is; it depends. For me, I have always preferred going for Klipsch speakers as opposed to JBL for my home theater system, or my in wall speakers (see my in wall speaker guide to confirm this). But for a standalone speaker, JBL still produce some quality products.
Both brands are of a decent quality, but there are a few things that you will want to consider before you purchasing either one. Depending on exactly what you’re purchasing – e.g. a home theater or a set of bookshelf speakers – one of these brands is likely to be more suitable for you than the other. Let’s have a deeper look at the two brands and see the differences.
Whilst many people think that JBL are much older than the other speaker brands that are around, this isn’t actually the case. Yes, JBL are old – they were started at the end of the second world war in 1946. But, it’s not as well known that Klipsch were actually started in the same year as JBL – the same person that started JBL also started Altec Lansing, too.
The reality is that JBL were the more popular brand in the past, but Klispch have started to gather more interest in the home theater market – especially since 2011 when they were purchased by electronics company Vox.
Klipsch vs JBL – Pros
One of the reasons that many people opt for Klipsch speakers is that they are excellent at high frequencies. There is a lot of emphasis places on lower frequencies and bass, but it’s also important to ensure that your speakers can perform at high frequencies too. They do this by using a horn driven tweeter, which is different than a normal tweeter and it will depend on what you prefer.
One of the better things about JBL speakers is that you don’t have to break the bank to purchase them. Most of the time, they’re available at a really good price and you don’t need to worry about spending a ton of cash on them. This said, they aren’t the best brand around so if you want a good budget product, then JBL is a pretty safe option.
Klipsch vs JBL – Cons
A common criticism of Klipsch speakers is that they are too bright. Usually, the term bright speakers is a good thing, but if they are too bright then this is an issue. If you aren’t familiar with the terminologies of bright and warm speakers then this is a great post that can help you understand the differences and what exactly a bright speaker is. If a speaker is too bright, then it can become and issue listening to them for long periods of time.
The main criticism that you will see of JBL is that their products are a bit.. meh. Sure, they make decent enough headphones and Bluetooth speakers that do what you want them too. But, unless you’re spending a ton on JBL speakers, they aren’t going to be much better than the bottom of the barrel speakers you’ll find.
There are also criticisms of JBL’s customer service, which can be a little iffy at best.
From a purely cost to quality perspective, I would always go for Klipsch products for my household. I’m talking in wall speakers and in ceiling speakers, of which Klipsch are one of the better brands to opt for if you want something high quality in your house. You can also look at brands like Polk too, which can be a good option if you’re on a tighter budget and don’t have enough cash to opt for Klipsch.
One thing with Klipsch is that if you purchase one of their products, then you’ll want to use Klipsch for your entire home theather. Not only from a visual perspective, but it also makes sense to match them up with their own brand – you’ll need to look elsewhere for a good receiver though.
JBL definitely still have their place in the market, but in my opinion this is limited to either the cheapest stuff, or the most expensive stuff. If you want to spend 5 figures on a speaker system for an event location, then you can consider JBL. Or if you want to purchase a small Bluetooth speaker, JBL does the job too.
But for the mid range speakers which most people will be looking for, Klipsch are the best choice.